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Root Beer Kombucha

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Root Beer Kombucha
Root Beer Kombucha

Most recipes for root beer kombucha are overly complicated with hard to find ingredients. Since my husband loves the flavor of  root beer, and I often buy High Country wild root kombucha for him. I figured it was time to devise my own.  The only special ingredient you will need to buy is sassafras bark. It is inexpensive and you will get enough to make a lot of root beer kombucha. You can’t really get by without it because there is no other way to get that taste of root beer without it. At least that I know of. The rest of the ingredients are easy to find and you will make a syrup concentrate which you can store and add to the kombucha to flavor it. This makes a concentrate and you will add it to second ferment your kombucha. You are going to love the flavor of this root beer kombucha. Super fizzy just like root beer should be. Here is how to make it.

You will need a kombucha that is just about done from the first ferment. Make sure it is not to vinegary. When you kombucha reaches this stage it is hard to second ferment and become bubbly. There needs to be a little sugar left so that the bacteria and yeast have something to consume to make the kombucha bubbly. This is true for any second fermented kombucha. Not to sweet but not to sour either.

If you like to see a video on how to make Root Beer Kombucha and Root Beer Kefir Soda you can become a Biotic Pro and view all my videos.

Root Beer Extract
You will add 2-ounces of this root beer extract to 14-ounces of regular kombucha. Then you will let it second ferment.~Donna
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Ingredients
  • 1 1/3cup raisins
  • 3/4cup Waterboiling
  • 1/2gallon Water
  • 1/2ounce dried sassafras bark* see note
  • 3 3/4cups Sucanatyou can substitute regular sugar
Servings: quarts
Units:
Instructions
  1. Place raisins into a bowl. Pour ¾ cup boiling water over raisins and allow them to steep while you make the rest of the extract.
  2. Place half-gallon of water into pot over medium heat.
  3. Place the sassafras root bark into tea bags or closely woven cheesecloth and tie with cooking string. Add it to the boiling water. You can add it loosely into the pot but then you have to strain it several times through a fine mesh strainer.
  4. As the water heats stir in the sugar slowly don't dump it all at once.
  5. Simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and remove sassafras, and strain raisin water into the brew pot.
  7. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  8. When it is cooled you can use your extract, storing extra in the fridge to use again. Try to use within 2 months.
Recipe Notes

* There are warnings on sassafras bark and much controversy. Lab rats were fed huge amounts of sassafras and caused the FDA to label this product not safe, but in small amounts it is actually has protective qualities. Nourished Kitchen posted a blog on this, along with her own root beer kombucha recipe. Read and decide for yourself. http://nourishedkitchen.com/homemade-root-beer-recipe/

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Root Beer Kombucha
This may seem like a lot of sugar but it is an extract and you only use a small amount which the yeast and bacterias will eat to convert to co2.~Donna
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Materials
Ingredients
Servings: Bottles
Units:
Instructions
  1. Pour 14 ounces of Kombucha in to each 16 ounce bottle.
  2. You can strain the kombucha through a coffee filter and it will help you to not form another kombucha baby on top of your bottle, but it is not necessary.
  3. Add 2 ounces of root beer extract to your bottle and clamp shut.
  4. Leave a little room in the bottle but not much. I use a scale to measure the amount of juice I put in.
  5. Label your bottles so you know when it started its second ferment. You can use more extract or less adjust according to the flavor you like.
  6. Let your kombucha sit in a dark place for 1 to 3 weeks. Check after each week to see if you Kombucha is bubbly enough. If not let it ferment longer. Then place your bottles in the fridge to enjoy. Be careful when opening bottles. The warmer it is in your home the faster it ferments.
Recipe Notes

Make sure to use bottles that are for brewing. If you are using glass bottles you must beware because there may be flaws in the glass or the yeast might just go crazy and blow up your glass bottle!

You can use old synergy bottles but my favorite is clamp down bottles by Grolsch. You can also find bottles at home brew stores. The clamp down lids are safer and are thick glass for brewing.

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49 Responses to "Root Beer Kombucha"
  1. How do you come up with a serving of four quarts when your only using a half gallon of water + 3/4 of cup of the boiling water from the raisins. That doesn’t equal four quarts. Am I missing something? Thank you so much for the recipe.

    • Well that’s a good question. I updated all my recipe cards last week since we got a new format for them. I was so tired of redoing over 138 recipe cards I probably copied it wrong. Thanks for letting me know.

  2. Excellent recipe!! Yes, there is a lot of sugar that has to be put in but more for your kombucha to eat! I added three raisins to each bottle with the mixture. Wow! Lots of bubbles! Thank you Donna for another great recipe!

  3. Wondering why you don’t have any white, green, or black tea. Everthing I’ve read about kombucha said it must be made with one of those teas because it needs the nutrients from that particular plant.
    I’ve made a single batch without it which is fine but the next batch should really use white, green, or black tea to take care of your SCOBY.
    Any thoughts.

  4. This looks wonderful! I am not supposed to have fruit (food intolerance). Would it still be good without the raisins, or can you think of something I could use in its place? Thanks!

  5. I have some sarsaparilla root. Do you think it would work like the sassafras? I’ve seen it used in other root beer recipes. I have two gallons of kombucha brewing right now. I can’t wait to try your recipe! Thank you!!

  6. I made this extract today, it didn’t seem to have enough of the root beer flavor I was looking for, so I added a few star anise, after I turned off the pot for the extract to cool down. But I think this is a good starter recipe, and I think I will stick with this one, thanks sooo much.

  7. I have a cellar/basement. Would it be okay to ferment the bottles there instead of in my kitchen? My kitchen is very hot in the summer and I’m afraid I won’t get the same product!

    Thank you.

    • The temperature that kombucha likes the best to ferment at is about 80 degrees. It ferments great at that temperature and is the temperature on my brew belt.

  8. I LOVE THIS RECIPE! i HAVE TRIED MANY ROOTBEER KOMBUCHA RECIPES, BUT THIS IS HANDS DOWN THE BEST TASTING AND EASIEST TO MAKE. i DO ADD A HALF OF AN ORGANIC VANILLA BEAN WITH THE SASSAFRASS ROOT. i USE THIS IN MY WATER KEFIR AND IN MY KOMBUCHA. iN FACT, i LIKE TO ADD A COUPLE OF THE SOAKED RAISINS TO THE BOTTOM OF EACH BOTTLE OF SECOND BREW. tHEY REALLY MAKE IT FIZZY. jUST BE CAREFUL, THE ONLY BOTTLE OF WATER kEFIR i HAD EXPLODE WHEN OPENING WAS A 2 DAY SECOND FERMENT WITH RAISINS IN THE BOTTOM!

  9. thanks for posting this! have you ever tried putting the extract in with the kombucha during the initial ferment, prior to bottleing?

    • I would not do this because it wouldn’t culture right. The sugars would be off and it would take longer to culture and also mess up your starter for your next batch. It is best to just second ferment with the extract.

  10. Okay, I’m going to make this to use with water kefir. How much would I use in 1 quart of water kefir and how long would I ferment? Thanks! This is going to make my hubbies day! He’s been on a root beer kick.

  11. Do you think it would be possible to make the root beer extract with less sugar? Using that much sugar kinda scares me! Thanks:) I love love love this site by the way.

    • It is an extract so you don’t use very much in the soda. I would keep the recipe the same for the soda base and if you want you can use less extract, n the actual soda. The bacteria does it most of it out of the soda. You can tell if it doesn’t, it will taste sweet and then you can let it ferment longer to eat the sugar or add less extract.

  12. You made the extract but I happen to have a bottle from the store. Have you tried it with store bought? If I made it a lot I am sure that it is more cost effective to make it.
    Thanks Susan

      • I happened to have some store-bought root beer concentrate that I tried with kombucha, and it didn’t taste right to me. Maybe it was the extra chemicals in the concentrate, but I won’t be trying it again. I’m trying Donna’s recipe with a few extra barks and roots from Nourished Kitchen’s recipe.

  13. I have read mixed information about the length of time for second fermenting your kombucha. Many sources I’ve read mention only 1-4 days. You have mentioned 1-4 weeks. I’ve never waited that long. Won’t it turn to vinegar after weeks of second-fermenting?

    • It just depends on the temperature of your kitchen and how fizzy you like it and how strong your brew is and how much juice you used. More juice equals more fizz. It can turn to vinegar but it really needs air to do this. Vinegar is aerobic and you are capping off the air and this ferments differently and slower.

  14. My husband is allergic to grapes. Do you think I could get away with home dried plumbs or store bought prunes?

  15. Could this same Roor beer extract be used in a second fermentation of water kifer and in the same quantities?

  16. With the extra sugar and such a long second ferment, is this alcoholic in the end, or is it family friendly?

  17. This sounds Brilliant! My guys love root beer but won’t try my kombucha. maybe I can sneak it into them like this.

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