Making Hires Root Beer Homemade
This is the original recipe for making Hires Root Beer. This recipe dates back to a brochure put out in the year 1891. Very vintage, very good! The typed recipe is slightly adapted, but you can download the original below in a PDF file, if you like.
Recipe Directions for Making Hires Root Beer
- Take contents of bottle (Root Beer Extract).
- 4 pounds of sugar (granulated is preferable).
- 5 gallons of pure fresh water (lukewarm is preferable).
- Half pint of good fresh yeast, or half cake of fresh compressed yeast.
- When made in cool weather, double the quantity of yeast should be used.
The Way to do It
Dissolve the sugar thoroughly in the water, then add the Root Beer Extract and the yeast. (If cake yeast be used, it should first be dissolved in a little cold water, then it will mix more readily with the beer.) Stir until thoroughly mixed, and bottle in strong bottles or jugs at once, corking and tying the corks securely. Then be sure and set in a warm place for several hours, so that it can become effervescent. (If set in a cool place when first made the yeast becomes chilled and cannot work).
It will be ready to drink after being bottled in ten or twelve hours, but will open more effervescently if allowed to stand for three or four days. After the Beer has become effervescent, it should then be set in a cool place of even temperature. Before opening the bottle place it on ice, or in a cold place, for a short time, when it will be sparkling and delicious.
To make the Hires Root Beer more cheaply, molasses or common sugar may be used to sweeten it.
A very pleasant drink may be made for immediate use by adding two teaspoonfuls of the Extract to a quart of water, sweetening with granulated sugar to suit the taste, then beat half the white of an egg and mix together.
Note. Occasionally parties write us that they have tried to make the Root Beer, and while it is very good, it does not effervesce, or pop, when it is opened.
Now, when a case of this kind happens, we know that there is something wrong in the making of it. Either the yeast was not good, or else the Beer, when made, was placed in the cellar, or in a cool place, where it became shilled and could not ferment.
A woman in making bread is always very careful that the dough does not become chilled, so sets it in a warm place to insure its rising and becoming light. So it is with our Root Beer, warmth is essential to life. If this simple fact is borne in mind no one will ever fail in making our Root Beer to have it delicious and sparkling.
When we say, “fresh compressed yeast,” we mean the small square cake yeast that is sold fresh every day in most of the prominent towns of the United States at two cents a cake. When only the dry cake yeast can be had, a whole cake should be used. In fact, our experience has been that very little of the dry cake yeast sold is good for anything; we therefore prefer to use good fresh baker’s yeast, or fresh compressed yeast.
If these simple hints are carefully borne in mind the Hires Root Beer is very little trouble to make successfully.
When we say “yeast”, we do not mean baking powder.
THE CHARLES E. HIRES CO.,
SOLE MANUFACTURERS, PHILADELPHIA, PA
Once you’ve made a batch of homemade Hires Root Beer, discover many tasty ways to use it in your cooking and baking with our Root Beer Recipes eBook!
Click the image below to download a copy of the page that contained the original publication of “Making Hires Root Beer”.