[NAFEX] Off Topic - Homemade carbonated drinks

Jay Cutts orders at cuttsreviews.com
Mon Sep 5 15:30:58 EDT 2011

Since we're talking about food, here's a favorite summer preparation. It 
can be made with fruit or with other sugar sources (maple syrup, for 
example, but not honey.)

This is a rough recipe for making a gallon of home made carbonated 
drink. I like to make it with ginger. I blend up fresh ginger (maybe 
half of a piece you'd get in the store) and strain it so I just have the 
liquid. Pour the liquid into the gallon jug.  Add some maple syrup.  
"Some" is a technical measure! You have to try out proportions for 
yourself. I put maybe a half a cup or so for a gallon of water.  By the 
way, I usually blend the ginger pulp in water a few times to get out all 
the good stuff. Then I top up the jug.  I like to add the juice of one 
lime, sometimes more. This is all to taste by experimenting.

Now you add maybe a teaspoon of bread yeast. I actually keep the yeast 
culture going in the jug once I have it started, so I don't need to add 
any more each time. In fact the yeast grows and increases as time goes 
on. The first time you can use the bread yeast and if you want, you can 
proof it first (put it in a small amount of warm water with some sugar 
until it starts to show signs of activity.)

Put the jug in a warm spot. In cooler weather I put it in the oven with 
the oven light on.  It only takes about 6 to 8 hours for the brew to be 
finished. Chill it before opening, as it may bubble over otherwise when 
you open it. The jug needs to have a tight lid to hold in the 
carbonation but if you let this go too long, there is the danger of too 
much pressure build up.

The drink is very refreshing and costs a fraction of buying carbonated 
drinks or carbonated water. It has a slight yeasty flavor, which you may 
have to get used to before you start appreciating it. The yeast 
provides  certain vitamins, so enjoy it.

There is no reason that  you can't add anything you want to the basic 
concept - a sugar, water and some yeast. I've added fruit juices or 
pulps (pulps tend to make the jug a bit messy) and even have a gallon of 
fizzy solution of Rose's Lime Juice at the moment, which is a big hit.

If your result is not very fizzy or if it lacks sweetness, add some 
sweetener. It will continue to ferment slowly even in the fridge, 
gradually becoming fizzier and less sweet. One word of caution is that 
honey doesn't work very well. It seems that many yeasts can't handle honey.

If your brew is very fizzy (especially when you first open it) you'll 
find that as you pour it, it kicks up the yeast goop from the bottom and 
you have to stop pouring.  With time and as the jug becomes emptier, the 
fizz decreases.



Jay Cutts
Director, Cutts Graduate Reviews
Lead Author, Barron's Test Prep Publications
(800) 353-4898
In New Mexico, (505) 281-0684
10 am to 10 pm Mountain Time, 7 days

On 9/5/2011 12:40 PM, Naomi Counides wrote:
> I made one.  I followed Lou's recipe sort of.  I wish I had followed it a
> little closer because my oven is a fancy bird with a circuit board
> controlling everything and it decided to take some time off (went dead)
> before the inside of the pie was cooked.  The crust looked grand.  So I put
> the pie in the microwave and hopefully cooked the filling.  That was the
> part of the recipe I did not follow, that and I did not measure how many
> grapes I put in.  I did it raw instead of precooked.  If I had done things
> the right way the dysfunctional circuit board would not have been an issue.
> Anyway, I will find out what I did at dinner time.
> I made a white peach ginger ice cream so there is a back up. I did not
> follow a recipe on that but it does taste very nice. Fresh raw, peeled
> Peaches with bits of candied ginger, half and half and honey.
> Naomi
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