Homemade soda pop *Update* added linksSubmitted by MaxK on Sat, 05/21/2011 - 11:21
I've been experimenting with cooking lately, and since if all disappears, I have to have soda pop..
You can make soda pop with sugar and yeast and flavor in a closed 2 liter plastic soda bottle. The yeast ferments, creating C02. The bottle is closed, and causes the C02 to be under pressure; the C02 under pressure and the very slight raise in alcohol (this isn't beer) kills off the yeast.
Add 1 cups sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of yeast to flavor (Vanilla for cream soda, ginger for ginger ale. I haven't tried sassafras for root beer yet) - flavor to taste (1 tablespoon is common), and fill with lukewarm water to 1 inch of the top. Swirl ingredients together, and screw on cap. It takes 1-2 days for the pressure to build up enough, which you can tell by giving the plastic bottle a squeeze to see if it is hard). When it is, refrigerate a few hours and serve. Don't over-pressurize, and open up over sink and away from face (just in case).
I've tried varying the amounts of yeast and sugar, but this appears to be fairly balanced as to how fast the yeast grows etc - less sugar and it has come out flat. Refrigeration serves to slow / stop more yeast giving off C02, but I suspect it may also stabilize the C02 bubbles, giving it a better pour.
Recipe is similar to many that appear in cookbooks in the late 1800s, and also appears to be how the first rootbeers were made. Priestley (contemporary to the founding fathers) seemed to be the first to use this 'fixed air' in a drink. (Discovered from beer vats).
Personally, I'm finding that I enjoy the home made stuff more than the store bought. It is also healthier if you don't want corn syrup in your pop.
Has a bunch of links to old recipe books with homemade soda.
Rootbeer and a bunch of other interesting pages on things
Relating it to beer making (and how much sugar for just carbonization)