Late season, late night

For the first time in far too long I put down a couple of batches of soda on Friday night. Kind of late in the season by some estimates, and it was certainly late enough at night (didn’t get started till 11pm) but I’m pretty happy with it all so far and can’t wait to chill the bottles tomorrow.

Batch #1 is pretty simple:

Those of you who know the standard recipie are probably noting the extra 1/5lb of sugar for that much water, and I’m a bit concerned as well but didn’t think about it until it was too late. Why didn’t I put in the extra 1/2 gallon of water? It was 12:15am and I wasn’t thinking too clearly and still under the mistaken impression that I was going to get a third batch done also with 2.5 gallons. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. :-) However several people have mentioned previously that they really like my root beers with extra carbonation and when they are sweeter that it would be better more carbonated. So they’ll get sweet and carbonated this time since I’m going to let them run for an entire 72+ hours before I chill. Hopefully they aren’t sugar bombs by that point, but we’ll see.

I am much more excited about the other batch:

The flavor of the wort for this batch was absolutely stunning! I had high hopes for the addition of the honey and if that wort was any inidication this may be my best batch of soda yet. What I was particularly delighted about is that the African Skies tisane has such rounded sweet tones from the inclusion of the honeybush but they never quite seem to be completed, even by the washed raw cane sugar, but adding the honey gilded those tones so completely that it’s a bit difficult to describe. My only real worry is that since it is very good locally produced honey that there may be some wild yeasts that might take root and spoil the batch. I’ve got my fingers crossed though.

Something I did find when putting together this post is that Tea Source does not appear to be listing African Skies in their online catalog anymore! If so, it’s too bad, but I have plenty left over yet for making some more and it will give me a good reason to branch out and trying something else sooner rather than later. I did see a couple of items that looked particulary promising that might go into a batch. In particular Lavenderberry and Gingerbread Orange sound like intriguing options.

One more quick note, for those of us who had not been able to find it previously, it appears that Cost Plus World Market is now carrying GUS, at least in their Twin Cities locations. Their soda selection consistently surprises me, and finally being able to try these is quite a treat. So far the Dry Meyer Lemon and the Dry Cranberry Lime are both quite nice.

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