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Lost Brews 09-12-2008 08:52 PM

Root Beer Roots
Where can i find the roots for root beer. I would love to make my own but i am haveing trouble aquireing the roots.


k1v1116 09-12-2008 09:07 PM

Root beer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I think modern root beer is seasoned mainly with wintergreen but the old time stuff was made from sassafras.
Sassafras - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Im not sure if you can find them in ND at least in the wild, maybe you can just buy the extract.

bluefoxicy 09-12-2008 09:17 PM

Root beer roots are somewhat toxic and banned by FDA. Extract needs a certain toxin filtered, the name escapes me.

EDIT: "Sassafras bark was banned by the FDA in 1960 because of the carcinogenic properties of its constituent chemical safrole. A safrole-free variety is now used, with some claiming that it has a weaker flavor than the pre-1960 variety" as per the Wikipedia article k1v1116 linked.

k1v1116 09-12-2008 09:26 PM

I cant find the article right now, but Ive read that the chemical in sassafras isnt really dangerous. the data they use to claim its toxicity is based on giving enormous doses to rats not only were the doses insanely high but the human liver isnt supposed to process the safrole in the same way as rats so it wouldnt be toxic. but if your concerned about it just buy stuff thats labeled as safrole free.

niquejim 09-12-2008 10:04 PM

I used to chew those roots all the time when I was a kid, damn;)

homebrewer_99 09-12-2008 11:47 PM

Right, carcinogenic...BS!! FDA stands for F#ckin' Dumb A$$e$??

Haven't you realized by now that EVERYTHING any law bans is GOOD for you??? :rockin::mug:

Revvy 09-13-2008 12:09 AM

I've found bundles of sassafrass roots in the farmer's/Outdoor market in Detroit quite frequently. Check to see if anyone's selling herbs and roots....Maybe even at a health food store...

sterling214 09-13-2008 03:09 AM

You can order them on line, but be careful who you order them from. I ordered some from a wicken store and you could smell that the packages had been sitting in a store full of burning incense. Then I stopped at the health food store at the end of my block and found everything I needed, cheaper. Do not use molasses to sweeten, that will be the only thing you will taste. I think next time I will try using some extract, 3 batches so far and I haven't been able to get the taste quite right yet.

billtzk 10-26-2008 06:51 PM

Sassafras is common in Louisiana where I grew up. Gumbo Filé, is the dried and ground Sassafras leaves. When I was a boy, we used to dig up young Sassafras trees in the woods near our house. We'd bring them home, and Momma made a root beer like tea from them sweetened with honey or cane sugar. Wash the roots, peel off the woody outer layer, then boil them to make the tea. Sweeten, chill, and serve. It was uncarbonated.

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