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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Old Fashion Root Beer

Homemade Old Fashion Root Beer

I will gladly share my recipe for homemade root beer. It is very easy and takes less than thirty minutes.

Homemade Root Beer

1 bottle McCormick’s Root Beer Concentrate (2 oz.)
5 lbs. sugar
5 gallons of spring water
3-4 lbs. of dry ice

Wal-Mart carries the McCormick’s Concentrate and that is also where I buy the dry ice. (I usually cut back some on the sugar, but not too much.)

You will need a large plastic container, something that will hold over five gallons and also allow room for the dry ice to “bubble”. We have one ice chest set aside for making root beer. To stir, I use a very large wooden spoon or you could use a large plastic spoon Do not use anything metal.

Pour first 3 ingredients in the ice chest and stir. When the sugar begins to blend in, add the dry ice. Continue stirring, but do not splash. You do not want the dry ice to come in contact with your skin. *I do not allow the kids a turn at stirring until the dry ice begins to calm down.* As the dry ice melts, it chills and carbonates the root beer. If the amount of dry ice is correct, the root beer will be icy when all of the dry ice is melted. (You should be able to tell when all the dry ice is melted, but be sure and do not allow any dry ice into the serving cups. We have never had an accident with the dry ice, but you will need to use caution.)

Once the dry ice is melted, the root beer is ready to serve. Kids (of all ages) love watching the process as smoke rolls up off the dry ice and the “brew” begins to fizz.

We make this every 4th of July or whenever all the grands are going to be here, as well as for family reunions. Last year, I taught a summer cooking class for kids through the Continuing Education Department at our local university. Making root beer was one of the most requested classes. We also made homemade pizza for the same class! Big hit!

Lehmans carries extracts to make fourteen flavors including, crème soda, strawberry, orange, etc. You will find them listed in the kitchen section, under Homebrew Soda Pop. I think this summer we will also make crème soda and strawberry.

You can also find a recipe similar to the one Sonya mentioned here.

I don’t worry about leftover root beer going flat. If there is any left, I pour it up in one of the empty gallon water jugs. The kids finish it off making root beer floats. You can purchase the equipment to bottle it if you like or you can use the yeast method. We only make it when we are having a *crowd* so leftovers have never been a problem.

I hope you have fun and enjoy!


  1. OMW, this is awesome! Thanks, Cheryl :) I can't wait to try it.


  2. Oh wow! That is so cool! Thanks for sharing! I bet the kids love it! I'm bookmarking to try this this summer.

  3. You have my permission to make some for me when I come visit you! :) The chances that I would get industrious enough to make it myself are slim and slimmer!

  4. Wow Cheryl, this is great. We are changing up our VBS and doing a Western Theme, I am going to see how we can incorporate this into our plans in some way, because I just know that the kids and teachers as well would love it. Thanks so much for sharing it. Have a great week. terry

  5. Cream soda sounds good this looks so fun I think I will give it a whirl at my welcome to summer bash in June!

  6. Yep the smaller one is what I use and LOVE it!

  7. Ohhh I love homemade rootbeer! Thanks for the recipe!!

  8. How COOL! You have such great ideas and this sounds like great family fun!

  9. OH BOY! You have given us a summer project!
    I've always WANTED to try this! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge!
    I added your button here:
    and that is SO NEAT that we are each other's 71st followers!!!!!


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