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Picture of Carbonated Homemade Sassafras Love Potion
Ingredients including Sassafras, cherry bark, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, cane sugar and vanilla cured together with love for days and served chilled - what else could this be other than a love potion?

Root Beer of course! And no fancy forced carbonation equipment is needed. But first, an explanation of sorts is needed on the ingredient list.


I have come to find that Sassafras is illegal to sell in the United States. The main ingredient in Sassafras oil is Safrole - a chemical that has been determined to be mildly carcinogenic by the Food and Drug Administration. Bugger.

Safrole can be removed from Sassafras root oils - but it requires specialized equipment and stringent processing. Not something the average home soda maker can do. The alternative is, processed concentrate :P


Yes, by entering this - I am saying you could win my heart with a bottle of root beer (or even better, home made ginger ale).
 
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Step 1: Ingredients and Materials

Picture of Ingredients and Materials
Sterilized 2l bottle
Funnel
1 Cup Cane Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Yeast
Filtered Water
1 tablespoon Root Beer Concentrate


Sterilization
Fill your bottle half way and then add about a quarter cup of chlorine bleach. Then fill the bottle with water to the top. Cap and allow to rest on its side for about fifteen minutes. Afterwards, rinse well.

Step 2: Add Ingredients

Picture of Add Ingredients
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Using the Funnel

1. Add Sugar
2. Add Yeast and mix evenly

3. Add 1 Tablespoon of Root Beer Concentrate
4. Fill bottle halfway with cool water and rinse measuring spoon/funnel (concentrate is sticky)

Now cap the bottle and shake well

5. Fill the remaining space in the bottle with water.

Cap again and shake again.

Step 3: Carbonation

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When the yeast combines with sugar and other nutrients (mainly water and other bits found in the concentrate) the yeast begins to grow. The by product is - CO2. To facilitate this process, store the bottle above 65oF - warmer is better.

At least two times a day, check the pressure in the bottle. Give the side of the plastic bottle a hard squeeze with your thumb. When the bottle is done, you won't be able to make a dent. At this point immediatly move the bottle to your refrigerator. Otherwise, you risk blowing your bottles creating a sticky icky mess.


You'll notice that after 10 minutes or so, the process has already started :D


After the drink has been refrigerated - serve and drink within a week. You can filter out the leftover yeast, but this is not necessary (just leave it at the bottom of your bottles).

Step 4: A Word about Alcohol

Two process occur as yeast makes ATPs (energy). There's an aerobic process and an anaerobic process. Aerobic generates energy by using oxygen - considering this is a sealed bottle, oxygen supply will drop off quickly.

The Anaerobic process is also known as fermentation. During strenuous usage of muscles, your tissues generate energy (quickly) using anaerobically - the by product being that ever so nasty Lactic acid. Our yeast won't be running any marathons, but it will be generating energy anaerobically. Instead of lactic acid, it will be making ethanol.

Not to worry though, ethanol production will be less than .5% by volume - that is, less than 1 proof. A healthy human body can process ethanol at a rate of about 1oz. per hour. This 2l bottle contains 1/3 of an ounce of ethanol (if we assume the maximum case scenario for alcohol production). So, if you were to drink the whole 2l bottle in a few minutes and IF we assume you absorbed all .3oz of alcohol, the alcohol would be out of your system in about 20 minutes after absorption (which can take 20 minutes).

So for a 12oz. ale (typically 6% alcohol by volume) - you need to drink almost 1.5 gallons of this home made drink rather quickly. For that matter, you probably should not be drinking that much - someone recently died from such stupid acts.


Now, if drinking alcohol is against your devout beliefs (Islam, Orthodox Judaism, Buddhism etc.) - you may want to avoid making this drink. However, I will have an "instant root beer" recipe soon. It just requires some fine tuning.

Similarly, if you are extremely sensitive to alcohol. You probably should avoid.

Of course, I am overstating any risk here ;)


Contrary to a comment -- this is not a Rum. There are many ratings/standards (typically age and/or proof) for what makes rum -- this varies country to country. By the most lax definition, this comes nowhere near rum. Hell, it's not even distilled. Not to mention, when was the last time you had a carbonated rum?

This almost (by technicality) is not a beer. But because there is a fermentation process (which happens while it is carbonating), it meets criteria. I guess you could call it a water beer (as was consumed ages ago due to low quality water). The "instant root beer" recipe, by technicality, is not a "beer" -- just flavored ;)
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crogshockey4 months ago

Its beneficial

yieldlymph8 months ago

The unfortunate thing about Safrole is that it's useful in MDMA manufacture.


Thats nice...

good

wonderful

calmlunch1 year ago

super

Its beneficial

clickyummy1 year ago

nice

bearblue1 year ago

super

chimplost1 year ago

The unfortunate thing about Safrole is that it's useful in MDMA manufacture.

You can omit the yeast & use club soda instead of water. No Alcohol
The unfortunate thing about Safrole is that it's useful in MDMA manufacture.
The main ingredient in Sassafras oil is Safrole - a chemical that has been determined to be mildly carcinogenic by the Food and Drug Administration. Bugger.
dub28013 years ago
after its finished and you drink it should it be fizzy????
dkiehl4 years ago
You can omit the yeast & use club soda instead of water. No Alcohol
yav8 years ago
how I can get sassafras ?
trebuchet03 (author)  yav8 years ago
From the introduction:

I have come to find that Sassafras is illegal to sell in the United States. The main ingredient in Sassafras oil is Safrole - a chemical that has been determined to be mildly carcinogenic by the Food and Drug Administration. Bugger.

Safrole can be removed from Sassafras root oils - but it requires specialized equipment and stringent processing. Not something the average home soda maker can do. The alternative is, processed concentrate :P

Outside of the US, I don't know.
I'd say the link between Safrole and cancer is weak. I'd say this is junk science even.

The unfortunate thing about Safrole is that it's useful in MDMA manufacture. Junk science is merely the easy way to remove a precursor from the marketplace, your root beer be damned.

I personally have no issues with making my own homemade Sassafras tea, except for the medical side effects I experience from chewing on even a twig.
trebuchet03 (author)  kill-a-watt4 years ago
Didn't know it could be used to make Ecstasy.

Who could have guessed an ingredient for making Ecstasy could be harmful to one's health...  


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T6P-3X9415Y-3&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=8ec1ea8630ab130def74241535d2fc11
 - curse those FDA meddling Taiwanese!
cool, now search for "Avastin" and "death panels" ;-)
trebuchet03 (author)  kill-a-watt4 years ago
High toxicity AND clinically insignificant change in survivability. At least someone is finally doing their job and pulling it.

Only junk science would say such a small decrease or increase in survivability is meaningful - screw you FDA for passing this in the first place.

How much did that stuff cost anyway (and how much was made in the 2 years it was out)?
My understanding is that while Avastin doesn't save lives, for a small segment of the population it adds months or years of extra living. It just works very well for some people. on average, however, it's not very effective and has issues and side effects in many people.

trebuchet03 (author)  kill-a-watt4 years ago
Hmm....

If it's not repeatable, it's not science.

Let pharma go back to research and figure out why. Not until you know "why" can we address "how."

The internet seems to be full of claims of causality.
Nonsense, there's many examples of drugs that only work sometimes on some people and have unmanageable side effects when used on others. Personally, I can't handle the side effects of Claritin-D, but it's a godsend to many people.

The best parallel I can think of is AZT. A breakthrough, the very first drug approved to fight HIV, the drug still has serious side effects and was fiendishly expensive.

Since the patent expired, there are now several generic forms of AZT.
trebuchet03 (author)  kill-a-watt4 years ago
A median less than 3 months is not clinically significant except in circles of junk science.
yet it's approved for other uses, just not for breast cancer in the US. So it will be available (off-label and off-universal healthcare coverage) for anyone able to afford it.

I'm surprised at your complete unshaken faith in the FDA. You're certain that they are 100% benevolent?
trebuchet03 (author)  kill-a-watt4 years ago
Those that believe in junk science can pay for it.
I can't read the rest of the study. Are they feeding a reasonable amount that would indicate a reasonable exposure level in humans? Would two cups of strong tea per day be a significant risk?

I ask this because I understand that if you cram enough saccharine through a rat in the lab it might just develop cancer.

I've also failed to see the government act to stamp out the harmful practice of slow cooking pork while it is waifing in deadly hardwood smoke. (Ban anything that could be used to make a smoker, and have strict limits on the amount of Boston Butt one could buy. Check ID and make people sign their names in books that are forwarded to the police!)

Clearly there are what most people would say were appropriate reactions to risk factors, and then there are unreasonable freedom restricting policies in place designed to fight the war on (some) drugs. I think of the latter whenever I'm using my (no longer sold) iodine water purification kit in the backcountry.
Gravquian yav4 years ago
Hey'ya,

I'm from an (IL.) area not far from Vincennes (IN.). Sassafras trees are common here. But some do not like to boil the roots { why ??? }.

One alternative in our area is "Pappy's Sassafras (concentrate) Instant Tea". Sold at our local I.G.A. food-chain. A 12oz (355ml) bottle is ruffly $4US. The last bottle I bought had UPC code 0-76299-10012-7. Via; H&K Products Inc, 10246 Road P, Columbus Grove, Ohio, 45830 { phone: 419-659-5110 }. They also have a website; www.sassafrastea.com, you might visit. No, I am not an agent for either of those companies. I just really enjoy my hot (honey sweetend) tea. The tea can also be "infused' to make candy (think Horehound, or root-beer), jelly / jam, or other stuff.

Hope this was helpful. Best wishes to all.
harley_rly yav6 years ago
i know u asked 2 years ago but i have an answer...just look at the comment i posted at the top, i enjoy sassafras tea, and every spring go harvest enough sassfras root(not from the same tree, i wanna keep em alive)to last me through out most the year...but u do wanna harvest em in the spring
Wolfram6 years ago
I am Muslim. How can I avoid the alchahol thingy?
sabetts Wolfram5 years ago
Unfortunately for you, yeast turns sugar into CO2 and alcohol. There's just no way of getting around that. The amount of alcohol is minimal if that makes a difference for you. You can always get a tank of CO2, a regulator, and a carbonation cap and force carbonate it. But that sorta takes the fun out of it and its expensive. Good luck!
Zem5 years ago
 So, is there enough alcohol in it to make it "alcoholic"? Or can I, being 14, drink it? :)
sabetts Zem5 years ago
There will be very little alcohol in it. Maybe at most 0.5%.
Bisco8 years ago
do you konw how to do this with acual sasafrass it grows wild around here and i have no clue what i can do with it other then chewin on the leaves. im guessing i would use the roots for "root"beer thoguh huh?
i know this is an old comment, but if ur still wonderin.... 1⁄4 oz. dried sassafras root bark, 1⁄4 oz. dried birch bark, 1⁄4 oz. dried sarsaparilla root, 1⁄8 oz. dried licorice root, a 1" piece unpeeled thinly sliced fresh ginger, 1 split vanilla bean, 2 qts. water How to make the Root Beer Place all above ingredients into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 2 hours. Strain root-infused liquid through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a plastic container that has been washed well with hot, soapy water. (Discard solids.) follow the instructions given in the instructable to finish...this will just take the place of the rootbeer extract
trebuchet03 (author)  Bisco8 years ago
To be honest, I don't know. After I found out that it was illegal to buy - I stopped reading and looked for alternatives :P You probably can find information by doing a google search -- but do keep in mind that it is carcinogenic :/
doesnt that root beer concentrate have alcohol in it
trebuchet03 (author)  invisiblelight3867 years ago
Potentially... I have orange extract that does have alcohol... But that doesn't mean minors can't buy it... Nor is it intoxicating - for those that have alcohol exclusion clauses in their religion (if you're that anal about it - oranges have a small amount of alcohol in them... so I've just ruined oranges for you :p) ;) Well, it would be intoxicating if you drank enough - but you'll throw up before that happens.
i went through my spice box and fridge and found that lots of flavorings have alcohol in them, like: vanilla extract 38%, strawberry extract 42%, pineapple extract 35%, and mint extract with 89% alcohol.
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