Brewing Homemade Root Beer from Scratch | Just 5 Ingredients!

Refreshing Homemade Root Beer in your own home? Let’s get brewing!

Making your own Soda? Who knew it could be so easy!

Craving a Root Beer Float or a refreshing drink for working outside? We usually are, too, which is why we keep coming back to this simple recipe that will grace your scoops of vanilla bean ice cream or your cold glass with homemade soda in just a few days!

If you can’t tell just by looking at the sweaty glasses in the picture below, this recipe is perfect for a hot day in the sun. I also feel better about giving this 5 ingredient drink to my kids: Making homemade Root Beer, or any homemade soda for that matter, makes for a simplistic yet tasty recipe without all of the additives.

What role does each ingredient play?


Once dissolved, the yeast will react with the sugar. This chemical reaction creates carbon dioxide and voila – carbonation!


We find that only 1 1/2 cups of sugar does the trick!

Root Beer Extract

The Root Beer Extract will have all of the staple flavors: sassafras, sarsaparilla, licorice, and vanilla as well as that dark caramel color.

Many at-home soda recipes include making a flavor/fruit concentrate and adding in seltzer. This recipe is unique because the yeast and sugar create the carbonation internally. This is why the mixture needs to sit out for several hours, so the yeast and sugar can react and so that the flavor becomes concentrated enough!

How to Brew your Own Homemade Root Beer- The Video Tutorial

Steps to make Homemade Root Beer


Ingredients (to make 1 full Gallon Jug worth of Root Beer)

I choose to divide this recipe up into (2) Half-Gallon Jugs, but you could also use (1) Full Gallon Jug.

  • 1/2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3-5 tsp Root Beer Extract
  • 1 1/2-2 tsp Vanilla Extract


  1. Dissolve dry yeast into 1 cup of warm water
  2. Pour into a gallon jar or jug
  3. Add sugar and Root Beer extract plus enough warm water to mix until dissolved
  4. Fill a gallon jar or jug with filtered water and set in a warm place, or sunlit room for several hours until the flavor is strong enough. I’ve found the perfect spot is outside in the summer heat best at 70-80°F, sitting under a shade tree.
  5. Once the fermentation (bubbles stop) your brew is ready to refrigerate. If it’s really warm, the fermentation will only take 3-4 days. If it’s cooler, like in the 70’s, think 5-6 days.
  6. Once cooled down, Enjoy!

Note: We find it much more efficient to make a large batch, but love to pour into separate glasses as needed. Splitting the measurements into multiple 12 oz bottles – making for ready to-go, individualized portions. It’s perfect for a fun addition to our field meals to-go!

Questions about this Homemade Root Beer Recipe

Will it be carbonated?
Yes, don’t fret about the fizz! The yeast will react with the sugar, which results in carbon dioxide. It’s important to make sure the yeast is completely dissolved and evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
Where can I buy Root Beer extract?
One of our favorite brands, Watkins, sells Root Beer extract here! They also sell their product in Menards and Walmart, I recommend trying to find this at one of your local stores, the price to buy the extract on Amazon is more than 3 times the price in-store!
How much Root Beer does this recipe make?
1 gallon = 128 ounces. This is equivalent to about 10 -12 oz soda bottles.

root beer near a tree

Homemade Root Beer

Brew delicious and refreshing Root Beer at home with just 5 ingredients!
Course Drinks
Servings 1 Gallon


  • (1) gallon jug or (2) hald-gallon jugs


  • 1/2 tsp Dry Yeast
  • 1 cup Warm Water
  • 1 1/2 cups White Sugar
  • 2-3 tsp Root Beer extract
  • 1 1/2-2 tsp Vanilla extract


  • Dissolve dry yeast into 1 cup of warm water
  • Pour into a gallon jar or divide into (2) Half-Gallon Jugs
  • Add sugar and Root Beer extract plus enough warm water to mix until dissolved
  • Fill gallon jug with water and set in a warm place, or sunlit room for several hours until the flavor is strong enough and the bubbles stop (indicating that the fermentation has stopped)
  • Cool root beer
  • Enjoy!
Keyword homemade rootbeer, rootbeer

Pin for Later

root beer

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Lemon, Ginger, Honey Tea

Vanilla Chai Tea Latte

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Creamy Hot Cocoa

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This post may contain affiliate links from a paid sponsor, Amazon or other program. When you use these links to make a purchase I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This allows me to continue creating the content that you love. The content in this article is created for information only and based on my research and/or opinion. 

Emily T.

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