Root beer…that foamy, sizzling, taste-bud satisfying soda drink we all love! Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to create a root beer float that really hits the spot on hot summer days.
For an extra delicious, homemade flavor, you can actually make your own root beer at home. But how? Is it easy? Are the supplies expensive? Can the kids help? Do you have to be a chemist? Here's a look inside the world of making your own root beer.
Browse around the Internet for “homemade root beer” and you’ll find plenty of root beer kits that come with all the things you need, but it's not difficult to make your own with a few simple ingredients.
Originally root beer was actually made from roots, though it is not as easy as pulling roots from your garden and adding beer. We advise buying a bottle of root beer extract, available at most grocery stores.
The truth is, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to make root beer, says David B. Fankhauser, PhD of U.C. Clermont College. Since 1996, Dr. Fankhauser’s instructions have taught thousands how to make this delicious drink. As the root beer doctor states, “We will set up a fermentation in a closed system and capture the generated carbon dioxide to carbonate root beer.” Sounds scientific!
Of course, when you ferment anything at home there’s got to be a warning right? During step 14 when the root beer is fermenting, make sure during the 3-4 day process that you check the bottle for hardness regularly and place the bottle in the fridge right away. Don't ignore it and leave it alone on a room temperature shelf. Why is this important? Fermentation gone too far means it will explode, so not only will you have a mess, you'll have to start from step one again.
Enjoy this fun project with friends or family, and don't forget the ice cream!
Have you made root beer at home? Share your experiences in the comments!