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Old 03-03-2013, 08:32 AM   #1
daft
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Default soda making books?

There are a ton of cheap books on making soda, generally describing how to make syrup with a lot more fuss and money than i would like. Are there any where i can learn the principles and create more practical home versions? Here is a link to some of them where you can even read some sample recipes... http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=soda



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Old 03-03-2013, 08:45 PM   #2
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I have that "Homemade Soda" book thats #1 in your link,
it has a bunch of fun recipes, but nothing indepth like you would find in a beer brewing book. I too have had a harder time finding good soda references.



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Old 03-04-2013, 05:28 PM   #3
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So what are you looking for exactly?

I own the Andrew Schloss book, the Andrea Lynn book, and the Stephen Cresswell book. They are all great resources, though the Schloss book is probably going to be the best bang for your buck.

I don't think that the recipes in those books are necessarily much fuss, and money is going to be determined by whatever your ingredients cost. You can make syrup as inexpensive and as easily as syrup and water, but what do you want in it? Root Beer flavor- your options are going to be extract, flavor oils, or roots which are going to cost you(money) or literally require some digging(fuss). So again, what exactly are you looking for?

Some people get into soda making to save money by making rather than buying. For that route fermentation using roots and herbs is cheapest, but requires the most "fuss". Some of my contemplation on the costs can be found here.

Other people get into soda making because they want gourmet flavors. That said, some flavorings or ingredients aren't readily available off the grocery store shelf, or to pack something with intense flavor comparable to an extract but is derived from raw ingredients requires more raw ingredients than one might expect, as is occasionally the case with the Andrea Lynn book, so this route is going to require the most money.

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:53 AM   #4
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I agree with MrFoodScientist. The Andrea Lynn book is great if you want directions on making a variety of syrups. That one is short, cheap, and pretty easy. Some of her recipes border on esoteric with gourmet ingredients, but what's a little splurge on quality ingredients?

For myself, I work directly with sassafrass root bark powder using a recipe from Homemade Root Beer, Soda, and Pop (Cresswell). I tend to make concentrates and then fizz them with sparkling water from one of my customized siphons. I'm still thinking about what makes a concentrate recipe so that I can make concentrated ginger ale and other sodas. Essentially combining Lynn's ideas with higher concentrations.

I've been combining these concentrates (ok, just the root beer recipe) with my other hobby of canning. Still in trials, but so far I have good results!

There's a great mess of information here and it's free: http://www.brewery.org/brewery/library/RootB.html

Cheers!

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Old 03-07-2013, 02:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFoodScientist View Post
So what are you looking for exactly?
I guess I'm looking for simple and affordable sodastream compatible recipes (where you add syrup last, and pray for no foam bomb). Your helpful soda blog was one of the first places I looked over, but hoped to avoid using a stove and nondishwasherproof implements (I don't need pasteurization due to fast consumption). Probably there will eventually be a sodastream oriented book, but dunno if I can wait. I hoped to invent my own things once I knew some principles, like acid levels.

I'm looking for freedom of choice... I drink only soda, and sometimes an awful lot in our sweltering weather in Hawaii. I hate artificial sweetened types, and also the common mass-market candy sweet sodas marketed at kids or kids at heart. Here prices are sky high, many things can't be shipped at all, or are shipped at a multiple of the product price. Co2 exchange of sodastream has halted except at military bases... I may need to adapt paint gun canisters.

What I used to do is stock up on cherry coke when it goes below half price during holiday sales. Maybe some watery ginger ale, which makes me sad I didn't pay champagne prices for vernors when it was briefly available here. My discovery of chucking yeast into cranberry juice bottles, and frozen pink lemonade concentrate into carbonated sodastream bottles were big successes that raised the bar for any new directions. My many other attempts have been disappointments, and there is a limit to what I will pay... delicious ginger syrup is bottled locally for over $16 a pint - ouch.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:13 PM   #6
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Daft,
Andrea Lynn's Artisan Soda Workshop is geared towards the SodaStream. All her recipes were developed around it. And though he doesn't specifically state SodaStream compatibility as Lynn does, Andrew Schloss has numerous recipes in his Homemade Soda book that are designed as a syrup + seltzer approach. One of my favorites from that is his Sparkling Honey Lemonade, which is essentially a syrup of equal volumes honey and lemon juice which is as good as a San Pellegrino Limonata, but adds the subtle floral notes of the honey which are just awesome.

That said, even full sugar syrup in a sodastream bottle won't explode if you shake it up really well with the cap on tight. Just be sure to let it settle a bit before you open it back up.

I think your posts about your successful juice concentrate experiments are great! Definitely on the right track. Those are probably some of the best sodas you'll get without using a stove to make a syrup. Have you tried finding local juices or juicing local fruits? You may get a good enough syrup that way by adding sugar to juice. I get the impression that sparkling juices that you buy bottled are pretty much a 50/50 blend of juice and carbonated water with enough sugar added to bring it up to the sugar content to be on par with a full strength juice.

I think sodajerk is referring to Waialua Soda Works, which I've never tried their stuff, but it sure sounds great. You should definitely check them out if you're on the same island.

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Old 03-07-2013, 09:30 PM   #7
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MFS: OK, maybe Lynn is for me. But I suspect the essence of the sodastream problem is adding the syrup to seltzer, rather than vice versa... and in a confined area with only about 15% headroom in the bottle. I believe syrup will have a much higher area and speed of interaction by being streamed into selzer, rather than just sitting in a viscous lump when seltzer is added.

The foam problem comes at the syrup adding stage... very often it is an unmanageable gusher no matter how slow you add. Old orchard concentrate and smuckers boysenberry syrup (but not their blueberry!) will end up all over your counter and sink right after you combine.

Although there are workarounds, I think sodastream designed the device to fail with conventional 1-5 ratio soda concentrates. The fizz nozzle only reaches the water surface if you fill it with too much water for, say, a coca cola concentrate to fit in the remainder. You can barely get enough sweetness by filling the entire void with corn syrup unless you use their awful stevia boosted syrups.

I did seem to get success with a frozen lime juice concentrate and smuckers blueberry syrup. Just shake it like crazy and re-fridge; it seems to retain an actual foam. My little bottles from Israel seem a little iffy because one side is hard and the other soft (maybe out of spec, but not weak I hope). I am about to try pouring a half liter bottle of seltzer into a liter bottle half filled with cran-blueberry juice. Your post gave me the idea to add extra sweetener first.

I tried some local froz concentrated pineapple/starfruit. It was horrible, even after I tarted it up with lime. I guess I will try grenadine (pomagranite?) syrup as a coverup, but I dread trying the other local concentrates I bought. I just don't have a clue why some things work terribly for me... maybe the book will let me infer some principles.

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Old 03-09-2013, 02:40 AM   #8
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I'm a big fan of Man the Pumps, even though it is a bit scatter gun. It covers soda making in an interesting read.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0981175910

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Old 03-09-2013, 07:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roach View Post
I'm a big fan of Man the Pumps, even though it is a bit scatter gun. It covers soda making in an interesting read.
Wow, from a chemist as well... that should give some principles i look for, like the chapter on foam.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:18 AM   #10
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Fix the pumps was great!

Sodajerk - do you use Sodium Benzoate a lot? I think it makes other sodas I have had a little tinny. You might not have to use it if the pH level is right. I haven't had a chance to test that yet, but hope to soon.



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