Friday, August 30, 2013

Blueberry Soda

Are you ready for some more crazy in the kitchen with fermenting??! :) Now that you have a lovely little ginger bug going strong, and have mastered making your own homemade ginger ale let's try something more exotic!!! 


It took me a little while to become ok with using my precious blueberries for a drink. Seemed like such a waste! But seriously, people. Not only are you getting the antioxidants from the blueberries, you are also getting all the goodness of fermentation! So basically a double whammy in my book. Whenever we drink this for dinner, I consider it our serving (or two!) of fruit. 

If you have never made a homemade fermented drink before, I highly recommend you first read my post about making your very own little critter called the ginger bug. (You will need him in order to make this soda.) And then if you need help reviving your bug if he's been in the fridge, read this article.



Making Blueberry Soda:

You will need:

  • 1 gallon filtered water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups active ginger bug

1) Pour half of the water into a large pot on the stove. Stir in the sugar and stir till dissolved. Bring to a boil.


I use organic white sugar.

2) Stir in the blueberries. Bring the water back to a boil. 

3) Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.


4) Taste test your concoction if you like. :)

5) Pour it all (including the blueberries--this is different than the ginger ale) into a gallon jug/pitcher/whatever you can find.  

**Remember to place a metal object, such as a knife
in your glass jar so it can draw the heat into it
and not your jar which could cause it
to break.


Notice the metal objects.... :)

6) Use the remaining filtered water to fill your jar(s). Leave a little head space for adding the ginger bug!

7) Cover with a cloth and rubber band and allow it to cool to room temperature.


8) Once the liquid is cool, stir in the ginger bug. No need to strain out the ginger pieces. Just add those along with everything else! Stir vigorously! 


Those are ginger and blueberry chunks. Notice the bubbles.

9) Cover it back up and stir it two, preferable three, times a day for the next three or so days.

10) You will be watching it for bubbles. Usually it takes about 1 to 3 days to be ready. More or less depending on the strength of the bug or the temperature of the room. Keep in mind that the longer the liquid ferments the stronger it will taste.

11) Once you see and hear bubbles before you stir, it is ready to pour off and bottle up. 


NOW check out the bubbles! This baby is ready...

12) I use a hand held strainer to strain out the blueberries, but you could also use an old t-shirt or whatever you can think of. 


Straining it all off.

13) After you strain it all off, you can bottle the dark luscious liquid. The bottles you use are up to you. Some people prefer glass (like me) and some prefer plastic. Pros and cons to both. 


I've used quart jars, pint jars, and re-used glass tea bottles. Someday I would love to buy actual beer bottles. 
Whatever bottle you choose, just make sure
 it seals tightly otherwise you will lose that 
hard-earned carbonation!!!

14) When you fill your bottles, make sure to leave a tiny amount of head space so there is a place for the excess carbonation to go. Otherwise you might have an explosion. I've never had a problem with this, but I've heard some folks have had a bottle shatter. 

15) Allow the bottles to sit on your counter for about a day in order for the carbonation to build. Two days if your house is cooler.


Chillin' on the counter. I left a little TOO much head space
on these. The carbonation wasn't as good. At least
I think that's why...

16) Finally! You can place your soda in the fridge and drink away! It is the best over a big glass of ice. 

Now personally, I found this to be such a strong blueberry taste that I sometimes dilute mine with a little water. Makes it last longer, too. :) If you like a really fizzy drink you could even use club soda. This, like most really-for-you foods, takes a little getting used to! But I'm pretty sure if you give it a chance that you will come to crave this stuff. I now do! It's crazy.


*Notes: 

  • Do be careful when you open these right from the fridge. Open slowly until you can gauge how much fizz is in the bottle. I've had a few mason jars pop really loud plus a mild fizz explosion. Kinda fun, but makes me jump every time!
  • Also, I'm still trying to figure out why some bottles have a ton of fizz and others not so much. Is it the amount of airspace you leave? If you have any thoughts, let me know! Lacto-fermentation is definitely an art and a science...and a whole lot of fun. 
  • Lastly, these do not store indefinitely in the fridge. Slowly they are still fermenting so the longer you leave them in there the stronger they will taste. I've had mine in the fridge for 2 weeks at most and they have still tasted delicious. Just a heads up!




Bethany
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Disclaimer:
In order to protect myself from people who might take any information I have written out of context or use it in any way I do not intend...I must say the following: I am NOT a doctor. I take no responsibility for what you do or not do with any information I have written. My opinions and writings should not take the place of a  doctor...consult one of those if you need medical advice. Pretty much...please use common sense and I strongly suggest you do your own research as well. It's empowering!







2 comments:

  1. I will and must give this a try! Will this work for other berries? Blackberries perhaps?
    Your fizz amount can be a result of mutliple situations: residual sugars, residual yeast, foreign bacteria, temperature of secondary fermentation, chill-storage temperature, amount of head-space in containers- different sized containers have different fluid to air ratios, possible seal break causing CO2 to escape. Do be cautious with the glass you use. Some glass containers or lids are not designed for CO2 pressure build up- as some glass is tempered for extremely hot or cold temps or for shatter resistance.
    If there is a recycle center or drop off near you- you can always "dumpster" dive for capable beer bottles or other sweet glassware. I scored some nice gallon glass growlers, capable champagne bottles, and capable green decorated flat bottles (look like elixir bottles). Glassware can easily be delabeled, cleaned and sanitized for reuse! Tootles!

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  2. Mmm, thanks for this! I'm still learning and I know you've done a quite a bit of brewing. Love the dumpster diving idea. Haha I would love to score me some gallon jars!!! Oh and for sure this would work with any type of berry or fruit. And if you don't want to use that many cups of fruit, I found 6 cups of blueberries to be a little strong. I actually would dilute mine with a little water. James liked it, though, so it's totally personal preference.

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