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Old 05-23-2012, 03:13 AM   #1
Corpsmanhess
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Default Starting a non- novelty home brew soda

Hello,
I'm interested in starting to bottle soda at home (birch beer and root beer to start). However I'm not sure how to get started. I'm not looking to do this as a novelty project I am looking to do something more serious that could potententially lead to marketing further down the line if I have success. I would like to bottle into glass because I feel that gives soda a certain pop that plastic's can't reproduce. Any idea's or suggestions would be appreciated.

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Old 05-23-2012, 04:58 AM   #2
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The best way to start is to browse the soda forum here. We talk quite a bit about various sodas and different ways to make them. Using yeast vs using force carbonation. Different types of bottles when using yeast vs bottle fillers.

Recipes will vary as well.

Your best bet is to start with extracts for practice, then move onto some other brews using ingredients. That will actually be more difficult to source and can be more cost intensive, depending on what you're making. Your setup will look more like a lab, or an apothecary.

If you can ask more specific questions after reading the answers already posted, go ahead and ask. We have lots of answers, in that answers tends to be a discussions and different ideas

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Old 05-23-2012, 07:35 AM   #3
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Thanks Kevin! Appreciate the advice. What's your feeling yeast vs co2. Pros/cons

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Old 05-23-2012, 04:52 PM   #4
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If you're looking to potentially market this, you'll probably want CO2. Anything carbonated with yeast is going to stay active after you sell it unless you pasteurize, and then you'll need to make sure that you're getting the proper temps inside the bottle.

Additionally, if you're doing root beer, you won't be able to sell it if you're using sasafrass. Just stay away from that entirely.

The best thing that I've seen for starting out on the sales side is Pure Soda Works in TN. They recently did really well with a Kickstarter campaign to start bottling, but they started out selling from a cart.

You could always look into a contract manufacturer for bottling, but you'd end up eating the cost of a minimum order and sitting on pallets of inventory if it doesn't sell.

Check out the bevnet forums for more information in that arena.

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Old 05-23-2012, 06:45 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=MrFoodScientist;4110350]

Additionally, if you're doing root beer, you won't be able to sell it if you're using sasafrass. Just stay away from that entirely.

QUOTE]


That's not entirely accurate - apparently there is a guy out near Boise, Idaho that actually uses real sassafras in his root beer. He apparently uses a process that is approved by the FDA on removing safrole from the root/bark.

Personally I would think that is cost prohibitive but what do I know.

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Old 05-24-2012, 04:37 PM   #6
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Some people do yeast sodas in the market. Cascal for example. On a personal level, I like co2, since I can carbonate water and mix with any of the various syrups and bitters and flavorings that I have on hand.

If you're going to be doing from scratch, lots of macerations and tinctures and extracts to play with. Colas like open cola has how many ingredients?

Honestly, I'd start simple. Like the old style soda shops where they mix syrups, add soda water and serve.

I guess I question what is considered "Novelty" Since most of us have gone beyond novelty into research of recipes, including old ones. While I think a bacon soda might be more towards novelty, it's not impossible. There's plenty of alcoholic bacon drinks and torani makes a bacon flavored syrup, along with a chicken & waffles that had started off as a joke.

Sasafrass can get complicated as indicated here and prior threads, not to mention going through more about the FDA requirements and sources. It also is just one out of several dozen possible ingredients to root beer.

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Waiting to be kegged, Italian Primitivo
Kegged&Ready: GF Orange&Coriander, GF Honey Lager, GF chocolate ale, GF English ale, Island mist (zinfandel), Island mist (cbry malbec).
Bottled: Infected Mead, Dry Hard ciders, Accidental Sorghumwine, various unnamed.

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Old 07-01-2012, 06:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFoodScientist View Post
The best thing that I've seen for starting out on the sales side is Pure Soda Works in TN. They recently did really well with a Kickstarter campaign to start bottling, but they started out selling from a cart.
Thanks for the shout out! Just so you know, we're about two months out from having our sodas bottled and ready for sale.
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