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Old 04-10-2011, 10:03 PM   #1
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Default Head retention in soda

I'm trying to get my soda to have some head retention like a good beer. So far, I've basically seen three suggestions on how to accomplish this:

1) Do a partial mash with some wheat or carapils.

2) Add molasses (possibly in the form of brown sugar).

3) Use a commercial heading additive.


I've tried replacing half of the sugar with brown sugar, which seems to help a little, but it's certainly not enough. Perhaps I should use only brown sugar, and maybe add some pure molasses?

How should a partial mash be implemented in soda? I'm thinking I might use the BIAB method for this step: basically make grain tea with 1/4lb of grain per gallon of water, then add the sugar and flavoring, let it cool to room temp, add the yeast and bottle. Is this going to work?

Does anyone know what is in the commercial heading additives? As far as I can tell, it's sometimes just dextrose and gum arabic, or more rarely propylene glycol. Is this actually the case? I can get gum arabic by itself a whole lot cheaper than heading powder. Will this actually work in soda, or only in conjunction with the stuff in beer?

I make naturally carbonated sodas in 1 gallon batches, generally with a tablespoon or so of extract, 2 cups of sugar, and three tablespoons of maltodextrine.

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Old 04-13-2011, 02:20 PM   #2
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I commercially se my homemade soda. After carbonation prior to bottling I boil 1 liter of water and dissolve 4 cups maltodextrine.

It may be overkill but i regularly sell 200 bottles on a cold day at our saturday farmers market.

Methocel is made by dupont that I use in my beer

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Old 04-13-2011, 04:08 PM   #3
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4 cups of maltodextrine?! I assume that's for a 5 gallon batch? That comes out to 12.8 tablespoons per gallon. I might have to try that. Does it actually cause some head retention, or just give the soda a lot of body?

I did try a partial mash with some wheat and a bit of Quaker oatmeal for a batch of root beer the other day. I even boiled a small quantity of hops in it for a few minutes. It's still carbonating, so we'll see how it goes. It does seem to be carbonating a lot faster than normal.

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Old 04-19-2011, 04:59 AM   #4
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Okay, the partial-mash root beer is done. It didn't help at all for head retention, but it is a flippin' amazing batch of root beer as far as flavor and body goes. I'll try using a larger quantity of wheat or carapils sometime next week.

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Old 05-04-2011, 02:46 AM   #5
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Not much interest in soda head retention, eh? I was hoping *somebody* would have *something* to say about it.

Well, I tried a more substantial partial mash with 8oz of flaked wheat and 4oz each of flaked oats and carapils mashed for 45 minutes at 160F for a gallon of root beer. I also used all brown sugar, and added some molasses and 7 Tbsp of malto dextrine. The result was odd malty-tasting root beer with absolutely no head retention. I figured using the grains that improve head retention in beer, in about the same quantity as used in beer, would give some head retention in soda as well. It did not.

So far I have made basically no progress whatsoever in getting soda to have head retention. How does this work?

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Old 05-04-2011, 04:08 AM   #6
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I believe maltodextrin should work just fine. I've thought of adding a small amount of whey protein, protein is a good foam stabilizer. If I ever get around to trying it, I'll let you know.

Brew-medic - Dupont's Methocel is methylcellulose, not maltodextrin. I'm not sure how that's working for head retention, as it works best in hot water.
I am curious, though, how are you selling your homemade soda?

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Old 05-04-2011, 09:49 AM   #7
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Yes, I am. Maltodextrine is what we currently use.

we sell at local farmers markets etc as a organic soda, with 9 Cal.

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Old 05-04-2011, 05:37 PM   #8
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Not to delve into all your trade secrets, but...

Organic soda with only 9 calories? Is that even possible if you're adding maltodextrin? What are you using as a sweetener?

What kind of permits do you have to get? Is this USDA certified organic, or just to the best of your knowledge it's organic?

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Old 05-04-2011, 07:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFoodScientist View Post
Not to delve into all your trade secrets, but...

Organic soda with only 9 calories? Is that even possible if you're adding maltodextrin? What are you using as a sweetener?

What kind of permits do you have to get? Is this USDA certified organic, or just to the best of your knowledge it's organic?
He's in Canada so organic regulations might be different there. Eitherway I'm also intrigued as a food safety biotech major how you have organic soda at 9 calories with MD added.
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:38 PM   #10
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Maltodextrin contains 4 calories per gram. At your rate of 12.8 Tbps per gallon, that comes out to approximately 13.5 grams of MD per 12oz bottle. That's 54 calories of maltodextrin. 54 is more than 9.

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