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Old 11-11-2010, 11:28 AM   #1
kc_in_wv
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Oct 2010
Princeton, West Virginia
Posts: 232
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dug roots and herbs. I know an old woman once who made it this way and I was wondering what went in it besides Sassafras root.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:03 PM   #2

That's the only way I make mine. It's not the same as modern rootbeer, but it's very good. My whole family loves root beer floats at my place.

Here's the recipe I use:

Simmer the following ingredients in 5qts of water for about an hour or until everything has condensed down to 5qts again.

•1 oz sarsparilla root
•1 oz sassafras root bark
•1 oz cherry bark
•1/2 oz licorice root
•1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
•1/8 oz cinnamon (about half a stick)
•2 to 4 oz raisins (you can add more if you like their flavor)
•1/2 tsp salt
•3 cups honey
•1/2 cup molasses
•4 lb sugar

Once you have the base, strain the mixture and add...

•1 tbsp vanilla extract
•1 tsp wintergreen or birch extract, or 1/2 tsp pure essential oil

I don't usually add the wintergreen, but it makes it taste more modern if you want it.

This recipe makes a 1:4 ratio. I usually just add the entire 5qts to a keg and fill it up as much as possible with water. If you want it to look like real rootbeer, you'll need to add caramel coloring to it. As is...it looks like a cream soda.
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:24 PM   #3
kc_in_wv
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Oct 2010
Princeton, West Virginia
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I will try to make some of it. Do you put any yeast in it to cause carbonation? I don't have a keg but I do have quite a few returnable type pop bottles I had thought of using.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:09 PM   #4

I don't use yeast for root beer because I have kegs and don't like the flavor yeast adds to the final product. You could just store the syrup in 1 liter ball jars and make a glass at a time as you want. If you did it this way, you could use club soda in place of normal water and it would give you the carbonation you're looking for.

Otherwise, as you said, you could add yeast. There's enough sugar in this recipe to carbonate it. I'd mix up whatever you're wanting to bottle, add a neutral yeast, and bottle it in plastic bottles. Don't use glass. When the bottles feel firm (you can't squeeze them at all) then put them in the fridge and drink whenever you want.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:58 PM   #5
oldmate
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Jun 2010
Sydney, Australia
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You could also pasteurise the bottles, there's a sticky on it in the Cider forum on this site. Although, I don't know how a flip-top bottle would go with the increased heat and pressure.

 
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:50 PM   #6
Loup
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Jul 2008
Minnesota, Twin Cities area
Posts: 273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
That's the only way I make mine. It's not the same as modern rootbeer, but it's very good. My whole family loves root beer floats at my place.

Here's the recipe I use:

Simmer the following ingredients in 5qts of water for about an hour or until everything has condensed down to 5qts again.

1 oz sarsparilla root
1 oz sassafras root bark
1 oz cherry bark
1/2 oz licorice root
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 oz cinnamon (about half a stick)
2 to 4 oz raisins (you can add more if you like their flavor)
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups honey
1/2 cup molasses
4 lb sugar

Once you have the base, strain the mixture and add...

1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp wintergreen or birch extract, or 1/2 tsp pure essential oil

I don't usually add the wintergreen, but it makes it taste more modern if you want it.

This recipe makes a 1:4 ratio. I usually just add the entire 5qts to a keg and fill it up as much as possible with water. If you want it to look like real rootbeer, you'll need to add caramel coloring to it. As is...it looks like a cream soda.
Do you have a good source for some of these ingredients? It's looking a bit hard to find Sarsparilla Root, Sassafras root bark, cherry bark, licorice root. I'm seeing a little bit on amazon, but it's pretty sparse on information on what is actually being sold.
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:01 PM   #7

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loup View Post
Do you have a good source for some of these ingredients? It's looking a bit hard to find Sarsparilla Root, Sassafras root bark, cherry bark, licorice root. I'm seeing a little bit on amazon, but it's pretty sparse on information on what is actually being sold.
I bought all four of the items you mention from Starwestbotanicals.com

It's a little pricey, but keep in mind that there's enough in each bag to make 4 batches.
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:00 PM   #8
Techniker
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Nov 2010
Richmond, VA
Posts: 6

Alternatively you could go into the woods and look for them, though what time of the year you dig them up can change the taste. Sassafras is pretty distinct and when you dig up the roots, you'll definitely know when you have the right stuff. I think I am going to go out and get some this Thanksgiving for my own try at this. Thanks for posting.

-Techniker

 
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:38 AM   #9
kc_in_wv
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Oct 2010
Princeton, West Virginia
Posts: 232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Techniker View Post
Alternatively you could go into the woods and look for them, though what time of the year you dig them up can change the taste. Sassafras is pretty distinct and when you dig up the roots, you'll definitely know when you have the right stuff. I think I am going to go out and get some this Thanksgiving for my own try at this. Thanks for posting.

-Techniker
I dig sassafras all the time. When the leaves are on look for leaves shaped like mittens. The same tree can have up to 3 different shape leaves.

The ends of the wtigs will be bright green and when broken have a very distinct smell. The best indication is the root but once you find the right root smell the twig so you can recognise it in the future.
Some people say you can dig the root when the sap is down but I like it the best in the spring before the leaves come out.

Make sure that you don't get the bark above the root
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:10 PM   #10
Nablis
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Jul 2008
Posts: 130
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mountainroseherbs.com
I got all of the stuff minus the cherry root bark here and not too expensive plus i got some coriander and it is alot fresher than store stuff.

Looks like they do have the cherry bark too but I didn't find it before.

 
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