I'll second using Zatarain's extract. On the batches I've made that was my go to extract and it was worth every penny I paid for it. The others on the market just don't compare. Make sure to use cane sugar. I've also used half and half cane and brown, and the result was pretty tasty. A hit or two of fresh ground nutmeg is also a nice addition. I don't suggest using champagne yeast to carbonate, the results vary widely with temperature and other factors. Use CO2 and force carbonate, like you would kegged beer. The results are good and the CO2 often adds a nice bite. There's a book that's still available called Homemade Rootbeer, Soda and Pop
by Cresswell that has loads of recipes in it. A pretty good book and the recipes scale rather easily. Most are "from scratch" recipes and call for Sassafras, which you may not want to use because of the Safrol.
post edited by Root-Beer Man - 2013/05/10 16:27:35