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!