*Making Homemade Soda*
My son was making soda the other night and I decided that I would explain the process for folks who don’t do it. It is really very easy and much less expensive than store bought soda. Once you practice a little and get the proportions of sugar, flavoring syrup, yeast, and time to ferment in the bottle set to what your family likes the soda is really VERY good. Is it carbonated like "regular" soda from a store? – Yes indeed! The yeast in the soda consumes some of the sugar and creates natural carbonation or "fizz". For those of you who are "addicted" to your cola (and you know who you are!) this may fill the need if you just store back some extract because you should have the other ingredients already in storage.
The equipment is really simple and the process is simple too. My kids make their own soda pretty often. What you need is some empty screw top 2 liter soda bottles to hold your creation, some sugar, something to mix all the ingredients in (we use a one gallon glass jug and shake them all together), some yeast (either champagne yeast from a brew or wine shop or regular Red Star or Fleischmann’s yeast from the market, a funnel to fill the 2 liter bottles, a measuring spoon set, a coffee cup to dissolve the yeast in, and soda flavorings (our local supermarket sells them in Root Beer, Ginger Ale, Cola, Cream Soda, Orange, Grape, and Dr. P.)
The basic recipe that our family uses is to dissolve 1/8 teaspoon of yeast in a coffee cup of warm water for about 5 minutes. Yeast should be fresh and the water should be about baby bottle warm (98-110 degrees F). Too little yeast will not yield enough carbonation, too much will give the soda a "yeasty" taste and might burst your soda bottles. Water too hot or too cold will have the same effect as not enough yeast because in cold water it will stay dormant and in too hot water it will be killed off.
Then mix 2 ¼ cups of white sugar, 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of flavoring extract, the dissolved yeast and enough extra water to make 1 gallon together in the gallon jug. Shake to mix for about 2 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved in the water. Pour ½ the mix into each of the two 2 liter bottles, cap tightly and wait 4-6 days. You can tell how your carbonation is coming along by just squeezing the bottles. If they get too firm open the cap and let off a little of the carbonation.
There is a low calorie recipe too. We don’t use it, but we have tried it and it is good if you like diet soda. Use 5 tablespoons of real sugar and the equivalent of 2 cups of sugar substitute (we used Equal.) The yeast will consume the real sugar when fermentation is complete.
As I always say -
Get out and train!
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