Friday, September 11, 2009

Cascade Malt Soda

So this was an idea I had tossed around for awhile. I know that there are other malt sodas out there, but I didn't know until recently that malta goya is actually hopped, must be triple hopped ;) The idea originally occurred to me when I forgot to add a bit of an unfermented PA to the carboy. The wort had sat out for ~1hr and I had already pitched the yeast, so I drank a bit of it and thought it was pretty damn good. I didn't have a carbonator cap then so I didn't have the chance to carb it up and drink it properly.

This time as well, it was pretty much a last second thing. In the gose/wit I just brewed it rained all day and I didn't quite get the boil off rate I had hoped for so I ended up with an extra gallon or so of wort. I decided, partially because I over bought cascades last year, that a good way to burn some hops would be to throw as much as I could at that 1gal and boil for 15min. I also topped the wort off with a bit of DME to raise the gravity a bit - when I tried the unfermented PA it was a bit thin bodied and wasn't as sweet as I would've liked. In the end this is what I came up with

Cascade Malt Soda

~0.5gal: ~54IBU: OG 1058

0.4 lbs Pils
0.4 lbs Wheat Malt
4.0 oz Light DME

0.75 oz Cascade (7.2%) - 15min
0.50 oz Cascade (7.2%) - KO

Notes - I scaled down the original beer malt bill to 0.5gallon to show what the recipe was, I took ~0.5gal of wort that was boiled with hops to ~17IBU and used that as a base for the soda. This is why the IBU is ~17IBU higher than you would get just by entering in the cascades I list. A 15min boil was used to finish the beer, and it was bottled while still very hot to preserve all that hoppy goodness. The pot I boiled this in was pita to clean, there was soo much hop resin on the sided that I was able to scraped off and rolled up a little ball the size of a pea of resin!


Appearance - A very very hazy greenish golden tan, reminds me of a very yeasty looking hefe. Very thin head that quickly dissipates to a thin lacing

Aroma - Oh man, when I popped the bottle open it was amazing! At first you get a huge blast of cascade hops, it smells like you just opened a bag of hops and stuck your head in, the finish has an amazing grainy sweetness to it, it smells just like the first runnings of a mash. As the carbonation dies down a bit the malty/bready aroma becomes much stronger.

Taste - As the first sip hits your palate there is a very nice bready sweetness that is perfectly complimented by a strong bitterness. The hop flavor screams grapefruit, its almost like I'm drinking sweetened grapefruit juice. While it is sweet it isn't cloying, and the bitterness lingers on the tongue until your next sip.

Mouthfeel - A very full body, with med-low carbonation (50psi) It has a very velvety feel to it, almost shake-like.

Drinkability - This surprised me, I thought it would be good but in a very different way. As it stands now its almost like drinking a non-alcholic IPA. It really is an amazing drink. I think this one is definitely going to be something I do with late runnings quite often.

Notes/Thoughts - I'm digging this malt "soda: a lot, and I think it could be a really good way to understand the flavor/aroma of a hop very quickly. Its also pretty easy to drink of a hot dehydrating day in the desert with out getting a headache! This is definitely something to try out for yourself, there's little to lose, I mean its only a gallon of late runnings after all.


Ducks said...

I have not even dipped a toe into brewing or soda brewing, but my spouse has a congenitally damaged liver and can't tolerate alcohol, but adores the aroma and flavors of beer. Can you break down some of the acronyms and instructions for an absolute newbie, or is this still outside my reach? It sounds aaaaaamazing.

Ryan said...

PA - Pale ale
DME - Dry malt extract
LME - liquid malt extract
IBU - international bittering units
OG - original gravity - how much sugar to start with
KO - knock out - after you turn off the heat


If you dont know how to brew, I would just use the DME/LME to get the level of sweetness correct. The grains will make things complicated.

Good luck and if you need any more specific help/instructions please send me an email and I'll do my best to help out (


Ducks said...

Thank you! I cannot wait to try!

Katherine said...

I want to try this recipe but I have a few questions...did you add yeast to carbonate the soda? how long did you let it sit for?
I have been trying to make an unfermented beer myself but everytime I end up with a weird malty taste and not the crisp taste of beer. Did yours end up more like a NA Beer or a malt soda taste?

Thanks, Katherine

Ryan said...

Katherine, I did not add yeast, instead i used a 2L bottle and a carbonator cap to force carbonate the soda

I dont think that youll ever get away from the really malty sweet taste without fermenting and actually making beer, but in this "soda" the huge amount of hops and bitterness help to really cut that taste, and are the prominent flavor

Katherine said...

hmm okay, it sounds interesting. there is not much info on recipes for NA malt beverages but this one caught my eye. i will have to try it.

Ryan said...


Please be sure to add slightly more hops than I did in the listed recipe.

This is due to the fact that I had used wort that already had ~17IBU in there, I would guess that ~another 0.25oz to start with should be more than plenty

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