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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Soda Making > Mineral salts for non-mineral sodas?
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:41 AM   #1
daft
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Default Mineral salts for non-mineral sodas?

I wonder if baking soda or the like should be added to temper the acidity of fruit sodas? I have no interest in mineral water or it's imaginary health benefits... give me intravenous high fructose corn syrup any day. But the book "Fix the Pumps" says these salts that came naturally in old-timey fizzy mineral water have important properties in tempering the acid and promoting fizz. Timely issue, as I am getting almost all my teeth painfully redone due to a lifetime of cherry coke acid erosion.

The acid issue is not just a matter of taste... it seems an essential component of flavored soda even aside from the carbonic acid. You almost always have to start with something like lemon juice or rind to make the drink seem alive. The juice (concentrate) has a short shelf life, so commercial soda makers had to originally try phosphate acid or lemon zest (oily and hard to mix) before pure citric acid was available. But is it possible to temper the acid with perhaps baking soda without ruining the taste?

Originally soda water was made fizzy by combining marble dust with industrial acid. The above book says the right salts promote carbonation in sort of the same process. I guess folks with hard water have a head start (BTW the book suggests boiling your water to get the dissolved air out of it which disrupts c02 solution process... I guess you could use hot tap, then chill). Besides adding baking soda, he suggests epson salts, potassium bicarb, or sea salt (and actually fine marble dust).

Anybody try this with flavors as opposed to yucky tasting mineral waters? I am so confused by the issue of acid, because it is sometimes used to explain the tingling by bubbles, but why would that slight acidity not be lost in the drench of citric acid anyway? P.S. it is not good to take extreme anti-acids for upset stomachs, because your stomach acid bath is needed to kill germs from your food. Ulcers are from infections more than stomach acid.

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Old 03-27-2013, 10:24 PM   #2
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Hmm, I happened to look at the authors web site and saw he featured these salts issues in a recent presentation at the Belgian Bar Show: http://www.artofdrink.com/soda-fount...ountain-to-bar ... interesting to flip thru his brief slides there. He shows how essential mineral salts were to the early history of soda and is promoting return to that with his "acid phosphate" formula instead of today's ubiquitous citric acid, as a mineraly and less acid tart agent.

Not that I am promoting his book... it is a quite unpolished self-published thing with grammar and spelling mistakes. But great meaty content, although weirdly organized. I find it more helpful than the standards "Homemade Soda" or "Artisan Soda", which mainly tell you to mix some hugely expensive fru-fru ingredients together with a big pile of dishes to clean up... for just a resulting 3 seconds of a nice swallow.

Not that this Darcy O'Neil can't overcomplicate... his original soda fountain version of coca cola (before Coke dumbed it down for bottling) shows this pitfall of labor-intensive complication:

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