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Old 09-22-2011, 11:06 PM   #1
littlebirdsoda
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Default Kegs? Sodastream? aaah HELP!

Hello everyone!!

I've been using a sodastream and homemade syrups to sell sodas at farmers markets....it works really well, but now I want to bottle my sodas to send off to cafes in state!! I have had several requests for it (super exciting) but I am CLUELESS when it comes to bottling/carbonating/etc.

I've never brewed beer or soda...do I do it with yeast??? If I do it with a keg...i've been trying to understand all the PSI and force carbonating but I need someone to explain it to me as if I were 5 haha.

I REALLY want to use clear glass bottles. I tried to funnel soda that I'd carbonated into a glass bottle and cap it, but it is always flat after a day of being in the fridge. I think I may be losing too much carbonation in the transfer...?

So if I get a keg...whats next? I realize this is a really stupid question...but if I'm serious about wanting to distribute it, I better learn You guys are all so smart and I can't wait to learn from you!! Thank you SO much!

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Old 09-22-2011, 11:19 PM   #2
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i'm no expert on soda, but this may help you out on your bottling troubles.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/we-n...eer-gun-24678/

the easy way is to buy a blichmann beer gun, but they cost $.

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Old 09-22-2011, 11:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlebirdsoda View Post
I REALLY want to use clear glass bottles.
shouldn't be any problem for a soda.


Quote:
Originally Posted by littlebirdsoda View Post
I've never brewed beer or soda...do I do it with yeast??? If I do it with a keg...i've been trying to understand all the PSI and force carbonating but I need someone to explain it to me as if I were 5 haha.
i could tell you how to do it with beer, but i'm not really sure about sodas. here's a link i found that might be helpful

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f95/forc...g-soda-184473/
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:46 PM   #4
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Thank you for your help! I'll try these....anyone else have suggestions?? So excited about trying it all out!

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Old 09-23-2011, 12:25 AM   #5
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Pretty much what they said. Rather than using the soda stream, use:

A co2 tank, with a regulator, hoses, connectors and a keg, as well as a dispensor and a hose. It'll all look like http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=325

If you want, you can also get a carbonator cap ($15) which allows you to carbonate 2 liter bottles, like you would a soda stream.

With the keg setup, however, you'll probably be looking at various ways of carbonating the water/premixed soda, usually by forcing the co2 into the keg, either by the top connection, or using an airstone, then chilling it down to around 0C/32F I think there's some lower freezing point due to sugar, then bottling it using the beergun/nostinking beergun technique.

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Old 09-23-2011, 01:42 PM   #6
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Sounds like you are losing carbonation in the transfer, you need to keep it super cold or under pressure to really keep good carbonation.

If you're going to sell and distribute, it would be safer to find a co-packer, I think. Check the BEVnet forums, there's a list there. That way they can do the labelling, get FDA approvals, and shelf life testing and may get you around having your own liability insurance. You may have trouble finding someone that will do glass and still do a small run, the smallest run I've seen is 6-8 pallets, which I would guess is between 360-800 24-count cases.

The thing about bottling your own is that there's a very high likelihood of getting wild yeast into your bottle, even with good sanitation. Without alcohol (like beer) or perservatives, you can have your bottles go bad in as little as three weeks. Which could be a big problem.

I'd advise against bottling at home with the intent to sell. You just can't get much of a quality product at home, there are any number of things that can go wrong with an unpasteurized product without preservatives.

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