Thursday, April 11, 2013

How to: Homemade Soda, Lacto-fermented

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. – Dr. Seuss 

This is the end of your labours after flavouring your soda base. Bubbly!
Take care – it's under pressure. You can get soda bottles at wine making stores.

It appears the winter worm may have actually finally turned.So it’s time to put down those snow shovels and start activities that have to do more with outdoor fun.

This is all you need, plus a jar.
What’s more fun than bubbles, eh? How about bubbles in your own homemade soda? Double fun!!

Last year I made soda and it really bears repeating, not only for all of you, but for me as well. Just so I don’t forget to do it again.

Making soda at home is really easy. All you need is sugar, water, ginger and a jar. It takes a while but is so much fun (especially for kids) that you hardly notice.

Making your own soda sounds like a little like kitchen magic. It kind of is, I guess.

From sugar and ginger, at the end of the process you have a starter base to make any flavour of soda you want. Some call the second stage “wort,” like when you make beer. 

You allow the wort and your flavourings carbonate, and then enjoy your labours. I’ll post about my flavoured sodas in a few days. If I don’t someone remind me.

It’s funny to think that soda actually started out as health tonic sold at soda fountains in pharmacies. Originally sodas were a way of extracting the vitamins and minerals stored in fruit, plant matter or roots.

This is what it looks like at the start.
Lacto-fermentation adds an additional dimension to homemade soda because the process of fermenting adds healthy micro-organisms that help our bodies absorb nutrients from food.

I don’t think any alcohol is made in this soda process, but then other people have posted their experiences have left them a bit...dizzy (shall we say.) I have to admit I felt a tingle.

This technique really, really works.

I have a homemade D&B syrup recipe that’s good enough to make you wet your pants. Search “docaitta dandelion burdock”. That is probably a contender for my first batch.

I need to get me some ginger. An’ then git my stil a-brewin'. Git your kiddies a-doin’ this too. They’ll have a ball.

Homemade Soda Starter
This is the same jar, after feeding for one week.
Time 1 week
1 L Mason jar
1 cheap pair of pantyhose (Dollarstore)
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp sugar (not honey)*

Every day maintenance:
2 tsp ginger, grated
2 tsp sugar

Fill the mason jar 3/4 full with spring water. Add the ginger and sugar and shake well. Cover with a piece of Dollarstore pantyhose and an elastic. 

If it's warm out you can put it on the deck during the day. The pantyhose lets it breathe but keeps critters out.

Every 24 hours for 7 days add the maintenance ginger and sugar. Taste it too. It should be slightly sweet and slightly gingery. What is happening is the ginger and water are using the sugar and converting it to culture. The amounts are approximate for maintenance and can be adjusted.

At first this will look like nothing, but slowly bubbles will start to form.

At the end of the week you will have a frothy soda culture which can be flavoured. It may take a shorter or longer time for this. The starter is ready when you can see bubbles at the edge of the liquid in the jar when it’s sitting on the counter.

After adding flavouring, ferment again to carbonate. This can be fruit, berries, spices, roots... So you’ll have to come back to find out how.

From your starter you can make strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, ginger, etc sodas.

* Don’t substitute honey. Honey has anti-bacterial properties that will inhibit the growth of the bacteria you need to lacto-ferment the liquid.


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