Lacto-Fermented Soda(No Kefir Grains)
When I went to the San Francisco farmers market back in September, I was eager to stop by the Eatwell soda booth for their lacto-fermented soda. When I excitedly found their booth they had three flavors: apple, strawberry, and lemon verbena. You could order a flight and try all three which I did. The lemon verbena was my favorite, they use their own lemon verbena hydrosol to make it. I brought my own mug and got a cup of the lemon verbena, and after I finished that up I got a cup of the strawberry. The apple was good, but I preferred the other two flavors. I told the soda maker that I found out about the sodas from a blogger(Becks&Posh) and was excited to come try the sodas, since I wasn’t from the area she gave me a copy of the recipe. I was excited to find a recipe that doesn’t call for kefir grains. I received kefir grains last year from cheeseslave, and I tried to make a soda once with them, it didn’t turn out so well and I gave up.
First you have to make a base soda and for that you need:
- 2 cups filtered water(must be chlorine free)
- 1/2 cup of hydrosol, herbal tea or Fruit Juice
- 1/4 cup of organic sugar
- 1/4th cup of Whey
Heat the hydrosol, tea, or juice with sugar just to a simmer. Turn off the heat, add filtered water, mix. When temperature cools to about 100* add whey. Pour into a 1 quart mason jar and seal. Let sit for 2-5 days depending on the ambient temperature. Fermentation will progress more rapidly in warmer weather(the lactobacillus prefer temperatures of about 75* to 82*). Check it daily by loosening the lid a little, if you get a fizzing sound it’s working. After you hear it start to fizz give it an extra day or two. They do warn that the bottle can explode, which is why it’s important to check it every day to release a little gas.
Phase II Soda
- Jar of Soda Base
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1/4 cup organic sugar
- 1/2 tsp True Sea Salt
- 1TB Lemon Juice
In a 4 cup measuring glass combine the soda base with the additional sugar, the sea salt and lemon juice. Using a funnel pour equal portions into clean soda bottles or screw top wine bottles. Measure out the filtered water into the same bowl and divide it between the bottles. Cap tightly and leave in a warm spot for 2-5 days. Refrigerate at least one day then enjoy.
The recipe recommends using yogurt whey, I just used the whey from kefir. If you are not making your own yogurt or kefir and need whey purchase a container of yogurt that says “live cultures”. Next you will need some cheesecloth and a bowl. Place the cheesecloth over the bowl and dump one cup of yogurt over the cheesecloth, if you tie it up and let it hang that would work well, or have a bowl that is deep enough where the cheesecloth can fall into the bowl but it doesn’t touch the bottom of it and secure the cheesecloth so it won’t fall in. Let it drip overnight, the whey will be in the bowl. In the cheesecloth you will have yogurt cheese which you could put on waffles, or pancakes.
I used apple cider for mine, and it tasted like a wine cooler. Which could have been due to me using apple cider rather then juice, or I let it sit for too long. Once I bottled it I let it sit for 5 days and it was warm then, now that the temperature has dropped 10 degrees or so, it might be okay to sit for 5 days. I think the next time I make it I will using cranberry juice.
Why Lacto-Fermented Sodas? Cultured sodas are a great source of probiotic enzymes and electrolytes. Since the soda uses whey which is a live probiotic it helps maintain a healthy intestinal micro flora.
In”Nourishing Traditions” Sally Fallon writes “These beverages give a lift to the tire body by supplying mineral ions depleted through perspiration and contribute to easy and thorough assimilation of our food by supplying lactobacalli, lactic-acid and enzymes. If you want to read more about Drinkwell Sodas their website is here: http://drinkwellsoda.typepad.com
They made a cherry soda, using black cherry juice, now that sounds really good!