Yeast is a very important ingredient for natural carbonation. Without yeast, you wouldn’t be able to naturally carbonate your drink as this live microorganism eats up the sugar which converts it to carbon dioxide and a very small percentage into alcohol.
Natural carbonation happens when you add yeast to your liquid that contains some sugar. For beer, for instance, after the fermentation process is over, home brewers add priming sugar before bottling. The yeast will then eat this priming sugar and converts it to the carbon dioxide but you have to know how long in days it needs to fully carbonate your beer and how much sugar to add to your beer. The best way to check if the carbonation process already gives the right amount of fizz to the beer, get one bottle and try to open it after chilled to see if the fizz generated is already satisfactory. If not, let it stay for a few more days until you are satisfied with the amount of carbon dioxide dissolved in the beer. Once satisfied, never forget to chill the bottles to stop the carbonation process. Otherwise, you’d end up with too much carbon dioxide that could lead to the explosion of the bottles. You also wouldn’t want the yeast to over-consume the sugar in the beer because that will lead to a bland tasting beer that fizzes too much.
In making soft drinks at home you too could add yeast for natural carbonation process. Make sure you use beer yeast and not the bread yeast variety. The bread yeast would still give the same effect of carbonation but it will add a bread-like flavor to your drink and that’s not recommended at all. The beer yeast is perfect for carbonation and you can use it even for soft drinks carbonation. This yeast would give a small trace of alcohol as by product when it consumes the sugar and turn into carbon dioxide but the amount of alcohol is small so it won’t have any effect on the taste nor will it get you drunk. Natural carbonation of soft drinks would leave some residue similar to that in beer and this is safe when ingested. This residue is a normal effect of natural carbonation.
Just like in beer natural carbonation, soft drinks natural carbonation must also be checked if the carbonation process is already enough by testing one bottle. Once you are satisfied with the fizz, make sure you refrigerate the soft drinks you just carbonized to avoid over carbonation.
The addition of yeast for carbonation is an inexpensive choice but if you don’t want to see the yeast residue and want to do it faster, you can also choose to force carbonate your drinks. You’d need a CO2 tank and have a complete set-up with regulator to produce carbonated drinks.
It’s fun to carbonate your own beverage at home and you can make great selection of carbonated beverage as you can carbonate any kind of drinks. Just make sure you keep the beverage cool as opening it when it’s warm will speed up the release of the carbon dioxide. You want the CO2 to stay in there while you’re happily enjoying your drink. Carbon dioxide is an abundant gas on our planet and it’s perfectly safe to consume carbonated drinks. What makes commercial carbonated drinks unhealthy is not the carbon dioxide but the many other ingredients they added to it.