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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Soda Making > Results of a first few trials: orange, rootbeer, molasses soda, honey soda
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:18 AM   #1
jimyoung
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Default Results of a first few trials: orange, rootbeer, molasses soda, honey soda

Hi all, just some notes on a few first sodas I made.

I started with standard "brewers yeast" (not labelled) and made.
- an "orange creamsicle soda" from a no-name extract I bought at the homebrew. I halved the sugar on first try: 80g / litre, and mistakenly used a full pack of the yeast. It turned out amazing! very bubbly, so much in fact that it almost burned, and it didn't overcarbonate to the point of spilling when opened.

- a rootbeer from an no-name extract from the same store. I only put 1/4tsp yeast for this one, same sugar as orange. It took about 3 days for the bottles to get rock hard. The rootbeer initially tasted a bit off, a little soapy almost. I at first thought perhaps contamination so I made another batch, but this time used a bleach mixture to properly sanitize everything (which I now do every time). The second batch was the same, so I assumed the extract. After leaving them in the fridge for a week they were much better, not sure if they were under-fermented before, but pretty good drinks!

Then I got adventurous. I switched to champagne yeast as it is supposed to have less of a flavour (the orange soda above had a yeast after-taste)

- Molasses soda sounded awesome so I made it: 3 litres of water, 2 cups dark molasses, 3 cinnamon sticks, 1.5cups sugar, 1 Tbsp maltodextrin (headening agent), 2 tsp vanilla extract, and 1/8tsp champagne yeast. These guys super-brewed, they got rock hard within a day, and I refrigerated them. The soda is not drinkable, it tastes terrible... I love molasses, but this, something is wrong. I think that perhaps vanilla and molasses do not mix.. I am burping them and leaving them in the fridge to try and ferment off some of the sugar.

- Honey soda! 3 cups honey and 1/8tsp champagne yeast to 3 litres of water. This guy took nearly a week to ferment and it still a little less bubbly than I would want, but it tastes awesome. I think I will make it less sweet next time, and, perhaps play with adding hops, I think it would complement the flavour very well.

Tonight I am off to make anotehr batch of rootbeer, and, I will try making the orange with even less sugar and add some artificial sweetener to bring it up. I want to find gum arabic to thicken this one but I haven't found it yet. I'll keep everyone posted!

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Old 01-22-2012, 12:22 AM   #2
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Nice! I've been sticking to syrups and adding them to carb'ed water since I have a keezer. A little difficult since many of the recipes call for a yeast/fermentation cycle for flavor and not just carbonation.

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Old 01-23-2012, 11:32 PM   #3
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I have had problems with my root beer taking a LONG time to carbonate. The room where I store my bottles is about 70 degrees F so I put an electric heating pad under the box of bottles and set it to medium. The pad has an auto shut-off feature so I had to keep checking it to make sure it was still on, but it really seemed to speed up the process.

I used brewers yeast in my first batch of Ginger Ale and the yeast flavor took over everything. I am going to use champagne yeast next time too.

I look forward to trying your honey brew.

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Old 01-26-2012, 11:14 PM   #4
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My next batch of rootbeer is done.
This time (to 3L of water) I added
240g of sugar
4 hops pellets
1 Tbsp maltodextrin

I read a recipe that called for hops, but it did not give the hoppy flavour I expected.. perhaps just a bit of bitterness Perhaps 4 pellets are not enough.. I boiled them well and used that water (strained) in the rootbeer.

The maltodextrin also did not add any head to the rootbeer. It is slightly thicker but no head at all so I will double it for the next batch.

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Old 01-27-2012, 02:43 AM   #5
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Stupid question, but where are you getting your carbonation from?
I don't see any yeast on there.
And yes I am a newbie.

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Old 01-27-2012, 04:10 AM   #6
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you're right, I used yeast. I added 1/8tsp of champagne yeast.

After working several trials, I have to say that the champagne yeast definitely tastes cleaner than the ale yeast (often just called brewers yeast). However, for the pressure change in the bottle, the ale yeast gives much more carbonation.

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Old 01-27-2012, 11:29 PM   #7
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Ah ok I thought you had some secret way of adding carbonation hehehe

How is the smell of the Champagne vs the basic yeast?
I have champagne in my current orange soda and am excited to try it.......next week ugh.

And on the extra head thing, have you used that extra foam stuff for root beers before?
Just wondering your thoughts.

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Old 01-28-2012, 04:41 AM   #8
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We have been experimenting with new formulas for a syrup to add to carb'd water, our most recent was steep 1/2 lb of ground malt in 2 cups water, add 2 tbsp rootbeer extract, 2 cups turbanado sugar, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp black walnut extract, 1 tsp butterscotch extract.

We heater the water to 160 degrees F and steeped the malt for 30 min in a Muslim bag, them drained the "broth" completely and added the rest of ingredients. Gives a great head to the root beer and a wonderful nutty flavor. We are worried about trying this with yeast for fear of getting too "beer" of a taste.

Any suggestions?

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Old 01-28-2012, 06:31 AM   #9
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wings: I haven't tried the head compound before but I saw a lot of recipes for it. I used it in my (failed) molasses beer and I thought it worked well, but perhaps it was just the thickness of the molasses itself

VeeEight: is ground malt the same as DME? I will have to try your recipe, it sounds great. I wouldn't worry about the yeast changing the taste too much. If you use a baker's yeast it will be a strong flavour, and you will get some with a brewers yeast. I find the champagne yeast to be very subtle. One of the neat things with yeast brewing is the variance. Even when you pop it in the fridge the flavours continue to develop, so it changes from day to day. Theres a peek where you go, ah! thats it! and then it falls from there (less sweet, more acidic, too carbonated, etc).

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Old 01-28-2012, 11:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimyoung View Post
One of the neat things with yeast brewing is the variance. Even when you pop it in the fridge the flavours continue to develop, so it changes from day to day. Theres a peek where you go, ah! thats it! and then it falls from there (less sweet, more acidic, too carbonated, etc).
Oh?
So you won't make any soda and keep it for a year or more then?
I didn't realize it changed that much, so the 2 week mark that most people talk about is around the sweet spot then?
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