Home Carbonation

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Barefootgirl
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Home Carbonation

Post by Barefootgirl »

Do you enjoy your home carbonation machine? Soda Stream, Soda Sense or the like?

Any tips for use?

I love the mineral water Topo Chico because to me, it tastes much better than seltzer. Hard to explain and esoteric maybe, but the bubbles seem to have a softer, "smaller" flavor...smoother if that makes any sense.

I'm just finding my Topo Chico habit is getting to be expensive...especially now that we are heading into summer.

Thanks!
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JoeRetire
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by JoeRetire »

I know a few friends who have a carbonation appliance, although I don't know the brands.

They take up space in a closet now. Used for a few weeks, then no more.
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tyrion
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by tyrion »

Everyone in our 4 person household drinks seltzer water. We go through a lot of cans of it so I bought a Sodastream.

The Sodastream works well. A few comments:

If you have a local store to do cylinder exchanges that works best. If you add shipping costs to the equation it adds up. It runs about $15/cylinder and there's a place nearby that does the exchanges for me so not a big deal.

It doesn't get quite as carbonated as canned seltzer. I'm fine with this, but my wife things it's just 'okay'.

It works best on cold water, so I pre-fill a couple of liter bottles and keep them in the fridge until I'm ready to carbonate.

They sell flavors, but I found that cocktail bitters are cheaper and more interesting. Grapefruit, Black Cherry, and Peach are all good in my opinion.

We skipped all the sugary additive options. Ginger ale, soda, etc. We don't drink a lot of those, but I can see some value in being able to whip up a batch of ginger ale or whatever if you needed it for a cocktail recipe.
vtMaps
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by vtMaps »

I used the sodastream for awhile. The seltzer it made was twice the price of canned seltzer. --vtMaps
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Millennial
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by Millennial »

If you drink a lot of soda water, consider getting a kegerator. You can often find used ones for decent prices, and the soda water they make is nearly free.

I spend $20 to fill a CO2 tank about once a year. It makes 50-75 gallons of soda water from our tap water. The process is pretty simple - fill a keg with water, hook it up to CO2, and wait 3-5 days. I have two kegs, typically one carbonating and one serving, to allow a.continuous supply.
wolf359
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by wolf359 »

tyrion wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 5:30 pm Everyone in our 4 person household drinks seltzer water. We go through a lot of cans of it so I bought a Sodastream.

The Sodastream works well. A few comments:

If you have a local store to do cylinder exchanges that works best. If you add shipping costs to the equation it adds up. It runs about $15/cylinder and there's a place nearby that does the exchanges for me so not a big deal.

It doesn't get quite as carbonated as canned seltzer. I'm fine with this, but my wife things it's just 'okay'.

It works best on cold water, so I pre-fill a couple of liter bottles and keep them in the fridge until I'm ready to carbonate.

They sell flavors, but I found that cocktail bitters are cheaper and more interesting. Grapefruit, Black Cherry, and Peach are all good in my opinion.

We skipped all the sugary additive options. Ginger ale, soda, etc. We don't drink a lot of those, but I can see some value in being able to whip up a batch of ginger ale or whatever if you needed it for a cocktail recipe.
To reduce the cost of operating the Sodastream significantly, you can buy a CO2 bulk fill adapter, and use a larger CO2 tank, or one of those paintball gas canisters. It then costs a few bucks to refill it at a sporting goods store, paintball shop, or maybe an industrial park.

This is the type of thing I'm talking about:

http://www.sodamod.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjws ... 77EALw_wcB
https://www.williamsbrewing.com/Home-Br ... ll-Adapter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeZmesxhk8Y

Disclaimer: I have not tried this myself. I don't actually own a Sodastream. I'm aware of people who have done this. These aren't recommendations of specific products, but rather, the first hits I got when I googled "Sodastream bulk fill adapter".
Dottie57
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by Dottie57 »

I think it would be fun. But expensive for my casual use and take up too much space.
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noraz123
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by noraz123 »

wolf359 wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:58 pm
To reduce the cost of operating the Sodastream significantly, you can buy a CO2 bulk fill adapter, and use a larger CO2 tank, or one of those paintball gas canisters. It then costs a few bucks to refill it at a sporting goods store, paintball shop, or maybe an industrial park.

This is the type of thing I'm talking about:

http://www.sodamod.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjws ... 77EALw_wcB
https://www.williamsbrewing.com/Home-Br ... ll-Adapter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeZmesxhk8Y

Disclaimer: I have not tried this myself. I don't actually own a Sodastream. I'm aware of people who have done this. These aren't recommendations of specific products, but rather, the first hits I got when I googled "Sodastream bulk fill adapter".
I use my Sodastream daily.
Drink at least 1 L per day of carbonated water. Definitely cheaper than buying from store, but not as cheap as I'd like.

So I bought the Sodamod adapter and a couple larger, paintball-like canisters. They work great, but it hasn't saved me much, if any money.

I live in a HCOL area (bay area), and the nearest place I found that will refill my tanks is in San Jose (30 minutes drive without traffic). And the cost to refill is the same as just buying/exchanging Sodastream cartridges at the store. :annoyed
TimeTheMarket
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by TimeTheMarket »

I held off buying one fearing it would not get use. I had a decade+ Coke Zero addiction.

Got a sodastream a year ago and we use it constantly. The convenience of not physically moving a lot of soda around is good, plus their coke is actually amazing. It’s like coca cola’s discontinued c2 product, which was half regular soda and half artificial sweetener.

Sodastreams diet cherry cola is total trash but most of their flavors are excellent. When ours breaks I’ll buy another.
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michaelingp
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by michaelingp »

I have been thinking about this because I drink a lot of seltzer. It seems the big selling point is not adding tons of plastic bottles to the environment. Anybody buy this argument, or do you think plastic bottles can be recycled efficiently (all mine go in the recycle bin)?
Jeepergeo
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by Jeepergeo »

michaelingp wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:12 pm I have been thinking about this because I drink a lot of seltzer. It seems the big selling point is not adding tons of plastic bottles to the environment. Anybody buy this argument, or do you think plastic bottles can be recycled efficiently (all mine go in the recycle bin)?
Plastic bottles are not efficiently recycled. Many don't get recycled due to the lack of a market for recycled plastic.

Glass bottles with bale type tops can be directly reused many, many times over by the consumer and are the way to go.
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Artful Dodger
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by Artful Dodger »

We’ve had a soda stream for years and use it regularly. Will add lemon, lime, or bitters for flavor. We exchange our canisters at Bed Bath and Beyond. $15 but $12 with a 20% off coupon.

I think not sending all those plastic bottles to recycling is a positive.
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JoMoney
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by JoMoney »

adamthesmythe wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 5:47 pm
Vogatrice wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 5:20 pm I have a SodaStream and I would by choice use it every day for all my water. However, carbonated water is not great for bone density so I limit my consumption.
Since I enjoy carbonated water, I did a google search about this.

Several apparently authoritative sources, including harvard.edu, dispute this claim. Although some acknowledge that colas can be a problem.

So I call bogus, and I will continue to enjoy my Sodastream, without the flavor packets, as I like the carbonated water as is. Although I do find that a decent bourbon is a tasty addition.
Anecdotally, I've found I get sudden leg cramps when I don't get a certain amount of calcium (and possibly magnesium) in my diet.
If I'm drinking a lot of purified water and soda, I've found I need to take a mineral supplement with calcium, or I'll get a 'charlie horse'. If I'm drinking a moderate amount of tap water I don't seem to have the issue (without the mineral supplement.) I've got a hunch that it's not that soda leeches calcium out of my system, but that if I'm drinking soda (or even purified water) then I'm not drinking as much tap-water that has calcium in it.
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by LadyGeek »

I removed an interchange discussing health effects of carbonated water (refuted), which is medical advice. See: Medical Issues
Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes a list of their top recommended sites.
Please stay on-topic, which are the consumer issues.
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mervinj7
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by mervinj7 »

noraz123 wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 7:10 pm
wolf359 wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:58 pm
To reduce the cost of operating the Sodastream significantly, you can buy a CO2 bulk fill adapter, and use a larger CO2 tank, or one of those paintball gas canisters. It then costs a few bucks to refill it at a sporting goods store, paintball shop, or maybe an industrial park.

This is the type of thing I'm talking about:

http://www.sodamod.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjws ... 77EALw_wcB
https://www.williamsbrewing.com/Home-Br ... ll-Adapter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeZmesxhk8Y

Disclaimer: I have not tried this myself. I don't actually own a Sodastream. I'm aware of people who have done this. These aren't recommendations of specific products, but rather, the first hits I got when I googled "Sodastream bulk fill adapter".
I use my Sodastream daily.
Drink at least 1 L per day of carbonated water. Definitely cheaper than buying from store, but not as cheap as I'd like.

So I bought the Sodamod adapter and a couple larger, paintball-like canisters. They work great, but it hasn't saved me much, if any money.

I live in a HCOL area (bay area), and the nearest place I found that will refill my tanks is in San Jose (30 minutes drive without traffic). And the cost to refill is the same as just buying/exchanging Sodastream cartridges at the store. :annoyed
Which place in San Jose will refill the paint ball canisters? I used to go to the Dick's in Serramonte but they stopped refills a long time ago.
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mmmodem
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by mmmodem »

I used my sodastream daily. It weaned me off my soda addiction. I mix with half juice and half water. Then Covid hit and there was a CO2 canister shortage. I'm not savy enough to hack the canisters. Switched to Sparkel which uses baking soda and citric acid. Been over a decade now. And I still use it daily drinking 1 liter.

I think I did the math with sodastream and the cost for the canisters and their soda syrups were about even with buying cans of soda. You only save on having to lug heavy cans soda home.
IMO
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by IMO »

Thought about it, but then thought I shouldn't be adding more CO2 to the atmosphere. Also, I think when I looked into it, it really wasn't that much cheaper? Interested to see if someone has a real cost break down.
onourway
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by onourway »

IMO wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:21 am Thought about it, but then thought I shouldn't be adding more CO2 to the atmosphere. Also, I think when I looked into it, it really wasn't that much cheaper? Interested to see if someone has a real cost break down.
It should be much cheaper. Our local grocery typically sells 144 ounces of canned seltzer for about $3.79. That’s 2.63 cents/ounce. A SodaStream canister is about $15 and makes about 60l which is .007 cents/ounce - so ignoring the cost of the maker, it’s about 1/4 the price. I drink about 1l/day, so at these numbers, the machine pays for itself in about 153 days. We’ve had it for about 5 years at this point.

We have very good well water at home and I actually prefer the sodastream to anything I can get in a can for a reasonable price. I just drink it plain. If your water isn’t great, it definitely shows in the end product.
IMO
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by IMO »

onourway wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 2:22 am
IMO wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:21 am Thought about it, but then thought I shouldn't be adding more CO2 to the atmosphere. Also, I think when I looked into it, it really wasn't that much cheaper? Interested to see if someone has a real cost break down.
It should be much cheaper. Our local grocery typically sells 144 ounces of canned seltzer for about $3.79. That’s 2.63 cents/ounce. A SodaStream canister is about $15 and makes about 60l which is .007 cents/ounce - so ignoring the cost of the maker, it’s about 1/4 the price. I drink about 1l/day, so at these numbers, the machine pays for itself in about 153 days. We’ve had it for about 5 years at this point.

We have very good well water at home and I actually prefer the sodastream to anything I can get in a can for a reasonable price. I just drink it plain. If your water isn’t great, it definitely shows in the end product.
Thanks.

If you want to get flavoring for the water, do you know how much that add to price, is that significant or not? Is taste pretty similar to say a LaCroix?
I suppose I can look it up, but how much are they again?

We drink alot of the flavored drinks, maybe we should relook at doing this. Even if it's 1/2 price overall, probably should make the switch.
scophreak
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by scophreak »

noraz123 wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 7:10 pm
wolf359 wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:58 pm
To reduce the cost of operating the Sodastream significantly, you can buy a CO2 bulk fill adapter, and use a larger CO2 tank, or one of those paintball gas canisters. It then costs a few bucks to refill it at a sporting goods store, paintball shop, or maybe an industrial park.

This is the type of thing I'm talking about:

http://www.sodamod.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjws ... 77EALw_wcB
https://www.williamsbrewing.com/Home-Br ... ll-Adapter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeZmesxhk8Y

Disclaimer: I have not tried this myself. I don't actually own a Sodastream. I'm aware of people who have done this. These aren't recommendations of specific products, but rather, the first hits I got when I googled "Sodastream bulk fill adapter".
I use my Sodastream daily.
Drink at least 1 L per day of carbonated water. Definitely cheaper than buying from store, but not as cheap as I'd like.

So I bought the Sodamod adapter and a couple larger, paintball-like canisters. They work great, but it hasn't saved me much, if any money.

I live in a HCOL area (bay area), and the nearest place I found that will refill my tanks is in San Jose (30 minutes drive without traffic). And the cost to refill is the same as just buying/exchanging Sodastream cartridges at the store. :annoyed
We've always used Bed Bath and Beyond to exchange Sodastream cylinders. Using one of the ubiquitous $5 off $15 coupons puts each exchange at $10. I've found that to be significantly cheaper per unit volume than equivalent canned options.
Swivelguy
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by Swivelguy »

I built a DIY setup using a 5 lb CO2 canister from the local Airgas store, a regulator, tubing, and a carbonation cap. It's not as pretty as a sodastream, but we sort of like the industrial touch it adds to our bar cart, and it was fun to build. The startup cost is maybe $100, and then the ongoing cost is practically nothing, much cheaper than proprietary sodastream cartridges. The equipment for this has become a lot cheaper than it was a decade ago, thanks to the flourishing of the home beer brewing hobby.
whomever
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by whomever »

I had a 5 gal keg, regulator, and a 'scuba sized' CO2 tank gathering dust from my homebrewing days. Then I noticed how much we were spending on the 2L bottles of fizzy water.

It has been a few decades, so I'm not up on current costs. The keg is maybe $100, the regulator and so on $50, and purchasing the tank is $100, just SWAGs. The CO2 cylinder costs maybe $25 to refill, and lasts 15 years or so, making maybe a couple of gallons a week.
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noraz123
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by noraz123 »

mervinj7 wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:17 pm Which place in San Jose will refill the paint ball canisters? I used to go to the Dick's in Serramonte but they stopped refills a long time ago.
The place I went to was Carbonic Service. Seems they are in Santa Clara, not San Jose.

They specialize in industrial and restaurant carbonation. They will refill Co2 tanks, but the cost to refill my own tank was effectively the same price as buying and exchanging cylinders.
fatcharlie
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by fatcharlie »

IMO wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:21 am Thought about it, but then thought I shouldn't be adding more CO2 to the atmosphere. Also, I think when I looked into it, it really wasn't that much cheaper? Interested to see if someone has a real cost break down.
I don't think it's adding more CO2 to the atmosphere on net is it? From googling, it looks like it's a waste product from burning methane etc, so no extra carbon is coming out of the ground. Unless you're talking about extra consumption in general?
adestefan
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by adestefan »

Millennial wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:49 pm If you drink a lot of soda water, consider getting a kegerator. You can often find used ones for decent prices, and the soda water they make is nearly free.

I spend $20 to fill a CO2 tank about once a year. It makes 50-75 gallons of soda water from our tap water. The process is pretty simple - fill a keg with water, hook it up to CO2, and wait 3-5 days. I have two kegs, typically one carbonating and one serving, to allow a.continuous supply.
This is what I do. $16 for 10 lbs of CO2 and I can set the bubbly level however I want. I have a hose I hook up to the water filter outlet on my fridge to fill a 5 gallon soda style keg. 4 days later I have a ton of bubbly.
xb7
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by xb7 »

I too went with an adapter kit for my soda stream, and connect it to a big honking CO2 tank that I swap out at a welding supply store about once a year. The cost of soda water using this approach is quite low, and once per year isn't much of a hassle. I can't imagine going to the cost and hassle of frequently paying for CO2 the way that Soda stream wants me to. For that matter, I don't put flavoring in mine, and still have the original Soda Stream bottles, despite their recommendations to replace them pretty (IMO) frequently. I suspect their business model relies on not just sales of the original unit, but of selling overpriced CO2, Syrup, and replacement bottles. Sorry, Soda Stream !

The one downside of my approach is that the full sized tanks are pretty heavy, especially when full. The biggest issue for me is schlepping the unit in place in a sort of out-of-the-way corner each time I replace it (I say "replace", because the welding shop doesn't refill my tank, the just swap for a full one).

Worth it.

The tank I use is 8" in diameter, stands about 28" tall --- including the valve assembly on top.

One other rabbit hole that you can fall down if you're inclined to: you might encounter the term "food grade" for the tank or CO2 or refilling process or some combination thereof. I've heard differing stories about this, and have finally concluded that there's no such thing as food grade CO2, that it's all filled using the same process. I could be wrong, but I've noticed no ill effects from getting mine from the welding supply store, after the brewing supply store that I had been using went out of business.
IMO
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by IMO »

Anyone have links to examples of these home made carbonation systems? Has my interest peaked to try that.
xb7
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by xb7 »

IMO wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 11:52 pm Anyone have links to examples of these home made carbonation systems? Has my interest peaked to try that.
I just bought a regular Soda Stream unit six years ago, and then bought a conversion kit ... somewhere. Looking around now, I don't find a reference to what I got or where I got it. Sorry!

I speculate that some web sleuthing could turn up such products. One issue I had was that I needed to feed the tube into the Soda Stream from the bottom, so I ended up making an ad hoc wooden base with a slot for the tube. Wasn't super difficult, but the soda stream unit was made, as I recall, to take one of their little mini tanks right inside the unit, and not to accept an external tube. How difficult (or impossible) this might be will likely depend on the specific Soda Stream model.
alex_686
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by alex_686 »

IMO wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 11:52 pm Anyone have links to examples of these home made carbonation systems? Has my interest peaked to try that.
A good source is your local homebrewing store. Northern Brewer has a good on-line forum.

https://www.northernbrewer.com/

A hack is to find a small chest freezer on Craig's list. You may need to modify the top to hold your keg. You then install a thermostat regulator to keep the temperature above freezing. Or maybe you just want to install a freeze plate in your freezer.

You then drill holes so you can run lines in and out. They sell special insulating plugs for after you drill your holes.

You then put everything in the basement and then run lines up to the 1st floor, right off of the patio area.

I could go on.

I have a very small setup that I use. Primarily for homemade root beer and ginger beer for my child's parties.
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alfaspider
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by alfaspider »

wolf359 wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:58 pm
tyrion wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 5:30 pm Everyone in our 4 person household drinks seltzer water. We go through a lot of cans of it so I bought a Sodastream.

The Sodastream works well. A few comments:

If you have a local store to do cylinder exchanges that works best. If you add shipping costs to the equation it adds up. It runs about $15/cylinder and there's a place nearby that does the exchanges for me so not a big deal.

It doesn't get quite as carbonated as canned seltzer. I'm fine with this, but my wife things it's just 'okay'.

It works best on cold water, so I pre-fill a couple of liter bottles and keep them in the fridge until I'm ready to carbonate.

They sell flavors, but I found that cocktail bitters are cheaper and more interesting. Grapefruit, Black Cherry, and Peach are all good in my opinion.

We skipped all the sugary additive options. Ginger ale, soda, etc. We don't drink a lot of those, but I can see some value in being able to whip up a batch of ginger ale or whatever if you needed it for a cocktail recipe.
To reduce the cost of operating the Sodastream significantly, you can buy a CO2 bulk fill adapter, and use a larger CO2 tank, or one of those paintball gas canisters. It then costs a few bucks to refill it at a sporting goods store, paintball shop, or maybe an industrial park.

This is the type of thing I'm talking about:

http://www.sodamod.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjws ... 77EALw_wcB
https://www.williamsbrewing.com/Home-Br ... ll-Adapter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeZmesxhk8Y

Disclaimer: I have not tried this myself. I don't actually own a Sodastream. I'm aware of people who have done this. These aren't recommendations of specific products, but rather, the first hits I got when I googled "Sodastream bulk fill adapter".
This is what I did. I bought a commercial size 7lb co2 cannister (also helpful for home brewing and keg dispensing). It lasts most of a year and costs $15 to refill at the homebrew store. The key is having a good spot for the tank. I got a 7lb (somewhat of an off size) because it's tall and skinny and fits in the gap between my refrigerator and wall. I have a long hose that runs behind the refrigerator to the counter.

The Sodastream business model is centered around selling overpriced c02 canisters. You'll spend just as much (if not more) as store brand seltzer buying soda stream cannisters.
Reamus294
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by Reamus294 »

I have a soda stream and used the larger paintball tanks with an adapter. That was nice but had a few problems with the tanks and then switched to a 10 gallon co2 tank that I get filled at a home brew store. Has been working great so far and I drilled a hole in the wall so the tank is hidden in a cabinet. The bubbles are different than topo (like you said, not as soft) and other store bought but still good to me and my wife. A half full bottle of water doesn’t store well overnight but we go through enough it doesn’t make much of a difference to us.
Trism
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by Trism »

The USPS has 600,000 employees ensuring that Bed Bath & Beyond coupons get safely to your mailbox every 1-2 weeks.

Save the $10 back on $30 coupons and do two SodaStream cylinder exchanges at once. Even though the pre-tax total will be $29.9x, the $10 coupon will still work.

Pro tip: Despite the expiration date, BB&B will accept their coupons forever (although once I had a cashier ask me if I had one that was less than two years old, and when I said no she just paused and then scanned the one I'd already handed to her).
whomever
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by whomever »

Here's a direct link to approximately what I have:

https://www.northernbrewer.com/products ... keg-system

Then add a CO2 tank from the local homebrew or welding supply place.


(on the different grades of gas, if you care, ask at the welding supply place. When I have asked, the answer has always been 'it's too much of a hassle to stock different grades, so all our gases are the higher grade' - food grade for CO2, welding grade for O2 (welding oxygen has to be purer than medical oxygen))
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watchnerd
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by watchnerd »

Barefootgirl wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:27 pm Do you enjoy your home carbonation machine? Soda Stream, Soda Sense or the like?

Any tips for use?

I love the mineral water Topo Chico because to me, it tastes much better than seltzer. Hard to explain and esoteric maybe, but the bubbles seem to have a softer, "smaller" flavor...smoother if that makes any sense.

I'm just finding my Topo Chico habit is getting to be expensive...especially now that we are heading into summer.

Thanks!
I don't use any of those proprietary systems with expensive vendor lock-in.

I just use an old school seltzer bottle and CO2 cartridges.
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finfire
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by finfire »

I use sodastream system. Bought an adapter on amazon and went to local airgas and hooked it up to a keg.

This is simple to do and much much cheaper than the silly soadstream co2 refillable tanks...
jayk238
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by jayk238 »

Barefootgirl wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:27 pm Do you enjoy your home carbonation machine? Soda Stream, Soda Sense or the like?

Any tips for use?

I love the mineral water Topo Chico because to me, it tastes much better than seltzer. Hard to explain and esoteric maybe, but the bubbles seem to have a softer, "smaller" flavor...smoother if that makes any sense.

I'm just finding my Topo Chico habit is getting to be expensive...especially now that we are heading into summer.

Thanks!
We use soda stream. We do like it. We bought one machine 2 years ago and it is going strong.

You pay monthly for co2 cartridge.

You need to do a cost analysis. For us we paid for perrier water which is very expensive prior to this. If you are fine w regular water then its not worth it.
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watchnerd
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by watchnerd »

jayk238 wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:13 am

We use soda stream. We do like it. We bought one machine 2 years ago and it is going strong.

You pay monthly for co2 cartridge.

You need to do a cost analysis. For us we paid for perrier water which is very expensive prior to this. If you are fine w regular water then its not worth it.
My generic seltzer bottle CO2 cartridges cost $0.50 cents each, in quantity.

I use 2 a week.

Total cost: $4/month
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neurosphere
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by neurosphere »

Barefootgirl wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:27 pm I love the mineral water Topo Chico because to me, it tastes much better than seltzer. Hard to explain and esoteric maybe, but the bubbles seem to have a softer, "smaller" flavor...smoother if that makes any sense.

I'm just finding my Topo Chico habit is getting to be expensive...especially now that we are heading into summer.
I don't see that anyone addressed this, but carbonated mineral water will certainly have a different "mouth feel" and tasted compared to regular carbonated water. For example, compare club soda and seltzer. The club soda tastes similar to seltzer to me, but "feels" exactly as you describe "smoother" to me. It will be hard to replicate heavily mineralized water and club soda at home by simply carbonating tap water. That said, I suppose there may be ways to replicate it? As in literally add a pinch of baking soda and salt to the water, perhaps. Epsom salt adds magnesium and other minerals. topo chico has calcium in it though too. Not sure how to get that in there.
investingdad
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by investingdad »

neurosphere wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 10:38 am
Barefootgirl wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:27 pm I love the mineral water Topo Chico because to me, it tastes much better than seltzer. Hard to explain and esoteric maybe, but the bubbles seem to have a softer, "smaller" flavor...smoother if that makes any sense.

I'm just finding my Topo Chico habit is getting to be expensive...especially now that we are heading into summer.
I don't see that anyone addressed this, but carbonated mineral water will certainly have a different "mouth feel" and tasted compared to regular carbonated water. For example, compare club soda and seltzer. The club soda tastes similar to seltzer to me, but "feels" exactly as you describe "smoother" to me. It will be hard to replicate heavily mineralized water and club soda at home by simply carbonating tap water. That said, I suppose there may be ways to replicate it? As in literally add a pinch of baking soda and salt to the water, perhaps. Epsom salt adds magnesium and other minerals. topo chico has calcium in it though too. Not sure how to get that in there.
CO2 dissolved in water forms carbonic acid, a weak acid. It has a harsh mouth feel. The presence of dissolved minerals changes the pH and makes it softer. So you’re definitely not imagining this, it’s why I prefer club soda.

Also, a lot of food grade CO2 comes as a byproduct of combustion... exhaust gas basically. Entire industries exist around CO2 capture for food use.
drg02b
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by drg02b »

Swivelguy wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 2:06 pm I built a DIY setup using a 5 lb CO2 canister from the local Airgas store, a regulator, tubing, and a carbonation cap. It's not as pretty as a sodastream, but we sort of like the industrial touch it adds to our bar cart, and it was fun to build. The startup cost is maybe $100, and then the ongoing cost is practically nothing, much cheaper than proprietary sodastream cartridges. The equipment for this has become a lot cheaper than it was a decade ago, thanks to the flourishing of the home beer brewing hobby.
I did this exact same thing, but found one used in town, so paid about $60 with buying a new hose/bottle connector. So much cheaper in the long run...
retired recently
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by retired recently »

I never liked carbonated water. I lived in Russia in the 90's and the only thing I often could buy to drink at the local kiosk was tomato juice or carbonated water. At first I would continually shake the bottle and untwist the cap til most of the fizz was gone. Eventually I grew to really like it so was happy to buy the soda stream as I have turned into a tree hugger and the plastic bottles really bother me.

I happily exchanged the canisters but during covid we could not find them. I got on youtube and learned that I can buy dry ice and fill up my empty canisters. I have not noticed a difference in taste although some say they do. I fill up two canisters for $2-$3.
TechByron
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by TechByron »

As mentioned you can make this super cheap by getting an adapter for ~$50 on Amazon, a CO2 tank for ~$150, and a once a year refill cost of $20. You don't have to deal with bottle deposits either if you're in a state that taxes those.
jayk238
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by jayk238 »

watchnerd wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:23 am
jayk238 wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:13 am

We use soda stream. We do like it. We bought one machine 2 years ago and it is going strong.

You pay monthly for co2 cartridge.

You need to do a cost analysis. For us we paid for perrier water which is very expensive prior to this. If you are fine w regular water then its not worth it.
My generic seltzer bottle CO2 cartridges cost $0.50 cents each, in quantity.

I use 2 a week.

Total cost: $4/month
Where do u get this from?
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Barefootgirl
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by Barefootgirl »


I don't see that anyone addressed this, but carbonated mineral water will certainly have a different "mouth feel" and tasted compared to regular carbonated water. For example, compare club soda and seltzer. The club soda tastes similar to seltzer to me, but "feels" exactly as you describe "smoother" to me. It will be hard to replicate heavily mineralized water and club soda at home by simply carbonating tap water. That said, I suppose there may be ways to replicate it? As in literally add a pinch of baking soda and salt to the water, perhaps. Epsom salt adds magnesium and other minerals. topo chico has calcium in it though too. Not sure how to get that in there.


Yes! I think it will be hard to replicate - that makes for a great marketing campaign! ;) often imitated, never duplicated lol.

Topo Chico really has a greatness of its own. Maybe i need to look around the blogosphere for some hacks lol.
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talky47
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by talky47 »

neurosphere wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 10:38 am It will be hard to replicate heavily mineralized water and club soda at home by simply carbonating tap water. That said, I suppose there may be ways to replicate it? As in literally add a pinch of baking soda and salt to the water, perhaps. Epsom salt adds magnesium and other minerals. topo chico has calcium in it though too. Not sure how to get that in there.
Here's a spreadsheet to calculate the salts to replicate various popular mineral waters:

https://khymos.org/2012/01/04/mineral-w ... -la-carte/

In theory artificial mineral water should have the same taste and health properties as the natural stuff. For example, Dasani is reverse osmosis water with minerals added, so they can sell a consistent product worldwide using whatever water source is closest to market.
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Re: Home Carbonation

Post by hnd »

I drink about 2-3 cans of la croix type products a day (i usually get store brand like aldi's but will buy lecroix if its on sale)

we tried the sodastream with the bubbly things and i was more or less meh. I read about ways for improving it, but figured that if i drink 2-3 a day thats 1000 cans a year. i find i pay about .28 a can. thats $277 a year. not something i really truly need to find a way to discount in my life.
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