Friday, July 15, 2011

Homemade Root Beer Beer

   A while ago my brother challenged me, without him knowing it, to make a Root Beer Beer (aka Hard Root Beer). He simply said he wished he could find it. Considering its not generally available I can only imagine that it's actually rather difficult to make. BYO (Brew Your Own Magazine) has a recipe that they ran a while ago for a Root Beer Stout. However, their recipe seems more of a root beer flavored stout rather than the rich, creamy, sweet flavor of a real root beer. So I here I stand having brewed a root beer beer. I have little to no idea how this will turn out. But it's a good experiment.
  My recipe conglomeration consisted of spices I knew I could find at our local organic food shop. Some of these may prove difficult to find ay brew shops but if you have a good, old-fashioned medicinal herb counter at a nearby organic food store you're in luck. They'll probably have everything you need. I ended up with sassafras root, sarsaparilla, star anise, and spearmint (no wintergreen was to be found). I also chopped a decent chunk of ginger from my fridge and used that as well.
  Modeling the beer was probably a bit more difficult because I wanted to keep it somewhat light in color in, order to avoid becoming a heavy stout, as well as keeping it rich in caramely flavor. I also wanted to add a hint of depth found in darker malts without giving over to them. I ended up choosing caramel 40, honey malt, chocolate, and roasted barley. But just a hint of the last two. I also threw in an ounce of Tettanager hops because, after all, this is beer. I took an interesting risk and threw in a whole pound of lactose (milk sugar) as it is going to retain sweetness after fermentation. If I find it still doesn't have enough sweet flavor I can add some Stevia later on in the process.

Amount Item

7.00 lb Pilsner Liquid Extract (3.5 SRM)

1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)

1.00 lb Honey Malt (25.0 SRM)

0.20 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)

0.20 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM)

1.00 oz Tettnang [4.50 %] (60 min)

1.00 oz Anise, Star (Boil 30.0 min)

1.00 oz Ginger Root (Boil 15.0 min)

1.00 oz Sasparilla (Boil 30.0 min)

1.00 oz Sassafras Root Bark (Boil 60.0 min)

1.00 oz Spearmint (Boil 7.0 min)

3.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 20.0 min)

3.00 beans Vanilla Bean (Secondary 2.0 weeks)

1.00 lb Milk Sugar (Lactose) (0.0 SRM)

1 Pkgs Nottingham (Danstar #-)

  Everything boiled along well and as each spice went in I was concerned that it might be too much of that particular flavor. Then as time passed, everything mellowed out appropriately. The yeast is doing it's duty right now and we'll have to give it week to see if it comes up tasty. For now I'm 10 days from my batch of Red Red Wheat being ready to drink. Patience, as always, patience is required.


  1. No RSS feed. Need some way to know when you post. Get too hungry reading them all at once.

  2. Just put them in. Upper right-hand corner.

  3. how did it turn out?