Lacto-Fermented Soda: Commercial and Wild yeast starters

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Lacto-Fermented Soda: Commercial and Wild yeast starters

Postby knewschool on Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:12 pm

RE: Lacto-Fermented Sodas
Hello,
I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on whether a commercial yeast starter such as the type available at homebrew stores ferments a different quality drink, probiotcially speaking, than a wild ferment starter such as a homemade ginger bug or leaving the wort (sweet herb water) to collect transient and indigenous microbes? whhheeew, long winded question.

Ive been making sodas for a few months now with the guidance of Stephen Creswell's Home Made Soda Pop and Root Beer. He says to use ale yeast as a starter. I have been doing this and the result is a fine, consistent fermented drink. It is nice and sour (so i assume its lacto-fermented) and carbonated.

But I've been suspecting that a monoculture starter such as commercial ale yeast wouldn't brew as healthy a drink as a wild inoculated culture drink. I'm kind of assuming here that the strength, diversity, and place-specialized strains of microbes is what determines "healthiness" of a pro-biotic.

So pro-biotic qualities are one thing. Lactic Acid is another. I understand Lactic Acid to be great for digestive health since it regulates and balances your stomach's optimal PH. I like my soda for that reason- I'm pretty sure the sour I'm tasting is lactic acid. (And I like it because now I can finally drink a carbonated beverage and not feel like I've been dosed with sugar!)

If anyone has any thoughts about the outcome of various starter cultures, I'd like to hear.
Thanks
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Re: Lacto-Fermented Soda: Commercial and Wild yeast starters

Postby Tim Hall on Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:08 am

I've never used a commercial starter for lacto-fermented sodas, so I can't comment about that. But I've always had good luck using a basic ginger bug as a starter for all sorts of recipes...doesn't have to be used exclusively for ginger beer. In fact I'm often alarmed at how rapidly the carbonation builds up. I've had ferments blowing caps off bottles within 48 hours using a ginger bug. I always enjoy the flavor from this technique too.
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Re: Lacto-Fermented Soda: Commercial and Wild yeast starters

Postby knewschool on Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:27 pm

Tim,

How interesting. I've never considered using a ginger bug starter for other drinks that don't include ginger in the recipe. I'll try it sometime. Thanks
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Re: Lacto-Fermented Soda: Commercial and Wild yeast starters

Postby kgg on Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:08 am

Tim Hall wrote:I've never used a commercial starter for lacto-fermented sodas, so I can't comment about that. But I've always had good luck using a basic ginger bug as a starter for all sorts of recipes...doesn't have to be used exclusively for ginger beer. In fact I'm often alarmed at how rapidly the carbonation builds up. I've had ferments blowing caps off bottles within 48 hours using a ginger bug. I always enjoy the flavor from this technique too.


hi,
i was wondering if you could just give some idea of the other recipes you've done. i live in istanbul and there is no variety of non-dairy beverages - coke has taken over completely - and i would really like to vary what we drink. i am working on the ginger bug (have had some challenges but i know i'll get there); i don't like using commercial yeast so i hope i can get the bug going. but i know we'll tire of that flavor. any thoughts/suggestions welcome, the less sweet the better!
thanks a lot!
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Re: Lacto-Fermented Soda: Commercial and Wild yeast starters

Postby Tim Hall on Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:52 am

Kgg, all you need on the most basic level is just enough sugar dissolved in water to ferment to a carbonated level. This is not much sugar, and the source of the sugar can come from all kinds of things: cane sugar, beet sugar, palm sugar, molasses, date sugar, honey, etc., etc.

Caramelizing any sugar in a pan with a little water will give you the characteristic caramel color of dark sodas - only this caramel is more natural than what goes into Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Molasses and other dark sugars are already caramelized to an extent, and will obviously darken sodas.

Ginger beer and root beer (real root beer ayway) are really just herbal tonics that are lightly fermented, carbonated and at least somewhat sweet. If you drink herbal teas, just imagine their flavors as a soda. You can take any herbs that make a good tea, and make them into a tonic soda. (You can even ferment sweetened tea or coffee, and with cardamom for a Turkish twist, if you like.)

You could also take lemonade, or limeade, or either of those with a splash of other fruit juices to make fruit sodas. Most lemonade or limeade recipes already have enough sugar to ferment to carbonation. You could then add ginger or other roots or herbs to make a fruit-and-root beer. The possibilities are really endless.
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Re: Lacto-Fermented Soda: Commercial and Wild yeast starters

Postby MikeSams on Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:07 pm

Do most people resort to natural fermentation for carbonation purposes for their home made soft drinks?
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Re: Lacto-Fermented Soda: Commercial and Wild yeast starters

Postby Tim Hall on Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:06 pm

I really don't know what most people do, but short of "force carbonating" with a canister of CO2, I don't really see what other practical options there are.

There's an article under the "resources" tab here by Charles Eisenstein. Interesting article and interesting fellow. Might want to check this out if you're into making soda:

http://www.wildfermentation.com/resources.php?page=economics
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Re: Lacto-Fermented Soda: Commercial and Wild yeast starters

Postby Aliyanna on Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:57 pm

For soda, what we have been doing is doing kefir, usually water with just apple juice, and then straining adding fruit such as raspberries, and some sugar...wasn't sure if honey would mess with the fermenting, and bottle it up in a food grade plastic jug and let it set til it looks like it is gonna blow...and then strain if you like and chill and drink.

Raspberries are our favorite, but other fruits work too. I like this as I feel like we are getting a treat and something good for us, too. Also do this with kombachu.

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Re: Lacto-Fermented Soda: Commercial and Wild yeast starters

Postby knewschool on Tue May 17, 2011 8:05 pm

Recently I've had little success with using whey (Strauss plain yogurt) as a start. Barely any carbonation was formed. I used half a cup to a gallon of wort (flavored sugary water). Maybe not enough whey?

Ginger bug sounds like a good way to go for starting drinks. I'm willing to assume it results in a more healthful drink than one started with commercial brewing yeast.

Also I've just gotten some water kefir grains, and have been doing a closed bottle second fermentation which has worked to increase the carbonation experience....smiles and more smiles. Carbonation rocks. Well unless it is in your kimchi bottles that when opened errupt brine all over your car. This happened to a person I know with one of my bottles. She was smiling when she told me the story...but probably not when it happened ;)
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Re: Lacto-Fermented Soda: Commercial and Wild yeast starters

Postby MelanieM on Mon May 30, 2011 2:13 pm

Tim Hall wrote:Kgg, all you need on the most basic level is just enough sugar dissolved in water to ferment to a carbonated level. This is not much sugar, and the source of the sugar can come from all kinds of things: cane sugar, beet sugar, palm sugar, molasses, date sugar, honey, etc., etc.



Tim, I loved many things about your post but didn't want to quote the whole thing ;-) My question is....what do I use as a starter for lemonade or limeade or herbal teas? All my experience thus far has been with water kefir (I add flavours during secondary fermentation) and kombucha (usually just have that plain).

If I were to try to make soda from herbal tea, for example, what would I use as a starter?
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