Tippletown Lemonade – Trial batch #1

Fed up with the added sugars and colourings in sodas off the shelf, we took it upon ourselves to make our own. Having tried our hand at watermelon and raspberry we decided to go for a good old fashioned lemonade this time round, but using honey as an alternative sweetener to sugar. Start off by halving your lemons and squeezing them as thoroughly as possible and collecting the juice in a mason jar. Next, dissolve some honey in hot water and add it to your lemon juice, then top with water.Now the interesting part. To make your soda fizzy you’ll need to ferment the juice. The fermentation process breaks down sugar and converts it into alcohol while releasing carbon dioxide. Alcohol is mostly made when fermentation happens anaerobically (without oxygen). Since there will still be plenty of oxygen present in the juice in the early stages of the fermentation, you won’t need to worry about it getting alcoholic for a week or so. So to stop your soda from turning into a hard lemonade you just need to pop it into a fridge after 18 hours, or longer if you want it to be that bit more fizzy, to stop the fermentation. This way your soda should end up being less than 1% alcohol.

Now the interesting part. To make your soda fizzy you’ll need to ferment the juice. The fermentation process breaks down sugar and converts it into alcohol while releasing carbon dioxide. Alcohol is mostly made when fermentation happens anaerobically (without oxygen). Since there will still be plenty of oxygen present in the juice in the early stages of the fermentation, you won’t need to worry about it getting alcoholic for a week or so. So to stop your soda from turning into a hard lemonade you just need to pop it into a fridge after 18 hours, or longer if you want it to be that bit more fizzy, to stop the fermentation. This way your soda should end up being less than 1% alcohol.

There are a number of different agents you can use to ferment sodas, have a look online about using kefir, whey or you could even culture your on ginger bug. For simplicity, we used standard sparkling wine yeast you can buy in a good brew shop. Add it to the juice mix, give it a gentle stir to make sure it disperses evenly, seal it up and let the fermentation begin! The released carbon dioxide will fill up the headspace in the container, and when that’s all gone it will start to dissolve back into the juice and form bubbles. After around 6 hours you should open the container just to let some of the pressure off and every 4 hours after that. We learned the hard way that if you leave it to build up until you’re ready to serve, get yourself ready for an explosion.

If it all goes well by the following morning you should have yourself a nice refreshing, sparkling lemonade. After all that hard work you may as well add a shot of vodka.

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