I’ve said it before… True Brews is a totally fun book. I’m looking forward to exploring more recipes, like the hard lemonade and the hard cider… maybe even some of the beers but for right now, I’m obsessed with soda.
Last weekend, I got a pound and a half of rhubarb in my CSA and immediately thought SODA! Rhubarb is tart and we really do enjoy a less sweet soda so I thought it was perfect.
I do wish my rhubarb was more pink so that I would have a prettier juice. I actually contemplated putting some red food coloring in there. But I didn’t.
The juice sat in the fridge for a few days so the bits that didn’t filter out would settle to the bottom. Which totally worked. I just poured it out into a big bowl and let the sludge stay in the jar. I added lime juice, sugar and pitched the yeast.. then bottled it up!
Two days later, I had lovely fizzy, tart rhubarb soda!
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Soda. The current scapegoat in the “war on obesity”.
I like soda… I like soda a lot. But I gave it up a while ago.. newsflash! Still fat. Take that you people who say “just cut out soda and you’ll lose 10 pounds!”.
I used to drink so much Mountain Dew that my “going away gift” when I left a previous employer was a case of Mountain Dew and a giant bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. Clearly, my food choices needed improvement.
But I’ve missed the fizz. Sure, seltzer.. okay… seltzer with fruit juice.. fine.. whatever. Home made syrups added to seltzer? tasty… but I cannot be trusted with it.. I’ll just drink it straight. Sugah Bomb! Soda Stream? no thanks.
I had expected that, like every other “soda” recipe I’d seen around, these would be “make this syrup, add it to seltzer”.. meh.. but NO! The soda is made in a sealed bottle with yeast!
I started laughing my ass off.. because this brought up this memory about this one time at band camp when I lived with my parents 20 years or so ago, I found a recipe somewhere (probably NOT the internet.. probably a magazine or something) to make “apple ginger beer”. The idea was you took apple cider, grated ginger and bakers yeast and mixed it in a glass bottle with a cork. Then every day, twice a day, you popped the cork so that you released the gasses that were building up. The cider turns to hard cider or “apple beer” if you will.
I knew about airlocks.. I did. But the recipe said to just release the gasses.
Let me tell you a little something about yeast. In my experience, yeast kinda of reach a point where they are just eating like little pigs and their carbon dioxide production increases rapidly. You know what else can happen?
A cork can shoot itself up 8 feet and embed itself in a drop tile ceiling. That, my friends was my first experience in brewing. It was not pretty.
But! I was willing to give it another shot. I decided to make the watermelon mint.
After a quick jaunt to the Homebrew Emporium to pick up some champagne yeast for less than a buck (oh and I may have ended up with some campden tablets and possibly a goat cheese kit and maybe another book on soda making..don’t you just LOVE a good Emporium?) and asking around for an empty two liter soda bottle, I was ready to brew up a batch of soda.
I wasn’t taking any chances at a messy clean up. That bottle was gonna hang out in the bathtub
After about 18 hours (pretty short.. but it was warm in the house) the soda bottle was rock hard. So into the fridge it went to slow the fermentation.
The next day, I poured.
You guys, this was amazing.. so refreshing! LOOKIT ALL THE BUBBLES! Very soda like without being full of chemicals! I did make another batch of Strawberry Lime soda recently. LB thought the watermelon was too sweet.
UPDATE: The Fabulous Marisa from Food in Jars has posted about this book with the recipe for Watermelon Mint Soda (as well as a Blackberry Kombucha) over on Table Matters. GO GO GO!
That’s the really awesome thing about True Brews… every section has a master recipe so you can design your own! (More on that later)
Oh and remember, there is a hella lot more in this book than just soda… kefir, kombucha, cider, sake, beer.. if it ferments, she’s got a recipe for it.