Homemade Root Beer Recipe
There are several methods of making homemade soft drinks, which can be researched on the Internet. Also,
there is usually a recipe included in packages of soda flavoring extract. Review the recipe included, as it will let
you know how many gallons of beverage you can make with one bottle – usually 4 or 5 gallons. You may also
use part of the bottle to make smaller batches.
Any special equipment and ingredients listed below can be purchased from:
NorCal Brewing Solutions
1768 Churn Creek Rd
Redding, CA 96002
(530) 221- 9463
NorCal is primarily a wine and beer making supply store, but they have everything needed to make
nonalcoholic soft drinks as well. The staff there is very friendly and helpful and will be able to answer any
questions you may have.
If you want to know more about fermentation, the following webpage has some really interesting, fun recipes
for making fermented items such as cheese, yogurt, bread and root beer.
The following recipe makes 5 gallons of root beer:
1 bottle of soda flavoring extract (we used Zatarain’s Root Beer Extract)
5 pounds of white sugar
5 gallons of tap water, left standing overnight to dissipate the chlorine and chemicals, or use bottled water
1 package champagne yeast or ½ teaspoon baking yeast (We used champagne yeast)
5 gallon bucket with pouring spout
OR any 5 gallon container, a funnel and a ladle
Long handled stainless steel spoon
Bottles and bottle caps (5 gallons fills approximately 53 to 58 12 ounce bottles)
Or plastic bottles with screw top lids (16 to 17 one liter bottles or 8 two liter bottles)
1. Sterilize everything that will come in contact with the root beer. This includes bottle caps, bottles,
mixing container and spoon. It is very important not to skip this step. The root beer will be conditioned
at the perfect temperature for fermentation (and therefore carbonation) to occur. If bad bacteria are
present on any of the equipment or supplies, it will grow as well.
There are many ways to sterilize. The
Chlorine Bleach: 1 tablespoon of household chlorine bleach per gallon of room temperature water.
Soak equipment for 20 minutes, then air dry. No need to rinse, but do allow the equipment and bottles
to air dry for a couple of hours so the chlorine dissipates. I usually sanitize the 5 gallon bucket this way
as I can’t fit it into my dishwasher.
Dishwasher: A dishwasher will not properly clean soda bottles, so be sure to clean bottles first. Place
cleaned bottles in dishwasher and wash without using detergent or spot remover. Be sure to use the
heated drying cycle – this will ensure the bottles and equipment are sterilized.
Non-Chlorine Sanitizer: There are several non-chlorine sanitizers available – follow package
2. Pour sugar and yeast into 5 gallon bucket and stir to mix thoroughly.
Add one gallon of water and the bottle of soda flavoring extract. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
Add remaining water and stir to mix thoroughly.
3. Bottle the soda: Fill soda bottles – use pour spout on bucket or use funnel and ladle. Leave 1 to 2
inches of space at top of bottle.
If using glass bottles, cap bottles using bottle capper (ask at NorCal how to use bottle capper if you
need help). Turn each bottle upside down to check for leaks before storing.
4. Age soda: Store at room temperature for 3 to 4 days, then move to a cool (about 65⁰) dark storage
area and store for an additional 3 to 10 days. Refrigerate soft drinks before opening.
VERY IMPORTANT: Do not allow soda to remain at room temperature for longer than two weeks. Over
fermentation could occur, causing the bottles to explode. Refrigerated bottles are in no danger of
exploding. Also, do not open a bottle that has not been thoroughly chilled in the refrigerator. Your
face, hair and the wall behind you may get a nice soda bath