Preserving soda without preservatives?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

10borderline11brew

Active Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Hey guys,
I am looking to start making and selling soda. Starting very small on a 1barrel system. I an inquiry on preservation.
I make my soda from scratch, so I do have to boil the water. I was wondering if I could filter the hot soda into a brite tank or a keg. Then once it cooled down; I can carb it and bottle it. How can I bottle it so it won't go bad? Would I purge the clean bottle with co2 and call it good?
Thanks for the help
 

mredge73

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2011
Messages
1,332
Reaction score
231
Location
La Porte
I would look around on EBAY and find a high volume RO system with a inline UV sterilizer for your water input.
The UV light will sterilize the water so you can avoid boiling. Then match it to a similar output soda carbonator that quickly carbonates the water.
Then you need to run your syrup and carbonated water into a chiller of some sort to get them both down to near freezing; much like how a soda fountain works by running them through the ice bucket.
Your bottling machine will need to mix the syrup and water at the pouring head in pre-chilled sanitized bottles.
The high sugar and low PH will keep most wild critters at bay, for safety sake put a 6-9 month sale by date on the bottles.
Plan to invest most of your money on bottling equipment and refrigeration.
 
OP
1

10borderline11brew

Active Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Could I mix the water and the soda syrup? Then have it run through the uv pasteurizer into a brite tank or keg. Chill it and carb it. Then bottle from the keg using a cheaper counterpressure bottle filler.
Would that work?
 

mredge73

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2011
Messages
1,332
Reaction score
231
Location
La Porte
Sure it will work, that is how most home brew soda makers do it. Carbonation takes about 2 weeks then serve from the same keg as this is much simpler than trying to bottle soda.
Commercially the process will need to be much different. You need larger volumes, consistent carbonation, faster turn around, and consistent taste. Your product should taste the same from bottle or from the local restaurant's soda fountain.
Also keep in mind that it is much easier to carbonate water than it is to carbonate water + syrup.
I would still use a 6 stage RO hooked to a carbonator, then run to the cold brite tank with the syrup in it.
Make sure you have flow control on your counter pressure filler, Soda is carbonated 2.5x more than beer. It will need to be near freezing and flow very slowly into the bottles to prevent foaming.
Talk to other soda makers in the industry, I am just a beer guy. Good luck and have fun!
 

MrFoodScientist

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
777
Reaction score
75
Location
Ogden
If you're planning on selling it, talk to your local health department or whoever will be inspecting your setup or giving you a license, so you know what they expect for food safety, proof of insurance, and so on. That way you don't get to the point where you're ready to sell product and get shut down for something unforeseen.
I would suggest pasteurizing after bottling or just break down and get to know your preservatives.
If you have your kill step before carbonating, you'll need to somehow guarantee that your CO2 and your gas lines are sterile. Likewise while bottling. Every time you expose your finished soda to open air, you invite wild yeasts and will need another kill step.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2017
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Hello!

When you heat the beverage...do you bring it to around 160 degrees at least? Biggest thing is you want to "pasturize" the entire beverage. If you let the fruit/concentrate go into the beverage without being pasteurized it can have the opportunity to ferment. So the biggest things you will want to do is get that hot for about 10 minutes, and then chill it as quick as possible. An easy way to do this is not have so much water to begin with, and just cool the entire liquid down with ice so that it chills faster!

Lastly...definitely making sure that things like your tank and bottles are oxygen free when you have your beverage in them. Any oxygen means that any bad bugs will have some food to eat, and that will lead to fermentation.

Hope this helps!
 

jimmer

Active Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2015
Messages
43
Reaction score
5
Location
Troy
Google "pasteurization times and pressures". There are charts, and different strategies.

Check out USDA regulations, though I think they don't kick in until you reach a certain level of production.

Start by sterilizing everything, then move on to pasteurizing. I definitely wouldn't put a 6 month use by date on it until I tested my process. You risk your reputation and much, much more, and there's definitely a learning curve to sanitary process.
 

GreenSmithGoodness

New Member
Joined
May 6, 2020
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
Long Beach
I want to bottle my fermented shrub sodas, but I don't want to kill the good bacteria with preservatives or pasteurization. Any suggestions????
 
Top