Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Kitchen Elves' Homemade Rootbeer {Putting Down Roots}


Seasoned with sassafras, sarsaparilla and a variety of other herbs and spices, the ingredient list for homemade rootbeer is daunting. But I finally got around to amassing what I needed. The boys were so excited. And it was perfect for our 'Putting Down Roots' Thanksgiving menu.


Ingredients
  • 1/2 C sassafras root bark
  • 1-1/2 t sarsaparilla root extract
  • 1 T licorice root
  • 1 t ground ginger root
  • 1 T dandelion root
  • 1 hop flower
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 T birch bark
  • 1 t juniper berries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 10 C water
  • 1 C organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 C fresh whey*


Procedure
*First you have to make the whey. It took about an hour for me to get 1/2 C of whey from my plain yogurt. I've read to leave it overnight, but I just did it till I got what I needed for the recipe.

Line a colander with cheesecloth, then spoon your yogurt into it. Let drain.







Place all of the ingredients - up to the water (on the list above) - in a large souppot.


Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the roots, berries, barks, leaves and flowers for twenty minutes. After twenty minutes, turn off the heat.


Strain the infusion through a colander lined with cheesecloth into a pitcher.


Add sugar to the hot infusion, stirring until it dissolves. Cool for approximately 20 to 30 minutes - until it reaches 98 degrees. Once the infusion has cooled, stir in the fresh whey and pour into bottles, leaving at least 1" head space in each bottle.

Let the root beer ferment for 3 to 4 days at room temperature, then move it to the fridge for an additional day to age. Serve over ice.


The verdict: the flavor was strong. Good, but strong. However, it wasn't very carbonated. So, it's back to the drawing board. But it was passable and fit our menu theme.

2 comments:

  1. such an interesting recipe....i've made rootbeer before but it was from a kit...and it was a disaster...the bottles blew up while i was carrying them into the house. i was covered head to toe in a sugar bath :) I love the idea of using whey and all natural ingredients. I might give this a go!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Christy. If yours carbonates well, you'll have to tell me what you did. I was researching other natural ways to carbonate that don't turn into alcohol. Still working on it.

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