Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Sep 22, 2006 06:00 PM

Tips & Recipes for brewing your own Ginger Ale, Root Beer, Sarsaparilla?

A poster on the SF board had a question about this. Any stories to share?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. No tips or experience with the real thing, but I make some nice "cheater ginger ale."

    I make a simple (sugar) syrup, and steep lots of fresh ginger in the syrup for 2 hours, until it tastes really gingery. Then I mix the syrup with club soda to make my own "ginger ale". (I also add the syrup to lemonade.)

    Instant gratification, and no risk of exploding bottles!


    1. Don't use honey as a sweetener! I blew up a couple of six-packs doing that. Added yeast, I think...

      1. Years ago I made my own beer and it packed such a potent kick none of us knew what hit us. At that time I lived in Pennsylvania and had a cellar. I also made sasparilla and it tasted wonderful and also exploded all over the place. Fortunately no one was hurt. So watch out for those explosive bottles and have fun.

        1. This isn't about brewing, but I came across the linked blog w/ a recipe attempting to replicate SF's Canteen fresh ginger ale. Sounds very similar to what AnneInMpls does above.

          1. When I was a kid, I used to brew my own root beer. Sent away for Hire's root beer extract, and followed the directions on the enclosed recipe, which simply combined water, sugar, yeast, and the extract, and called for bottling under crown caps. We saved my dad's Budweiser long-neck returnables, and bought a capper and caps from the local wine/beer supply. The fermentation took a couple of weeks or more depending on the weather, and the result was really delicious. It makes for a very yeasty, and mildly alcoholic root beer.

            I grew up on a large ranch which included a walk-in cooler where my great aunt and uncle stored meat, potatoes, and various other items they horderd. I stored the root beer in there, and stopped on the walk home from school for a "cold one"