So, officially my wife tried the first bottle of cold soda. Problem was, she tried it only 2 days(Wednesday) after we first refrigerated, and minimum is 4 days. It opened with a bit of an overflow from all the carbonation, tasted sweet, yeasty(as homemade sodas tend to do), and very little like Root Beer. There was a hint of the flavor in the aftertaste, but merely a hint.
My wife's reaction? "This tastes like beer, but a lot better. If this is what beer tasted like, I'd drink it all of the time. So I guess it's a good thing that beer doesn't taste like this."
Oh, and yes, she did make some root beer bread. It was incredibly tasty, and maybe I can talk her into relating her experience on her own blog.
So, after telling her that it needs to age a little more, I went back to ignoring the soda for a few days. On Friday(the first day we should have opened it...), I pop open a bottle, and take a whiff...
It's...yeasty. That's the best way to describe it. It's tangy, sweet and slightly sourish. I take a drink-much like it was on the first try, but a little less yeasty then before. My wife has continued drinking it, and the girls have even shared a bottle or two. From our initial 28, I believe we are down to 15. My wife doesn't think it tastes as good now as it did the first few times she tried it, but I only detect more and more of the extract. I know from previous experience with other batches of homemade soda using extract that the longer the bottles sit, the better they are going to taste(up to a point), so the extract will just come out more and more. I just hope that it actually lasts long enough to get to that point.
So, let this be a lesson for all of you potential homemade soda makers out there...the longer you let a soda "age" in the refrigerator, the better it will taste when you get to it(at least a week is best). There's also no accounting for personal taste, however, so if you're more of a yeasty kind of person(as my wife is), you may enjoy it from an earlier point on.
I must go now, my oldest kitchen assistant has just requested breakfast and one of our sodas. I will keep you posted on this batch if it matures a little more. I'll do that if the soda does too.