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Old 09-02-2011, 05:31 AM   #1
zacschmidt
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Default Bottlring soda

I've talked to many different people about this and have never really gotten a good answer. But is there anyone who has brewed soda of any kind and has bottled in glass beer bottles and perfected it? I have never tried it but I've always heard mix things about it?

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Old 09-02-2011, 12:36 PM   #2
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There is some degree of danger to it if you're not careful. I don't usually brew, but I have done it before and here are the tips that I can offer:

-Ferment your bottles in a moderate area. Most recipes request placing bottles in a warm area to ferment. Yes, it will carb faster in a warmer area, but with glass you don't necessarily want it to carb fast. You want to stop or slow fermentation at the right point, and if you overshoot it, you risk explosion. Get some 187mL champagne bottles so you have some smaller test bottles. Pop them open at certain points in your fermentation to get an idea of how your brew is progressing. I've always fermented in my basement where it's probably around 68F or less, and my batches always take longer to carb than what I've read.

-With your early batches, start off with a little less yeast than the recipe calls for. It may take longer to carb, but it won't ruin anything. Some recipes carb faster than others, so when trying something new, be sure to take extra precaution. How fast a recipe will carb depends on different factors: sugar level, sugar type, preservative properties of other ingredients. If you want it to go slower, use table sugar. If you want to speed it up, use honey, corn syrup, or invert sugar.

-Use thick bottles. Pry off soda bottles are usually thicker. Older bottles work well provided they don't have any cracks or chips. Newer soda bottles such as 12 oz Mexican Coke, Fanta or Pepsi bottles are nice and thick, (and look cool). Avoid twist off soda bottles, though. These may be slightly thicker than your average beer bottle, but aren't very thick compared to most pry off soda bottles. Champagne bottles can also be used provided your capper fits over them. I have a bench capper than can cap most things. Brand new champagne bottles are available wherever winemaking supplies are sold. I really like the 187mL ones, they're the same size and shape as the old 7oz 7up bottles and really give that vintage soda look, plus the clear ones show off all your lovely colored sodas.

I hope that helps.

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Old 09-02-2011, 12:58 PM   #3
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I've never done soda but could you keg and carb it then fill the bottles with a beer gun (or the "we don't need no stinking beer gun")? Assuming you have kegging equipment.

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Old 09-02-2011, 07:30 PM   #4
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I carbed some rootbeer recently in glass beer bottles. The trick is to also carb a few in similarly-sized plastic soda bottles and then get everything in the fridge to stop carbonation once the plastic bottles get rock hard and are properly carbed.

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Old 09-02-2011, 08:04 PM   #5
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Another perhaps less tasty option is to use splenda for the main sugar and only a little white sugar for the carbonation. I've not tried it, but I have noticed that the rainbow boxes recomend that for a 'low cal' you use 1/4 cup sugar with 2cups splenda or equivelent for sweetness.

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Old 09-02-2011, 08:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thughes
I carbed some rootbeer recently in glass beer bottles. The trick is to also carb a few in similarly-sized plastic soda bottles and then get everything in the fridge to stop carbonation once the plastic bottles get rock hard and are properly carbed.
I had thought about doing it this way but wasn't sure how it would work out.

How successful was this method?

Once it is carbed to the right level and then you chill it to slow the yeast do you have to keep it in the fridge? If you take it back out after a few days will the yeast just start back up again?

What temp did you carb your bottles at and how long did it take to fully carb?
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:03 PM   #7
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If you were REALLY careful, and kept a VERY close eye one the brew, you could probably brew, bottle, and pasturize the bottles to kill the yeast when its done. I don't know how long it would take, and its definitely risky business.

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Old 09-05-2011, 04:05 PM   #8
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Yeast carbonating soda is all about timing. You want them to ferment at room temperature until they're carbonated but don't want to leave them too long before you get them in the fridge to make the yeast go dormant. Plastic bottles work really well for this because, as another poster has mentioned, they'll feel hard to the touch when there's enough pressure built up, then you can slide them in the fridge. Once they're in the fridge though, you want to leave them there until you drink them. The yeast is dormant at cooler temperature but no necessarily dead. If you put it back into a warm space it could kick up fermentation again. That said, I find bottled natural sodas only really last a couple of weeks anyway.

Unfortunately, there is no tried and true recipe for how much yeast and how long to ferment. You'll need to do some experimenting. It really depends on the type of yeast you use, how much of it, how much sugar, and what temperature you're fermenting at. I've been able to get this down to a pretty exact science as I make beer and my process for making soda is pretty similar. The best advice I can give is to write everything down, including your measurements, fermentation temperatures and timing. By writing it down, it helps you improve the process with each batch. This really helps you make the same soda, with the same level of carbonation, each time you make that recipe.

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