Soda Making

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Soda Making

Postby turkeyjerky214 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:19 pm

Who here makes their own soda? My schedule hasn't been allowing me to brew as much as I'd like lately, and I'd like to get something on my empty tap. I've been wanting to try my hand at soda making for a couple years now but never have. I figure now's as good a time as any.

Should I start out with an extract, or should I dive right in and make it from scratch? I'm assuming it's a pretty simple process. I've been looking around for a bit but haven't found a ton of info on making it from scratch. Can anyone point in the direction of a good resource?

Anyone have any favorite recipes they'd like to share? I'm thinking something along the lines of an IBC Rootbeer or Cherry Limeade although I'm a big fan of cream soda too.
-Brian

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Re: Soda Making

Postby StLBeer » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:07 pm

I've perused it only a couple of times, but there's a soda forum on HBT. Lots of talk about Soda Stream and recipes.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f95/
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Re: Soda Making

Postby slarkin712 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:57 pm

I can't add anything useful about soda making. I've had the same problem finding time to brew as much as I want. I started making 2.5 gallon extract with steeping grains batches. Sometimes to grow yeast for a full batch, other times because I have empty taps. I can do an 2.5 gallon extract batch on the stove in my kitchen in 2-2.5 hours. While that's going on I can usually get all kinds of things done around the house. Just an idea for you.
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Re: Soda Making

Postby jeffjm » Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:55 am

Getting way off topic here...but there are extract brewers doing 15-minute boils, making for a very short brew day. This works best for beers that normally have lots of hop flavor and aroma, as you'd expect. There's a recipe and article at http://beerandwinejournal.com/15-minute-pale-ale/.
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Re: Soda Making

Postby Bob Brews » Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:15 pm

For those who have studied to be a beer judge - here are the reasons for a longer boil according to the BJCP:

A minimum of a one hour boil is usually recommended for making quality beer. When making all grain beer, a boil of 90 minutes is normal, with the bittering hops added for the last hour. One exception to boiling was historically used to brew the Berliner Weisse style. Here, the hops were added to the mash tun, and the wort is cooled after sparging and then fermented with a combination of lactobacillus from the malt and an ale yeast.

Boiling for less than one hour risks under-utilization of hop acids, so the bitterness level may be lower than expected. In addition, the head may not be as well formed due to improper extraction of isohumulones from the hops. A good rolling boil for one hour is necessary to bind hop compounds to polypeptides, forming colloids that remain in the beer and help form a good stable head. An open, rolling boil aids in the removal of undesired volatile compounds, such as some harsh hop compounds, esters, and sulfur compounds. It is important to boil wort uncovered so that these substances do not condense back into the wort.

Clarity will be also be affected by not using at least a full hour rolling boil, as there will not be a adequate hot break to remove the undesired proteins. This will also affect shelf life of the bottled beer, since the proteins will over time promote bacterial growth even in properly sanitized beer bottles. The preservative qualities of hops will also suffer greatly if the wort is not boiled for one hour, as the extraction of the needed compounds will be impaired.

Boiling wort will also lower the pH of the wort slightly. Having the proper pH to begin the boil is not normally a problem, but if it is below 5.2, protein precipitation will be retarded and carbonate salt should be used to increase the alkalinity. The pH will drop during the boil and at the conclusion should be 5.2-5.5 in order for proper cold break to form and fermentation to proceed normally. Incorrect wort pH during the boil may result in clarity or fermentation problems.

The effects of boiling on the wort should match the intended style. It is often desirable to form melanoidins which are compounds produced by heat acting on amino acids and sugars. These add a darker color and a maltier flavor to beer. When desired, an insufficient boil will not form enough melanoidins for the style. Boiling the initial runnings of high gravity wort will quickly caramelize the sugars in the wort. This is desired in Scottish ales, but would be inappropriate in light lagers.

Vigorously boiling wort uncovered will evaporate water from the wort at a rate of about one gallon (four liters) per hour, depending the brewing setup. In order to create a beer with the appropriate target original gravity, changes in the wort volume must be taken into account. Longer boil times or additions of sterilized water may be required to hit the target gravity.

So the main problems I would see is that you could have clarity problems, you would need to increase your hop quantities due to lower utilization, increase your malt volume due to lack of concentration, and run the risk of off flavors/aromas from volatile compounds. I guess that is why nearly every commercial brewery in the world boils for at least an hour, even when profits are at stake.
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Re: Soda Making

Postby StLBeer » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:42 pm

Wow, the last 3 posts have absolutely nothing to do with soda making. Nice.

Brian, I think it reasonable to assume that anyone reading post does not make soda.

You could check with Kally. I know he made some soda for the Heritage Fesitval 2 years ago.

Paul
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Re: Soda Making

Postby dvdaniels » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:40 pm

The one article I found on it seemed like more work than brewing beer http://sparror.cubecinema.com/cola/chemistry/cola2.htm. There are several different recipes on that site. Some of the ingredients may be difficult to source though.
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Re: Soda Making

Postby JoeHPhil » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:44 am

So I was thinking to my self, "self, I can't add much to this string given I have such limited experience here" but since not much related info is here...

Several years ago I had a tap of root beer for the kids and they really loved it, so much so I had to stop doing it since the floor became sticky like flypaper. I simply got one of those extract bottles from STLW&B and followed the directions. I want to say it was add water, add extract, add a ton of sugar, and mix. There was a natural carb process but I just did the CO2 from kegging.

Back then they had a lot of extracts, I remember doing cola, root beer, sasparilla, and grape. All turned out well.

I do remember Kally kicking out a lot of soda.

Good luck.
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Re: Soda Making

Postby Michael » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:35 pm

I had made root beer and orange creme soda for many years. This process is for five gallons and is force carbonated.

Root Beer

1 lb dextrin (powder)
2 1/2 lbs sugar
2 1/2 c honey
1/3 cup root beer extract
1 gal water

Bring water to boil, remove from hear stir in g dextrin to dissolve. Put sugar and honey in and stir until sugar and dextrin are dissolved. Pour mix into 5 gal corny keg with the root beer extract, fill with ice and water to reach 5 gallons. Force carbonate. The ice takes the temp down and speeds up the carbonation process.

Orange Creme Soda

1 lb dextrin
3 1/2 lbs sugar
80 ml orange extract
80 ml creme extract
30 ml banana extract (this sounds weird but the small amount will not give it any banana character, but seems to heighten the flavor of the finished product. Try it without the banana if you are not comfortable, it will still be fine. Took me a while to get the flavor to where I wanted it.)
1 gal water

Proceed as above.

Please do not make the mistake of adding the extract to the hot water and sugar as you will lose some of the character.

Worked great for me for years. The dextrin really helps the mouth feel of these two soda styles.

Mike
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Re: Soda Making

Postby turkeyjerky214 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:55 pm

Thanks for those recipes, Mike. I just decided to order a book off Amazon. It was only like $11 and came very highly recommended.

In my searching, I came across a hard rootbeer recipe over on HBT that people seem to love. Of course, it requires mashing, boiling and fermenting. Maybe once I knock out the 10 beers I have lined up to brew I'll take a stab at it.

In the meantime, soda it is.
-Brian

On Tap: Sour Belgian Brown, Amber Ale, Milk Stout, English Dark Mild, American Brown, Vienna Lager

Fermenting: Roggenbier, Pumpkin Ale
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