Monday, September 29, 2008

Soda Pop Fermentation & Carbs

I am experimenting with making my own old fashioned diet soda pop. I have not tried my first batch yet. So, if you duplicate my experiment, I can't be held responsible if it bombs. I'm sharing the experimental recipe in hopes of getting help calculating the net carbs.

Old fashioned soda pop is carbonated naturally via fermenting sugars rather than carbon infusion. To cause carbonation, my experimental base recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of white granular sugar (about 24 carbohydrates), just enough to allow the yeast to work. Carbonation happens as the yeast breaks down the sugars. So, I can't help but wonder, how many of the carbohydrates will be consumed by the fermenting yeast? Any science buffs out there want to tackle this for me?

Here the recipe I am going to try:

1/2 gallon water (zero carbs)
1/2 teaspoon concentrated liquid sucralose (equiv. to 2 cups sugar, zero carbs)
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar (24 carbs from sugar, needed for fermentation)
4 tablespoons ginger (4 carbs from sugar)
Juice from 1/2 a lemon (2 carbs from sugar)

Boil the ingredients above. Then mix in the following:

1/2 gallon water, room temp. (zero carbs)
1/8 t. active dry yeast (0.1 carbs from sugar)

Bottle (in plastic) and let sit at room temperature for one week.

The total recipe has about 30 carbs from sugar. But after fermenting, the carb count should be much lower. I suspect it may be near zero but am not sure how to verify this hypothesis. Is there any one out there who is good at chemistry and wouldn't mind tackling this question for me?

Of course, I could get my pop down to nearly zero carbs by forgetting about fermenting yeast and going out to buy an expensive soda siphon with expensive carbon chargers. But where's the fun and money savings in that?

Note added Oct. 11, 2008: The experiment failed. Read the results by clicking this link.

1 comment:

The Bionic Broad said...

The last time my family tried to make home-made soda, as soon as my father poured the diet Kool-Aid powder into the carbonated water, the whole thing exploded, leaving my dad and the ceiling very, very red. Good luck!