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Messages - kmwylie

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Beer Recipes / Re: Alcoholic Root Beer
« on: September 03, 2013, 02:14:11 PM »
Duboman, can you post your recipe? I see the starting one. (I found that one too.) But, what did you change exactly? Did you end up going with an extract? If so, how much?

Being from IL, did you happen to go to Brewfest in Plainfield a couple of weeks ago?  Not Your Father's had a special 30% -- yes, 30%! --batch! It was delicious. I spoke with the owner (I forget his name. My husband and I were pouring all day for the event and by the after party, when I finally got a taste, I was exhausted), and he told me he doesn't use extract at all. He listed off some of his ingredients -- wintergreen, vanilla, ginger, and I thought he said both sassafras and sarsaparilla - maybe it was just sassafras.

Anyway, I too have been on the hunt for an "adult root beer" recipe.

I found this from

A mixture is made by adding 1 1/2 gallons of molasses to 5 gallons of boiling water. This is allowed to stand for three hours.

Then 1/4 pound each of sarsaparilla root, bruised sassafras bark, and birch bark (wintergreen flavor) is added.

Next add 1/2 pint of fresh yeast, and enough water to make about 16 gallons total volume.

This is allowed to ferment for 12 hours before being drawn off for bottling (the same as in making beer), after which the secondary fermentation creates the carbonation.

Keep the temperature at 65 to 75 degrees F. during fermentation and after bottling until the carbonation process is complete.

The amount of alcohol in the beverage is dependent upon how long the batch ferments prior to bottling and the level to which the bottles are filled. By partially filling the bottles, the fermentation continues for a longer time and the alcoholic content is correspondingly increased. It is possible to obtain up to 10% alcohol with this process.

Read more:

Then I found this recipe, for a non-alcoholic version from


    ½ cup Sassafras Root Bark
    ½ teaspoon wintergreen leaf (or more- try this to taste but start with a little as it has a very strong flavor)
    1 cup unrefined organic cane sugar like rapadura
    ¼ cup molasses
    1 cinnamon stick or 1 tiny dash of ground cinnamon (optional)
    dash each of coriander and allspice (optional)
    2 teaspoons of natural vanilla extract
    3 quarts filtered water
    ¼ cup lime juice (optional but good for flavor)
    ¾ cup homemade ginger bug or other starter culture like whey or vegetable starter


    Put the sassafras root bark and wintergreen leaf in a large pot. Add cinnamon, coriander and allspice if using.
    Add 3 quarts of filtered water and turn on high heat.
    Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
    Strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove herbs.
    While still warm, add the sugar and molasses and stir until dissolved.
    Let cool until warm but not hot and add the lime juice and then then ginger bug or other culture and stir well.
    Transfer to grolsch style bottles or jars with tight fitting lids and allow to ferment for several days at room temperature.
    Check after two days for carbonation and when desired carbonation is reached, transfer to refrigerator and store until use.

If desired, the following can be added to the original boil but they are not needed:
-2 cloves
-1 tablespoon licorice root
-1 tablespoon grated ginger root
-1 tablespoon hops flowers
-1 teaspoon of anise or fennel

I was thinking of using this recipe - swapping out (or adding to) the molasses with malt and using a little hops. Then adding a champagne yeast.



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