Monday, April 28, 2008

Going Grape

The Ginger Ale is gone, but I made a small batch (about 3 gal) of Grape Soda. I used Stevia (a "dietary supplement" which is very sweet) in place of some of the sugar. I still used about 1 cup of regular sugar and another 1/2 cup of brown sugar. I boiled down 4 cups of 100% grape juice (with the sugar) to a little over 2 cups, then added the Stevia.

The result was a very light purple tinge, and a slight sweetness, with an undertone of grape. I did add a shot or two of pure Pomegranate juice as well to the final mixture.

Off to the next project...ideas anyone?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ginger Ale

I made the my first 5 gal batch of soda today - Ginger Ale. I turned my previous 5 gal test batch of seltzer I made into the soda. Since I already had the seltzer made, I just opened up the Corney Keg and dumped in my Ginger Ale mixture and turned up the gas again. With the Corny Keg design, it is that easy.

The recipe needs some tweaking here and there, but I think I've got the idea down. It is weaker than I had thought it would be (I was trying not to make it too sweet or overpowering). I succeeded with that at least :-/

Below is the basic gist of how I eventually made the Ginger Ale:

Pot of water (I used about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup Honey
Large Chunk of Fresh Ginger (grated and/or chopped)
1/3 cup Lemon Juice
Splash or so of Orange Juice
Powdered Ginger (a few pinches or more) -- I thought it needed more ginger flavor next time I will buy more fresh ginger

Put everything in the pot and boil it until reduced to something more thick that when it started :-)
Strain floaties out if desired
Cool and dump into Corny Keg
Turn up gas to 30 - 40 psi and rock keg until to get tired (hopefully by this time you don't hear the CO2 flowing into the keg).
Turn down to 10psi or so and tap your self a drink.

Please note this is a work in progress and may make you 5 gal of liquid crap.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A Corny setup

I've almost got the Cornelius Keg setup completed. I purchased a Corney Keg from the local brew store (Brew at Home) along with an additional shank and faucet from a local liquor store (sorry, couldn't find a web site).

I dissembled some extra keg equipment to put a splitter on my regulator, drilled the holes in the keg-o-rater, and added the Corney Keg. I cleaned out the keg, filled it up with water and turned up the gas to make a batch of seltzer as a test (not to mention I drink seltzer, well you get the point). So we'll see if carbonating the water like this will do the trick before I waste all the ingredients for 5 gal of soda.

Next up... adding a Guinness tap (maybe).

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Well, I did it again....

I just can't keep to one thing. I think just got myself another new hobby (at least for the time being). A few weeks ago a neighbor mentioned something about it being cool if they could make Root Beer. I had never really thought of making homemade soda, so I looked it up (oh...the joys of the internet).

So, I made myself a 2 liter batch of Root Beer. A few days later I brewed a batch of Cream Soda. The Root Beer I made with regular baking yeast (yeah, yeah...the brew store was closed). It tasted fine, but had a (well let me be honest), it smelled like puke (to me at least). Then, it was onto the Cream Soda experiment. With this batch I took it upon myself to be "liberal" with the ingredients. I used Champaign yeast obtained from Brew at Home right around the corner from me (lucky me). I also substituted some honey for some measure of sugar. The final product smelled MUCH better and tasted quite good, but not particularly like Cream Soda (I think I used a tad more honey than I should have).

I think I am going to purchase a Corney Keg and inject CO2 instead of the brew method next. At the very least I can make some seltzer (I am an avid drinker of plain old boring seltzer, and this could save me a bundle).

Just what I need another new hobby. This might just lead to beer brewing.....