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View Full Version : How does Carbonation effect flavor?



spleefy42
05-09-2009, 01:13 PM
Hi,

I'm curious if anyone knows of any resources or has any insight into the effects of force carbonation on flavor. For example, does force carbonation cause sweet drinks to seem less sweet or more sweet? Does it just add body? Just wondering if anyone has any perspective!

Thanks!

Medsen Fey
05-09-2009, 01:51 PM
I am not sure about any good resources for reading up on it, but CO2 when dissolved in a solution of water forms carbonic acid. This increases the acidity of the solution and may lower the pH a bit. It makes the solution more tart. As it bubbles out, it may also make the drink seem more aromatic as the CO2 carries other volatile aroma compound with it causing them to be released faster.

If you want to compare the effect, take the soda of your choice and open the top to let the pressure out. Keep it sitting out at room temp long enough for it to go completely flat, and then stick it back in the fridge. When it is cold, take it out, along with another soda (of the same type, and also cold) that has not been opened and do a side by side comparison.

I expect the flat soda will taste cloyingly sweet and syrupy without the acidity from the CO2 to balance it. Understanding this balance will help you to make sparkling meads that taste good. :)

Medsen

spleefy42
05-09-2009, 04:21 PM
Wow! Fantastic! That, actually, is exactly the information I was looking for. That sounds like an interesting little experiment as well. Thanks!

Meister Jäger
05-13-2009, 02:55 PM
Have you tried the experiment? I just got to this post. I will try myself, but I was wondering if you did this and what your thoughts were.

Beertracker
05-14-2009, 09:58 AM
I can only add that some mead combinations work very well carbonated while others may not. Understanding your honey (floral source), pH e.g. acid additions & other ingredients are very important. I often carbonate small mead samples using an empty PET bottle & carbonator cap which helps me determine whether I should carbonate a whole batch to increase the mead's attributes. Let your senses be your guide. :cool:

:cheers:

Dan McFeeley
05-14-2009, 11:03 AM
Along with the slight acidity added by carbon dioxide in solution, there is the tactile effect of the bubbles that also contributes to the flavor profile.

You don't have to worry too much about balance of the acidic effect of carbonation with the sweetness of the mead -- a well aged and dry mead can be vey nice when carbonated.

Medsen Fey
05-14-2009, 11:29 AM
You don't have to worry too much about balance of the acidic effect of carbonation with the sweetness of the mead -- a well aged and dry mead can be vey nice when carbonated.

Quite true! As an extra brut (dry) Champagne can also be excellent.

If you are making a sweet sparkling beverage, the bubbles and acidity may make it taste somewhat less sweet, and that is where adjusting the balance can be helpful.

Medsen