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Old 06-09-2011, 05:35 PM   #1
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Default Carbonator, CO2, Chiller, etc for Home Seltzer Tap

Hey All,

I am going to install a seltzer tap in my parents house. Cost isn't really limited, so I am looking for something really simple. Basically I want to run a single chilled seltzer tap with water running through a filter. My question is what is the best way to create a setup for this? I was thinking about using a 10 lb CO2 Cylinder, Regulator, Carbonator (of some sort), Chiller, and one of the Seltzer Taps. I am not entirely sure how the Carbonator and Chiller setups work?.... do I put the carbonator in a the fridge or ... ? Thanks.

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Old 06-10-2011, 01:20 AM   #2
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Check out this comparuson www.truetex.com/carbonation.htm there are small carbonators to attach to a 2liter bottle, pressurizing kegs, or in line carbonation units. The link is a fairly decent overview of some of them.

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Old 06-10-2011, 01:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
Check out this comparuson www.truetex.com/carbonation.htm there are small carbonators to attach to a 2liter bottle, pressurizing kegs, or in line carbonation units. The link is a fairly decent overview of some of them.
Great link. Thanks. I think that the carbonator would be quite cool... overkill, but cool.
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Old 06-10-2011, 06:20 PM   #4
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Had to do that from my phone last night. So to pretty much say what I meant to say along with the link... yes, you would want a co2 tank for sure, and the lines.
After that, the options are:

2 liter bottle with carbonator cap, either purchased or self built. These are easy to do, takes 2 minutes and can be stuck into the fridge. It's like the original soda stream.

Kegs that you can carbonate the water in and dispense from a tap or faucet and those can be kept in a fridge or keezer, or kegerator. Pretty much just a bigger version of #1

In line carbonation unit, (McCann's) which would be really cool and perhaps a bit overkill, but that then allows the fountain units. But at that point, you'd need some equipment like the flash plate chiller and such.

Most of us here use either the 2-liter (or smaller) bottles or kegs. Personally, I keep my kegs for other things and am reusing a 12 or 20 ounce soda/sparkling water bottle that I fill up, charge at 30psi, shake for a minute and use when I want, or if I have more people, I do the 2 liter bottles.

If I had a party, I'm sure I'd do a keg (like the thread where people put a keg of carbonated water or soda for the kids and non-alcohol drinkers.)

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Old 06-11-2011, 04:52 AM   #5
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the chiller/dispenser is the tough part about having a motorized carbonator system.. the carbonator installation itself is easy, you can put it anywhere you have water and electricity and space for the co2 tank, and run hoses from it to the point of dispense. ice-cooled chillers are the most common but you need a supply of ice... refrigerated units are available but are expensive new or used... one system that works is a 2 or 3 gallon corny keg stored in a kegerator, the liquid out side connects to your dispenser, the gas in side connects to the soda line coming from the carbonater. the large volume in the keg is chilled and constantly replenished from the carbonator as it's used.

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Old 06-11-2011, 10:56 AM   #6
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the chiller/dispenser is the tough part about having a motorized carbonator system.. the carbonator installation itself is easy, you can put it anywhere you have water and electricity and space for the co2 tank, and run hoses from it to the point of dispense. ice-cooled chillers are the most common but you need a supply of ice... refrigerated units are available but are expensive new or used... one system that works is a 2 or 3 gallon corny keg stored in a kegerator, the liquid out side connects to your dispenser, the gas in side connects to the soda line coming from the carbonater. the large volume in the keg is chilled and constantly replenished from the carbonator as it's used.
That is an interesting idea. I was thinking about taking a mini fridge, and mounting the carbonator and a chiller plate inside of it.... run the incoming water through the chiller plate and then into the carbonator. Since the whole thing is inside of the fridge and it should be able to keep up with home usage, right?
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:19 PM   #7
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most of the carbonators that i've seen (and all of the ones that i own..) have open motors and unsealed electrical controls, and probably aren't safe to use in the higher humidity of a refrigerator or converted freezer. chiller plates (cold plates) have to be in contact with actual ice in order to work. people have tried using them alone in refrigerators, with mixed results..

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Old 06-12-2011, 09:22 PM   #8
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most of the carbonators that i've seen (and all of the ones that i own..) have open motors and unsealed electrical controls, and probably aren't safe to use in the higher humidity of a refrigerator or converted freezer. chiller plates (cold plates) have to be in contact with actual ice in order to work. people have tried using them alone in refrigerators, with mixed results..
Bah... is there anyway to put something together to generate seltzer on the fly for say.... $750 or less?
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:15 AM   #9
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I have a two tap tower that I built in my home, and I use 1 for beer and the 2nd for soda. All you need is the c02 tank, regulator, corny keg and tap. No special taps needed, I use a Perlick 525 for mine, but any would work.

Fill the keg with cold, clean water and put the gas on it. Shake the crap out of it for some time if you want the carbonation to happen quicker, otherwise just leave it on pressure for 4-5 days and you will have perfectly carbed soda water.

**Reread your original post. You're looking for instant soda water. That's not cheap to do. The carbonators that you would need run in the high hundreds, if not thousands. I would suggest doing something similar to what I described above, except have two ports out of the regulator so you can carb one keg while drinking from the other. You won't go through 5 gallons of soda water in less than four days, most likely. It would be the best compromise between cost and effort in my opinion.

If dealing with the kegs would be too much effort for your parents, you will need to get the motorized carbonator systems.

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Old 06-14-2011, 11:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakeddog View Post
I have a two tap tower that I built in my home, and I use 1 for beer and the 2nd for soda. All you need is the c02 tank, regulator, corny keg and tap. No special taps needed, I use a Perlick 525 for mine, but any would work.

Fill the keg with cold, clean water and put the gas on it. Shake the crap out of it for some time if you want the carbonation to happen quicker, otherwise just leave it on pressure for 4-5 days and you will have perfectly carbed soda water.

**Reread your original post. You're looking for instant soda water. That's not cheap to do. The carbonators that you would need run in the high hundreds, if not thousands. I would suggest doing something similar to what I described above, except have two ports out of the regulator so you can carb one keg while drinking from the other. You won't go through 5 gallons of soda water in less than four days, most likely. It would be the best compromise between cost and effort in my opinion.

If dealing with the kegs would be too much effort for your parents, you will need to get the motorized carbonator systems.
Yeah. I do the keg thing here. I was just playing with the idea of real time. But the carbonators etc does seem like a lot more effort to setup the first time and a lot more money.
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