Making Home Made Soda Pop


I was at work yesterday and one of my co-workers who has started brewing beer recently asked if I ever made soda pop. His kids apparently would be very happy if Daddy made Root Beer instead of ale. I laughed and said ďbut of course I have,ďand promised to add a page to my website just for soda pop. Well here it is! A web page for making soda pop. I havenít made it in years so there wonít be any pictures for awhile but Iíll update it the next time I decide to makeit.


Thereís way to much sugar in commercial soda and itís really quite expensive. I grew up with home brewed soda and it was always an annualtreat not a daily drink like it is today. I also liked it because it wasnít as sweet as some of the bottled stuff they sell today.


Soda pop can be made completely from scratch or you can buy flavored extracts just like making beer. Making soda is somewhat similar to making beer Ė you need good quality water, sugar, yeast and flavorings. Beer takes several weeks where as soda only takes a few days. Beer can last for years Ė soda should be drunk in a few weeks. As with everything else you make - sanitation is very important!


One thing you must know about soda is that it is very easy to over carbonate! Over carbonation usually has explosive results. That being the case, stick with plastic bottles! Save the soda bottles from the store, wash them well and reuse them. Glass bottles have been known to become shrapnel Ė be safe use plastic!


To give you an idea about how easy it can be have a table for a basic recipe for extract soda (of course I have a table I always do donít I?).


Basic Soda Recipe From Concentrate


1 Gallon Batch

2 Gallon Batch

3 Gallon Batch


2 cups

4 cups

8 cups

Boiling Water

1 Quart

1/2 gallon

1 gallon

Cold Water

1 Quart

1/2 gallon

1 gallon

Dry Brewers Yeast

1/8 Teaspoon

1/4 Teaspoon

1/2 teaspoon

Soda Concentrate

1/2 oz.

1 oz.


Bottles Needed

12 oz Bottles




16 oz Bottles




2 liter bottles




3 liter bottles





1)Boil water, cool to room temperature add sugar and dissolve completely.

2)Add yeast and dissolve completely. Let it sit for 10 minutes

3)Add cold water - when water is luke warm add yeast and concentrate and dissolve.

4)Bottle, place in a cool place 3 or 4 days then refrigerate 1 week.

Do not use artificial sweeteners for this recipe!


4 cups = 1 quart

1 Quart = 32 oz.

1/2 Gallon = 64 oz.

1 gallon = 128 oz

1/2 liter - 17 oz.

1 liter = 34 oz.

2 liter = 68 oz.

3 liter - 102 oz.



It only takes about an hour once you collect what you need and just about any brewing supply store carries the extracts. If your are lucky they may even have in the spice section of you grocery store.


Here are a few:


Adventures in Home Brewing

Alternative Beverage

Homebrew Adventures

Homebrew Heaven


Midwest Supplies

Mr Beer (Rootbeer kit only - but Not bad!)

Quality WIne and Ale Supply

The Brew Hut

The Grape and Granary

Zatarains - the best Rootbeer extract!


Iím sure if you look around youíll find local grocery stores that sell soda extracts. I used to get Zatarainís Root beer at a local store but it seems to have disappeared. Not enough sales I guess.


A WarningAbout Rootbeer!


If you make Rootbeer in plastic the smell will stay there FOREVER Ė unless you can pack the container in newspaper! Newspaper will removed the smell of Rootbeer like nothing else will. If you put it in plastic bottles make sure you clearly mark the bottles ROOTBEER and only use them for Rootbeer or everything you put in it will have a Rootbeer smell!


Okay lets get stated!


What do we need? Soda is made from four ingredients; water, sugar, yeast and flavorings. Flavoring can be in the form of concentrated syrups, or something you extract the flavors from and liquefy. Most commonly used are concentrated extracts.



Water is your most important ingredient Ė If you wonít drink it straight from the tap donít use it to make soda! if you have chlorinated water boil it and let it sit over night or use a filter. Strongly chlorinated water will give really bad flavors to milder tasting sodas and even taint Rootbeer! We have city water and in the winter itís not bad but come summer itís awful. I use a water filter on the tap for all drinking, cooking and brewing water.



Simple plain white everyday cane sugar will do here. You can experiment with other sugars like honey or maple sugar or molasses but start with plain ole everyday white table sugar. Sugar come in many forms here are suggested uses of various sugars:


Sugar Amounts (Cups) Per Gallon
Cane Sugar (Sucrose) -2 Cups
Corn Sugar (Dextrose) -2.25 Cups
Brown Sugar -2 Cups
Maple Syrup -3.25 Cups
Honey -3 Cups
Molasses -3 Cups
Dry Malt Extract -3.25 Cups
Turbinado Sugar (Raw) -2 Cups


You can also make sugar free soda pop but as I understand it Ė it will not work with Champagne yeast. I donít know for sure Iíve never tried it. Youíll have to experiment. You can always taste it to see if itís sweet enough for your taste before its carbonated Ė itíll just be flat.



I prefer to use Champagne yeast it seems to make finer CO2 bubbles but regular bread yeast such as Fleishmanís or Star will work just fine and the kids will never know the difference in most cases. I donít think they spend anytime tasting it they just inhale it anyway!


Flavor Concentrates

This is strictly a personal preference. If you are buying bottled flavors or extracts there arenít a lot of choices except in Rootbeer.



Rainbow Flavors of Osage Beach, Missouri is about the biggest manufacturerof extracts

in the US. They market ĎOld Fashioned Homebrewí and come in many flavors Birchbeer,

Cream, Rootbeer, Sarsaparilla, Ginger Ale, Cherry, Cola, Orange and Lemon Lime,

Ginger Beer, Spruce Beer, Strawberry, and Raspberry extracts. Available at many grocery

and most Brew Stores.





Gnome Beverage Company from Salem Oregon - Gnome makes: Old Fashioned Vanilla Cream, Crystal Clear Vanilla Cream, Spicy Ginger Beer Extract, Autumn Red Birch Beer Extract and Rootbeer. Available at most Brew Stores.




Sprecher Brewing Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Sprecher extracts come in 1 gallon bottles and are meant to be used with kegs and carbonators but Iím sure you could make small batches and bottle it if you so chose. Thatís an awful lot of soda pop!


Sprecher makes: Rootbeer (regular and Lo-Cal), Raven Red, Orange Dream and Cream Soda extracts. Available at most Brew Stores.




Prairie Moon Beverage Syrup is one more company I have to mention here with a great selection of excellent flavor syrups for all kinds of things. I use them a lot for soda pop and shaved ice. I love shaved ice in the summer and this is where I get my flavors! They have over 60 flavors!!! You make a simple syrup consisting of 1ounce of their concentrate, 1-1/4 pounds of sugar, and enough water to make 1 quart when mixed. Their flavors include:



Almond, Amaretto, Butterscotch, Caramel, Chocolate, Chocolate Raspberry, Cinnamon, Creme de Menthe, Hazelnut, Irish CrŤme, Kahlua, Vanilla, Banana, Blue Raspberry, Cherry, Grape, Peach, Pina Colada, Pineapple, Pink Bubblegum, Strawberry, Tigerís Blood, ††Watermelon, Black Cherry, ††Chocolate, Cola, Cream Soda, Ginger Ale, Grape, Lemon, Lemon Lime, Orange, Root Beer, Sarsaparilla,Blackberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Coconut, Green Apple, Kiwi, Peach, Pineapple, Red Raspberry, Strawberry, and more!†† Only available at:


I have no idea what it is but Tigers Blood is my favorite flavor for shaved ice! I havenít used it for soda pop but I might give it a try someday!



Basic Generic Soda Pop Recipe


Equipment for 1 gallon:


6 quart or larger pot

Flavor Concentrate (usually 1 oz.)

2 quarts of boiling water

2 quarts of cold water

2 cups of white Sugar

1/8 teaspoon Yeast

Plastic soda bottles and caps (washed and sanitized)

Funnel (to fit into the top of the bottle)

Ladle (to pour soda into ladle)


Take about Ĺ cup of the cold and warm it to about 70 degrees. Mix in 1/4 teaspoon of yeast and dissolve well. Let this sit until you need it.


Put 2 cups of sugar in a pot big enough to hold at least 6 quarts. Add 2 quarts of boiling water. Dissolve the sugar completely.


Add cold water to boiling water to get lukewarm water. It may have to cool some before you add the yeast. If itís to hot you will kill the yeast!


Once the water is cool enough Ė about 70 degrees, add the yeast to the water and the soda concentrate. Stir to mix well.


Set a bottle in the sink and put the funnel in the bottle. Ladle soda into the funnel and fill bottle to about 1 inch from the top.


Remove funnel, wipe off bottle opening and screw cap on tightly. Lay bottle on its side to check for leaking.


If there are no leaks put bottles somewhere at room temperature for about a week. Then put them in the refrigerator to chill for a few days before drinking.


Itís a good idea to open the bottles over the sink. They will be really carbonated and could spew out all over the place!


WARNING! DO NOT USED GLASS BOTTLES! If You must use glass only beer bottles or champagne bottles can be used. If the bottles explode I wonít say I told you so! AND I wonít be responsible if you get hurt! Soda is more powerful than beer!



Instruction for Kegging Soda Pop


The keg must be full so make as much as your keg holds. (I.E. 3 gallon batch for a 3 gallon keg, 5 gallon batch for a 5 gallon keg etc.)


Make recipe as above doubling or tripling as needed,but pour into a sanitized corney keg. Wait dor a week then refrigerate keg. To dispense soda attach CO2 bottle just like beer or use the CO2 cartridge below. There is no need to carbonate the soda pop the yeast has already done that!


If I am expecting company I usually make 3 gallon batches and put it in a corney keg. Then I push it out using the small CO2 cartridges just like beer.


I got mine from Brewers Discount I love this little thing! Make sure to get the 16 oz. model it

lasts a lot longer!







More to come!




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