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Thread: Homemade sodas, book review + bonus recipe

  1. #1
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    Homemade sodas, book review + bonus recipe

    I've been talking to a couple of members via PM about homemade soda, etc.. and while doing so found another book to add to my collection (I do love books ) so figured I'd do a quick review and talk a little about how I handle making soda at home.

    First up the two books I have are:
    http://www.amazon.com/Homemade-Root-.../dp/1580170528
    This book is somewhat interesting as it has some older recipes and history on some of the home soda recipes. As the title suggests it has more root-beer recipes than the other book so if you're into mostly rootbeer this would be the book to get.

    http://www.amazon.com/Make-Your-Own-.../dp/0770433553
    This is a much newer book and the subject material reflects it. Its somewhat of a "hipster soda" book, but in kind of a good way. There are some more avant-garde recipes and a lot more fruit syrups, etc.. Also has some interesting recipes for egg cremes and egg shakes as well as a few interesting cocktails and a couple of adjunct recipes (has a couple of ice cream recipes for example). It also has some more discussion of tuning the characteristics of your soda with adjuncts (various acids - lactic, acetic, phosphate; different sweeteners like stevia; etc..). Overall quite interesting.

    For use the simplest, most flexible, easiest to clean and generally best way (imho) is to:
    • Carbonate some water. If your water is really soft you can improve the flavor somewhat (imho) by adding some minerals to it - personally I use a pinch of "burton salts" in a 5g batch to make it a little more minerally. I like to keep the pressure on my water keg around 20PSI which is quite a bit higher than you'd normally put beer at.
    • Mix the syrup with the cabonated water.
    • Enjoy


    A nice alternative to the syrups is using various fruit juices to make aqua fresca (and maybe have a little simple syrup - 1:1 sugar+water - on the side to sweeten it up if you need to;


    And the bonus recipe. This is the best lemon lime soda I've ever had and is loosely based on some of the recipes from the root beer/soda pop book.

    Lemon Lime Soda:

    Ingredients:
    • 6 lemons
    • 6 limes
    • 1 shy qt of simple syrup (2C sugar + 2C water roughly)


    Instructions:
    • Make a qt of simple syrup by mixing the sugar+water and heating until dissolved and then hold at around 170F.
    • While the syrup is heating Zest all the citrus.
    • Citrus zest into the simple syrup hold at 160-170F for ~30-60m (closer to the longer side will extract more flavor == better)
    • Strain the zest out of the simple syrup into a jar/bottle a bit bigger than a quart
    • Cool
    • Juice 3 lemons and 3 limes and add juice to the flavored syrup and mix


    Optionally you can add a bit of fresh crushed ginger to get a little heat into it but try it without once just to get the amazing lemon/lime goodness!

    Add a good splash to a glass and top with sparkling water, adjust juice levels to taste.
    Keeps best refrigerated

  2. #2
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    Cool, thanks Ryan. Hoping to try out my sparkling water tomorrow night. Might have to stop and get some lemons and limes now.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    Cool, thanks Ryan. Hoping to try out my sparkling water tomorrow night. Might have to stop and get some lemons and limes now.
    Pretty sure you'll like it if it turns out anywhere near as good as ours did. Of course I had the boss bossing so maybe that made the difference

    If you're feeling lazy the torani italian syrups are pretty good as well, it looks like you can probably get them at World Market around KC, although there might be other places as well. We use them more than I might strictly like to admit

    Pretty fond of just a splash of juice myself, blood orange is really good!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    Cool, thanks Ryan. Hoping to try out my sparkling water tomorrow night. Might have to stop and get some lemons and limes now.
    Aah the old sin gas versus con gas question. In Europe when you ask for water at a restaurant the question is often sin gas or con gas essentially mineral still or sparkling.

    I like my water still .

    Ryan thanks for the links I will pass on this one.
    cheers

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    I like my water still .
    I like my water after its been run through a still as well... Technically that's only part water though

    Interesting side note; if you're someplace where the water is of questionable quality is safer to go with sin gas in the bottle because it's less likely to have been refilled from the tap.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mooney View Post
    .....Interesting side note; if you're someplace where the water is of questionable quality is safer to go with sin gas in the bottle because it's less likely to have been refilled from the tap.
    I think you mean con gas (with gas) rather than sin gas (still, without gas). And be sure the waiter actually opens the bottle at the table, doesn't just pretend to pop the lid. When I lived in Brazil, I found waiters were so good at pretending to open a refilled water bottle that I learned to like my water with gas.

    Back to the primary topic, my wife experimented with making soda at home using yeast in the bottle, and letting it "ferment" for a day or so before refrigerating. I don't know the recipe, but it was tasty. Without preservatives, it didn't last as long as commercial soda, so she only made it (in used 2 liter soda bottles) one bottle at a time.

    Large liquor stores sell flavored syrups, often Monin brand, used at mixing drinks that might be good flavors for home-made soda.
    Last edited by Charlie Plesums; 09-18-2014 at 04:28 PM.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Plesums View Post
    I think you mean con gas (with gas) rather than sin gas (still, without gas). And be sure the waiter actually opens the bottle at the table, doesn't just pretend to pop the lid. When I lived in Brazil, I found waiters were so good at pretending to open a refilled water bottle that I learned to like my water with gas.
    Thanks Charlie! My inability to get this correct bodes poorly for my intestinal situation when I travel to that part of the world! Must remember Con Gas!

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Plesums View Post
    Back to the primary topic, my wife experimented with making soda at home using yeast in the bottle, and letting it "ferment" for a day or so before refrigerating. I don't know the recipe, but it was tasty. Without preservatives, it didn't last as long as commercial soda, so she only made it (in used 2 liter soda bottles) one bottle at a time.
    Yep, we did that a lot as a kid (and I did it some as an adult until I got the gas setup) - the rootbeer book talks about it a fair bit as well and most homebrew shops have instructions/kits that are pretty easy to do. The main challenge is getting it sweet without having bottle bombs. A lot of the time we'd have to just baaaaarrelly crack the cap a tiny smidge to let the some of the gas out and then let it settle for a few minutes or you'd end up with all the soda in the sink (or ceiling sometimes!). It actually ferments slightly in the bottle but the alcohol produced is very low (0.5% or so) but controlling when to stop is.. problematic.. Chilling it once it reaches an appropriate level of carbonation helps as does drinking it fairly fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Plesums View Post
    Large liquor stores sell flavored syrups, often Monin brand, used at mixing drinks that might be good flavors for home-made soda.
    Interesting, I haven't seen a lot at the local liquor stores on this side of the country. Around here its mostly food service and import shops where I see them (and usually Torani, but occasionally I've seen Monin - they appear comparable I think).

  8. #8
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    I've never had a homemade soda.

    When I'm feeling bold, sometimes I'll ask the waitress for a slice of lime with my Diet Coke.

    Good luck with this seems like a fun day of expirimentation.
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible

  9. #9
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    Are you guy using a homemade Carbonater or a store bought system. I made up my own out of a 20lb Co2 bottle but always looking for ways to improve it.
    A Turn N Time
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Caughron View Post
    Are you guy using a homemade Carbonater or a store bought system. I made up my own out of a 20lb Co2 bottle but always looking for ways to improve it.
    Speaking only for myself...I use soda keg, normally what I use for beer and pop it onto the CO2 system in my kegerator. Works very well for me.
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

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