Monday, October 13, 2008

How to Make Rootbeer (for JHS)



Sierra is a fifth generation root beer maker. The Bottle capper we use belonged to her great-great grandfather and we have some green glass bottles from the 1920's that we use to make holiday batches to share with close family. It's fun and easy and teaches kids math, science, cooking, and the virtue of patience. You have to wait 5 days to taste your finished product.

The root beer has to lay down for 5 days to gain the carbonation from the yeast...BEWARE! during this period many a poorly capped bottle has exploded, sending glass flying everywhere and coating the ceiling with a sticky brown mess. I've figure out how to avert this - line a 30 quart cooler with a trash bag and lay the bottles down inside the cooler. If anything blows,you only have to rinse off the other bottles and toss out the trash bag,

This recipe yields a lot...you can easily cut it in half or even quarter it - and the amount of sugar is relative to taste, this recipe is sweet to my taste, so I cut back a bit.

You will need:
A bottle capper - available at home brew stores or on the net
One Box of bottle caps - available at most good hardware stores that carry canning supplies
32 clean, empty, 12oz beer bottles - available for the price of a deposit at any recycling center
A pot large enough to hold your brew
A funnel
A ladle
Two kids to make - and clean up - the mess
A large, hard plastic cooler
A large trash bag

3 gallons of cool tap water
4 oz. Root beer extract - check the spice aisle in our grocery store - often they carry it
5 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
1 cup warm water for yeast

Dissolve yeast in water, set aside
Dissolve sugar in 3 gallons of water, taste for sweetness
Add extract to water, taste for flavor - you may add more extract it you prefer
Add yeast mixture to rootbeer mixture, stir to combine
Bottle and Cap
Let sit in a cool place for 5 days before drinking

It's good to make a batch of vanilla ice cream to go with the first few bottles- " Black Cows"are one of my favorite beverages.

1 comment:

jhenrysmith said...

damn your quick!--thanks chef.
i'll let you know how it turns out.