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Carbonated Alcoholic Water.

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Luek

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I read a topic recently about making bourbon and cola fermented water and bottle carbonating, and I've been thinking about trying something weird since.

I'd never attempt the above because even at the best of times, a palatable form of cola that doesn't come in pet bottles labelled "coca~cola" is bloody rare at the best of times... a thought cemented further from many failed sodastream attempts with every cola syrup I've ever seen.

I was considering laying down something like sugar, yeast, water, yeast nutrient, and rack to secondary with "no added sugar" cordial and bottle carb.

I see a problem with this though, and that's in the amount of time and effort wasted if that particular flavour isn't very good, especially if I get ratio wrong etc

I thought perhaps I could leave flavouring until I decant, and work out amounts as I go.

So my question I guess, has anyone made bodgy alcoholic soda water like I intend to?
If not, some broader knowledge would be appreciated in regards to the following details:
- what yeast/s impact flavour the least?
- what would be the best sugar for zero flavour?
- how much sugar would be needed for 5-7%abv?

I'm not awesome with the calcs up top when I do weird shit like this.

If you intend to give me a hard time with questions like "why bother?", what's the point of home brewing if you're not willing to experiment considerably.
 

Maheel

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it will taste like crap (sugar, yeast, water, yeast nutrient)

i think you would be better just tipping a very clean vodka into a keg with water and carbing it up
 

Luek

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Don't have keg stuff.
On the wish list but with kegs come a lot more equipment I frankly don't have the room or fridge space for, especially when I'm moving soon.
 

Greg.L

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I hear this sort of thing is quite popular in gaol, otherwise known as prison hooch.
 

Luek

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Maybe I should get a pen pal.
 

manticle

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I don't want to crap on your idea too much (although alcoholic soda water is the antithesis of everything I enjoy about home making alcoholic beverages) so why not just start with the most basic, cleanest ingredients you can and work from there?

Pure water, a couple of grams of food grade calcium or a good yeast nutrient, a neutral yeast like US05 or a clean lager yeast and dextrose. Ferment at the low temp end of the range specific to the yeast you are using. Let it finish properly, condition at ferment temps for a week, then cold condition for a couple of weeks, carbonate and see what happens

I've not done anything like this (nor will I ever) but in another world, if I were to approach it, that's what I would do. If it turns out crap, either abandon the idea, learn what went wrong and fix it, or learn the arts of illegal stuff wot discussing here is verboten of. Quite.
 

MHB

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Pretty easy to do (and perfectly legal) if you are happy to stay at around 5-7%, just use white sugar a touch of nutrient and a good clean yeast (I would use Champagne AKA EC1118), you can assume that a yeast like that would attenuate nearly all the way (i.e. eat all the sugar), the simplest approach would be to make a standard 22.5 L brew then bottle condition that.
You have two problems first getting rid of any flavours from the primary ferment the answer is to add some activated carbon after fermentation is complete, best to rack first then leave on carbon for about a week before bottling. It might be a good idea to reseed the bottles with just a touch of yeast.
Second is most of the easily obtainable cordial type flavours have too much sugar if you add them to the bottle they will way over carbonate and probably explode, better to make the clear fizzy and perhaps to carb that fairly highly then make up the mixed drink in the glass.
To get 5% ABV you need about 95g/L of white sugar as you are diluting in the glass to get 7% you would need about 130g/L, go any higher and I think you will start to have serious flavour issues.
Mark
 

Luek

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"add some activated carbon after fermentation is complete"
Don't follow this bit. Needs equipment I don't have at this point, I'm guessing?

Just had a look around, don't have any yeast nutrient, but I do have a brigalow brewer's yeast (read dead yeast makes good nutrient).
Going to work soon, so after work may do the following:
- boil brigalow yeast and 1.2kg Coles sugar in a few L of water for 15 min
- cool overnight, dump in fermenter, top to 10L
- pitch sn9

all these ingredients I have sitting around my house. for anything else I'll have to wait til tomorrow (big w) or Monday (local hbs). I'll check topic for "oh good god don't use Coles sugar/sn9 you twit" before I do anything though.

rack in week or so and bottle after another week

ps mark you don't own that hbs across from wickham park do you?
 

MHB

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"add some activated carbon after fermentation is complete"
Don't follow this bit. Needs equipment I don't have at this point, I'm guessing?

Snip

ps mark you don't own that hbs across from wickham park do you?
What a teaspoon if you're that hard up I will donate one
carbon is only $7.50 for 500g of which you need about 50g, EC 1118 is on special for $1.50, nutrient, well enough for 25 L is under $1 so not exactly an expensive brew.

Yes i do own that hbs across from wickham park
Mark
 

Flewy

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I'd look at water purification systems if that's the way you want to go... ;)
 

Luek

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Mark, waited until colder weather to start this. Did the following about (lost my diary... just started new one) a week ago:

Brought 1.3kg dex to boil in a few L of water and took off heat.
Boiled some water, put ec 1118 in at about 35*c (I say 'about' as thermometer wasn't fully immersed) then sprinkled yeast in water, stirred 15 mins later, waited another 15 mins then stuck in some of the boiled sugar water... a while later it was fizzing (so yeast wasn't dead).

Tipped pot contents all in fermenter and topped to 12L, sg was about 1038
Tipped in yeast and about 1/3 teaspoon nutrient

Now its stalled I think. Took a reading today, 1032. Smells a bit shit but tastes like sugar water with floaty yeast bits

Recommendations anyone?

Might have to hit local brewstore and ask him what his cleanest yeast is and pitch that too. I know he has sn9
 

Maheel

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whats the temp of the liquid ?

if below 20 maybe warm it up to say 20 and see if it moves
 

Luek

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16 now, about 14 at night. I read 1118 can go as low as 10? Thought it'd be warm enough.

Will a towel or two do anything for temp if that's the issue?
 

Maheel

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well warming it might get it going, can you take it inside somewhere warm etc

but if it smells crap dump it and try again

sounds like about a $5 investment lost ...
 

Luek

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Took another sample, doesn't smell anywhere near as bad as first, must have been just the yeasty smelling.

Sat on hot water system, we'll see what happens over the next week.
If it hasn't picked up by next week I'll start again with SN9.
 

nathan_madness

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Done this a couple of times and just added Vanilla essence to it to make creaming soda. SN9 always leaves a yeasty taste unless you use charcoal. Just ask at you local home brew shop they will have it.
 

Luek

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I have some charcoal.

Even though I've read several times that the fermenter thermometer is unreliable I've always assumed it's only a few degrees inaccurate... my regular thermometer says ambient temp is 9*c... so liquid may be too cold.

Cider with SN9 is bubbling away nicely in same area (in fact it's NOT on hot water system so colder)

Gonna get SN9 after work tomorrow and pitch over. Or will two yeasts impart too much flavour?

Am I better off getting more dextrose and starting new?

Hmm maybe even boil liquid to kill current yeast (more nutrients for SN9)?

So many questions!
 

barls

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just add sn9 is a killer like most wine yeast.
 

nathan_madness

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Nutrient. You have to add more yeast nutrient. I have been adding 5g to the 23l batch.

9deg is to cold for SN9 it won't die from the cold it will just go dormant till you warm it back up.

If putting carbon in it is not really working, you can filter it through a carbon filter like the spirit guys do.
 

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