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AfternoonReview 07-18-2011 03:58 PM

Newbie soda/kegging questions - making soda at a restaurant
Hey all - I've been brewing beer for 7 months, but I'd like to try to start making sodas for my wife to serve at her market. My questions mostly have to do with the carbonation/serving of the soda.

I think I'd like to keg rather than bottle, so that I don't have to deal with the danger of serving patrons possible gushers/bombs. I also don't want to deal with yeast because I'm not sure of the legal complications that may arise if I try to sell soda that technically has a little bit of alcohol in it. So I think kegging is definitely the way to go.

That being said, can anybody give me an outline of the equip I'll need to keg soda? Anybody have tips that pertain to kegging soda specifically? I've heard that you need longer hose lines, etc... I've never kegged anything, so don't be afraid to explain it as you would to a total newb.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.


Pumbaa 07-18-2011 04:26 PM

CO2 bottle
the keg
your tubing
a tap
splitter if you are going to have more then 1 keg

Ask Yooper about the length of tubing she uses, I just turn my pressure way down when I serve

also not trying to plug any specific store but it will give ya an idea on prices and such . . . http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/kegging

KevinM 07-18-2011 04:35 PM

Last few relevant threads:

See also: Bottling/Kegging regarding cure for short hose troubles as an option.
Otherwise PSI calc resistance for 3/16 bev line is about 2 psi per foot, so for 30 psi, you'd need around 15 feet of line.

So, you'd need this: http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=511 and either longer line instead of a 5foot line, or maybe the mixer connection shown in the bottling/kegging sticky. Maybe a larger tank too if you're looking at lots/multiples of kegs.

Don't reuse kegs for beer, or mix soda flavors unless you clean real well (soda flavors, esp rootbeer and cola really cling, unless you want rootbeer flavored beer. Or having your hibiscus soda tasting like cola.)

You can consider kegging soda water and using syrups to mix (like an old fashioned soda fountain) Or mix syrup and water into a keg first.

Personally I like using soda water and making syrups to make the sodas. This way, you can have multiple soda water kegs, and a large variety of homemade and storebought flavors which can vary in strength. Some people do want less syrup than others, some like theirs really syrupy. You can also serve just the unflavored soda water and maybe some unsweetened flavor extracts. Or use chocolate syrup, soda water and ice cream for a chocolate soda, or use chocolate syrup, milk and soda water for an egg cream soda.

AfternoonReview 07-18-2011 05:30 PM

Thanks for the input Pumbaa and Kevin.

I like the idea of making the syrups and just adding the carbonated water. Maybe we could even make an old-fashioned set up at the shop! It would definitely allow for more soda choices...

I assume I can find some syrup recipes here on the threads?

Those are great links, Kevin - thanks!

MrFoodScientist 07-18-2011 05:49 PM

I'm a fan of the syrup plus carbonated water method as well. Lots of flavors from one keg, and you don't have to worry about cleaning out strong smells from your seals.

AfternoonReview 07-18-2011 06:50 PM

Thanks for the input MrFoodScientist - and NICE BLOG btw.

I foresee myself asking you many questions!

KevinM 07-18-2011 11:31 PM

There are a few, and the recipes area was just started a few months ago, so we don't have a large selection yet. However there have been many recent books and magazines. http://imbibemagazine.com/ just had an article, (last slide of the slideshow), and http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/0...made-soda.html

AfternoonReview 07-19-2011 01:05 PM

That homemade soda book looks like a must-read.

KevinM 07-19-2011 03:04 PM

Yeah. I didn't win it unfortunately. EFaden emailed the guy and was working on a few scaled up recipes. Best thing about soda water though, is that you really can do anything with it. I got some hibiscus from an herb store and made a simple syrup with them and a sprtiz of lemon for the citric acid and have been making sodas with those.

AfternoonReview 07-21-2011 01:27 PM

So, as of now, I think I'm going to just keg and carbonate water so that customers can mix in different syrups. I'll probably still need a 15ft line, correct? From what I understand it will come out too quickly if the lines are short.

Since I've never kegged anything, I was thinking I could just start out with this kit, or something similar because this one only comes w/ a 3 ft beer line:

P.S. I checked out those plastic inserts that you can stick in the dip tube, but I'd like to avoid them since it appears that they have not been approved as food safe.


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