March 18, 2011

Root Beer

Over the weekend my family and I tried a little experiment. I don't know what prompted me, but Wednesday or Thursday of this last week, I thought to myself: “I want to try to make root beer.” How hard can it be? So, I did a little research on the Internet to find a recipe and here is what we came up with:

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon root beer extract
2 liters water


Equipment:
1 empty, sterilized 2-liter soda bottle
a funnel


Instructions:
Pour sugar and yeast into bottle. Swirl sugar/yeast mixture around in the bottom of the bottle form a bowl-shape. Pour extract into bottle. Fill bottle half-way, using this opportunity to rinse the spoon and funnel and utilize the extract left on them, then cap the bottle and shake it until the sugar/yeast mixture is dissolved. Fill the bottle the remainder of the way up, making sure to leave an inch or so at the top. Cap the bottle and leave it some place warm, dry, and out of direct sunlight for 3 to 4 days, until the bottle is hard when squeazed. During that time the yeast will convert the sugars in the solution into CO 2, thus carbonating the beverage. As a warning, the root beer will have negligible amounts of alcohol in it, but not enough to get anyone drunk.



We tried this recipe, and the results turned out pretty well. We had only a couple of complaints about it. First, there was a bit of a yeasty flavor to it. Second, it wasn't sweet enough. So, we made up another batch, adding half-a-cup more sugar and a tablespoon of vanilla extract to the concoction. We will see how it turns out in 3-4 days.


UPDATE:


After a little experimenting, we came up with the final results of:

1 ¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon root beer extract

Prepare as above only allow to sit for 7 days. The result come out to be a root beer that tastes very similar to Barq's root beer.




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