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Old 07-29-2012, 06:19 PM   #1
Bonjourmate
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Default Diet soda cost confusion.

Duplicate of my post at Reddit's /r/homebrewing, but I figure someone here might have an answer.

Was planning on making diet cherry soda to give myself a break from beer (heresy, I know), but trying to find a sugar substitute that is even remotely cost efficient seems impossible.

Using [Old Fashioned Cherry Soda Extract](http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/miscellany/soda/cherry-soda-extract.html), the recipe calls for 8 cups of sugar. I know from a Food Science course I took that sugar substitutes are way, WAY sweeter than actual sugar. I figured I'd use Sucralose (i.e., Splenda) as it's rated as [600 times sweeter than sugar](http://www.powerbar.com/articles/165/how-sweet-it-is-the-truth-about-sugar--sweeteners.aspx), but when I look at [Splenda's site for cooking conversions](http://www.splenda.com/cooking-baking/conversion-charts), it tells you to measure replace Splenda cup for cup with sugar in recipes... how the hell is it 600 times sweeter if I'm doing a 1:1 replacement?! If you think about how many bags of Splenda it'd take to equal 8 cups, it'd end up costing $40-50 for 4 gallons of soda.

Am I looking at something completely wrong here?

EDIT: Sorry, the odd looking links. Works perfectly in a Reddit post, but not worth the trouble to completely reformat the post.

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Old 08-02-2012, 08:40 PM   #2
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Sucralose on it's own is 600 times sweeter. The splenda cooking conversions are based on their product that you buy in bags next to the sugar, those are actually sucralose on a maltodextrin carrier for ease of use, cup for cup. An bag of Splenda from the store I think should be about $8-9, less if you're going with the store brand (I know Walmart has these). The bag is the equivalent of 5lbs of sugar, which would be about 10 cups.

I'm not sure where your $40-50 estimate comes in, unless you're looking at the teaspoon sized packets, which may or may not be the same stuff in the bags, I'm not sure.

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Old 08-02-2012, 09:12 PM   #3
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Didn't see any packages that size at Cub. I just said screw using cut product and ordered pure sucralose. 50 grams for $18 with shipping. I'll need just under 3 grams for a 4 gallon batch.

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Old 08-02-2012, 10:00 PM   #4
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Where did you find the pure sucralose? Might be useful to have around.

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Old 08-02-2012, 10:14 PM   #5
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Amazon. Just search pure sucralose. Looks like bodybuilders are the primary clients; make their own supplement mixes.

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Old 08-02-2012, 10:28 PM   #6
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If you have a Trader Joe's in the vicinity, you might want to experiment with their $10 highly concentrated Stevia Extract (the one in the smaller spice-jar-looking container, not the larger bottle). It comes in powder form, with a teeny-tiny scoop that gives the sweetness equivalent of 1 teaspoon of sugar. I think there are something like 900 servings per jar.

You can do the math to find out what it would take for a whole batch of soda, but I strongly encourage you to start with half as much as you've calculated you need, and add more to taste. In that level of concentrated-ness, the lines between "too little" and "enough" and "bleccccccchhhhh bad bad gross evil" are razor-thin. Ask me how I know (as the memories of a ruined labor-intensive sugar-free chocolate mousse come washing back).

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Old 08-03-2012, 04:06 AM   #7
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Some dude on eBay is selling 1oz packets of pure crystalline neotame powder for $45 - sounds steep until you realize that it's equivalent to 450 pounds of sugar.

'course, you'll need a good .001g scale to measure out enough for a 5 gallon batch.

You can also get a quarter ounce of pure sucralose for $8 shipped, which is about enough for 10 gallons of cola.

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Old 08-03-2012, 01:19 PM   #8
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I almost ordered neotame until I realized my scale was insufficient for measuring a dose small enough

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Old 08-03-2012, 05:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonjourmate View Post
I almost ordered neotame until I realized my scale was insufficient for measuring a dose small enough
You could make a cut in a solution of water. 1 mg per liter = 1ppm. Then use the solution to sweeten your beverage.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonjourmate View Post
I almost ordered neotame until I realized my scale was insufficient for measuring a dose small enough
I bought some straight caffeine a while back and then realized i needed a milligram scale.

I ended up paying something like $16 shipped for a chinese .001g scale that works reasonably well for measuring out caffeine. My only complaint about it is that the surface to weigh things on is the size of a dime, and the little bowl it came with is only big enough for a couple grams.
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