Friday, February 26, 2010

Homemade Soda Making

These days, I have sugar cravings in the form of soda. I don't know what's gotten into me! I've been able to satiate myself with some wonderful Columbia Gorge juices (Red Ginger Limeade is such a winner!), but now I think it is time for the real thing: homemade soda.

Ginger ale is very easy to make:
1 empty 2 Liter plastic bottle
~ 1 C of sugar
~the juice of 1 lemon (or lime. I love lime!)
1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
2 Tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
water, to fill the bottle almost full (a couple inches from the top)

The levels of ginger, citrus, and sugar can all be changed according to personal preference. For example, for an extra bite in my soda I add more ginger and less sugar. Today, I realized I had barely any ginger, so I added the juice of 1 lemon AND 1 lime. I had maybe a teaspoon of ginger so I added that too. My hope is that it will be a more Sprite/7up taste with a slight zing of ginger in the end.

After putting all the ingredients in (dry stuff first, then the lemon and ginger) I swish them around in the bottle before filling it with water. A note: Yeast feeds off of sugar. So I want to make sure the yeast is evenly distributed in the sugar and juices and that's why I swirl everything around before letting it all sit. The mixture then sits for about a 1.5-2 days in a warm dry place. My bedroom.

Another note: The plastic 2 liter is important because this mixture becomes pressurized as it ferments. A glass bottle could explode if you left the bottle capped for days and days. But it shouldn't get to that point, the soda is done after a maximum of 2 days.

When the soda is ready, the bottle with be very VERY firm. Put it in the fridge overnight to stop the fermentation process (this works because the yeast gets too cold to be actively eating the sugars. Brrr.). The bottle should be opened with care so that it doesn't explode everywhere. Just like any other soda, open it pole, pole (slowly, slowly) as they say in Sawhili. I even take it a step further and open it over a sink. But, I am cautious person.

Pour the soda over a strainer and into some glasses and your are done! Photos to follow...

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