Birch beer is a carbonated drink made from the sap that has been extracted from birch trees. This soft drink tastes very much like root beer. If you like birch beer, you've probably thought of making this drink at home. This article is a step-by-step guide to making birch beer from scratch. In just a few simple, and not so simple, steps, you would be enjoying this rich homemade brew.
- Prepare the ingredients and equipment for brewing birch beer. For this recipe, you’ll need about a gallon of sweet birch twigs that has been cut into short pieces. You will also need some soft yeast, a gallon of honey or brown molasses, four gallons of birch sap, and a large piece of rye bread that has been toasted for a few minutes. Prepare a five-gallon earthenware pot or crock, a large kettle, a container, a strainer, a set of measuring cups, and bottles meant to hold pressurized liquid. You will use the bottles to store your birch beer. It is advisable that you use plastic bottles as glass bottles could explode when the brew continues to ferment after bottling.
- Prepare the mixture for fermentation. Pour the honey and birch sap into the large kettle. Put it over medium heat and allow it to boil for 15 to 20 minutes. As the honey and sap are cooking, get the twigs and place them at the bottom of your crock. Pour the honey and sap mixture over the twigs and allow it to cool for about an hour. Once the mixture is cool, strain it into a large container that can be sealed. Smear some soft yeast on the bread. Gently place the bread on the mixture and let it float on top. Seal the container and let the mixture ferment for about a week. You will know that the birch beer is done once the cloudiness has begun to settle.
- Bottle the birch beer. Using warm soapy water and a bottle brush, wash the bottles to be used to hold the root beer. Dry the bottles completely before using it for storing your brewed drink. Open the sealed container and pour the mixture into your prepared bottles using a funnel. Cover the bottles and let it sit for three to four days. After the initial aging period, place the bottles in a cool place. You can put your birch beer bottles in a refrigerator or an ice box. After aging the brew for another week, your birch beer is now ready for drinking. Pour the brew slowly into any serving glass, taking care not to disturb the yeast sediments at the bottom. The flavor will improve even more if you age the brew for another week.
You can also tweak the recipe in order to make a low calorie version.
Simply brew the birch beer the same way but do not add honey or brown
molasses to the sap. After unsealing the mixture in the container,
gradually add 6 tablespoons of sugar mixed with artificial sweetener.
Continue stirring in more artificial sweetener until you are satisfied
with the taste. Let the sediments settle for a few hours before