My wife doesn't really enjoy beer, but she loves this stuff! It didn't start put as a clone, but it is quite similar to Mellow Yellow. If you want something more like Mountain Dew, replace the orange juice with lemon and lime juice.
3 Gal water
Finely Grated Zest and Juice from 4 lemons
Finely Grated Zest and Juice from 3 limes
Finely Grated Zest and Juice from 6 oranges
3 small (2.5") sticks of cinnamon, broken into small pieces
2 tablespoons dried bitter orange peel
4 tablespoons dried sweet orange peel
2 tablespoons dried lemon orange peel
2 tablespoons coriander seed
1 tablespoon gum arabic (optional)
3 pounds sugar
1/4 pk EC-1118 yeast
Yeilds 36- 12 oz bottles
Combine the water, lemon zest, lime zest, orange zest, cinnamon, bitter orange peel, sweet orange peel, lemon peel coriander seed, and gum arabic (if using). Whisk together until gum arabic dissolves. Stir in the sugar and bring to boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and stir in the lemon, lime and orange juice. Let cool, then strain into bottling bucket. Follow standard sanitization practices when handling the cooled soda.
When mixture has cool to 80* pitch your yeast. Allow the yeast For best results hydrate your yeast in a cup of the mixture for several minutes before pouring into the main batch.
Bottle in PET bottles or glass beer bottles with crown caps. When using glass, it is a good idea to fill 1 PET bottle to monitor carbonation levels.
Store bottles in a cool, dark closet. The yeast will naturally carbonate the soda in about 2 days. Leaving the bottles at room temperature for more than 3-4 days will result in bottle bombs.
48 hours after bottling, open a test bottle. If it is too flat, wait 12 hours and open another one. The carbonation level in this soda builds faster than root beer, so you need to keep an eye on this to avoid overcarbonation.
When the proper level of carbonation is reach, cold crash the soda in refridgerator. This will temporarily halt the carbonation process. If you take it out of the fridge and allow it to warm up, the yeasties will go back to working their carbonation magic.
Gum arabic is included to increase mouth-feel. If you don't use it, your soda will feel thin. I personally don't use gum arabic, I like the like the thin, light feel of this soda.