Fermented Root Beer

One of our Winter favorites! We recommend hitting up any great herbal store or apothecary to grab the sassafras, sarsaparilla, and birch bark. We love to shop online at Mountain Rose Herbs, and locally here in NYC we like to shop at Flower Power, Anima Mundi Apothecary, or Radical Herbs.

A quick note to this recipe is that you will need to make a Ginger Bug for this recipe. The bug serves as a starter to start the inoculation process to allow the root beer to ferment.



  • 2 tablespoons fresh, grated ginger

  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar

  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. Mix all 3 ingredients in a jar. Just toss them into the jar, put the lid on, and swirl it around to combine.

  2. Each day for 5–7 days, add the same equal parts of your 3 ingredients to the mixture and swirl.

    • 2 Tablespoons fresh, grated ginger

    • 2 Tablespoons cane sugar

    • 2 Tablespoons water

The Ginger Bugs are now ready to use for a variety of purposes. [You can also refer to Contraband Ferment’s Elderberry Soda recipe for one example].



  • 1 gallon of water

  • ½ cup dried sassafras bark

  • ½ cup dried sarsaparilla root

  • ½ cup dried birch bark

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 cup sugar

  • ½ cup molasses

  • ½–1 cup ginger bug

  • 3 slices of fresh ginger root


1. Combine the water and herbs in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat

and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let the

sassafras tea come to room temperature.

2. Strain out the herbs and put the tea into a wide mouth gallon jar.

3. Stir in the sugar, molasses, ginger bug, and ginger slices, then cover the

jug with a piece of cheesecloth secured with a rubber band.

4. Put the jar in a quiet corner in your kitchen and let the root beer ferment.

Give it a vigorous stir once per day. It should start to bubble up within 3 to

4 days, then it’s ready to bottle.

5. Strain out the ginger pieces and transfer the root beer to flip top bottles

using a funnel, making sure to leave an inch or 2 of head space.

6. Let the bottles sit at room temperature to build up carbonation for at least

a week before drinking your root beer. Serve cold and enjoy!

Fermented Eggnog - Holiday Magic in a Bottle

The holidays are here and while I’m a little late in posting and starting this winter favorite, later is better than never! I have to admit I love the nostalgia and taste of a good eggnog, and what I don’t like is the aftermath of stomach upset that can sometimes come with it. This recipe is adapted from the Fermenters Club (www.fermentersclub.com) So, here is our favorite go to eggnog recipe both with dairy and without dairy (yes you can make it TWO ways!) and you can also have the option to add booze or no booze. It’s a holiday drink for everyone!

Fermented Eggnog (Dairy version)


  • 12 large chicken eggs

  • 2¼ cups sugar

  • ¾ cups local honey

  • 1 pint half-n-half

  • 1 pint  milk kefir (For a dairy free version use coconut or almond kefir)

  • 1 pint heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. Separate the yolks from the egg whites, and store/use the whites for another purpose.

  2. Beat the yolks with the honey, sugar and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl until the mixture lightens in color and falls off the whisk in a solid ribbon.

  3. Combine kefir, cream and half-n-half and salt in a second bowl or pitcher and then slowly beat into the egg mixture.

  4. Dispense mixture into glass bottles (three 750ml bottles e.g.) with screw caps or grolsch style swing top lids.

  5. Place bottles in the refrigerator to cure for 1 to 4 weeks If you remember, turn the bottles every week. It will slowly thicken and build up pleasant carbonation as it cures.

  6. Be careful when opening-- best to open slowly over the kitchen sink. Some pressure may have built up in the bottles.

  7. Let it sit for up to hour until it warms back to room temperature and thickens. The texture will be better than the richest cappuccino you've ever had (i.e. YES this final step is worth waiting for!)

Miso. Tempeh. Natto. And other Tasty Ferments! Out on Pre-order

We’re pretty excited about this gem coming out in 2019! This is the third book by our good friends Kirsten & Christopher Shockey and we’re super excited that you find some of our Miso recipes in this gem! Get those orders in!

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Berkshire Fermentation Festival Presenter Videos

What a lovely weekend at the Berkshire Fermentation Festival! This was our third year back teaching and we’re happy to announce that the videos from all the presenters are now up online for you to enjoy!

Catch our Miso Workshop along with presenters Sandor Katz, Adam Elabd, Amanda Feifer, Anne Yonetani, and Alana Chernila!!