Intro: Homemade Rustic Root Beer
Soda; everyone loves it and Root Beer especially! It is a fan favourite. If you have ever had an old fashioned Root Beer from some high end store, you know two things. One: it usually tastes crazy good. Two: it is crazy expensive! Wallet burning, creamy bottles of gold. Alternatively you can make some! Really it is not that hard, I assure you. No really. As a bonus this stuff is healthy! It is healthy because it is "lactofermented". That's a fancy way of saying that there is a bacteria in it that adds the carbonation to it, but that bacteria is also great for your gut flora! so yay!!
Step 1: The "Ginger Bug"
What is a ginger bug? No, no not a beetle with red hair. It is the bacteria, or rather a culture of said bacteria.
-Ginger root (fresh) 1/2 cup
-White sugar 1/2 cup (you have to use white because it is super refined thus easy for the bacteria to consume(don't worry it will consume all of it))
-Water 2 cups (Filtered if possible)
Chop or grate the ginger fine until you have 1/2 a cup. Put that in a jar along with your 1/2 cup of white sugar and 2 cups of water. Put it on your kitchen counter and that's it for now! But wait you are not yet done...you have to add 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of ginger every day for 5 days. After these five days it will smell sweet and yeasty and will have bubbles on top especially when you stir it. If not however, give it 3 more days or until it looks like what I have described, but after that it must not have worked and you will have to start again. You should be fine though, I have never had a problem!
Step 2: The "Root Beer Syrup"
Next we make the good part! The root beer flavor!
What you need:
1/2 cup of Sassafras
1/4 cup of burdock root
4 cups of water
3 Tbsp of Molasses
1-2 drops of wintergreen oil
3-1/2 cups of cane sugar (or what you have)
Take your Sassafras, Burdock and water and bring it to a boil. Once it is boiling reduce heat and simmer for 15 min. Add the Molasses and simmer for 5 more minions. Add the Wintergreen, and now strain it to remove debris. put it back in the pot and add the sugar, simmer for 5 more manifolds. Now you have your syrup!!
Step 3: Brew to Make It Fizz!
water (the 4 of 1:4)
Now Take your syrup and for however much root beer you want put it in a bowl with a 1:4 ratio of syrup to water. Take that brine and add 1/2 a cup of our lovely ginger bug. The last thing to do is to put it in bottles. Leave it on your counter for 2-3 days, or until it is real fizzy. Keep in mind this cautionary tale: don't leave it for too long or it will make a biiiiig mess! The 1-2 days will be fine although you will still have to very carefully open the bottles. This is a video from some Kombucha that I made, I left it 5 weeks too long (oops) that is what happens!
But now you may relax! Sit down have a drink from your beautiful root beer!
First Prize in the
Homebrew Contest 2016