How to: Wild Brew Sodas

Wild brewing is a simple process that utilises naturally present yeasts and spontaneous fermentation to create a fizzy, fruity soda with a slight acidity taste that is delicious and also aids digestion and improves gut health. This wonderful process makes use of the many different strains of yeast (and bacteria) that are naturally present in the air and on the surface of many fruits and flowers to ferment a liquid, rather than by adding a manufactured yeast.

We’re got a wonderful volunteer at the Farm right now- Tim Greaves- who is a passionate chef, forager, and wild brewer. After moving back to Australia last year Tim has been flexing his brewing skills using some native ingredients foraged from the streets around his home.

Our Wednesday social gardening group have been the beneficiaries of his experiments and the feedback has been glowing- they are YUM!



You’ll need two categories of fresh ingredients for your soda; typically fruit or blossoms to create your “starter culture” and then aromatic leaves or additional fruit to serve as an aromatic flavour base. As an example Tim recently shared a soda he’d made with paperbark blossoms for yeast and a lemon-scented gum syrup  (Corymbia citriodora) for flavour.

You can get really creative and experimental with the flavour combinations. Interestingly it’s better to use foraged or home grown rather than shop-bought ingredients for your soda. That’s because shop bought produce has usually gone through a few washing processes, removing the natural yeasts and bacteria present on plants when their growing.

The other key ingredient of course is water, and rain water or filtered water is best. If using tap water let it rest uncovered on the counter overnight to allow the chlorine to escape.


The process

It’s nice and simple! After a quick inspection and a very gentle wash, place your blossoms / leaves in a clean wide mouthed glass jar and fill up 4/5 of the way with water. Depending on the naturally present sugars, add a little sugar or raw honey to taste and cover with a tea towel and leave on your counter.

Stir the brew three times a day for 2-3 days and the fermentation will commence. This is your “starter”. Then, create a flavour base using a simple syrup of water and sugar/honey and your chosen aromatics to which you add a little bit (approximately 10%) of your starter.  Strain the mix with the liquid going into a plastic screw top bottle (screwed on tight) and the food bits going into your compost.  Allow the bottle to ferment for a 1-2 day and when the bottle feels hard (because of the carbonation building up) transfer the soda to the fridge. Enjoy cold over ice, maybe with a garnish of the fruit or flower used.

This is a basic starting off method, but you can expand your skills by creating a ‘wild starter’ culture using things like ginger, green pine cones and Moreton Bay figs. Tim will teach this method in his classes.


Keen to learn more?

We often have workshops on this topic here at Perth City Farm. Check out our Humanitix page for the up to date list of workshops offered.

And please let us know how your wild creations go- tag us in your pictures or videos of your bubbling brews via Instagram- @perthcityfarm.