Instructables

How to carbonate nearly anything: make your own carbonated fruit and soda!

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Ever since I bought a CO2 tank, I've been carbonating my own things for years now. I say "things", because the possibilities of what can be carbonated are almost limitless. Nearly anything that contains water can be quickly and easily carbonated for some additional "pop". Most people think of soda when we speak of carbonating things, but I've successfully carbonated apples, oranges, grapefruits, grapes, pineapple, blueberries, tangerines, strawberry smoothies, all types of fruit juice, and even ice cream! I've made my own sparkling cider and amazing desserts.

It's fairly simple to begin carbonating things; here's a list of the things you'll need to follow this instructable step by step:

-CO2 supply: This can vary greatly between setups. I use a 20# tank, but you can use nearly any size CO2 tank with a regulator. Heck, I've even used 9-20oz paintball tanks to carbonate things! You can find good used 20# tanks on eBay (I got mine for around $40)
-A Regulator -this is a good one.
-To carbonate liquids, you'll need an empty 3L soda bottle.
-A clamp-in schrader valve for the 3L soda bottle - you can find these at nearly any auto parts store. Here's one that will work. Here's another.
-To carbonate fruits and other objects that you can't pour, you'll need to build a pressure vessel out of PVC pipe and other standard fittings that can be found any hardware store. This will be discussed in detail later in the instructable.
 
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chriscmoor6 months ago

Perhaps a thrift store pressure cooker could be handily repurposed into a pressure vessel and be safer than dealing with PVC's explosive potential.

violetta.12 years ago
I want to make one of these but only have paintball tanks laying around. What set up do you use when your using paintball tanks I havent been able to find a good solution to go from the paintball threading to a 1/4 npt to go into the regulator.
If you are still interested in doing this... I actually use a paintball tank myself for carbonating and then I refill the paintball tanks with a large tank. Search amazon or ebay for "CGA320 PaintBall Adapter". The adapter should be between $13 and $20 depending on brand and style. One kind goes between the existing stem of the regulator and the tank and another kind actually replaces the stem. I have both (long story) and they both work well.
slomer1 year ago
I actually use a paintball tank myself for carbonating and then I refill the paintball tanks with a large tank. Search amazon or ebay for "CGA320 PaintBall Adapter". The adapter should be between $13 and $20 depending on brand and style. One kind goes between the existing stem of the regulator and the tank and another kind actually replaces the stem. I have both (long story) and they both work well.
Bowtie411 year ago
Shoulda read the whole i'ble before I asked ?? on previous step.....My bad
Mokaba2 years ago
Hello my dear Chris Marion,
Could you please tell me if it is possible to carbonate a large quantity of drink for a party occasion. After carbonating should one necessarely maintain the beverage hermeticaly closed ? If yes is it possible to keep this carboated beverage in a plastic container with a plastic cover not hermeticaly closed ? For how long could a carbonated drink last in such a plastic container ?

Many thanks.
Mokaba
oswaldonfire (author)  Mokaba2 years ago
It's definitely possible to do large quantities of fruit for parties and large gatherings, but keeping the fruit adequately carbonated will most likely be an issue. I find that once I remove the fruit from the high pressure CO2 atmosphere, the optimal time for consumption is within a few minutes. After that, the fruit will loose the majority of it's "zing" - it will still be bubbly but the great effects of carbonation that we're after will be mainly lost. Of course, the amount of time you have after removing the fruit from the CO2 has to do with a variety of factors, such as the type of fruit (i.e. does it have a thick or thin skin?), the temperature of the room (I'd recommend keeping the fruit on ice or as cold as possible to maintain carbonation for as long as possible), etc. One thing I might suggest would be to carbonate the fruit in stages in a few different containers, and open them as necessary as the fruit is consumed. This way you always have a fresh supply that you can crack open to provide fresh fruit. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

-Chris
I'm wondering if you could put regular ice in the vessel you made to do fruit in?I read in other i'bles cold liquids/fruit absorb better,but wasn't sure if ice did something "freaky" under pressure.Or maybe put your container in an old fridge,and let it "charge" longer?
Rias881 year ago
Can i use steel tank and reguler CO2 regulator for this system sir?
oldmicah2 years ago
I've done it using a 3 liter bottle and some dry ice, letting it sit overnight in the fridge. (use only a thumb sized piece) As the dry ice sublimates, it fills the bottle w. co2. Advantage is that it's cheap. Disadvantage is that the results I've gotten have been varied. (some really carbonated, some just a little).

Ie I love the pressure gauge and thank you for the pressure estimates of the bottles.

From the carbonated drink front, I've also done home made ginger ale with yeast before. Alton Brown @ food networks as a nice recipe that was a great project to do w. kids.

When you did ice cream, I'm guessing that you put frozen ice cream under pressure? (awesome idea)
this seems simpler than the soda stream machine, and more cost effective too