These are simple guidelines for making your own fabulous non-alcoholic sodas.
Beginning Home brewed Soda
Now you sugar junkies can break away from the cola conglomerate and be liberated forever!
To make up to two, 2 liters of soda (approx. 1 gallon), you will need the following items
* Soda extract * New 2 liter soda bottles
* Yeast * 2 cups of cane sugar
* Corvallis Brewing Supply guidance and instructions
In addition you will also need:
Measuring spoons, measuring cup and a funnel.
Water (tap or bottled)
About 15 minutes to make your soda and a few days of patience to let it carbonate and cold condition.
For starters we are going to make two, 2 liter bottles.Hint: Be careful with glass bottles as if they became over carbonated they could shatter!
Step 1 Reviewing Your ingredients: Make sure that you have all of the ingredients: Yeast, soda extract, sugar and two, 2 liter bottles. You will also need water, a measuring spoon, a measuring cup and a funnel. About water: Regular ol' tap water works fine. If the chlorine level is high it may off-flavor the soda and/or hinder the action of the yeast. Bottom line is...if you do not like drinking your tap water than it probably wont make good soda! Hint: Also take a look at the instructions that came with the extract/... but remember to also be adventurous!
Step 2 Mixing Ingredients: Shake your bottle of extract very well and measure 1/2 tbsp. Dump the extract into a soda bottle. Add 1 cup of sugar to your bottle. Fill your bottle with warm water (75 - 90 degrees) about 1 1/2" away from the opening of the bottle. Gently sprinkle 1/8 tsp. of yeast into the bottle. If you add too much yeast it is likely that you will have too much carbonation and that your soda will have a "yeast bite".
Step 3 Getting Carbonation: Wait 3-5 minutes for the yeast to dissolve and than slowly squeezes the bottle to push the soda up to the very top of the bottle threads. Screw the cap onto your bottle and CAP IT TIGHT!! As the yeast creates the fizzy bubbles, also known as Carbon Dioxide (CO 2), the gas will take up the air space that you squeezed out and make the bottle hard. When the bottle is hard you have carbonation and the soda will be ready to drink. While the soda is getting carbonated keep it at room temperature to help the yeast create the CO 2. After carbonation is achieved it is important to put the soda into a refrigerator. Cooler temperatures slows the action of the yeast and it puts the gas into solution which helps to keep the soda fizzy while you drink it.
Step 4 drinking your soda: Depending upon how warm you keep the bottle your soda should have enough CO 2 in 24 -48 hours. You can now refrigerate your soda, which will make it more refreshing. CO 2 stays in solution, meaning it will stay as bubbles, better with cooler liquids. This is why room-temperature sodas are flat and cold sodas have a nice sharp carbonation.Hint: Ben and Jerry's Vanilla Ice Cream
Step 5 storing your soda: The yeast's activity is much slower in cooler temperatures, which means that you can age and store the soda in your refrigerator for several weeks. With aging you find that the carbonation will become very smooth and creamy. Yeast flavors will also dissipate.
The Next Step: Joel has lots more ideas, ingredients and books. Try coming up with your own soda concoction! Hint: Try using fresh herbs, spices or roots as a tea in order to add flavor, aroma and character to your beverage. Try changing amounts and types of sugar! Try brown sugar, molasses, fruit juices, honey, malt extract, maple syrup, and vanilla syrup.
Possible Reasons Why You Don't Have Carbonation
Not enough yeast was added or the yeast is old.
The soda was kept too cold during the carbonation process.
The cap to the bottle was not on tight enough.
Your water was too hot and the yeast got cooked (yeast are living creatures!)
Too much chlorine in your tap water.
The position of the planets and stars were not aligned correctly.
Big Time Soda Brewing!
Now that you have mastered the art of beginning soda making it is time to move on to bigger and better brews! But first...consider these variations!
Sugar: All types of sugars have different flavors and perform differently when carbonated. Try the following in various amounts and combinations: Cane Sugar, Corn Sugar, Molasses, Maple Syrup, Honey, Belgian Candy Sugar, Fruit Juices, Raisins, Brown Sugar, Agave Nectar, Chocolate Syrup, Coffee Syrups and Malt Extract to name just a few!
Herbs: Sassafras, Sarsaparilla, mint, Licorice Root, Coriander, Lemons, Oranges, Apples, Star Anise, Dried Rose hips, Woodruff, Cardamom Seed, Ginger Root, Juniper Berries, Mugwort, Elderflowers, Sweet Gale, Paradise Seed, Wintergreen, Vanilla Beans, Cinnamon, Heater Tips, Chamomile Flowers, Lavender Flowers, Hops, Pepper Corns and ...!?
Yeast: There are myriads of yeast you can choose from. Bakers yeast, Ale yeast, Lager yeast, wine yeast and naturally occurring yeast that you could find on grapes or fruit, breads and in the air we breath. Some will be yeasty, some will produce tight and fine carbonation, some will create a sour flavor and some will enhance different herbs or sugars that you are using.
Body Builders: Plain ol' sugar, water and extract may make you a tasty brew, but it may not be full of character. It all depends upon the type of brew you are making and your preferences! If you like you soda to have a little "chomp" to it than you will need to look at ways of making the soda thicker. Try these: Malto Dextrin and Heading Powder. They will help to give your soda more body. Honey and Malt Extract also have components that will give soda more chomp for your chew!
Bottles: Regular ol' plastic soda bottles are great because if they get over-carbonated they will not turn into glass grenades! (This could be a serious issue!) Once you get the hang of the process and understand better how carbonation works than try some fancy glass bottles. There is nothing more satisfying than popping a bottle of homemade soda that is wonderfully carbonated and full of homespun flavor! One of the funnest bottles you can use is the "grolsch-style" bottle A.K.A. "Bail" or "Swing top". If you make lots of soda you may want to ask Joel about some kegging options.
Science!: Yes, you can implement science into the equation. Try using a hydrometer to measure the densities of your favorite recipes. The more sugars and body builders you add the denser, or sweeter, your soda will be. Not all types of sugars have the same densities either, which makes recipe alterations slightly tricky without science. You may also want to get a kitchen scale for measuring out weights of your ingredients.
Up scaling to large batches: Making small batches of soda is relative easy to do. The problem is that you may find yourself constantly running out! Larger 3 or 5-gallon batches may take longer, but in the end run you will have more soda on hand to enjoy with your leisure time. You may also find yourself needing bigger and more equipment such as: A bucket with a spigot for mixing and bottling, large colanders for straining, tubing, bottle brushes and washers...it can seem over-whelming and sometimes easier to just go out and buy the commercial...uh-hmmm...stuff. It is also very important to have a refrigerator to store the finished product or an event where 5 gallons will get consumed relatively quickly. Sometimes a system and a schedule works best. If you know you can quickly put together a gallon batch, than maybe designating a mid-week evening to assemble your weekly soda would make sense.
What? We're not first on the moon? Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! Try these worldly brews on for size. All recipes are for one gallon. Maybe you can come up with your own regionally famous soft drink!!
Malta is a very popular beverage in many Latin American countries. Think of it as non-alcoholic beer!
*1/2 lb. Malt extract, *1/4 lb. Crystal Malt, * Hops 1-2 hbu's,
*1 cup cane sugar, *1/4 cup molasses, *1/4 - 1/2 tsp. ale yeast
* Water to make one gallon.
Directions: Take 3/4 gallon of water and steep the crystal malt in 170 degree water for 20 minutes. Remove the malt and dissolve all of your sugar types and bring to a boil. Add your hops and boil for an hour. Strain out hops; add water to bring volume up to one gallon, cool and bottle with yeast.
Lizzie's Hot Ginger Brew (Rasta-style!) Nothing is sweeter than a 99 degree day and an icy-cold Lizzie's Hot Ginger Brew!
* 2.5 oz. fresh ginger * 1 cup cane sugar * 3/4 cup honey * 2 Tbls. Lemon Juice
* 4 Pepper corns * 1/4 -1/2 tsp. wine yeast * Water to make 1 gallon.
Directions: Grate the ginger and steep for 1 hour with the crushed peppercorns and 3/4 gallon of water. Strain the ginger pulp and peppercorn, dissolve the sugars, and add the lemon juice and enough water to bring your volume up to one gallon. Cool and bottle with yeast. Neat trick: add a hand full of black berries during the steeping process to give your ginger brew a reddish color.
Kiss my Kvass
Kvass is a Russian beverage not like anything we are really used to! Really good Kvass is made with really good Russian Black Bread...eh? in Corvallis? Try Great Harvest's Dakota.
* 1 lb. Black Bread * 15 fresh mint leaves * 6 quarts boiling water
* 2-3 cups sugar (if using other than black bread include small amount molasses.)
* 1/2 cup raisins. * Water to make one gallon
Directions: Put the mint into the bottom of a pot. On top of it add the bread, cubed and in mesh bag. Add 6 quarts of boiling water and allow it to sit covered for 6 hours. Remove bag and drain well. Add the sugar and dissolve well. Cool and bottle using 3 raisins per 12 ounces. Use organic raisins with no sulfur. You want to use the yeast on the raisins to be the carbonator. If you find that after several days your Kvass is not carbonated you may want to go ahead and sprinkle some ale or wine yeast into the bottles.
Designed by Joel E. Rea @ Corvallis Brewing Supply
464 SW Madison, Corvallis, OR. 97333