The Cola warning is a great addition to the safety forum. Would be a good idea to re-post this Brine tutorial in Sauces Rubs and Marinades, probably be seen by more people...JJ
BTW...Regarding Brines...Herbs and spices on the other hand are used specifically to add a secondary, complimentary flavor. This could really be any number of ingredients, but some common examples include thyme, cloves, cinnamon, pepper corns, bay leaf, mace, etc. You can also use aromatics such as onions, carrots, celery, peppers, etc.
The surface of meat works much like a very fine filter or sieve. This means that only the flavor compounds dissolved in the water will actually be able to penetrate the proteins surface and effect its flavor. Using heat to infuse flavors into your brine first and then straining out the ingredients will ensure a more consistent result since some flavors will continue to diffuse into your brine over time.
This can't be true!!!! Meathead said so...