Friday, April 30, 2010

Homemade Rootbeer.....

When I was really young, we used to go visit my Great-Grandmother in Murray, UT.  Every once in a while, a loud "pop" would be heard.  It startled my sisters and I until we learned what it was.  One of Grandma's homemade Rootbeer bottles' lids had popped off.  She would make it in real soda bottles and would cap them.  They looked like the type you would buy out of the machine to me.

Just as a reminder, one of our target items this week is Yeast.  I discovered the following recipe from Dr. David Fankhauser's website.  I love his site, he teaches anyone how to do so many make Root Beer!  The following recipe and steps are from his site.

You will need the following equipment
  • A clean 2 liter plastic soft drink bottle with cap.  (Dr. Fankhauser does not recommend glass bottles because of the risk of explosive shards of glass),
  • funnel,  
  • 1 cup measuring cup,  
  • 1/4 tsp measuring spoon,
  • 1 Tbl measuring spoon. 
You can see my laptop.  I am using it to follow the recipe so I don't have to print it out and have to find a place to store an additional piece of paper!

Here is a list of ingredients: 
  • 1 cup table sugar,  
  • 1 Tablespoon of Root Beer Extract (He recommends Zatarains's, but I found another brand locally.  We often make Dry Ice Rootbeer, and I just had this particular bottle in the cupboard). 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Powdered Baker's yeast. 
  • Cold fresh water.  (I found several discussions on-line that recommend that you use as little chlorinated water as possible as the chlorine reportedly can kill the yeast. So, I chose to use our water filter pitcher for the fresh water).

Pour in the sugar through the funnel.

Add your yeast via the funnel.

You can see the yeast on the sugar.
Shake the bottle and mix the yeast and the sugar. Swirl the mixture around in the bottle to create a small well or a concave surface in the mixture.  This will receive the Extract.
Add the Root Beer Extract via the funnel.
You can see that most of the Extract is in the middle of the mixture.
Pour water over the spoon to get all the Extract off the spoon and use the water to clean the funnel to get all the yeast and sugar particles inside of the bottle.   Fill the bottle and leave an inch of head space. 
I found that I initially needed to shake the mixture as sugar settled into the bottom of the bottle.  I had to go back about an hour later and do the same thing again.  The directions state that you need leave the bottle at room-temperature for about 3-4 days. When the bottle feels "Rock hard", place it into the refrigerator to chill. Before serving  (within 24 hours), crack the lid of the thoroughly chilled bottle to release some of the pressure.
Now, the LRH did research this, and found that some folks reported that their bottles did blow their top which left quite a mess to clean-up.  I thought about putting it into the garage, but it is too cold right now to let the yeast activate.  So, I am giving myself a "fail-safe" just in case.
I am enclosing the bottle inside of a garbage bag.  That way, if something unforseen does occur, it will all be contained inside of the trash bag.  Watch for the results of this project very soon!


Vicki in UT said...

Oh, I love this! When I was a little girl we made homemade rootbeer in glass pop bottles. We had a gadget that put new metal lids on them. Dad would put the bottles in his office closet to cure. My bedroom was right below. One day I went to get something out of my closet, and reached in, only to feel sticky. I looked, and there were brown streaks all over the closet. One of the bottles of root beer had exploded and dripped through the floor into my closet! It was worth it though. That homemade rootbeer was always better than any of the wek dry ice kinds I have ever tasted.

The Little Red Hen said...

I'm glad that was a fond memory for you Vicki! I too remember having this for Rootbeer floats at my Great Grandparents house......I don't remember ever having to clean up though. I'm very glad about that:)

Anonymous said...

Thanks both for using my site, and giving it proper citation. I applaud having your lap top nearby so you don't have to print out the recipe!

David Fankhauser

The Little Red Hen said...

What an honor to have you reply personally. I use a number of your recipes and methods. Thank you for stopping by!

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