With my DH brewing beer these days, I had to try my hand at some good old fashioned cream soda. Don’t worry, we will be trying root beer and sarsaparilla sodas, too. But tonight, the cream soda is in progress. I can’t wait to try it, but as with real fermented sodas, you have to wait 36 hours (give or take) for the fermentation and carbonation to occur.
I took inspiration from Sodamancy, but with some significant changes. My recipe is below. First up, I cut the recipe posted in half, well, kind of.
I started by cutting my two vanilla beans into small pieces and adding them to 2 quarts of water.
Next, I added the Cardamom pods. I decided to use cardamom rather than cinnamon to give a little spice to the cream soda without the bitter aftertaste others reported from the cinnamon.
I added 1/4 cup of raisins…probably closer to 1/3 than 1/4, but who is measuring???
I also added the 2 cups of sugar. I used dehydrated cane juice and turbanado sugar. Both have a lovely, caramel flavor. I brought this mix just to boiling, then turned down and let it simmer for 20 minutes. The smell was amazing. After 20 minutes, I removed it from the heat and added 1/8 tsp cream of tartar. I also stirred in another 2 quarts of water.
It was a really long 30 minutes allowing the mixture to steep, but worth it. At the end of the 30 minutes, I proofed the yeast (added it to 1/4 c. warm water and allowed it to rest). After 30 minutes I strained my soda. I used a wire strainer lined with a clean tea towel. You could also use a coffee filter or cheesecloth.
Once strained and down to under 112 degrees F, I added my yeast and stirred very well. Now came bottling and capping. We filled the sterilized bottles leaving about 2″ of head space and capped them.
Now, we wait.
1 gallon water (split)
2 Vanilla beans, split and cut into pieces
8 Cardamom pods
1/4 c (heaping) of raisins
2 cups of sugar (1 c. turbanado sugar & 1 c. of dehydrated cane juice)
1/8 tsp of cream of tartar
1/8 tsp ale yeast
Start by bringing 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pan. Add the vanilla beans, cardamom pods, raisins and sugar. I allowed it to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cream of tartar and additional 2 quarts of water. Allow to cool for 30 min.
Next, activate the yeast by placing it in 1/4 c of warm water. Allow to rest for 10 min. While the yeast is activating, strain your soda. I used a wire mesh strainer lined with a clean tea towel. Make sure that the soda is not more than 112 degrees before adding the yeast. Stir completely. Bottle in sanitized bottles. Make sure to leave 2″ head space for the carbonation to work.