Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Adding Carbonation - Soda Stream

So, I was wondering if anyone has tried using the soda stream for adding carbonation to still cider? Seems like a cheaper and easier to store method. I was wondering if it:

  1. works
  2. is not too problematic on cleanup

thanks!

can’t do. The soda stream is only meant to carbonate water (which is why you add flavorings afterward). I’m pretty sure it says so on the device, but certainly in the instructions.

You can try it, but you might wind up with really heady beer and a ruined soda stream.

So, I got my sodastream and finally had a chance to test it out a bit. The bottle holds 1 liter of liquid or so, which looks like it would be 3-4 12 oz. bottles (too lazy to do math). Anyway, the soda stream is a very simple device. It is essentially a CO2 tank with a fancy plastic case. There are no electronics and you basically vent CO2 from the tank into the 1 liter bottle to pressurize the bottle and force carbonate the liquid. It appears to work pretty well. I might stop and buy some store cider to do a comparison test.

On thing I noticed. I only carbonated 1 bottle of cider, so there was a considerable volume of empty space in the 1 liter bottle. When I released the pressure on the bottle, the cider “foamed” and expanded considerably. I think if you tried to fill the bottle to the fill line, you could end up with a big mess on your hands. Not sure what the best amount would be, but I expect it would be half a liter or so.

From looking at the device, I don’t see how carbonating something other than water could possible damage it. The only thought I had is that you would get the nozzle dirty and could breed nasty stuff on it. Nothing a little cleaning wouldn’t take care of.

Nice! Post back on how the cleaning goes if you can. I do like using mine to carbonate soda water, but if it can be used for other stuff, would love to hear about it!

You need to be carefull. I was just on a sodastream forum and the problem seems to be excessive foaming and spewing when you open the bottle after carbing. It might work if you don’t fill the bottle very far and are very carefull.

This is true. The soda stream comes with a one liter bottle. I fill it about half way and release the pressure incrementally to prevent over foaming. This ends up being able to carbonate one 12 oz bottle of cider at a time. Not terribly efficient, but for a small home brewer like me it works pretty well.

I don’t have a soda stream, but a buddy does. He’s used it for all kinds of things, and yes some of them foam up a lot more than water does.

Cider is something I thought could be useful for this. It is so difficult to make cider carbonated and have some residual sweetness. Carbonating a bottle or two at a time of still, backsweetened cider could get around this pretty well.

My thought is the clear lack of cost benefit. My wife uses the soda stream (cola addict), and burns through those CO2 cartridges every week, which cost $15 to exchange! That’s the same price that I exchange my 5lb CO2 tank for, so rigging up a carbonator cap would be more cost effective IMO. I’m planning to give her a dedicated keg of water, so she can draw off a glass of sparkling water to add her soda stream syrups to. The only drawback is having to give up a keg spot for her…

I wonder if one of those old time seltzer bottles would work for this.

It would work. But those CO2 cartridges will get expensive after a while.

My mom asked about the SS machine yesterday. She wants to carbonate ice tea. I advised against it because of the cost of the tanks. I will be getting a carbonator cap and show her how to use one. If she likes it I will buy a 20lb tank for myself and give her my 5lb one.

I also suggested carbonating cranberry juice and anything else she can think of.

I have not done it myself, but I have read on another forum you can carbonate cheap wine into the bubbly for next to nothing.

I tried to carbonate a flat beer with my SodaStream once. Very bad idea. I got foam all over the entire effing kitchen. Don’t do it. You can carbonate plain water with your SodaStream, and nothing else.

Brew a batch to double strength and mix it half and half with soda stream highly carbed water?

Funny… but I’ve thought about that and I think it might actually work!?!

I use my soda stream for forced carbonation. It could be a messy process if you are not careful. Here are a few tips.

For cider (or beer):
I make a still apple wine (still beer). When its done I use Potassium Sorbate to kill the yeast (prevent bombs), then I rack to .5 liter soda stream bottles (a little below the fill line) and place them in cold fridge (2 C). The colder the better (lower temp the higher the gas solubility). As I go to drink the little bottles of heaven, I carbonate them, by placing them on the Sodastream and hitting them with one 2 second stream. The instructions say to hit water with two or three streams, until the clicking sound is heard, but this is too much for cider or beer. Then I wait for the head to subside, 30 seconds to 1.5 minutes. Then I release it and enjoy it.

Works great :cheers:

If you release it early or over carbonate it, you will have a mess on your hands. As in cider (beer) all over the counter. Be patient and prudent. The clean up is simple, just run the nozzle and coupling under warm water, and Sanitize with Starsan if needed.

BTW For those worried about cost of the EXPENSIVE CO2 for the Sodastream, I solved this by converting to paintball tanks with http://www.co2doctor.com/freedomopbi.htm and a paintball tank.

You can watch their terrible video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSepx4tDUgg if you want.

Thanks! I might give the SodaStream a second try.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com