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Brew my own........soda

Now that the "baby" is 5 I am ready to get back into brewing.   I am working towards brewing a batch of my award winning Hefe in a couple of weeks, but, in the mean time, as Xandra has shown an interest in all things science (including brewing) I am looking to figure out how best to brew some soda with her.  We had some root beer extract stuff that was probably 5 years old, we mixed it with sugar and force carbonated in the keg....we want draft soda, but it didn't turn out as good as we would have liked.  Anyway, I started doing some searching on how best to "brew" soda and decided that I should really ask people e I trust.  So, here I am asking for your best suggestions for making wonderful soda (root beer, cream soda, orange soda, etc).  Xandra appreciates that we have draft bubble water, but I can see that we should give her some variety to keep her out of the beer taps for at least a few more years.




riverattachment's picture

I have not got around to this, but it is on my list to make a tamarind soda.  My idea is to use tamarind paste (available at Mexican markets like Vallarta) with sugar syrup.  Jarritos makes a tamarind soda "Tamarindo" that I enjoy that is not as cloyingly sweet as the rest of their drinks.  You might want to try it before you make a batch.

I wouldn't make anything with hops for a five year old.  I heard hops are a gateway substance that can lead to abuse of say double IPA and then... well other herbs.  :-) 

CTDFalconer's picture

I've made soda a couple of times.  Both times it was lemon ginger.  It turned out pretty good.  For the lemon part, I just used juice of about a dozen Meyer lemons and for the Ginger I grated and squeezed a lb. of raw ginger.  This was for about 2.5 gallons.  I topped up with water and sweetened with cane sugar and a little honey.  Heat the water to dissolve the sugars more easily then add the other things just so the whole lot gets heat-pasteruized.  Then I chilled it and force carbonated.  It was rather good I thought, but some folks found it too gingery-spicy.  I admit, it had a heck of a kick.  It was really good softened with a bit of plain bubbly water and hardened with a shot of good gin.


I say get creative.  Pretty much anything that the kid likes the taste of and will dissolve in water is fair game.

bruhozer's picture

Hey so I like to make soda once in a while, so I usually grab stuff that is fresh and available. You always need a citric source to cut the sweetness of your sugar source. I've found that a blend of honey with other sugars is usually nice, I hit it with a little citric acid, then add the herbs, maybe fresh grated mace ( nutneg) and some ginger root ( I usually use a large amount but I like it hot). I make a syrup out of these things, it's heated to 160 or so on the stove top with a little water for 15 minutes or so,  then I test it in the glass, shooting for say 5-1 ratio syrup to soda water. The ratio dosen't really matter just discover the correct ratio you like then cut the syrup with the right amount of soda water at serving (in the glass) or in the keg (to make a batch) . If it seems too sweet either dilute it with a little more soda water or add a little more citric acid,  I usually keep it at about 25 psi for dispensing and if it gets a little flat jump it up for a day or so to re-carbonate. If it's not what you expected you can always go back and doctor the syrup with what you think will improve it.

I've used fresh pomagranate juice, vanilla and bannana extract (bannana cream soda) cinnamon & mint, you name it. Take the flavors you like and make a syrup then cut with soda water. I like mango and coconut so maybe my next soda will be one with that. Craig W

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