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Alcoholic soda water?

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Has anyone made this?! Keen to try it.

I'd made a ginger beer last month (and put nearly 1kg of raw ginger in it), tasted very dry, and could hardly taste any ginger in it. So I bought some Bickford's Ginger Beer cordial, added a small amount to each glass pulled, and it tastes awesome.

The idea is I brew the soda water (just water, say 2kg sugar, and yeast), and then I (well, more the wife) can add ginger cordial, raspberry cordial, apple cordial, whatever cordial she likes to each glass poured to change the taste.
 

Grmblz

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Hard seltzer, I don't understand all the fuss about brewing it, fill a keg with water and ethanol to your chosen ABV, vodka at a push or 96% if you have access to it ;)
Carbonate at 45 psi, job done.
 

MHB

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Put a long, long line between tap and keg.
M
 

Grmblz

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Put a long, long line between tap and keg.
M
Too true, or a stout tap with the little disc in it ;) Thanks for the info on that btw, that whole Canary Island plate thing had bugged me for years.
 

sp0rk

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I did 2 x 20L batches using white sugar to 5% abv (2.25kg maybe?) a good wine nutrient and EC1118 yeast
Then flavoured in keg with 2 x 1L bottles of bickfords cordial
I've since switched to 1L of 96% ABV neutral alcohol and still the 2 bottles of cordial and filling the rest of the keg with filtered & boiled tank water to make ~5% ABV
It's a bit sweeter than your average seltzer, but Mrs sp0rk & I both prefer it
 

sp0rk

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It's a brewing forum so we're not allowed to discuss distillation, even though many of us have more than one hobby ;)
I know this was argued the other week, but I'll keep banging on about it
It's not even mentioned in the current terms & rules, so unless the admin fixes that I can't see why it would be punishable
 

Grmblz

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I know this was argued the other week, but I'll keep banging on about it
It's not even mentioned in the current terms & rules, so unless the admin fixes that I can't see why it would be punishable
I believe the relevant condition is:
  • soliciting or promoting any criminal activity;
And the belief that distilling is illegal in Australia.

As I pointed out previously, it is NOT!
Having said that, there are conditions which need to be adhered to, and if these conditions are not met then it IS! illegal.

We had a similar situation years ago in the UK when home brewing was illegal (figure that one out) it was a stupid law made by stupid people trying to look after the interests of big business.
Of course everyone just ignored it, and I never heard of a single case actually being prosecuted, but we didn't have the internet, and site/forum owners fearful of litigation/prosecution.

I think it's a fair call to make that the vast majority of private still owners in Australia do not abide by the conditions imposed by the law.
So as a pedant, I can say yes it should be discussable, but as a realist, I think it would be about 5min's before someone posted something that referred to what could be construed as illegal activity.

eyeofthebeerholder asked a question, and I managed to answer it without breaking any site rules (I hope)

End of day even if all, and any distilling was legal in Australia, I like the idea of brewing forums and distilling forums being "each to their own" it's hard enough navigating sites/forums dedicated to one subject, let alone sites that accommodate more than one hobby.
just my 2 bobs worth. :cheers:
 

davemac

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Has anyone made this?! Keen to try it.

I'd made a ginger beer last month (and put nearly 1kg of raw ginger in it), tasted very dry, and could hardly taste any ginger in it. So I bought some Bickford's Ginger Beer cordial, added a small amount to each glass pulled, and it tastes awesome.

The idea is I brew the soda water (just water, say 2kg sugar, and yeast), and then I (well, more the wife) can add ginger cordial, raspberry cordial, apple cordial, whatever cordial she likes to each glass poured to change the taste.
I'm doing one of these at the moment. Ludicrously overpriced for what is essentially corn syrup, yeast and yeast nutrient but it's more a proof-of-concept and if it works I'll make my own from scratch in the future

Also, cost is an issue. 2 bottles of vodka to make 20l of seltzer comes in at c$60 the makings are closer to $20 and I'm carbonating under pressure to get a head start on the fizz

 

Grmblz

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Fair point about the cost of vodka, I haven't bought any for a long time so didn't really think it through, it's still a lot cheaper than the silly little cans of seltzer my local is selling. Actually, now I've got my thinking cap on, by the time and effort you've acquired your neutral spirit, it's quicker, easier, and cheaper to do as you suggest, and just brew it, my thinking may have been clouded by the fact that there's 20L of neutral lying around so just chuck a litre of 96% into 20L of water and carb was my first thought, Oh well, that's another good idea up in smoke. Let us know how it goes, I just might be able to wean my wife off champagne.
 

davemac

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Fair point about the cost of vodka, I haven't bought any for a long time so didn't really think it through, it's still a lot cheaper than the silly little cans of seltzer my local is selling. Actually, now I've got my thinking cap on, by the time and effort you've acquired your neutral spirit, it's quicker, easier, and cheaper to do as you suggest, and just brew it, my thinking may have been clouded by the fact that there's 20L of neutral lying around so just chuck a litre of 96% into 20L of water and carb was my first thought, Oh well, that's another good idea up in smoke. Let us know how it goes, I just might be able to wean my wife off champagne.
Yeah, I checked out buying 96% - $153 for 750cl was the best I could find :-(
 

davemac

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Hi mate, what recipe are you using ?
Just using the MJ kit I mentioned. Although given the contents I won't be using one again

My replica will be 2l of corn syrup to make up to 18l giving about 4.5% and I'll worry about flavouring/sweetening in the glass
 

goatchop41

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From what I've read on multiple forums, the issues that most people trying to brew their seltzers run in to are:

1) they aren't clear enough - apparently fixed by using dextrose as the fermentable;

2) they can have an odd 'earthy' background taste to them - I haven't heard of a fix for this, but I'm assuming that it would be fermentation related, and possibly solved by a combination of the right yeast + enough nutrient to keep it happy + the right temp
 

Hangover68

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Just using the MJ kit I mentioned. Although given the contents I won't be using one again

My replica will be 2l of corn syrup to make up to 18l giving about 4.5% and I'll worry about flavouring/sweetening in the glass

I just ordered the pineapple kit so i can test a brew for the missus but then will work on a diy recipe.
 

MHB

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If you wanted to brew something very neutral. Sugar or dextrose some clean fermenting wine yeast like EC-1118 (there are other wine yeasts with lower flavour but EC-1118 is so robust and temperature tolerant that its a bit of a go to), a smidge of nutrient.
When fermentation is complete add some Activated Carbon, leave it sit for a few days/weeks and filter it into a keg.
There are lots of forms of activated carbon, don't get fish tank or decolorising carbon, get one of the flavour absorbing carbons used for that other hobby that shall remain unnamed... If you aren't pushing the alcohol too high you shouldn't need too much carbon, the granular forms are pretty easy to filter out or leave behind in the fermenter. As goat said you can minimise off flavours, lower alcohol (i.e. brew to 5-6%), good yeast that likes eating sugar (wine yeast) a bit of nutrient (don't go OTT with the nutrient it has a flavour all its own) and controlled fermentation temperature will all help, the carbon should be able to clean up the rest.
Plenty available from most home brew shops, eBay etc.
Mark
 

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