So while experimenting with Mead recipes the other week I made yet another trip to the local brew store and happened to see some soda extracts. I had seen them before but never got some. Today I was in a creative mood. That landed me right in the middle of a “why the heck not moment”.
I picked the root beer extract because I don’t like cream or orange soda. Alternatively, I wasn’t far enough on board to try sarsaparilla (yet)…
Making Homemade Rootbeer Is Very Simple
It actually took me less time to complete than it took me to convince the wife I would not blow up the kitchen or make a huge mess. A few minutes of “I cleaned up after the tofu” and “I promise I won’t make a mess”, sprinkled in with promises of a back rub and generous thanks for being such a help with the camera earned me a camera woman for this project…
Inside the extract box were several sets of instructions. Depending on if I wanted to make 4 gallons of root beer all at once, make it in actual beer bottles, or for the beginner two 2 liter soda bottles. I would have done it in beer bottles, but I wasn’t quite ready to drop the money in bottles, caps, and a capper (yet), so I choose the soda bottle method.
I rehydrated some yeast in a coffee cup while I dissolved a couple cups of sugar and a tablespoon of extract in a gallon of water.
Next I split both the yeast and the extract/sugar solution equally into the 2 bottles.
I added a little extra water to fill the bottles to within about 1 ½ from the top.
I then shook them up and put them in a 5 gallon bucket to ferment.
The yeast will eat the sugar and release carbon dioxide and a little amount of alcohol as a byproduct. That’s what will turn my root beer into soda. Without the yeast and the sugar the extract would not the carbonated.
The instructions said to wait 4-6 days for the carbonation to pressurize the bottles and then put it in the refrigerator to stop the carbonation. Otherwise the bottles could explode. By putting the bottles in the bucket, if I don’t check the bottles enough and catch them in time, any soda explosion, would be trapped in the bucket and won’t get me beat up by my wife.