Root Beer 9News

Root Beer Science

Steve Spangler found a Colorado-based business that specializes in making root beer using the root of the sassafras plant and dry ice to add the carbonation. Tim Nickels is the owner of Poppin Stuff, a traveling roadshow of sweet treats, who brews up the perfect batch of root beer.

Many old-fashioned root beer recipes include a mixture of roots, barks, berries and flowers to provide flavors that are unique to the region in which it was made. Tim also has his carefully guarded secret recipe, but science guy Steve Spangler was here to learn more about the carbonation process.

“Many homemade root beer recipes call for sugar and yeast to ferment the liquid and provide carbonation,” said Nickels. “We use up to 250 pounds of dry ice to carbonate a large batch of root beer.”

As the dry ice turns from a solid into a gas, bubbles of carbon dioxide gas are infused into the sweet beverage giving it that tingling sensation on your tongue. Nickels explained how it’s possible to carbonate your own beverage at home by simply adding a few pieces of dry ice to the liquid and allowing it to completely sublime (the process of turning from a solid into a gas).

WARNING! Dry ice is 110 degrees below zero Fahrenheit and must be handled with gloves. Direct contact with dry ice to your skin will cause severe burns.

Learn more about cool ways to use dry ice.

Make Your Own Root Beer!