My wife recently brought home some cherry flavored “sparkling water” from the grocery store. She thought the kids might like it, but it is terrible to say the least. Tastes like straight Alka seltzer. But it got me thinking. What if a made my own flavored water and carbonated it in a spare keg? Or perhaps made my own energy drink or even root beer? Anyone ever do any thing like this, or is it seen as blasphemy to put anything other than beer in a keg (ironically, soda kegs)? Just curios as to what others think.
I’ve done root beer, ginger ale, sparkling cider, apple juice, etc. on occasion.
The keg makes it easy since you simply fill it with ‘whatever’, and force carbonate to desired levels.
Just be prepared to do a more rigorous cleaning and replacement of gaskets if you subsequently use the keg for beer again (so as not to taint any beer you later fill the keg with…flavors like root beer can be pretty persistent). You’d probably want to use a dedicated cobra tap as well.
Other than that, it’s pretty simple to dispense other carbonated beverages from a corny.
Several times for friends I have kegged Island mist wine kits to make sparkling wine coolers for them.
Awesome! I think it would be cool to make a kegerator and dedicate it solely for the purpose of making flavored drinks for the kids. Of course, it would only have one tap and not even be on the same floor of the house where I keep my beer (for obvious reasons). I think any kid would really dig being able to pour themselves a root beer from a tap handle. Plus, they would be “the cool kids” on the block .
I have been thinking of doing a root beer some time for my kid’s birthday. I have a double tower, so I could serve RB for the kids and actual beer for the parents. Super classy-like.
To avoid tainting kegs with sugary soda flavors, an alternative is to carbonate plane water. Then you can make soda syrup to mix with the soda water. I have a friend that does this to great success. The best part is you can have multiple soda syrups on hand, not limiting yourself to just one flavor at a time.
[quote=“jcw0220”]To avoid tainting kegs with sugary soda flavors, an alternative is to carbonate plane water. Then you can make soda syrup to mix with the soda water. I have a friend that does this to great success. The best part is you can have multiple different soda syrups on hand, not limiting yourself to just one flavor at a time.
Good idea. We actually just got a Soda Stream and that is basically how it works.
At the same time, it would be pretty cool to have free flowing root beer out of a beer tap at a kid’s birthday party.
+1 to a separate keg for soda
Recently made some root beer and kegged it to serve quickly for a party. It went over really well, but the clean up did not. After multiple cleanings I had to replace every plastic/rubber/vinyl piece that came in contact with the root beer. I’ll be bottling it next time!
One additional heads up - in order to carb soda, you’ll need to be pushing much higher psi of CO2. If you want to serve soda and beer off the same canister, you’ll need a dual regulator so you can push different psi to different kegs. There is a fair amount of debate on how much pressure, but to carb rootbeer, for example, assume 30 to 40 psi to get it carbed.
Carbing the soda is easier if you carb the water in the keg first, cool the sweetened soda base to the same temp and then add that to the carbed water.
Most soda dispensers dispense carbed water and mix with syrup at the tap for a reason - the density of the soda pop mix is difficult to carb.
I’ve dabbled in this and I suggest using two liter bottles and a carbonator - not as cool as serving out of the tap, but less a PITA.
I made and kegged hard lemonade I made. I found carbonating it allowed me to bump up the alcohol to excess of 10% without being able to even detect a hint of it. My recipe is pretty simple. Take pink country time lemonade powder boil it with 5 gallons of water to make a simple syrup. I would then sanitize the keg and pour this stuff into the corny keg. I would add enough Everclear to make it the amount of alcohol I want (calculating using algebra, apparently I will use that stuff outside of school). I would then seal it up, put it on my knee and give it a good shake to mix it up well. Then put in a fridge, carbonate and let cool. In a week you’d have some very alcoholic pink lemonade for a party. I would always change the seals before using the keg for beer again.
I use pink lemonade because my parents did when making alcoholic lemonade as a kid. They would always make pink and yellow, yellow was for me, pink was forbidden. So I’ve always associated pink lemonade with being alcoholic. I suppose you could make the lemonade with actual lemons, but that seems like too much work for hard lemonade.
I would love to keg up some mojitos… This summer I may finally go ahead and do it up. I think I’d still try to use fresh mint leaves muddled in the glass, add ice, then fill 'er up. I wonder how the lime juice would hold up in the keg, and if it would be better to use fresh-squeezed or bottled?
I do cider quite a bit and have a designated root beer keg and keep a line and picnic tap just for serving it. I don’t recommend running root beer through your kegerator lines.
My cousin is a homebrewer, too, and his family (including me) likes beer and… champagne… and stuff that resembles champagne, apparently.
So, he buys a couple of boxes of white wine and puts them in a keg and carbonates them (30+psi, I think?), then throws a picnic tap on it and brings the keg to family gatherings. There’s enough CO2 coming out of solution that he doesn’t need a tank to pump it - - it always has huge pressure behind it until it blows. And, it’s not champagne, obviously, but for some reason it’s a huge hit at these family gatherings.