Bio Mate Soda
“Materva” has become a symbol of Cuban diaspora and nostalgia of pre-Castro Cuba, “Club Mate” is the preferred and signature drink of most alternative engineering cultures (a.k.a hackers), and “Nativa” became a known Coca-Cola market flop in Argentina. What unites those three drinks is the idea of carbonating the famous mate tea into energizing soda pops, or gasiosas de mate.
Inspired by these famous drinks, and of our love for Ilex paraguariensis, a.k.a yerba mate | chimarrão, we decided to brew our own homemade version of yerba mate soda. On this page we will post photos of the project and experiments, as well as news of new batches in the making.
We are experimenting with different ways of using fermentation’s CO2 for making sodas-pops, as well as working with forced carbonation. We are open to the wonders of microbiology and to trying different starter cultures for fermentation.
For general recipes of specific batches, please refer to our GitHub page.
PIF Camp, 30.07 – 06.08.2017
Fermented Soda Mate – Day #0
Our PIF camp production was quite fruitful, doing all-together 22l of experiments with naturally fermented mate soda.
First, we brewed 15l of mate base, adding 600g of Cruz de Malta mate + 500g of white* sugar + a pinch of sea salt.
* White sugar is better as it is easier/faster to break down into glucose – that stuff that bacteria loves :).
As we only had 6 days for our experiments – quite a tight period for fermenting stuff – we separated the 15l into a 10l demijohn and 5l into different flip-top bottles. The 10l was going to be our main high-speed train for fermentation – we added a whole bottle of yeast from kombucha and a scoby just for giving that extra push (the yeast is often quite quick in eating the sugars).
The rest 5l we bottled using different fermenting cultures: yeast from jun tea, water kefir, ginger bug & whey. Each participant labelled their experiment and we put them in a dark place.
Yeast was eating the sugar and we had already some nice bubbling action on the surface of the demmyjohn. We decided to put the flip-top bottles outside to get higher temperature (outdoor temp. was 27-28C), covering them from direct sunlight.
We had another bottling session adding water kefir, ginger bug and jun tea yeast. We also kept a 2.5l loosely-covered jar adding 150ml water kefir. Kefir should, in theory, introduce least taste while still making the mate well carbonated.
Chilling and enjoying hiking around Soca valley :)…or just making Atari Punk Consoles!
On day 3 we bottled the 10l demmyjohn, adding local Soca valley herbs to the already fermenting mixture – calamintha, wild carrot, oregano, thyme, setrae & some dry figs curtosy of Denisa Kera. Herbs could add flavor, but also even some extra fermentation cultures – here 1, 2 some info on the natural presence of lactobacilus bacteria on fruits’ skin & plants…
We finally decided to taste our batches. Most resulted very carbonated – even over-carbonated…so best is to open-close quickly in order to remove the overhead CO2 gathered inside the bottle. We also did a tasting session, rating which ones tasted the best :). Winner was Mojca’s Thymate bottle, mixing the kombucha-fermented big batch with thyme herbs.
Batch 10, 16.07.2017
We have been trying to make naturally fermented soda from mate. Here a couple of photos from our experiments:
Batch for Blockchain què? @ Nau Bostik
Last November we did a small batch for the Blockchain què event at the Nau Bostik. Here are pictures of our [messy] production process:
Useful links & materials
- Make your own soda: syrup recipes for all-natural pop, floats, cocktails and others by Anton Nocito (preview at Google books & available at your local gen-library 🙂 )
- Homemade root beer, soda & pop by Stephen Cresswell
- Homemade soda by Andrew Schloss (also available at your local gen-library 🙂 )
- Open Mate by HackPittsburgh
- Matedor – Open Mate syrup for SodaStream machines
- SudoMate by SudoRoom, Oakland
- MetaMate – hacking mate and other info on mate. A nice video from Chaos Communication Camp, here
Corny kegs & carbonation
- Check the carbonation sections in the Brewer’s Association Draught Beer Quality Manual
- Kegging Beer or Soda
- Corny Keg carbonation instructions
- En castellano – link aqui