Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 08:05 PM Dec 2012

Yesterday, I bought a SodaStream home soda-maker.

.
.
.
I grocery shop by bus with my walker. I drink a lot of diet soda & seltzer water (yeah yeah I know),
so much of the volume and weight I deal with is devoted to soda. It limits the other things I could
be getting.
.
This is SO cool. Re-useable bottles and canisters of CO2. Tap water can be (and is) used.
.
.
.
I've been drinking seltzer water with and without flavorings for years, so I know what works for me.
.
.
Between last night and tonight, I've gone through almost 2 liters of Mio Black Cherry flavored soda.
.
.
.
I'm excited by this (but I AM such an excitable boy).
.
.
.
The whole setup, with an extra canister of CO2 and two add'l bottles to fill and a bottle of flavoring
cost me about $!50 (I got the second-lowest maker in their hierarchy of makers -- the only thing
a more expensive one could do that would be handy would be to tell me how much CO2 is left. The
second backup bottle negates the need for that).
.
The convenience and MOST ESPECIALLY the decreased strain on my heart from carrying that extra
weight (15-20 pounds)?
.
.
.
Priceless.
.
.
.

78 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Yesterday, I bought a SodaStream home soda-maker. (Original Post) MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 OP
I keep debating.. Lokey Dec 2012 #1
I got a 6-flavor SodaStream flavoring sampler that I haven't tried yet... MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #15
Good for you, MFM Denninmi Dec 2012 #2
I got one of these a few weeks ago annabanana Dec 2012 #3
I wonder how much the extra flavoring costs each time you need it sakabatou Dec 2012 #4
I've seen it sold a lot of places... Chan790 Dec 2012 #5
Sounds nice ^_^ sakabatou Dec 2012 #6
SodaStream flavors are from $5-$9 and make 12 1-liter bottles (6 2-liter). MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #16
So make seltzer water, then add flavor sakabatou Dec 2012 #18
Definitely... and in THAT unwavering order. They stress it quite often in the packaging/manual. MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #23
Preflavouring is fine, just tap the bottle a few times before... TheMadMonk Dec 2012 #32
I made the mistake of adding flavoring before carbonation once Bjorn Against Dec 2012 #44
The one thing you may want to do ... surrealAmerican Dec 2012 #7
I was happy with CHEAP store-brand diet soda, so the savings -- well, there may be none. MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #24
Wish I could afford one of those... GoCubsGo Dec 2012 #8
If I had gone without the convenient accessories, total cost would've been about $80 + tax. MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #25
For that, I recommend Net 10 phones. GoCubsGo Dec 2012 #59
thanks -- I'm going to check those. I've been thinking (I think) T-Mobile... MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #63
Try mixing frozen cranberry concentrate with seltzer water. You have to do it slowly and carefully.. MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #31
Prairie Moon sells cranberry concentrate and lots of flavors csziggy Dec 2012 #37
I'll give it a shot. GoCubsGo Dec 2012 #61
I got a powdered mojito flavoring that was pretty good -- I don't remember the brand, but remember.. MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #64
Crystal Light GoCubsGo Dec 2012 #67
Sounds like a waste of money..... LynneSin Dec 2012 #9
But the flavorings -- EEEWWWWWWW!!!!!! MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #17
I think you'd like bean flavor seltzer water LynneSin Dec 2012 #26
Bean soda would probably be good for my kidneys... and maybe my garbanzos. MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #29
Yeah, you say that now OriginalGeek Dec 2012 #43
You bean working on that one for awhile now, no? MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #51
It was my fava joke today OriginalGeek Dec 2012 #53
I'd say that your joke was MY favorite today... MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #56
Why Soytenly! OriginalGeek Dec 2012 #66
i'm thinking of getting this JI7 Dec 2012 #10
I call 'em "scrubbin' bubbles" and they're ESPECIALLY good in the morning. MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #19
So, when you first used it, Arkansas Granny Dec 2012 #11
No, but gratuitous and creative belching is rampant. MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #28
You say you were drinking diet sodas before. Does this machine have diet sodas? Or sugared? nt Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #12
I have a SodaStream GObamaGO Dec 2012 #13
What do the diet ones have, if not aspartame? (I have no problem with aspartame, BTW.) nt Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #39
They have sucralose in them (Splenda) GObamaGO Dec 2012 #48
Both diet and regular -- and most flavors have a choice of both. They also have... MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #20
I was going to tease you at first, but now that you've described it, I'm going to Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #40
In addition, the "sugared" ones have much less sugar than store-bought jeff47 Dec 2012 #54
Thx. I don't drink sugar, though. nt Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #58
We just got one - haven't tried it yet rurallib Dec 2012 #14
HUGE!!! Two 2-liter bottles equal about 8+ pounds and I'm supposed to limit myself to 20 lbs total. MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #21
It took me about 5, MAYBE 10 mins to read the short startup manual and set it up... MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #65
MFM - Please replace that with H20 HipChick Dec 2012 #22
But without poopy farts, I am... MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #27
Lol! Don't make me laugh...I can't breathe right now.. HipChick Dec 2012 #30
My coronary arteries were about the only impressive and SURPRISING thing about my heart. MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #34
We've had one for a year or so. BEST investment ever. nolabear Dec 2012 #33
I use lime juice a lot. And soda does stifle my "sweet" cravings. MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #36
I got one several months ago. Brigid Dec 2012 #35
I use a 20lb CO2 bottle Major Nikon Dec 2012 #38
How would I go about setting that up? Incitatus Dec 2012 #70
Carbonators have been around for a LONG time -- I think they gained popularity in the 50's & 60's... MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #71
I've never seen a sodastream in action Major Nikon Dec 2012 #73
Maybe, but I can't see why they wouldn't just say "you don't wanna contaminate the system"... MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #74
There's no issues Major Nikon Dec 2012 #75
Here's what you need Major Nikon Dec 2012 #72
Thanks so much for the report! Rhiannon12866 Dec 2012 #41
I think I'm going to buy one. Incitatus Dec 2012 #42
There are tea flavorings -- SodaStream has some (as well as CountryTime lemonade flavoring). MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #46
I got one of those a while back, and I love it. I especially like the flexibility of flavors fishwax Dec 2012 #45
I didn't even THINK of Torani syrups -- THANK YOU!!! MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #47
Hazelnut sodas are great. For an extra notch, add a hit of half and half fishwax Dec 2012 #52
I put this on the Christmas list I gave to my SO RZM Dec 2012 #49
Yes. MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #50
You could buy the flavor and mix it with seltzer water bought from the store jeff47 Dec 2012 #55
Great idea. MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #57
We use ours quite a bit, but I find the soda flavors to be GreenPartyVoter Dec 2012 #60
I chill mine in the freezer a short time before making the soda. MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #68
I bought one last spring hobbit709 Dec 2012 #62
It's already cut down immensely on my "lugging". MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #69
kick Kali Dec 2012 #76
I'm waiting for one that makes beer. TheManInTheMac Dec 2012 #77
Beer flavoring? Just get a bucket of horse piss. Kennah Dec 2012 #78

Lokey

(108 posts)
1. I keep debating..
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 08:12 PM
Dec 2012

Sounds like you like it. I saw it the other night again and thought about it. I see there are quite a few flavors available.
But it works pretty good eh?

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
15. I got a 6-flavor SodaStream flavoring sampler that I haven't tried yet...
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:26 PM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
... but I've been flavoring bottled seltzer water (club soda has ADDED salts) for years.
.
So you can use powdered drink mixes like Crystal Light and liquids like those relatively
new Mio flavorings (I like their Fruit Punch and Black Cherry) and there's a pretty good
powdered mojito flavoring that I get from the same shelf in the grocery store.
.
I'm curious about the SodaStream diet pink grapefruit flavoring (I drink a LOT of diet
grapefruit soda -- think Fresca).
.
.
.
It took me less than 5 minutes to set up and it takes less than a minute to make a
one-liter bottle of soda.
.
.
.
The set-up (with an additional CO2 canister and two 1-liter bottles plus a bottle
of flavoring) cost me about $150 -- and it's not going to be cheaper... but MUCH
more convenient and safe for me and my heart.
.
.
.

annabanana

(52,791 posts)
3. I got one of these a few weeks ago
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 08:22 PM
Dec 2012

and I really really like it. My boys go through so much of this stuff that I had no space to store it except the car. This is much better.

 

Chan790

(20,176 posts)
5. I've seen it sold a lot of places...
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 08:31 PM
Dec 2012

I haven't noticed the price for their (SodaStream's) branded syrups, but you can use anything...juice, syrups such as Torani designed for coffee or Italian soda, MFM mentioned using Mio, Koolaid powder...there is no shortage of flavoring options, some of which are cheap.

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
16. SodaStream flavors are from $5-$9 and make 12 1-liter bottles (6 2-liter).
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:36 PM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
Mio Flavors are about $4 and make the same.
.
.
.
Crystal Light about $4 and I think make more bottles than the previous ones do.
.
.
.
What you're making is plain ordinary seltzer water, so ANY flavorings are going
to work -- but do NOT NOT NOT add flavorings BEFORE carbonation... the
bubbling process will expand and overflow and make a huge mess -- MIGHT
even be dangerous.
.
FUNNY -- one of the online reviewers tried to carbonate his Scotch.
.
Scotch EVERYWHERE!!! But what an admirable thought and attempt.
.
.
.

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
23. Definitely... and in THAT unwavering order. They stress it quite often in the packaging/manual.
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:59 PM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
And I saw several online reviews where people didn't pay attention.
.
.
No explosions or nothin' -- but bubble-over messes for sure.
.
.
.

 

TheMadMonk

(6,187 posts)
32. Preflavouring is fine, just tap the bottle a few times before...
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:41 PM
Dec 2012

...releasing pressure and do a tiny test release first. If it's about explode, the drink will go milky. Give it a couple more taps, wait for the drink to clarify and try again.


Bjorn Against

(12,041 posts)
44. I made the mistake of adding flavoring before carbonation once
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:52 AM
Dec 2012

Let's just say my kitchen was quite a mess and I was soaked, I won't ever make that mistake again.

surrealAmerican

(11,358 posts)
7. The one thing you may want to do ...
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:18 PM
Dec 2012

... (and maybe I only did this because I'm way too geeky for my own good - so take this with a large grain of salt) is to keep track of how many bottles of seltzer you can fizz up with a canister of gas. It will give you a better idea of when you need to get the gas refilled. It also tells you how much money you're saving, and when the break even point of your "investment" in the device happens.

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
24. I was happy with CHEAP store-brand diet soda, so the savings -- well, there may be none.
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:02 PM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
Hell, it might even be slightly more expensive. With my cardiac limitations -- the weight-carrying
avoided during grocery shopping is truly priceless.
.
They are good suggestions for others, though.
.
.
.

GoCubsGo

(32,076 posts)
8. Wish I could afford one of those...
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:35 PM
Dec 2012

I like seltzer a lot. I love it with some cranberry or lime juice, or plain. Mio works well, too. I think I might be able to break my Diet Coke habit if I had one of those things.

On edit: The Tangarine-orange Mio is really good w/ seltzer, too. And, it has B vitamins.

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
25. If I had gone without the convenient accessories, total cost would've been about $80 + tax.
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:09 PM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
There are more expensive models that would have an accessory-free price of about $150,
but they have about 6 different models at varying prices.
.
I'm a very simple man (people say alla time -- "MFM, you're SIMPLE&quot with few material needs
or desires, so this was a rare splurge for me.
.
And I really could justify it as a "medical expense" (see reference to my load-carrying restrictions
elsewhere).
.
Next up -- a cellphone!!!!
.
.
.

GoCubsGo

(32,076 posts)
59. For that, I recommend Net 10 phones.
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:36 AM
Dec 2012

It one of those non-contract phones. If you are not planning to make tons of calls, it's your best bet. You can get the phones and cards just about anywhere, and the phones can be fairly inexpensive. Sometimes the chain department and drug stores will have them on sale. Lots of choices regarding minutes, and they are easy to load. You can do it online.

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
63. thanks -- I'm going to check those. I've been thinking (I think) T-Mobile...
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:52 AM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
... no plan prepaid with 1000 mins that last a whole year.
.
Their phones start at well under $100, even without a plan.
.
.
But I;ll check on the Net 10's also.

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
31. Try mixing frozen cranberry concentrate with seltzer water. You have to do it slowly and carefully..
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:36 PM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
... or it's bubble-over time, but the end result is one of my favorites.
.
.
.
Sadly, I don't think they make diet cranberry concentrate, so I'm now out of luck for that.
.
.
.

csziggy

(34,132 posts)
37. Prairie Moon sells cranberry concentrate and lots of flavors
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:08 AM
Dec 2012
http://www.prairiemoon.biz/flavors.html

You can get ready to use syrup, both regular or diet, or get concentrate and add your own sweetener. Pricing is about the same or cheaper than SodaStream.

GoCubsGo

(32,076 posts)
61. I'll give it a shot.
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:44 AM
Dec 2012

I have a couple of big, old Tupperware cups that would be perfect for something like that. They hold about a quart! I usually just use the non-concentrate when it is on sale. I like the Ocean Spray Diet. The store brand seltzers I buy tend to be extra bubbly, so there's still plenty of fizz after I add the juice.

I see all sorts of other concentrates, too. I might have to try the ones they have for the various margaritas and cosmopolitans with seltzer.

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
64. I got a powdered mojito flavoring that was pretty good -- I don't remember the brand, but remember..
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:55 AM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
... that they also had margarita and appletini flavors.
.
.
.

GoCubsGo

(32,076 posts)
67. Crystal Light
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:18 PM
Dec 2012

Their cocktail flavors are okay. I liked their ruby red grapefruit, but the bums discontinued it.

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
29. Bean soda would probably be good for my kidneys... and maybe my garbanzos.
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:19 PM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
And what's good for my garbanzos...
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
... is DEFINITELY good for me.
.
.
.

JI7

(89,242 posts)
10. i'm thinking of getting this
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:48 PM
Dec 2012

for some reason i really like the fizzy in drinks. and the ones i get from food places are better than canned sodas.

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
19. I call 'em "scrubbin' bubbles" and they're ESPECIALLY good in the morning.
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:42 PM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
One of the cool things about this is that you can make the water very lightly carbonated all
the way to TURBO-FUCKING-CARBONATED and everything in between -- I read somewhere
that you can prank your friends with a super-carbonated soda... maybe cause them to sneeze
from all the extra bubbles under their noses as they drink (think Vernor's Ginger Ale).
.
OK, you got me. Pranking my friends is the REAL reason I got this.
.
.
.

GObamaGO

(665 posts)
13. I have a SodaStream
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:17 PM
Dec 2012

You can get a nice variety of both diet and non diet syrups to mix. The bonus is the diet ones do not have aspartame which some people react badly to. (severe headaches, stomach cramps etc).

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
20. Both diet and regular -- and most flavors have a choice of both. They also have...
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:48 PM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
... flavored "essences" -- think a healthy twist of lemon and such -- some seltzers (like Canada Dry)
have flavors without sweeteners of any kind (raspberry, orange, and lemon-lime that I know of) and
Arrowhead has them, too.
.
.
.
There are reviews online -- someone described the root beer as terrible and another person put it
in the class of small-batch premium root beer. It's all a matter of subjective taste, but there are
so many possibilities and methods and brand names that I think anyone could find delicious favorites.
.
.
.

Honeycombe8

(37,648 posts)
40. I was going to tease you at first, but now that you've described it, I'm going to
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:30 AM
Dec 2012

check into this. If it tastes good, it could save money. I also like the idea of the flavored water w/o sweetener. You can buy those, but they're pricey.

jeff47

(26,549 posts)
54. In addition, the "sugared" ones have much less sugar than store-bought
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:18 AM
Dec 2012

They use Splenda in the "sugared" sodas too, so they can use less sugar.

rurallib

(62,396 posts)
14. We just got one - haven't tried it yet
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:19 PM
Dec 2012

but we are quite excited - especially about not carrying them damn bottles anymore.

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
65. It took me about 5, MAYBE 10 mins to read the short startup manual and set it up...
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:01 AM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
... and then it takes less than a minute or so to carbonate 1 liter. Don't push the
carbonating button and hold it -- do it in really short "bursts" and wait for the loud
buzzes (3 of them for average bubbles -- I've done 5 or 6 for extra fizzy).
.
.
.
Sometimes it's best to moisten some of the powdered flavorings and dissolve them
in very small amts of water before adding them to the bubbles. Once in the bottle,
it's difficult to mix by shaking it vigorously.
.
.

.
.
.

HipChick

(25,485 posts)
22. MFM - Please replace that with H20
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:53 PM
Dec 2012

Add lemon or lime...get rid of that gassy stuff..

i only drink water now...it was easy...you heart and(stomach) and poopy farts will thank you

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
27. But without poopy farts, I am...
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:15 PM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
... nothing.
.
.
.
.
I know carbonation could be -- even IS bad for me. But I do LOVE them scrubbin' bubbles.
.
I've given up smoking, many foods, alcohol and drugs.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
YOU STAY AWAY FROM MY FUCKING SCRUBBIN' BUBBLES, DAMMIT!!!!! I'M ARMED WITH
POOPY FARTS... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... AND I KNOW HOW TO USE THEM!!!

.
.
.

.
.
.

HipChick

(25,485 posts)
30. Lol! Don't make me laugh...I can't breathe right now..
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:21 PM
Dec 2012

What's the cost of the scrubbin bubbles per poopy fart? my ex after a triple by-pass would not give up pizza...I spent weeks with him on the cardic ward, helping him get better...

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
34. My coronary arteries were about the only impressive and SURPRISING thing about my heart.
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:48 PM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
They were in great shape, despite pretty crappy unthinking dietary habits.
.
But sodium IS a major consideration for me -- so a slice or two of pizza is
a relatively rare splurge.
.
.
.

nolabear

(41,950 posts)
33. We've had one for a year or so. BEST investment ever.
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:44 PM
Dec 2012

Soda water and a little splash of cranberry juice...and a squeeze of lemon...has saved my diet many a day. MANY a day!

Brigid

(17,621 posts)
35. I got one several months ago.
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:49 PM
Dec 2012

I love it. And I've liked most of the flavors I've tried. They all seem to be much lower in sugar than regular bottled soda. I got mine at Target.

Major Nikon

(36,827 posts)
38. I use a 20lb CO2 bottle
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:17 AM
Dec 2012

Mostly I make and drink fizzy water with it since I love drinking fizzy water in conjuction with espresso. Occassionally I make my own root beer or ginger ale. Each refill on the bottle lasts a very long time and long term it's cheaper than sodastream.

Incitatus

(5,317 posts)
70. How would I go about setting that up?
Thu Dec 13, 2012, 04:59 AM
Dec 2012

I know I could just to to a local retailer and buy a sodastream, but if I wanted a setup like yours, what would be your recommendation? Also, would I be able to make homemade tea and carbonate it with that kind of setup?

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
71. Carbonators have been around for a LONG time -- I think they gained popularity in the 50's & 60's...
Thu Dec 13, 2012, 06:10 AM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
... for home bars when drinks like Scotch & soda were so big.
.
I can't speak totally confidentally about the old-style setups -- but maybe -- I think both have a tube
that goes into the water and CO2 is SHOT into the water under high pressure -- so I think
it would have the same effect.
.
I've personally seen a review about how disastrous it was to try to carbonate Scotch directly. I've seen
similar reports of water that has been flavored. SodaStream advises MANY times in their equipment
packaging and their manual to ONLY ONLY ONLY carbonate plain water.
.
Nowhere did I see tea referenced directly. That's all I have to go on.
.
Here's my suggestion. Go to http://www.sodastreamusa.com/ . I think you can add comments. If so,
just ASK if anyone has experience trying to carbonate tea. If that's not possible, they have a "Contact
Us" icon with phone and email contact points. Or try one of their distributors -- Target, WalMart and
Bed Bath & Beyond are three that I know -- often you can ask questions in the comment sections of
THEIR SodaStream webpages.
.
Here's something I DO know. The other night, I wasn't thinking and mindlessly added flavoring to the
water before fizzing it -- caught myself AS I was doing it, but too late.
.
What I did was pour out half the flavored water and carbonate my second bottle (I bought two extras
at a $20 cost) VERY VERY heavily. Then I added a LITTLE more flavoring to the original flavored bottle
and filled it with the heavily carbonated plain water.
.
Success. Delicious, normally carbonated soda.
.
So, worse comes to worst, you could brew VERY VERY strong tea and carbonate it with heavily fizzed
H20.
.
Or you could simply try it out. The system doesn't require plugging in and only weighs about 3 pounds
or so -- so you could take it outside to try it out.
.
From what I've heard about the potential mess -- you'll thank me for that suggestion if things go wrong.
.
.
.

Major Nikon

(36,827 posts)
73. I've never seen a sodastream in action
Thu Dec 13, 2012, 06:43 AM
Dec 2012

I suspect the reason they don't want you carbonating anything other than water is so you don't get it contaminated. This is not an issue with my setup. You can carbonate most any liquid. It's basically the same setup home brewers use to charge kegs.

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
74. Maybe, but I can't see why they wouldn't just say "you don't wanna contaminate the system"...
Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:03 AM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
... and by not being specific about that point, they might leave themselves open to
lawsuits by anyone AFFECTED by a contaminated system -- I DEFINITELY don't see
them doing THAT.
.
Plus, I've seen anecdotal testimonies in several areas about the mess caused by
carbonating a substance other than plain water.
.
AH!!!!! Your keg is a closed system, I'm assuming. And when you pour a beer from
it, a certain amount of head is produced -- which you can normally pretty much
control (though from my bartending days, I think a freshly-tapped keg puts out a
LOT of initial foam). You have to "open" the freshly-carbonated bottle immediately
with no way to control the outrush of gases and fluids.
.
I know I added flavoring too quickly to a JUST-made bottle of carbonated water
and it actually bubbled over very quickly, though not too badly. Something tells
me the effect would be MUCH worse if the flavoring had been in the water at the
time of carbonation.
.
.
.

Major Nikon

(36,827 posts)
75. There's no issues
Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:12 AM
Dec 2012

I make my own homemade root beer and ginger ale and use my setup to carbonate it. There's no difference between carbonating soda and carbonating water the way I do it. A beer tap is different because the system is pressurized while you're tapping it. After you remove the cap there's no more pressure just like a soda bottle.

I didn't realize you had to add the flavoring after carbonation with the sodastream. If that's the case it just seems like little more than a seltzer bottle which will also do only water. Before I built my setup I had a seltzer bottle and didn't like it because of those limitations and the fact that it took 1-2 of the CO2 cartridges at > = 50 cents each.

Major Nikon

(36,827 posts)
72. Here's what you need
Thu Dec 13, 2012, 06:40 AM
Dec 2012

Regulator:
http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/regulator/double/commercial_double_gauge_beer_co2_regulator.shtml

5lb Tank (or larger):
http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/tanks/co2/C5.shtml

Ball lock:
http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/couplers/homebrew/BLGI-MFLB.shtml

Carbonator cap (might want to buy 2-3 so you can do more bottles at once):
http://www.amazon.com/LiquidBread-The-Carbonater/dp/B0064OKADS

5/16" hose:
http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/hoses/airtubing/516BAL_beer_air_line_mfl.shtml

The squeeze clamp that comes with the hose sucks, so buy a better clamp at your local hardware store along with some tephlon tape to seal the all the fittings. That's all you need besides a wrench to tighten everything. Set the regulator to between 30-40 psi after you get the tank filled. I keep mine at 40.

You can have the tank filled at home brew shops, some liquor stores, gas distributors, and perhaps welding supply shops. Naturally the bigger tank you have, the less you'll need to fill it. You may want to check around and see how far you have to go to get it refilled before you decide on a bottle size. I would venture to guess that a 5lb tank would probably charge at least 100 2 liter PEP bottles and possibly more. My 20lb tank seems to last forever and I make a lot of fizzy water. The carbonator cap fits both 2 liter bottles and 20 oz bottles(or any other bottle that uses the same size cap). I use coke bottles because the plastic is a bit thicker than the really cheap soda bottles. Make sure you remove the plastic ring from the cap.

With this setup you can carbonate most anything liquid like soda, tea, water, juice, and even home brew beer. You can also recharge partially used 2 liter soda bottles so they don't go flat. Charging the bottles is pretty simple. You just push the pin on the carbonator cap and squeeze the air out of the bottle, turn on the valves, and put the ball lock valve on the carbonator cap to charge and shake the hell out of it for a couple of minutes then remove the ball lock and turn off your valves. You can drink it right away, but it gets a bit more fizzy if you let it sit for an hour or so for whatever reason. If you do it right you'll get at least as much carbonation as commercial soda.

If you go with the cheapest setup, that's about $122 not counting shipping, tax, and the misc things like the clamp and tephlon tape. So the initial setup is more expensive, but you're not tied to sodastream for the CO2 and other supplies so in the long run it will be a lot cheaper.

Lots of stuff on the utubes:

Rhiannon12866

(204,902 posts)
41. Thanks so much for the report!
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:39 AM
Dec 2012

I've been looking at those too, since soda's awfully heavy for me, as well, and the cost keeps going up. But I was also wondering if I could find the flavors I like and if it would be confusing to deal with. Thanks!

Incitatus

(5,317 posts)
42. I think I'm going to buy one.
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:43 AM
Dec 2012

I drink a lot less soda now, but I do like the carbonation. I'll use it mostly for tea and juice.

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
46. There are tea flavorings -- SodaStream has some (as well as CountryTime lemonade flavoring).
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:55 AM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
Crystal Light has powdered sugarfree tea and tea/lemonade combinations as well as green tea
and flavored green tea flavorings.
.
.
.

fishwax

(29,149 posts)
45. I got one of those a while back, and I love it. I especially like the flexibility of flavors
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:55 AM
Dec 2012

It's saved me money, on the whole, and it certainly results in less waste than going through all those aluminum cans.

The thing that I like about it is the many different ways you can flavor it. I've tried several of the sodastream flavors, and have liked most of them. But I also like using Torani syrups or a twist of fresh juice or mio flavorings or any number of other possibilities. I've even made my own cream soda syrup, and it turned out quite well.

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
47. I didn't even THINK of Torani syrups -- THANK YOU!!!
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:57 AM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
Hmmmm, now you've got me wondering what a hazelnut soda might taste like.
.
.
.
The possibilities are not endless, but legion.
.
.
.

 

RZM

(8,556 posts)
49. I put this on the Christmas list I gave to my SO
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:22 AM
Dec 2012

My main concern is the flavors. Are they closer to the good stuff or store brand?

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
50. Yes.
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:48 AM
Dec 2012

.
.
.

.
It seems to be as subjective as the Pepsi/Coke battle. I saw two reviewers online talking about
the SodaStream root beer flavoring -- one thought it tasted like poor-quality generic root beer
and one thought it tasted like high-quality small-batch hand-crafter root beer. I think that was
almost certainly hyperbole... but I bet ten different people would rate it at 10 different levels.
.
The flavorings are so widely available from so many sources/manufacturers that the answer to
your question is still "yes".
.
.
.
Some good stuff and some store brand.
.
Two of the three flavorings I tried at the start (from 3 different sources) were great.
.
.
.

jeff47

(26,549 posts)
55. You could buy the flavor and mix it with seltzer water bought from the store
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:23 AM
Dec 2012

Would let you try the flavor without buying the unit.

GreenPartyVoter

(72,377 posts)
60. We use ours quite a bit, but I find the soda flavors to be
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:37 AM
Dec 2012

substandard, with the exception of Orange. We're using the sugarfree ones, so I guess the chemical taste is to be expected.

Hubby loves the seltzer but I feel like I am drinking a kissing potion from the 70s. There's a slickness to it that I can't describe any other way. LOL

The best way to extend the life of your CO2 unit and get the most bubbles is to use the coldest water possible before pumping. I actually add crushed ice to my bottles. So far so good. No surprise bottle explosions or anything.



MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
68. I chill mine in the freezer a short time before making the soda.
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:12 PM
Dec 2012

.
.
.
I like plain seltzer water, too -- a LOT. Try using the term "scrubbing bubbles" on Hubby.
I bet it strikes a chord!!!
.
.
.

hobbit709

(41,694 posts)
62. I bought one last spring
Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:51 AM
Dec 2012

It's great. I add a little lemon or lime juice, sometimes some black cherry concentrate or blackberry or raspberry juice out of the freezer. Main thing is, you don't have a dozen or so empty plastic bottles in the trash every week.

Latest Discussions»The DU Lounge»Yesterday, I bought a Sod...