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Bastard Stepson Root Beer Extract Kit


SKU# UB11010

We asked our lawyer, he said this beer is good.

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Even if this were his Father’s Root Beer, he wouldn’t know. The Bastard Stepson Root Beer started out as a wholesome traditional cream stout, but after mixing things up with a rowdy bunch from the other side of the aisles turned into something a bit more mischievous...

Click here for Recipe & Instructions!

We strongly recommend ordering dry yeast in the summer months. We do include complimentary Cold Ice Packs with all liquid yeasts. However, it is difficult to guarantee that the ice packs will survive the trip, given transit times and particularly hot temperatures.

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Bastard Stepson Root Beer Extract Kit   +$43.51
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Your Uncle’s Root Beer - Hard Root Beer Recipe Kit

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  • Your Uncle’s Root Beer - Hard Root Beer Recipe Kit
Product Details
Even if this were his Father’s Root Beer, he wouldn’t know. The Bastard Stepson Root Beer started out as a wholesome traditional cream stout, but after mixing things up with a rowdy bunch from the other side of the aisles turned into something a bit more mischievous...

Everything you’d expect from a root beer is present: notes of vanilla, caramel, licorice, and sarsaparilla all meld into the creamy, decadent body of the base beer. Sip on a pint and be whisked back to your childhood, (which was hopefully better than the Bastard Stepson’s) or couple it with vanilla ice cream for a truly delicious treat.

Aroma Smells like a normal root beer
Appearance deep ruby, nearly jet black - silky, lacy and firm off white head
Flavor Vanilla, caramel, licorice, sarsaparilla
Mouthfeel Smooth, medium creamy body
Overall Impression    Reminiscent of root beer soda, with a bit of an alcohol kick
Additional Information
Beer Kit Yield5 Gallons
Recipe and InstructionsClick here for Bastard Stepson Root Beer Brewing Instructions
Regional StyleNo
Original Gravity1055
Total Time to Make6 weeks
3.4 / 5.0
43 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Stars
Taste Test proves it
I don't understand why there are so many reviews from people who haven't yet made this kit, how do those help the scoring?? I've been homebrewing about eight years now, but this kit made me feel like a rookie with the dumb mistakes I made... boilovers, nearly dropped the yeast in the sink instead of the carboy, and made a MESS adding the flavoring so I thought I had totally ruined it. Regardless, I pressed on and kegged it and put it on cautious pressure (didn't want too much carbonation too early). As we are getting ready for the Superbowl, I did a taste test head to head with a "name brand" that this may or may not be a clone of. I was VERY impressed... then, I did a blind taste test with the wife (she's the reason I made this in the first place) and she said the only thing that gave the homebrewed away was the different carbonation and she actually liked the NB brew better. WIN! As I type this, I am still trying to compare the two. For me, you can ALWAYS taste a homebrew (esp a young one like this is) by the "bite" from the CO2. However, I like the tones and the finish. We both like Root Beer with more bite and this definitely has it. There is NO DOUBT I will make this kit again. The only drawbacks I have found so far was the cleanup of the secondary as all the flavoring/coloring left them a bit darker than normal. I will be sure to ONLY use my big mouth bubblers next time so that I can get some elbow grease on the clean up!
February 7, 2016
8 out of 8 Friends & Family Demand that I keep this one on tap
It tastes exactly like very delicious root beer. I have had my friends & family "customers" taste this one and so far, 8 out of 8 are requesting that this one is always on tap. Nice, creative brew for root beer lovers!
January 24, 2016
A beer drinkers root beer
Good root beer flavor without being too sweet like the commercial varieties, a little beer flavor comes thru. A big hit with my friends esp. when used for root beer floats.
March 16, 2016
This kit was easy to brew and tastes just like not your fathers root beer, but less intense sugary taste. I will definitely buy this kit again.
January 14, 2016
Great Beer!!!
I prefer this kit to the commercially brewed alcoholic root beer. This kit is not as sweet and allows some of the beer flavor to come through without losing any root beer flavor. Very popular with my friends esp. in root beer floats. I've been told to always keep this available.
April 28, 2016
Great stuff
Of all the kits I have brewed, Bastard Stepson Root Beer is far and away the most enjoyable. In fact, the great taste is a potential hazard, since I no sooner finish one bottle than I want to open another.
October 7, 2016
Pretty good version
Was kind of anxious to try this one out. It's actually the 1st extract batch I've made in several years. O.G. was a bit higher than expected @ 1.062 , F.G. (when bottling) was @ 1.022 and came out @ 5.3% ABV. Today it just passed the 2 week in the bottle mark and finally got to try it out. Carbonation was good and produced a thick, almost creamy, head though it short lived. Flavor-wise, this is a sweet, SWEET, rootbeer flavored stout. It does have a faint malty taste and the Hallertau hops come through nicely but WOW, the sweetness... I honestly cant see how some think its not sweet. When I try and do an AG version of this, I'm likely going to bump up the lactose by .5 # and cut the sucralose out completely . All in all, it's pretty tasty but not likely to win a permanent place in my brew cabinet until that sweetness can be tamed a bit.
April 6, 2016
Response from Northern Brewer
Sucralose is quite potent and we found it needs a little of the sucralose. Tried to avoid it - but to taste like root beer, I would add at least a teeny tiny bit of it. Cheers, good review!
November 21, 2016
Northern Brewer
Bastard Root Beer
I just bottled this yesterday, and I drink about 8 oz that was left over. All I can say is tha tit is as good as the other root beer , if not better! Can't wait to try the ginger ale equivelent.
February 12, 2016
Great Root Beer
After the hard root beer craze that seemed to sweep through our area it was nice to see NB bring this one out. I bought the kit and thought it would be fun to try and assumed I would have to drink most of it myself. Everyone I have shared one with thought it was amazing ! better than the commercial stuff. I think its the oz. of Hallertau hops that really balances out the sweetness. I am ordering another kit today and maybe two give the number of requests I am getting to make MORE ! I figured everyone was over the novelty of hard root beer around here . . . guess not. This one is awesome
January 18, 2016
Still Improving After 1.5 months of bottle conditioning
This is a root beer 'beer'. It is basically a stout base beer with root beer flavoring using a non fermentable sweetener to off set bitter flavor. I really like this concoction and it is unique because it is not exactly like the commercial varieties of hard root beer that became prominent last summer. It tastes like a stout with complimentary root beer flavoring. Nicely chilled and in a pint glass......this is an adult root beer. Flavors are 'getting to know' one another with more time in the bottle. OG: ~1.058 FG: ~1.021 ABV: ~4.8% Primary 2 weeks, Secondary 2.5 weeks, First tasted 3 weeks post bottling, flavors melding better with more time in the bottle.
March 16, 2016
Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
Browse 35 questions Browse 35 questions and 64 answers
Will this rootbeer kit flavor be hard to get out of my brewing equipment?
Mike S on Dec 5, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Hello Mike,

Thank you for choosing Northern Brewer! The root beer flavor will not be difficult to get out of brewing equipment. I hope this helps, have a wonderful day!
The directions say 6 grams of sweetener. Is this correct? That's only one and a half teaspoons for a 5 gallon batch. Should it say 6 ounces instead?
A shopper on May 9, 2017
BEST ANSWER: I brewed this kit a few times now and from what I remember it is 6 grams, it's a powder sweetener, not regular sugar. The root beer extract flavoring is powerful and that small amount of sweetener the kit comes with is enough. It tastes very sweet, at least my batch did, and its similar to barks root beer but with a little bite.
If I'm going to keg and force carbonate this, can I stop further fermentation with sorbate and then back-sweeten with real sugar, as I do with hard cider? (Most - if not all - of the negative reviews center around the artificial sweetener.)
A shopper on Aug 9, 2017
BEST ANSWER: What not let your fermentation run its course and then back sweeten with lactose?
Should I dissolve the 6 grams of sweetener in boiling water before adding it to the fermenter?
A shopper on May 3, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Sweetener is added before bottling right to the bottling bucket. You may want to add more artificial sweetener if you like it sweeter. The corn sugar is added with boiled water to carbonate bottles
At what point shall I take a final gravity measure...after primary (before adding extract/sweetener) or after all ingredients are added?
J A on Mar 11, 2016
BEST ANSWER: You can take a reading from your primary before you rack into the secondary and add the extras. I don't that a "F.G." reading though until I rack from the secondary into the bottling bucket ( but before I add the priming sugar ) Hope that helps
When should you add the sweetener and spices? It does not say in the recipe.
C O on Dec 3, 2015

Steps 15 and 16:

15. Active fermentation ends. Approximately 1-2 weeks

after brewing day, active fermentation will end: the cap

of foam falls back into the new beer, bubbling in the

fermentation lock slows down or stops.

16. Rack the beer into a secondary fermenter, or simply

add the 4 oz of Gnome Draft Style Root Beer extract and

6 gram sweetner pack to the fermenter. Let rest for an

additional 1-2 weeks.
All grain version?
E R on Dec 2, 2015

We don't have an all grain version at the moment.
If I have a kaging system do I need the sugar?
A B on Dec 1, 2015

No need for priming sugar if you have a keg system! You'll just set the pressure to about 30 psi for a few days to carbonate it. It also helps to lay the keg on its side and roll it back and forth. When the beer is carbed properly, just release the pressure and reset it at about 8-12 psi for serving.

Hope that helps!

Is there anything else I need to order besides the Extract Kit? I want to make sure when I receive the kit that if other items are needed I have those as well.
A shopper on Jun 18, 2017
BEST ANSWER: You will need all of the equipment needed for other extract kits, such as in our Brew. Share. Enjoy. kit or one of our deluxe starter kits.
What is the Final Gravity average?
C O on Mar 2, 2016
BEST ANSWER: While the exact FG will vary with boil and fermentation conditions, it is designed to reach roughly 1.017
If I don't want to use the "Splenda" can I use regular sugar and just double the amount so 12 oz?
Michael W. on Feb 29, 2016
BEST ANSWER: You can not use sugar to sweeten this because for one it will ferment out if you let it sit for a couple of days and your back to square one and two if your where to add sugar and bottle next day you would have bottle bombs not to mention if you added 5oz priming sugar you would have catistrofic results. The only way to get the sweetness is to use the Sucralose that comes with the kit. I was concerned that this might have a diet soda taste but it doesn't. I have given this to friends and they love it and would have told me if it tasted like diet soda. Follow the instructions and you will not have any problems or complaints.
Can this 'hard' root beer be traditionally bottled and capped in glass bottles? Is there any danger of bottle 'explosion' occurring during conditioning and storage afterward?
Paul K on Jan 30, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes, this brew can be bottle conditioned as normal. It is sweetened with non-fermentable sucralose so there is no extra risk of bottle explosions.
How long can I let this ferment before a significant volume of alcohol is produced? I am making this for my youngest son who is not old enough to be drinking hard rootbeer. I want it to ferment to get some of the appropriate flavor that the yeast will create but I want to limit the alcohol production.
D R on Jan 26, 2016
BEST ANSWER: This beer will reach a maximum alcohol content of around 5.5% in about 7 days or so. I would not recommend stopping fermentation early as you will like have some off flavors and risk over carbonating the beer when bottled. I would suggest checking out our Root Beer Extract as the appropriate alternative. http://www.northernbrewer.com/root-beer-extract
Will the flavor of this ale be stuck in the o-rings if you keg it?
K K on Jan 4, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I do not keg mine yet will say the aroma of root beer is very strong after brewing yet rinsed out of all my stuff.
What is the ABV of this beer?
K A on Dec 2, 2015

The final ABV should be around 5%
Because you're adding in the root beer extract, would you want this kit to be in a separate keg system/fermenter than what you use for other beers? I've read that root beer is meant to be put in its own dedicated keg lines if you keg it and such elsewhere because the extract can permanently leave the taste of root beer on it.
K A on Dec 1, 2015
BEST ANSWER: An effective cleaner should clear up the root beer odor from the lines. Otherwise you are right using a seperate keg and line is a fine idea. I hope this helps! Cheers! James J.
Are there any precautions in kegging this?
R C on Dec 1, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Thanks for the question! Not really, the sweetness in the final beer is unfermentable sugars so it will be shelf stable. I would store cold the whole time in the keg and give it a little extra CO2 to up the carbonation to increase its root beer like drinkability. Hope this helps! Cheers! James J.
what the ABV?
or is there
M E on Dec 1, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Best estimates for the resulting ABV would be right around 4- 4.5% ABV. Cheers! James J.
Are you going to offer in in the smaller size kit. I'm planning to buy a small starter size kit soon.
L P on Dec 1, 2015
BEST ANSWER: This 5 gallon kit was just released so one has not been developed. Appreciate the request I can pass that along. Cheers! James J.
Is this a permanent addition to your recipe kits?
B U on Nov 23, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Not sure yet...still have to brew it. I'm hoping it's similar to "Not your dad's root beer", if it is, then it will become a permanent addition. I love that stuff...
How long does this take to ferment?? Website time says 6 months in the Additional information section. Directions say 6 weeks.
S T on Nov 22, 2015
BEST ANSWER: I can't answer yet because I haven't received the kit yet. It shipped yesterday
it shows fast pitch yeast starter as an option. if its used it doesn't say how? sorry but I have never done this before
A shopper on Feb 2, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Since you have never done it before I would say you do not need it. Just pitch the yeast as is. It would be a good idea to do some internet searching about the brewing process so you understand the benefit and cost (equipment needed) of each step and where you have choices.
What would be the amount of lactose one should use if they wanted to replace the Splenda?
L P on Jul 28, 2016
BEST ANSWER: There is no splenda in this brew, it is pure sucralose. There is already 1 lb of lactose in this brew so I would not recommend edit the brew in this way. We tried it a number of ways and it needs the artificial sweetener to take like an alcoholic root beer.
If I wanted to do a full wort boil, starting with 6+ gallons of water, should I still use the full oz of hops? Or how much of the hops should I use?
M I on Apr 18, 2016
BEST ANSWER: You do get a bit more out of the hops when doing a "full boil"; if you want you can reduce the bittering hops by 15-20%. -Mike W, Northern Brewer
Is there a 1 gallon kit coming?
A J on Jan 24, 2016
BEST ANSWER: At this time, the Root Beer Extract is not available in quantities small enough for the Small Batch kit line-up.
I'm not a fan of artificial sweeteners. Can a natural sweetener such as Stevia be used instead of Sucralose? If so, what amount?
R I on Jan 7, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Thanks for contacting us about this! You could leave out the artificial sweetener packet and use something like Stevia instead - as to how much to use we have not tested that and so would hesitate to make an official recommendation. The sweetener in this kit is pure sucralose so is way sweeter than normal sugar(packets added to coffee/tea are 'cut' to more resemble how much sugar one would add). This does make it hard to predict how much to use. It can be added right at the end and so you can add a little, taste, add a little, taste until you have the right sweetness to your tastes. The recipe does need the additional sweetness to accurately resemble an alcoholic root beer. The question is being posted so maybe one of our customers can comment or if you try it out, maybe you could pass it along here to other homebrewers. Sorry I don't have the answer. I hope this helps though! Cheers!
Is this supposed to be a clone of "Not Your Father's Root Beer"?
K K on Dec 16, 2015

It was certainly inspired by Not Your Father's, that's for sure!


To Northern Brewer - looking at the answers to the questions for this kit - any thought to reviewing responses from random people before they post to the site? I mean, most responses are about as helpful as Yahoo Answers. Thanks and keep up the good work!
C R on Dec 8, 2015

Each question gets sent to us for review, but we have a policy of not deleting comments unless they are profane. I apologize that some of the user responses are not particularly helpful, but if you run into any issues please feel free to give us a call. We're here to answer any brewing-related questions you may have. Hope this helps. -Mike S. from NB
So is the sweetener basically Slenda?
John C on Dec 3, 2015

Yes, the sweetener is 6 grams of Sucralose, which is Splenda.


What exactly is the "sweetner pack" and why is it needed? Shouldn't the 1lb of Lactose provide enough unfermentable sugar for a fairly sweet beverage?
Wayne M on Dec 2, 2015
BEST ANSWER: It is sucralose. Lactose does sweeten it but it produces a round mouth feel and is smooth. A root beer like beer should have some crispness and bite which sucralose does a better job of. That is my opinion at least. Cheers.

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