Instructables

Make your own Soda - - Cheap!

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So I like carbonated beverages. Soda, Beer (especially beer), Champagne, whatever bubbly.
So I found this Lindsay Press deal about how to make your own soda.
http://www.lindsaybks.com/prod/index.html
There are three options
1. Spend a lot of money and buy a commercial soda fountain or it's parts. Expect to pay at least $200 even on ebay for a carbonator unit (a pump and a chamber probably without regulators)
2. Ferment. Take sugar water, add yeast and wait. This is definitely the lowest cost solution, but I don't like to wait.
3. Follow the instructions that follow
4. OK There is a fourth option: Buy the premade stuff (but hey, this is "instructables" right? We like to Do it ourselves.

So Stuff you will need: CO2 canister - If you can't afford one (or don't drink enough beer to have a kegerator) then troll the streets. Restaurants often leave these out in back to be exchanged with new ones. Choose a large chain restaurant to steal from. No, don't steal. CO2 is useful for other projects. Buy a cylinder. They last a long time (essentially forever) You will need to buy a regulator. $40. buy a new one.
 
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Step 1: Gather Materials

I chose this method since I had a CO2 cylinder, regulators, hoses, fittings and whatnot already in my possession. If you don't have stuff like that, then fear not. The total cost will still be less than that of the in-line carbonator devices.
So gather your materials:
*Plastic 2-liter bottles - they must have that ring below the neck
  • There are 2 neck sizes , and I have built this for the smaller, more common size.
  • Metal plate - about one square foot should be plenty. Stainless steel is probably ideal. I used plain old mild steel, and aluminum could work if it's thick enough not to bend easily.
  • Pipe Fittings - I'm using 1/4" pipe fittings
  • short nipple (i used brass)
  • valve (also brass)
  • quick disconnect air fittings (2 male, 2 female) and some air hose
  • teflon tape
  • CO2 cylinder ( you can get a very small one which will last a good long time at a beer brewing supply store, or a welding supply store)
  • CO2 regulators (also available at brewing supply store or welding supply store)
  • wing nuts and carriage bolts (1/4" are good) about 2 inches long.
  • some kind of gasket material. -- silicon aquarium sealant is probably best, but I have used bike innertube successfully
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-CCCP-4 months ago

Mine will be different. I will have the same regulator as my air gun CO2 setup (project in progress!). My regulator goes up to 400 psi, so a 125 psi relief valve will be on the bottle.

dalesql6 months ago

The only quibble I would have with your setup, and it is fairly minor with the way you use it, is the potential for metal poisoning. Carbonated water is by itself a weak acid, and if left in contact with copper, brass, or bronze, will leach copper from the metal into the carbonated water. The copper can have adverse effects on your body, and if there is enough consumed, it is quite toxic. It will also corrode the steel, but iron in this form is much better tolerated by our body chemistry.

The way you use this setup, the contact of carbonated water and the brass fittings is fairly brief and should not cause any problems. IF this does still bother you, or want to have carbonated beverages on tap, then change over to stainless steel or food grade plastics for the surfaces that are in contact with the carbonated water. Cola flavors are more acidic and this is more of a problem with them. If you have small children or pregnant ladies, or nursing moms in the house, be more careful, as metal poisoning is very bad for developing nervous tissue.

juggler (author)  dalesql6 months ago

You are right ! I have since switched over to full on keg sized soda making for most of my soda water needs, and I agree that people should definitely heed your advice. Perhaps I should remove this instructable...

Now I use this product to make 2-liter batches http://amzn.to/1key7PO

hossmonkey3 years ago
Can either of these regulators from Harbor freight be used for the project? If not could you explain why?



http://www.harborfreight.com/regulator-gauge-94841.html


or


http://www.harborfreight.com/oxygen-regulator-94846.html



I would assume this hose would work since adding the pressure from the regulator doesn't excede 90PSI?


http://www.harborfreight.com/1-4-quarter-inch-x-25-ft-self-coiling-air-hose-47.html



Thanks!
tradergordo6 years ago
The method in this instructible:
http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Soda-Water-%26-Home-Carbonation---Pays-For-Itsel/
Is better, easier, and cheaper.
I disagree because the tire valve is made with copper that is not food-grade. It contains lead and it will leach it into your drinks.
juggler (author)  tradergordo6 years ago
Well, I don't know how you are qualifying "better, easier, and cheaper" because it is exactly the same method except for where you connect to the water bottle... whatever.
Sorry, was just putting the comment there for someone that might be looking to do home carbonation so they knew there was easier ways. I don't know why people make this more complicated than they have to. Heck even the other instructable makes it more complicated than it has to be. Just stick a 1/4 inch barb onto your regulator if it doesn't already have one, attach a tube, and stick a 99 cent tire inflater on the end of the tube. Then stick a cheap schrader valve in a plastic soda bottle cap and you are done. You can carbonate any liquid in about 5 seconds. Better, easier, cheaper, faster, whatever...
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Yeah, except that the copper in the tire valve is not food-grade copper. It contains lead and will leach lead into your drinks. Toxic stuff!
I noticed in the original article that a kegerator is referenced but I have also noticed that soda regulators have pressures of 160 PSI but beer regulators only go to 60 PSI. I have found really nice beer regulators at some of the lowest prices at www.kegcowboy.com but they only sell beer regulators and beer kegerator equipment. Is it enough for soda too?
60 is plenty. A two liter soda bottle is supposed to be able to handle up to 200 psi but in testing they can burst around 140 psi. Of course in the real world you don't want to get anywhere near their burst point. Most people do not like having more than 30 psi carbonation for their soda, and commercial soda products never exceed 30. Its actually hard to drink (and annoying) at much higher levels of carbonation (you'll be burping continuously).
hmmmm maybe I do need a soda regulator so I can make some special 120 psi soda for my mother-in-law and sit back and watch the show.....
lol - be nice dude.
This can be done with dry ice too. Maybe I'll  'ible that
loqk5 years ago
By the way, I notice a lot of people seem to carbonate warm liquids. It is known that gasses (non polar) dissolve more readily in cold water and salts (polar) dissolve more readily in warm water. So for maximum absorption of CO2, make sure your drink is ice cold before adding CO2
nanonot6 years ago
Can i use any kind of tubing from the CO2 tank to the bottle?
BuilderboY7 years ago
haha, is that that one effect in photo booth?
ya i saw that on my mom's new laptop.
dave488586 years ago
perfectly safe as far as the bottle holding up, I put 180 pounds on my setup (20 oz, 1l, 2l, & 3l bottles). your contraption for the top, I'm not too sure about. when I made mine, I just used a valve stem, took the valve out, drilled a small hole through the cap, attached the valve stem there, 1/4 in hose to a couple ball valves and it worked fine, much cleaner and quicker. also turning the bottle upside down in introducing the co2 made it carbonate much quicker. best of luck, Dave
Matt D6556 years ago
you should use a mix of 70% nitrogen and 30% Co2 for crbonation, co2 is ok but nitrogen is better.
Oh, and it's the CO2 which actually carbonates, not the nitrogen...
For Guiness, yes... Soda... NO! The N gives Guiness beer that heavy, lingering, cool looking head. I don't think I'd want that in my rootbeer!
Wired_24_76 years ago
wow... that video looks pretty dangerous! Not sure if I would try that without protective gear, you have a little bottle rocket in your hands.
casper.7076 years ago
I are ben, you are cheap! A pack of napkins is only like two dollars at wally world
what is a good brand of napkin then?
The kind that doens't look like truckstop toilet paper--a.k.a. 40-grit, translucent, and won't absorb anything. If it looks fluffy, it's probably a good napkin. Get six dollars together and buy three brands if you're not sure.
i are ben6 years ago
Were can I purchase a napkin without buying a whole pack?
HHAHAHAHAHAHAHA try wendy's, McDonalds, or any other fast food resteraunt, they give them out free.
ValdezB6 years ago
Your loundry dryer sounds great :)
cprmichael6 years ago
Two quick comments. 1) Keep in mind while shaking that even though it's a closed pressurized system, gravity is still in effect and if you shake the bottle higher than the regulator, the "water" will tend to run down the tube and into the regulator where it (conceivably) could mold and contaminate the next batch. I learned this the hard way, carbonating home brew. 2) Keep an eye on the regulator pressure and resist the temptation to crank the pressure way up for a quick carbonation. I don't know the bursting pressure of a PET bottle but when they go, they tend to explode big time.
davidlaska7 years ago
I have these parts:
1 - A navy CO2 extinguisher, looks and feels like older diving heavy air tanks

2 - An empty water extinguisher with a build in pressure gauge and tire valve and rated refillable. (big silver stainless steel ones that spray water under air pressure)

3 - A few new high pressure propane hoses with air valves for filling tire.

4 - An access to brass fittings for conversion and etc.

Can I put a tire air filler on the CO2 bottle and Carbonate water in the water silver container and shake it after the pressure guage reach 100 psi, (recommend refill pressure)?

The key concern is skipping the regulator. Larger canisters seems to reach over-pressure limits at a slower safe speed while watching the pressure gauge

It is not safe as a routine without a regulator but maybe monthly with a clear head and cold CO2 tank?

I do not have money to go shopping and I am dying for carbonation. That would be a luxury.
juggler (author)  davidlaska7 years ago
I would definitely worry about the purity of the co2 in a fire extinguisher. I have never used or played with one so I don't know if they add any other chemicals. It seems like they might. If you are having it filled, then you could make sure it holds only pure co2. Otherwise, the only thing to worry about is over pressurizing the water extinguisher if you don't have regulation. Probably be worth a try, though. If you're careful, you should be able to stop filling the water extinguisher in time to not over do it...
kamu11 juggler7 years ago
You do not add any chemicals or anything at all to a fire extinguisher filled with co2. The co2 for fires and carbonation are exactly the same
I found some information about people buying old CO2 extinguishers and using them up and changing the valve of the bottle. My project worked, but I never did get the it as bubbly stating as soft drinks.
I did it and I liked seeing it done in person. I did remove the stop in the tire filler so the CO2 canisters hose would not blow (since it was designed to direct co2 out. But the water extinguisher is leaky and now I am worried about what the Navy added to the their extinguishes 40 years ago.
LasVegas7 years ago
Great Instructable. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed. The first picture was that of a modified refrigerator, much like what my dad had done. Instead, it was a cool way of processing a 2 liter bottle. Good idea, but the 1st picture doesn't show it. I suggest adding a picture of a class a iced charged (soda) water with a slice of lemon or lime as the intro picture. I've been wanting to repeat my dad's process for years. I even bought an old refrigerator for that purpose. It's been sitting on my back porch for about 10 years now... I think I'll need a new one.
juggler (author)  LasVegas7 years ago
I have made soda water in soda kegs before, but only use my kegerator for beer... Perhaps I should post instructable on making a kegerator? It is really just drilling holes in the fridge, though.
Augh! I was swearing to a friend that I would be able to find an instructable for a kegerator, and your mention is the closest thing on the site. So, pretty please, post a kegerator instructable, or I may never be able to face my again.
You mean you run the pop through the comprressor? That can't be good seeing as you probably wouldn't be able to get all the freon out?
Absolutely not! The fridge is simply used as a cooling device. The CO2 tank is kept outside and lines are run into the refrigerator to charge two cans of water. Another line from the cans is fed out of the refrigerator to the tap (replaced the rinse attachment on the kitchen sink).
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