This was one of my more colorful brews I tried to concoct a few weeks ago. I closely followed this recipe: http://nourishedkitchen.com/homemade-root-beer-recipe/ if anyone is also interested in creating this, with a few added herbs like vanilla bean.
Unfortunately, my ginger bug was not fermenting enough and all of my bottles are still flat, so I think I need to bit the bullet and purchase a Kefir starter kit and just add a few drops of the cultures to each bottle to get them to effervesce.
All in all, it was very fun and easy to boil this all, strain, and bottle; I also was able to fill the house with a wonderful root beer aroma, which is never a bad thing. I would recommend making sure that your ginger bug has taken to fermenting, or if this Kefir starter works, I may recommend purchasing that from the start.
Here is the recipe from the site above:
- 1/4 cup sassafras root bark
- 1/4 cup winter green leaf
- 2 tablespoons sarsaparilla root
- 1 tablespoon licorice root
- 1 tablespoon ginger root
- 1 tablespoon dandelion root
- 1 tablespoon hops flowers
- 1 tablespoon birch bark
- 1 tablespoon wild cherry tree bark
- 1 teaspoon juniper berries
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup unrefined cane sugar
- 1/2 cup ginger bug (get the tutorial), fresh whey or 1 packet kefir starter culture (available here)
Instructions: Boil in about 1 and 1/2 quarts filtered water for 20 minutes (I doubled my recipe and did about 2.5 gallons), strain it, cool down to about 90 degrees Fahrenheit pop in the cultures (either ginger bug or Kefir), bottle, let sit out for 3-4 days, refrigerate for about 2 more days.
Had I not poorly made my ginger bug, this would have been a short fermentation, as all you are looking to do is carbonate it. I’ll give updates when I get the kefir.
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