SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

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Kennedy
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SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by Kennedy » Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:40 am

Our family goes through 3 or 4 Costco Kirkland brand sparkling waters a day. That stuff is awesome!

My spouse suggested we look into a SodaStream. Any input as to if the taste is comparable to the Kirkland version? How long does the fizz last once it's made? Worth it?

def6732
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by def6732 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:01 am

We love our soda stream. Taste will depend on whatever water you use. Best to use chilled water as it will absorb more CO2 and give you more bubbles. Water doesn’t hold the fizz for very long, but it is easy to “refizz” if necessary. We bought one for long term cost savings and to avoid plastic/glass bottles being manufactured, transported and thrown away as we too used to drink a lot of bottled sparkling water from the supermarket.

xb7
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by xb7 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:28 am

I have a soda stream too, and it works great for me. I think the fizz lasts just fine, and my local water is fine to drink. "Plain old water" is something that I don't tend to want to drink unless I'm pretty thirsty, but carbonate it and then I skip flavored drinks of various types.

If you find that you like it, I suggest getting a conversion kit (look online) to allow you to use a bigger CO2 tank than the little ones that are made for it. If I recall correctly, Soda stream makes money selling the "razor" (the machine itself) and different "blades": Flavored syrups, small high cost per unit of water carbonated co2 bottles, and then they encourage you to replace the bottles more than I think is necessary --- I've had mine maybe three years and haven't replaced any bottles yet.

I get my CO2 tank as a big honking tank of the type that you see in restaurants --- I get mine from a welding supply store. If I recall correctly I bought the tank, then when I take it for "refill", it's sort of like with a propane tank for the barbecue --- they swap for a full one and fill yours up again later and it goes to someone else. One of those tanks lasts me a year or so.

So with those caveats, I'm a fan.

windrose
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by windrose » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:41 am

I'm not familiar with the taste of the Costco product, but I really love my Soda Stream. I just use plain tap water.

I find it holds carbonation just fine, but I'll admit I drink them pretty quickly--usually within 24 hours... 48 hours at the most.

It is worth it to me. When you factor in the cost of the cartridges, it is no bargain, but I find it a lot easier than dealing with transporting/storing a similar item from the store.

mjb
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by mjb » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:08 am

I like my soda stream. I like that I only have to make the amount of soda that I want. I also like that I. Can control the flavor, flavor intensity, and fizz at will

onourway
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by onourway » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:09 am

We have a sodastream but my wife still drinks a lot of the canned stuff. I actually prefer the sodastream taste myself, but it is different than many of the canned/bottled varieties. I consider the ‘fizz’ to be a bit more intense from the sodastream, although this is somewhat adjustable by how much gas you inject.

We have city water but we filter it first. I find once carbonated the straight city water tastes especially bad. Carbonation lasts less than 24 hours in my experience, even with the caps closed tight. One issue is that it’s difficult to get a consistent level of carbonation from bottle to bottle. It should be based on how long you hold the injector down, but in reality that varies by the pressure in the canister and how much ice forms on the dispenser tip. I think this is largely why my wife doesn’t care for it - she has a hard time judging the right carbonation level.

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:56 am

Or the DIY approach, invest about $120 and make seltzer for about $.02 a bottle. The link below gets you the hardware, you also need to purchase a CO2 tank; each refill of the tank is about $20, we are going on 18 months with ours and still plenty of gas left.

https://www.kegman.net/home-seltzer-kit/
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells

ddurrett896
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by ddurrett896 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:25 am

the Costco water is so good I’m afraid to try anything else.

Topic Author
Kennedy
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by Kennedy » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:55 am

I noticed there are at least 3 different types of Sodastreams that are sold. Two are manual, but one of these has a CO2 gauge (I think), and the third is electric with just one button to push for consistent carbonation. Which do you recommend?

barnaclebob
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:06 am

If you really want a lot of carbonated water at the cheapest price, get a homebrew CO2 bottle/regulator (~$200?) and a soda bottle adapter for it. keep the whole thing in the fridge or find a way to route the CO2 tube in to the fridge.

CO2 refills are pretty cheap, I pay $15 or $20 to fill a 5lb bottle and that carbonates and dispenses probably 30-50 gal of beer.

Edit, just saw someone linked what I was talking about above.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:21 am

My 10 year old Soda Stream Penguin takes up very little room and is perfect for my needs. Any size glass at home, or my S'well with a sport top for the car.

onourway
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by onourway » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:42 am

Kennedy wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:55 am
I noticed there are at least 3 different types of Sodastreams that are sold. Two are manual, but one of these has a CO2 gauge (I think), and the third is electric with just one button to push for consistent carbonation. Which do you recommend?
The 'automatic' systems are of minimal use because of the issues I mentioned above - they don't take into account the continuously dropping pressure of the canister as you use it and they can't account for any icing that inevitably occurs at the tip. They basically just go by a set time. I find I just do it manually by ear.

redrocker
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by redrocker » Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:12 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:06 am
If you really want a lot of carbonated water at the cheapest price, get a homebrew CO2 bottle/regulator (~$200?) and a soda bottle adapter for it. keep the whole thing in the fridge or find a way to route the CO2 tube in to the fridge.
I've gone this route and while cost effective, it isn't as simple as putting the bottle in a stand and pushing a button. What I will be doing next is to get a soda keg and have a seltzer dispenser from a dual tap kegerator. Plus, I can condition tap water in bulk inside the keg to be closer to a "club soda."

alfaspider
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by alfaspider » Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:32 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:06 am
If you really want a lot of carbonated water at the cheapest price, get a homebrew CO2 bottle/regulator (~$200?) and a soda bottle adapter for it. keep the whole thing in the fridge or find a way to route the CO2 tube in to the fridge.

CO2 refills are pretty cheap, I pay $15 or $20 to fill a 5lb bottle and that carbonates and dispenses probably 30-50 gal of beer.

Edit, just saw someone linked what I was talking about above.
You can also get adapters to hook the soda stream up to a full size c02 bottle. We have a 10lb bottle we refill at the homebrew store. It lasts a year and refills for $20. Without the adapter, we went through the soda stream cartridges so fast it hardly saved money over buying club soda.

BanquetBeer
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by BanquetBeer » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:54 pm

If you really want to get frugal, you can get a home brewing CO2 tank for $50. Buy a cheap regulator for $50. Get a hose attachment for $20.

Now you have a ~5lb CO2 cylinder that can carbonate hundreds of bottles. Costs $15 to refill. Examples from online stores without looking for deals

https://www.amazon.com/Zebra-DNA-Luxfer ... den&sr=1-9

https://www.amazon.com/FERRODAY-Regulat ... den&sr=1-5

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0064OKADS/?c ... erieats-20

https://www.amazon.com/Dis-connect-Swiv ... 831&sr=8-6

you can also then hook this up to a pony keg if you feel like beer instead of water.

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Artful Dodger
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by Artful Dodger » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:59 pm

Kennedy wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:40 am
Our family goes through 3 or 4 Costco Kirkland brand sparkling waters a day. That stuff is awesome!

My spouse suggested we look into a SodaStream. Any input as to if the taste is comparable to the Kirkland version? How long does the fizz last once it's made? Worth it?
I'm with those who love their soda stream. We use home filtered water, and consider it just as good as bottled. I've never bought the Costco brand, but used to get Pellegrino or Perrier. I think they have a greater mineral content, and tasted just a trifle saltier, but again we're satisfied with the sodastream. The cannisters are $15 a BBB after a discount. Carbonation lasts as long as we need it.

Our normal flavor is just fresh lemon or lime. I know you can get additional ones including sweeter soda pop style stuff, but we just go the fresh route.

Reamus294
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by Reamus294 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:59 pm

Same here as others. We hooked up a 10lb air tank to our soda stream and use filtered tap water with no flavors. The tank is in a cabinet and the hose goes through the wall. We get it filled at a home brew store. Might throw a slice of lime, lemon, or cucumber in my glass afterwards. We've found that putting air into cold water holds the bubbles longer.

We used paintball tanks (larger than the soda stream cartridges) that we had filled at sporting goods stores and it worked well, but I always questioned the quality of that CO2 and the paintball air tanks (not as regulated from my understanding).

InvisibleAerobar
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:47 pm

As I'm about to lug my canisters back to Bed Bath & Beyond yet again, I'm seriously contemplating about the DIY solutions mentioned above.

Two main concerns are:

-How large is the foot print? My kitchen is small, and the Soda Stream machine is currently located on a small kitchen bench (along with my espresso machine and grinder). It's relatively inconspicuous. Would the DIY solution require a much large foot print (and perhaps require it to be moved to the garage?)

-How can I ensure that everything used is of food grade? If I could get all of the requisite parts from a home-brew store, i'd probably trust it, but a lot of the regulators and such look no different from the stuff intended for a research lab or a welding shop.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------

As for the OP, I've used mine for about four years now. Only thing I wasn't aware of was that the unit I bought could handle only the 60L recharge bottles (whereas others can handle 130L). The bottles hold the air pressure pretty well. It tastes just fine (but then, I do run my drinking water through a filter).

Reamus294
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by Reamus294 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:28 pm

InvisibleAerobar wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:47 pm
As I'm about to lug my canisters back to Bed Bath & Beyond yet again, I'm seriously contemplating about the DIY solutions mentioned above.

Two main concerns are:

-How large is the foot print? My kitchen is small, and the Soda Stream machine is currently located on a small kitchen bench (along with my espresso machine and grinder). It's relatively inconspicuous. Would the DIY solution require a much large foot print (and perhaps require it to be moved to the garage?)

-How can I ensure that everything used is of food grade? If I could get all of the requisite parts from a home-brew store, i'd probably trust it, but a lot of the regulators and such look no different from the stuff intended for a research lab or a welding shop.

If you use a sodastream adapter to a larger tank, it will take up more space. I feel confident about my home-brew store and the tank that I bought. Some of the stores have tanks that you exchange.
The adapter that I bought doesn't require a regulator gauge. There are adapters that you can use that don't hook up to a sodastream and hook up straight to a bottle. Then you can store your setup wherever it is convenient. My setup was most convenient for us.

Helo80
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by Helo80 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:31 pm

Kennedy wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:40 am
Our family goes through 3 or 4 Costco Kirkland brand sparkling waters a day. That stuff is awesome!

My spouse suggested we look into a SodaStream. Any input as to if the taste is comparable to the Kirkland version? How long does the fizz last once it's made? Worth it?
I go through a similar amount of either La Croix or Kirkland signature.... both are priced at about 25 cents each.... so maybe I spend $1 to $1.50 at most daily on the drinks.

Is it worth the hassle of buying a new product, keeping the CO2 on hand, having to use their bottles and not the soda cans, buying the syrups/flavors, etc?

UnLearnYourself
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by UnLearnYourself » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:38 pm

DRINKMATE is the way to go. Check it out.

With the Drinkmate you can carbonate more than just water. It injects the carbonation from the top so you don't need to run the fluid through your system.

With the Sodastream if you try to carbonate anything other than water it will not only void your warranty but you'll end up with a fizzy, sticky mess.

With my Drinkmate I've done apple cider, orange juice, water infused with all sorts of different fruits, I've carbonated wine, I've re-carbonated flat beer. It's amazing. Takes the same exact CO canister that the Sodastream uses. In fact you can use the Sodastream brand ones as well.

Bed Bath Beyond does an exchange of the drinkmate, I think WalMart does the sodastream. And any of these DIY workarounds will do the trick as well so long as you attach the same sized canister to your machine.

bhsince87
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by bhsince87 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:56 pm

I've had a Sodastream system for about 10 years. Before that I had a "homebrew" system based on a 20 lb CO2 cylinder that I used for literally, carbonating homebrew beer.

The Sodastream is definitely more expensive, but IMO, the convenience is worth it.

For one thing, it is almost instant. And it travels well. Carrying the machine is much easier than lugging around bottle and cans full of liquid.

We really like some of their sweetened (or diet) soda flavors. Much better taste than many brand names, IMO. But again, not necessarily cheaper.

I have 4 gas cylinders, and make the trek to Bed Bath and Beyond when I get three empties. That's maybe every 9-10 months.

If you like the flavored, unsweetened sparkling water, you can use extracts like this. We regularly use lemon, lime, orange, and raspberry. That is much cheaper than using the Sodastream brands.

https://www.amazon.com/OliveNation-Lemo ... 575&sr=8-6

If you're a fan of Perrier or such, you can just add a pinch of sea salt to your water before you fizz it.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams

InvisibleAerobar
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:05 pm

Reamus294 wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:28 pm
InvisibleAerobar wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:47 pm
As I'm about to lug my canisters back to Bed Bath & Beyond yet again, I'm seriously contemplating about the DIY solutions mentioned above.

Two main concerns are:

-How large is the foot print? My kitchen is small, and the Soda Stream machine is currently located on a small kitchen bench (along with my espresso machine and grinder). It's relatively inconspicuous. Would the DIY solution require a much large foot print (and perhaps require it to be moved to the garage?)

-How can I ensure that everything used is of food grade? If I could get all of the requisite parts from a home-brew store, i'd probably trust it, but a lot of the regulators and such look no different from the stuff intended for a research lab or a welding shop.
If you use a sodastream adapter to a larger tank, it will take up more space. I feel confident about my home-brew store and the tank that I bought. Some of the stores have tanks that you exchange.
The adapter that I bought doesn't require a regulator gauge. There are adapters that you can use that don't hook up to a sodastream and hook up straight to a bottle. Then you can store your setup wherever it is convenient. My setup was most convenient for us.
understood; what's the approximate footprint? something like 18 in by 12 in, with cannister/adapter another 24 in tall?
bhsince87 wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:56 pm
I've had a Sodastream system for about 10 years. Before that I had a "homebrew" system based on a 20 lb CO2 cylinder that I used for literally, carbonating homebrew beer.

The Sodastream is definitely more expensive, but IMO, the convenience is worth it.

For one thing, it is almost instant. And it travels well. Carrying the machine is much easier than lugging around bottle and cans full of liquid.

We really like some of their sweetened (or diet) soda flavors. Much better taste than many brand names, IMO. But again, not necessarily cheaper.

I have 4 gas cylinders, and make the trek to Bed Bath and Beyond when I get three empties. That's maybe every 9-10 months.

If you like the flavored, unsweetened sparkling water, you can use extracts like this. We regularly use lemon, lime, orange, and raspberry. That is much cheaper than using the Sodastream brands.

https://www.amazon.com/OliveNation-Lemo ... 575&sr=8-6

If you're a fan of Perrier or such, you can just add a pinch of sea salt to your water before you fizz it.
I guess i go through my cylinders a lot sooner (one 60 L cannister every five weeks or so). If my partner allows it, I may go the take out 4 and return 3 option as you mentioned...

Reamus294
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by Reamus294 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:47 am

InvisibleAerobar wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:05 pm


understood; what's the approximate footprint? something like 18 in by 12 in, with cannister/adapter another 24 in tall?

Depends on what size tank you want. A 10lb is about 20" tall and 7" in diameter.

alex_686
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by alex_686 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:04 am

Reamus294 wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:47 am
Depends on what size tank you want. A 10lb is about 20" tall and 7" in diameter.
Plus factor in the size for the regulator and hoses. It would not fit under the counter of my house - the drawers would get in the way. To make it unobtrusive would require some customized work. Note, I don't know if I have every actually seen a SodaStream in real life.

Follow up question of the forum - has anybody made homemade ginger beer using a SodaSteam? That is my primary use of a refurbished 5 gallon soda keg and a CO2 bottle.

alfaspider
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Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Post by alfaspider » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:17 pm

InvisibleAerobar wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:47 pm
As I'm about to lug my canisters back to Bed Bath & Beyond yet again, I'm seriously contemplating about the DIY solutions mentioned above.

Two main concerns are:

-How large is the foot print? My kitchen is small, and the Soda Stream machine is currently located on a small kitchen bench (along with my espresso machine and grinder). It's relatively inconspicuous. Would the DIY solution require a much large foot print (and perhaps require it to be moved to the garage?)

-How can I ensure that everything used is of food grade? If I could get all of the requisite parts from a home-brew store, i'd probably trust it, but a lot of the regulators and such look no different from the stuff intended for a research lab or a welding shop.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------

As for the OP, I've used mine for about four years now. Only thing I wasn't aware of was that the unit I bought could handle only the 60L recharge bottles (whereas others can handle 130L). The bottles hold the air pressure pretty well. It tastes just fine (but then, I do run my drinking water through a filter).
1) Footprint is dependent on the tank you buy. 5lb tanks are a bit bigger than a basketball, though I have a 7lb tank that is long and skinny. It can be concealed in a cabinet or put in the pantry. If tank size is a huge issue, you can get paintball size cartridges that are still much bigger than sodastream's, though refills probably wouldn't be technically "food grade". Not sure how important that really is.

2) I refill at the local homebrew store for food grade c02. $15-20 for a fill of my 7lb tank.

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