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Proust!

So, I started my new hobby today, many supplies for which were thoughtfully provided by my loving wife for the holiday. Home-brewing!

Now, I hear you out there crying, but Traffik, you're an avowed non-drinker!

To which, I can only reply, Home-brewing Soda!

Ah, you all reply, sadly shake your heads, and walk away.

I just finished bottling my first batch, which was meant to be a ginger beer and I think will end up a spicy citrus thing. As long as it's drinkable, we'll go with it. I post the recipe here both for any comments and so I don't lose it.

Ingredients:

1 gallon water (purified), broken into 2 cold quarts, 1 lukewarm quart, and 1 quart whose temperature at the beginnning doesn't matter too much
1 cup Mountain Ridge Pure Raw honey (I'll post exactly the type later)
Approx 3oz fresh ground ginger
Two lemons, sliced in half (used Meyer lemons, in case anyone cares)
One lime, sliced in half
1oz Cascade Clusters Pellet Hops (a medium hop with a spicy, bitter flavor)  (Cascade Hops are grapefruity.  Not what I used)
1/8 tsp brewer's Munton and Fison Ale yeast (again, exact types later) 

Sanitize everything!

Simmer (but don't boil, though mine slipped into boil a few times) the indeterminate temp quart of water, the lemons, limes, honey, ginger and hops for about 20 minutes

Proof the yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water, set aside

After 20, strain the concction into your bottleing bucket (or carboy, or whatever).

Immediately add the 2 quarts of cold water. Check temp - it should be in the 70-90 range, perfect for the yeast.

Add yeast and remaining water, mix, bottle. I got about 7 and one half 16oz Grohler style bottles out of this.

Set the bottles somewhere warm for the next 24 hours (NOT IN SUNLIGHT. <
After the 24 hours, I'll check the half-bottle to see how carbonated they are. If it's good, I'll chuck the remaining seven in the fridge for two days, then try it.

I'll let you all know how it comes out, and what kind of soda I ended up with.

Proust!

Comments

And here I thought soda making was a simple matter of mixing carbonated water with artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. One learns something every day!
Nowadays, it is. The traditional styles of root beer and ginger ale were fermented originally, though, just slightly to make CO2. It's an interesting science experiment, really - unlike beer, where you ferment all the way and convert the sugars to alcohol, here you just let it happen a little, then try and slow the fermenting so you can get a fizzy, sweet drink. Get the process wrong, bottles go 'splodey. Hence the 'no sunlight' rule.
So, to paraphrase Lord Whorfin, "Great deeds are done in the dark!", eh? Good luck with the brewing, and hope the product turns out well.
M has made home-brewed root beer that turned out pretty good. Let me know if you'd like the recipe.
Please - I'm looking forward to experimenting.
That's please do, not 'Honey, please!', in case there were doubts. ;)
How did you get into home brewing soda?
Back in October we ran into a guy at a party who did - he has a blog called 'Itty Bitty Rants' where he lists some tips (I think it's his, but might be wrong, as I found it recently). It sounded interesting, so I started looking around, and then Lauren got me a bunch of equipment for Christmas.
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July 2010

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