Monday, August 22, 2011

Working on root beer and planning out my clone...

Making a second batch of root beer using the leftover ingredients from the first batch. Once Sassafras has dried out, it can be re-used. This batch promises to be a bit better, as I recently discovered that I used enough sassafras to make a 3.5-4 gallon batch! That explains the too-strong sassafras flavor I was getting with the last batch, so I dried it out and am  in the process of making a second batch that is 2 gallons.
I also made a better caramel color to be added to this batch-it's 1 cup of water and 1 3/4 cups of brown sugar. Brought the mix to a boil and let it go until it started to smell burnt, then reduced heat, constantly stirring to prevent the sugar from baking on to the sauce pan.
Anyways, I've been thinking about what I need to do to make my clone, and think I've got it worked out pretty well. What mass market root beer am I planning on cloning, you ask? The best of the best(in my opinion)-Virgil's. I will also be reviewing Virgil's Root Beer very soon.
Expect that review and the Sarsaparilla recipe shortly-the clone brew will come after I polish off this batch of root beer and the sarsaparilla.


  1. Great site. I have been looking for a Virgil's clone recipe. Looking forward to seeing how yours turns out.

    I am moving from homebrewing beer to root beer. Do you have any tips for a beginner?

  2. I don't know anything about keg-carbonating, but other than that you'll stick with your same routine-sterilizing your equipment/bottles before you get started.
    After that it's really all about figuring out the quantities of different ingredients to suit your tastes. Different root beers mean different ingredients. sassafras for dad's, a&w or barq's. Cinnamon and wintergreen for Mug. Orange oil and wintergreen for many store brands(with a little cinnamon).
    Brown sugar(or molasses) gives a thicker, more syrupy taste that suits root beers pretty good, but honey works really well with sassafras.
    Experiment with quantities to suit tastes. I think I'll make a post about varying levels of different ingredients.
    Homemade root Beer, soda and pop by Stephen Cresswell is what got me started, so I would suggest checking that out.
    glad you're enjoying the site. email me at if you'd like to know more.