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Any ideas about how to refill vintage selzer bottles (aka soda siphons)? Answered

I’m wondering if anyone has any insight into the hardware adapter and technique required to refill antique glass selzer bottles. I understand that they were refilled through the nozzle in upside-down orientation with a special connector on the vintage refill machines, but there’s very little available info out there

I figured that with the easy and cheap availability of CO2 kegging systems for home brewing that a bulk filling mechanism might be set up to get around the expense of proprietary systems like SodaStream, or without the waste of dealing with small and pricey 1 liter co2 chargers. Would also be great to put those old heavy glass bottles back to regular daily use.



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1 year ago

The old glass ones were indeed filled through the outlet nozzle, at least for the gas part.
As far as I know there were three methods used back in the day.
But the most common seens to have been to just fill the bottle with water from the neck, then to pressurise it through the outlet.

There is two types of outlets on these bottles, depending on their age and what refiller was caring for them.
One has like a little pot on the outlet.
This is to hold the pressure line for the gas with a rubber or sometimes just leather seal.
The other should have a very straight bit inside the nozzle - these had the pressure hose connected with rubber rings around the filler line that seal against this straight bit in the outlet.

Creating a suitable should not be that complicated but old glass can be brittle...
You will need a way to ensure you are not overpressurising the bottle!

Speaking of bulk...
When I was still using these "modern" home soda machines I found nice and cheap alternatives to the genuine syrup you are supposed to use.
The CO2 however required a good friend, a lathe and some brass.
We made an adapter for the standard fitting of a high pressure hose to match the soda machine's neck of the expensive tiny bottles.
As he had to do it officially and on the boock the adapter set me back about 80 bucks for the machine time, the coding for the CNC was done by my friend during his breaks.
I guess these days it wouldn't be too hard to find similar adapters in the onsual online markets.
Only did a quick look but found this for using big bottles and that for refilling the small ones...
Should not be too hard to make an adapter with an additional push valve with these to fill your vintage bottle for cheap.

Jack A Lopez
Jack A Lopez

1 year ago

You might be spelling the word "seltzer" incorrectly, and sometimes bad spelling can mess with your search-fu.

I think the Wikipedia article for, "Soda syphon," (or is it soda siphon?) which is a synonym for "Seltzer bottle" gives some clues as to how to connect some plumbing to one of these artifacts.


I mean, the "special connector" you are contemplating, could be a length of rubber tubing, that will fit over the nozzle.

A hose clamp could help it seal, especially if it has to be left connected for a while.


I am not totally sure about the kinetics (i.e how fast, how much time) of dissolving carbon dioxide in water, which is why I am thinking a hose clamp might help.

Actually that Wiki article had some other weird ideas for refilling a seltzer bottle, including vacuuming the air out first, so the vacuum could be used to pull liquid into the bottle.