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Wanted: Root Beer from Scratch Recipe


I just picked up the book about Soda Making from Northern Brewer and have been frustrated as I’ve been researching Sassafras. Not really keen on the weird places you have to buy the stuff from, and then it’s confusing whether I can use cut and sifted bark, or if I can roots or whatever.

I’ve pondered just making a brew that uses a combination of wintergreen, anise, ginger root, etc.

Does anyone have a good non-extract recipe for root beer that they’ve made and like??

I’d love to give it a try!



I’m a little hesitant to recommend it, but I make The Homebrewed Chef’s aka Sean Paxton’s recipe just cause and it may be worth your while. He has a website with a recipes page. I found all the stuff I need at a very well-stocked herb shop. It doesn’t taste like any commercial rootbeer and as Paxton says its a more adult take on root beer. It’s a funky sarsparilla drink. It took some time but I enjoyed trying it. If I make it again, I certainly will make a LOT less than 5 gallons.


I’m now leaning toward developing my own based on some of my own research. We’ll see how it goes!


I’m too lazy right now to go to the bookshelf and look, but I think that the Complete Joy Of Homebrewing has Charlie P’s recipe for root beer which, from what I recall, looked very, very good.

Made 6 bottles of real root beer once based on the Cresswell book. I used sassafras root bark I procured from an amish bulk food store, yeast, cane sugar and the whole shebang. I didn’t use as much sassafras as I should have and it ended up ungodly sweet, but not all that bad tasting. I have still have a pound of sassafras but never made anymore. Guess I chickened out from the safrole warnings.

In my quest for a the ultimate diy rootbeer I found a recipe on a brewing forum which eludes me using zatarains extract, cane sugar, and honey. Several members made and raved about it. Never made it but I plan to sometime. … tract.aspx

My consensus of homemade root beer is that you can make decent stuff, but unlike homebrew, it is much harder to make a superior than commercial product yourself. For right now I am content picking up a some Barq’s now and then when the moods strikes for root beer.

I made Hires Big H root beer for a party and everyone loved it. It’s not from scratch but verry good. It says to use dry ice or baker’s yeast to carbonate but I keg it. This is the web site were I got it

When carbonating with yeast, what do you do to keep it from consuming all the sugar and creating bottle bombs?

[quote=“bunderbunder”]When carbonating with yeast, what do you do to keep it from consuming all the sugar and creating bottle bombs?[/quote]Haven’t done it myself, but I think you just wait until the carbonation is correct, then put the rest of the batch in the fridge. Filling at least one PET bottle would make it easy to determine the carb level of the rest of the batch without having to open multiple bottles (or risk an entire batch of bombs if you skip a sample or two).

Hmm. I guess that’d work, but I was hoping there might be a way to do it so that the end result is shelf-stable. I was thinking of trying it, but I have neither a kegging system nor a surplus of fridge space.

Is it safe to heat capped bottles? I was thinking another option might be to pasteurize it by bringing the bottles up to 170F for a few minutes in a water bath canner.

I read somewhere that if you use the right kind of yeast (not champagne if I recall correctly) that the pressure kills the yeast. So perhaps given the right yeast choice, this isn’t a problem???

This page mentions this: ... _beer.html

“The reason you don’t want to want to use champagne yeast is that champagne yeast has been developed to live at much higher pressures than ale yeast and your root beer can continue fermenting until the bottles explode. Although this can also happen with ale yeast, it is very rare and the conditions have to be just right (including glass of less than the best quality). Once the pressure in your bottles gets to a certain point, the ale yeast will be killed off because it can’t live in a high pressure environment.”

I did my first go at it in 2 liter bottles and used champagne yeast by direction and the amount used is so miniscule that it uses it self up.

And as stated before its very hard to make my first batch was horrible using an extract.

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