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might be the best yet. I think that's probably mostly because I've let it mellow a few days. (It is important to occasionally let out some of the CO2 to prevent explosions!) But anyway here are the main changes from the recipe that I tried this time:

(1) 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey.
(2) 3-4 tablespoons of ginger.
(3) 1 dried chili pepper.
(4) 1/4 tsp cinnamon.
(5) 1 tsp vanilla.

Very gingery. A little bite but not too much. Not too sweet. I may stick with this variant the next time I make ginger ale.
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This morning the bottle of root beer was hard so I put it in the fridge for a few hours and then, after a lengthy period of bleeding off excess carbon dioxide, gave it a try. I think it turned out quite well!

No video this time but some photos are behind the cut )
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I was at the grocery store today and noticed they sold root beer extract, so ... here's the recipe.

Changes made from that recipe:

I used 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, and 1/4 cup honey. In retrospect I should have added the honey after step 9 ("Half fill the bottle with fresh cool tap water") because it appears to have trapped some of the yeast against the bottom of the bottle. I'm hoping it will dissolve as the mixture warms up. Edit: Actually just jostling the bottle around for 10-15 minutes seem to have done the trick -- though there is still a chunk of undissolved brown sugar at the moment.

In addition to the ingredients listed, I added 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/16 tsp nutmeg, a splash of vanilla, and a little lemon zest. Any or all of these might be mistakes but I gotta be me.

I tried using a little less water than I did with the ginger beer but I'm not sure if I succeeded or not -- if so it is probably not enough of a difference to matter. Oh well.

The claim is that this will take 3-4 days to be done, which I am a bit doubtful about after the ginger ale was done about three times as fast as it was supposed to be. We'll see how it goes.

Since last time I tried making soda I have invested in a funnel and a sieve, which should help to facilitate further experiments along these lines.
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[livejournal.com profile] secritcrush posted a link to this ginger ale recipe by an Ohio biology professor (which includes links to the chemical reactions involved in making ginger ale) recently and yesterday I decided to give it a whirl. I made some modifications based on [livejournal.com profile] secritcrush's experiences and also based on personal whims, etc.

She said when she made it it was a bit sweeter than she'd like so I decided to use 3/4 cup sugar instead of half a cup. I also probably used more ginger than the recipe called for, though I didn't really measure it. Finally, I added 1/8 tsp cinnamon, with the idea that it would make it spicier, although as I dumped it in I found myself thinking, "this is probably a mistake." (But at least I didn't throw any pepper flakes in, which I was also considering doing. I probably shouldn't improvise on recipes when it's midnight and I'm low on sleep.)

The recipe says that it should take a day or two for things to ferment sufficiently, but after eight hours the bottle was hard as a rock. This freaked me out a little and I started worrying about explosions (which the recipe also warns about). I put the bottle in a garbage bag (because garbage bags are proof against explosions) and stuck it in the fridge. Around midday today, assuming no mishaps, I'll open the bottle and report back.

I'm not sure why it fermented so quickly. Maybe the yeast I used was particularly active? I used less sugar than called for so I would have expected it to ferment more slowly if anything. But I think [livejournal.com profile] secritcrush's batch also fermented more quickly than expected so perhaps yeast technology has changed since 2006.

Some premature thinking about future soda making:

Owning a funnel would have made some things easier and I may invest in one.

I was given a 5-pound jug of honey recently so I may try using some of that next time. Brown sugar also seems like it would be worth trying. Maybe add some vanilla?

Speaking of vanilla, the same gentleman who wrote the ginger ale recipe has a recipe for root beer with modifications for making cream soda, so I might try that as well sometime.

Edit: The ginger ale has been opened. Here, have a video:

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(Subject line from random piece of spam.)

I was inadvertently reminded by [livejournal.com profile] everybabyweeps that over the past couple of years I've written a bunch of reviews of different kinds of soda. I had some sort of grand plan to put together web pages with pictures and everything but that has never happened, so I figured I would link to them here, where at least I could keep track of them.

22 August 2002: Dr Pepper: red fusion

24 October 2002: Bubble Up, Genuine Faygo Delicious Rock & Rye! Artificially Flavored Creme-Cola

25 October 2002: Kickapoo Joy Juice: The Original Dogpatch Recipe, Moxie Cherry Cola

2 May 2003: Doctor Whatever (my reviews of soda that [livejournal.com profile] manfire sent me start here)

7 May 2003: non-alcoholic sangria SENORIAL Natural and Artifical Flavor Sangria Flavored Carbonated Beverage

8 May 2003: INCA KOLA, the Golden kola, the golden carbonated beverage

9 May 2003: SANPELLEGRINO LIMONATA SPARKLING LEMON BEVERAGE

13 May 2003: Sanbittèr

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Jacob Haller

October 2015

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