no room for eight 2-liter bottles in fridge

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earlytimes

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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?
:confused:
 

Yooper

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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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earlytimes

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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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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!
 

Yooper

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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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earlytimes

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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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earlytimes

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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.
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.:)
 

david_42

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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.
 

Yooper

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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.
 

rabidgerbil

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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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earlytimes

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Ok. I didn't know what campden or sorbate did, but I think I get it now. You guys saved me from doing something stupid once again!
 

newell456

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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.:)
There is no need for all that. Soda making is a different animal than beer making, so by thinking of this in terms of home brewing, you're actually making this harder. The only equipment you need, besides measuring cups or spoons for yeast or sugar is a funnel and a 2 liter bottle. Most soda extract bottles will give you optional intructions for only 2 liters, but if not, you can just do the math with a metric to english volume conversion calculator online. Anyway, once you know how much your making, add all the ingredients to the 2 liter bottle or bottles via the funnel, but leave out some of the water so you can shake the bottle to mix it, then top it off with water leaving a little space for o2. You should be able to do 2-4 two liters and clean up in less than 20 minutes. It's best to fill them in the sink.
 

GarciasHomeBrew

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would this work add just enuf sugar sugar to card the 2 liter bottle and sweeten the rest with splenda? so you don't need to refrigerate.
 

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would this work add just enuf sugar sugar to card the 2 liter bottle and sweeten the rest with splenda? so you don't need to refrigerate.
It should work, and make a "diet" soda. But like Freezeblade said, the taste might not be great.

You could try it- even just a very small batch (like one 20 ounce bottle), just to see what would happen. I'm not sure how much sugar is enough, though, without being too much. You want enough to carb, but not enough to explode. And sodas are carbed much more then beer, so a beer carbonation tool might not be very helpful. If you could figure out the carbonation volume you want, though, you might be able to calculate it.
 

The Blow Leprechaun

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According to the Tastybrew kegging calculator, 40 degrees at 30 PSI will get you 4.2 volumes of CO2 in solution.

To prime to 4.2 volumes of CO2 at room temperature, you would want 7 ounces of table sugar for 4 gallons.

I can't guarantee that things won't explode if you try this, but if I was going to try and only add enough sugar to prime and nothing more, I'd probably start low, maybe experiment with small batches, and almost certainly keep the bottles inside some sort of solid container while they attempted to carbonate in case the bottles blew up.

I'm nearly certain that your average beer bottle can withstand that final pressure, but I don't know if fermentation will throw off anything extra or what.

But if it works, that could be awesome.
 

conpewter

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Even doing a diet soda and calculating the priming sugar I'd still use the 2L soda bottles, or the smaller 20 oz ones.

Better yet... start kegging then use the BMBF to get bottles of carbonated soda with no sediment :)
 

wilbanba

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hi
make a smaller batch
clean up is easy
if you are nervous about explosions use PET bottles (actually use these anyway)
if you are more nervous use a yeast strain with a low alcohol tolerance - it will actually die
if you are extra nervous force carbonate with CO2
enjoy!
 
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earlytimes

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Update - I actually didn't have a problem at all. Well, I had a different problem. I added a little less than 1/8 tsp. to each 2-liter bottle. after a week, I had very little to no carbonation. So I added about another 1/8 tsp. and then the bottles firmed up nicely. And then the yeast pooped out on me again. fortunately, they quit with just the right amount of carbonation this time! So you can get lucky by adding just the right amount of yeast and then no need to refridgerate!:D

I wouldn't actually recommend this though. I could probably do this 100 more times and I'd probably end up with flat or exploded bottles each time. It was easy enough to mix up just a few at a time with a funnel, so that's what I'll be doing in the future instead of making all 8 2-liters at once.
 

Frost

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When I refrigerate the bottles after carbonation has occurred that makes the yeast go dormant. What if I need to transport them or free up some space in my fridge? When they return to room temperature the yeast should become active again, right?
 

The Blow Leprechaun

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When I refrigerate the bottles after carbonation has occurred that makes the yeast go dormant. What if I need to transport them or free up some space in my fridge? When they return to room temperature the yeast should become active again, right?
Yes, and they may not go totally dormant in the fridge. My soda (made with bread yeast) kept working extremely slowly in the fridge.
 
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