Here are the results of my first attempt at making root beer at home.
I have reused plastic pop bottles - carefully washed in the hottest water available and then rinsed in very hot water and left to air dry. Reusing the plastic containers we have here at the house is very economical AND green. The small bottle there is so that when I test it in about 3 days, I don't have to open up a huge bottle of the stuff.
Using some root beer extract that I had in the house, I made about 4.5 gallons or 20 litres of the stuff. The bottles are living underneath the stand that holds up my big aquarium where the temperature will stay nice stable and warm. It now has to cure so that the yeast in the brew can go and create carbon dioxide (the bubbles). That big basket on the right in the photo holds all the aquarium supplies. When the carbonation levels are right, then I will stop the yeast in its tracks through the gift of refrigeration.
There wasn't enough root beer to fill the last bottle to the top, so I have decided that this is the bit I can drink now. It really is very good. This means that if the carbonation doesn't happen to this batch of root beer, it will be okay. I'll have plenty of root beer for non-foamy root beer floats. As long as bottles don't go "off" or sour, this stuff is drinkable!
I have to keep my fingers crossed that we don't have any bottles burst on me. That will be a sticky mess and a waste of really good root beer.
If this works out I may try brewing some other home-made soft drinks. There is an elderberry bush across the road and I could try making elderflower champagne. I also fancy trying home-made ginger beer (ginger ale).
If we have a nice summer, I imagine getting the hammock strung up and sipping lots of nice home brewed soft drinks out on our lawn.
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