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Old 06-11-2008, 03:46 AM   #1
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Default no room for eight 2-liter bottles in fridge

So, I'm wanting to throw together a batch of root beer and it supposedly makes about 4 gallons, or eight 2-liter bottles. I know you're supposed to refrigerate after a few days once enough CO2 has been produced to make the yeast go dormant. Problem is, I've been putting it off because I don't have room in my fridge for that much soda. Is there something else I can do instead to kill the yeast so all my bottles don't explode?

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Old 06-11-2008, 03:47 AM   #2
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Not really. Since you add sugar to the soda, and yeast, the yeast will eat all the available sugar at room temperature.

Could you make 1/2 batch of soda? I've made only a gallon at a time, and that is really about enough.

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Old 06-11-2008, 03:52 AM   #3
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Hmmm... I suppose I could make smaller batches, but I was wanting to avoid the cleanup each time. I thought I read something about people using campden tablets or sorbate or something to kill the yeast in their wine to keep it at a desired sweetness? Would this work or am I thinking or something totally different?? Probably not or you would have suggested it.

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Old 06-11-2008, 03:57 AM   #4
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Well, that won't work for soda- here's why:

You want the soda to be carbonated. That comes from the yeast fermenting the sugar in the bottle. But you also want sweetness. So, you add more sugar than you would for something like beer because you want the sweetness. But, if you leave it out at fermentation temperatures, the yeast won't stop at just carbonating the soda- they'll keep eating up the sugar until the bottle explodes. That's why you use plastic bottles for soda, and put them in the fridge when they are hard.

For beers, you ferment them until they are done, and then add just enough sugar to prime for carbonation, a small prescribed amount. So, if done correctly, no risk of bottle bombs.

For wine, you ferment them until they are done, then stabilize with campden and sorbate. Then sweeten. That works great- but then you've stopped the yeast from being able to ferment- so no carbonation would be possible.

Sorry for the long explanation!

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Old 06-11-2008, 03:59 AM   #5
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To be honest, there is very little clean up involved. You measure water and sugar and dissolve it, add the root beer flavoring and yeast when cooled, and add that to the sanitized bottles. I use a saucepan on the stove, and a funnel. That's about it.

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Old 06-11-2008, 04:27 AM   #6
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Thanks, Yooper, you're great.

I still don't understand one thing - If you wait until the bottles are carbonated, then open the bottles up and add the campden or sorbate then recap quickly, won't the carbonation stay, but kill the yeast? Or what is happening when you say "stabilize"?

One more thing. I already know the answer because I'm sure it's the same as beer, but if I refrigerate, then bring it back to room temp, the yeasties will come back alive and blow up my bottles, won't they?

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Old 06-11-2008, 04:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
To be honest, there is very little clean up involved. You measure water and sugar and dissolve it, add the root beer flavoring and yeast when cooled, and add that to the sanitized bottles. I use a saucepan on the stove, and a funnel. That's about it.
I suppose this would be the way to go for small batches. Maybe I'll just do that. I was envisioning getting out my bottling bucket and siphon hose and bottling wand and having to sanitize all that and clean up all that... blah. I like your way much better.
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:05 PM   #8
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If you wait until the bottles are carbonated, then open the bottles up and add the campden or sorbate then recap quickly, won't the carbonation stay, but kill the yeast?
Either of these products will cause explosive de-gassing.

Yes, taking your soda out of the fridge will revive the yeast.
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earlytimes View Post
I suppose this would be the way to go for small batches. Maybe I'll just do that. I was envisioning getting out my bottling bucket and siphon hose and bottling wand and having to sanitize all that and clean up all that... blah. I like your way much better.
No need for all that- you're not trying to protect beer from oxidizing- you just mixing up a recipe and pouring it into bottles. My son used a 2 quart pitcher to fill the bottles last time (remember, though, to sanitize whatever you use). So, mix it up in a big stock pot, dump in all the ingredients and then either put it in a pitcher so it's easier to pour, or use a funnel. Super easy.

David 42 answered your campden/sorbate question. Think volcano. Then, a 1/2 empty container of flat soda.
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:34 PM   #10
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David 42 answered your campden/sorbate question. Think volcano. Then, a 1/2 empty container of flat soda.
yeah... don't mess around with adding stuff that will cause nulceation sites to carbonated beverages. I made the mistake once of trying to add more sugar to a corny FULL of rootbeer... man was my wife pissed at what that did to the throw rug in the kitchen.
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