This section is from the book "The Manufacture Of Liquors, Wines, And Cordials, Without The Aid Of Distillation", by Pierre Lacour. Also available from Amazon: Manufacture of Liquors, Wines, and Cordials, Without the Aid of Distillation.
Fill two thirds full, a soda fountain or a well hooped oaken keg; this keg may be of any convenient size and well bound with iron hoops, and should be air-tight, to prevent the escapement - of gas; the keg should be arranged, in every respect, that it would be if any other fluid was to be drawn from it, with the exception that a Vent - hole will be unnecessary. Fill this two thirds full of clean soft water, and to every gallon add of super-carbonate of soda and tartaric acid, of each from one to three ounces. The more acid and alkali that is added, of course will generate a greater quantity of carbonic acid gas, and hence the briskness and effervescence will be increased in a greater ratio.
The soda and acid should, in separate parcels, be coated with sugar; this will be easily done by stirring them into hot melted sugar, and allowing it to cool. The object of this is to prevent the too rapid dissolution of these articles at the moment that they are added to the water in the keg.
This being concluded, the keg or fountain should be closed immediately.
The syrups for this beverage will be found under the proper head.
Carbonic Acid Water is commonly called " Soda Water" and " Mineral Water." The former name originally applied to the preparation when it contained a small portion of carbonate of soda, being from habit continued since the alkali has been omitted, and as this water is largely consumed as a beve-rage, a sketch of the apparatus employed in its manufacture may prove interesting to the non-professional reader.
This consists of a generator, gasometer, forcing-pump, reservoir or fountain, and refrigerator. The generator is usually formed of a wooden tub something like a churn, into which the diluted sulphuric acid is put; on this is luted a small cylindrical wooden vessel, through the bottom of which passes a wooden stirrer; this vessel is filled with marble dust, which, by the movement of the stirrer, is made gradually to fall into the acid below, generating the carbonic acid, which, by a lead pipe, is conducted into a gasometer; this is a large cylindrical tub, in which another is inverted, suspended by a pulley. As soon as the gasometer is full, which should have five or six times the capacity of the reservoir, the operation of condensing the gas into the latter is commenced. This is effected by a condensing pump, the chamber of which is made to communicate by leaden tubes on opposite sides with the gasometer and reservoir, The latter, usually called the fountain, is a very strong cylindrical copper vessel, with hemispherical extremities, tinned on the inside, and before receiving the carbonic acid, it is nearly filled with water. When the water has been duly charged with the acid gas, it is drawn off as it is wanted, by means of a stop-cock, connected with a tube which passes to the bottom of the reservoir. The tube may be of any desired length, so as to draw off the water at a distance from the reservoir, or the fountain can be placed under the counter, allowing the water to pass through a serpentine or worm, which is packed with ice. This serpentine terminates in a tube provided with a stop-cock above the counter.
The acid gas for the impregnation of the water, is always obtained from marble dust by the action of sulphuric acid, these being the cheapest materials for the purpose. Chalk may also be used, but is objectionable on account of its communicating an unpleasant smell to the carbonic acid. When sulphuric acid is employed, sulphate of lime is formed, which interferes with the action of the acid, and hence it is necessary to stir the mixture to render the decomposition of the carbonate complete.
Take a keg similar to that mentioned under the head of Soda Water, and to every gallon of clean rain water, add one pint of the decoction of liquorice root, which is formed by boiling three ounces of the root for one hour in a pint of water, then proceed to add to every gallon of the water, white or brown sugar, one quarter of a pound; oils of sassafras and aniseed, of each, ten drops; oil of wintergreen, six drops; brandy coloring or burnt sugar, one quarter of a pint; infusion of ginger, one pint. This infusion is prepared by boiling for one hour, four ounces of bruised ginger to every pint of water, and then straining. Having added to the keg the water, the decoction of liquorice root, the sugar - having first worked the oils up well in a small portion of the
Sugar - the burned sugar, the infusion of ginger, then add to every gallon of the water, two ounces each of tartaric acid and super-carbonate of soda. To make this very brisk, double the quantity of the soda and acid. These two articles must be inclosed in sugar the same as for soda water
Fermentation. - Under favorable circumstances, among which may be enumerated a uniform and proper heat, a sufficiency of fermentable matter, as yeast, saccharine matter, etc., the necessary amount of fermentation may be effected in a space of time varying from twelve to seventy-two hours. When fermentation sets in, it will be indicated by a frothy, foamy matter floating on the surface of the liquid. Usually, this froth is skimmed off, and when it discontinues rising, the fermentation is checked by the formation of alcohol. When the fermentation has reached this point, a sufficiency of carbonic acid has been generated in the liquid for the purposes of a beverage. The liquid will have a lively, sparkling, frothy appearance, and will be of a pleasantly biting and acid taste. At this point, it should be drawn into a fresh cask or bottle, and when the liquid is to be kept for any length of time, it should have from five to fifteen per cent, of proof spirit added, which prevents the farther progress of fermentation.