Sunday, August 4, 2013

Brewing Soda - Cherry Vanilla Cola

I brewed my first batch of soda in over 3 years!

This is the second time I have done "CVC". Unfortunately last time, I did not have a dedicated "beer" fridge and the batch over carbonated. Not to the extent that it was spoiled, but it was a bit volatile when opening a bottle... Look Out!! I also changed up the recipe this time in two major ways. Firstly I used a cherry juice blend instead of pure cherry juice because the last batch was way too tart for my taste. I also used a red wine yeast instead of an ale yeast--You could really taste the "beer" notes!

Brewing soda is actually quite simple. In fact you don't even need any special equipment! At its simplest, you put flavored sugar water into a sterilized bottle, add a little yeast, cap it, wait 2 days and you have homemade soda. The "flavored sugar water" can be juice or water flavored with an extract. Typically, if using an extract, more sugar is needed. You can use any extract sold in a grocery store, but there are companies that make extracts specifically for brewing soda.

Here is my recipe for this go around: 
  • 1 cup Water
  • 4 tbs Brown Sugar
  • 5" of Vanilla Bean
  • 2 tbs Cola Extract
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 gallon Cherry Juice Blend (100% juice)
  • 1/8 tsp Dry Wine Yeast

1. Put 2 cups of juice and the rest of the ingredients (except for the yeast) in a small pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Then take off heat and let sit covered for another 20.

2. Pour the remaining juice into a jug or bucket and add the pot of liquid.

3. Put the yeast into 1/4 cup lukewarm water and let sit for several minutes until the yeast is completely dissolved.

4. Pour the yeast mix into the juice mixture and thoroughly mix.

5. Bottle and then store in a cool dark place.

6. Test carbonation in about 2 days and again in 4. Refrigerate when carbonation is just right.

I have a bottle capper as part of my beer brewing supplies, so I bottle my soda in glass bottles. But you could reuse a large plastic soda bottle--Pour the final mixture into clean and sterile plastic soda bottle(s). Replace the cap and shake. Store at room temperature for 4-6 days. The firmness of the bottle will tell you the progress of carbonation.

If you are interested in brewing your own soda, I recommend the book "Homemade Root Beer, Soda &  Pop". 

Taken off the interwebs without permission