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Old 01-21-2012, 05:13 AM   #1
dutchoven
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Default Making Sparkling Water

I'm having some trouble finding comprehensive threads on making sparkling water. I've searched and searched and don't see any stickies in this area ... hoping the soda-making folks here could point me in the right direction.

I have a kegerator and CO2 distribution system. I'm basically looking to put in an additional tap for sparkling water service. I would use a dedicated 2.5- or 5-gallon corney keg (new) and tubing (new) for the water. I'm not looking to make soda, root beer, ginger ale, etc. Just sparkling water.

Here's my questions:

* What PSI is best for force carbing and serving sparkling water? I'd guess upwards of 25-35+, but can't find a consensus.
* What is the recommended line length for sparkling water? Of course, I would size the line for the CO2 applied; just wondering if there's any need to increase the length for carbonated water (vs carbonated beer).
* Has anyone used dry ice for making sparkling water? I would never use this for my beer, but I could maybe see this working for water. I don't want to re-hash the whole "dry ice in a closed container is dangerous" argument. I realize that; just wondering if anyone has had success with the method.
* Are there any tips/tricks anyone could recommend for sparkling water?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 01-21-2012, 08:04 AM   #2
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I was just given a carbonation pump system from a connivence store. They make continuous sparkling water. They sell on eBay for a a few dollars more than a soda stream (125$).

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Old 01-21-2012, 11:12 AM   #3
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Good place to ask.

Yes, you're looking at a psi of 20-35 and you can vary this depending on just how carbonated you want your water. Some like it slightly carbonated (like a perrier) some like it highly carbonated (like storebought carbonated water).

You'll be looking at calculations depending on line resistance, but your typical 3/16 beer line, you'd be using between 12-20 feet. Or some other resistance modifier like mixing sticks in the out ..dipstick?. (mental word blank here)

Not touching the dry ice thing. (not to mention sanitation req's and exact calculation and density.)

You can add various salts and minerals to the keg to make replications of different spring waters if you want to. Haven't seen too much on this one though.
You can make sodas with different syrups that you put into a glass, then add the sparkling water. (there's some posts out there on this).

A carbonation pump is a different addition which helps keep a constant input of carbonated water either into your reservoir to refill or your soda dispenser (gun/machine)

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Old 07-03-2012, 09:12 PM   #4
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I too would like to make some carbonated water. Is there some health concern with water since the environment is not as caustic to outside bacteria as beer or wine is? If I made sparkling water like they sell at Trader Joes, I'd be my wife's hero.

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Old 07-04-2012, 01:47 AM   #5
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I actually have a carbonator dump into a keg in the fridge... cold seltzer on tap.... wife loves it.

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Old 07-04-2012, 01:54 AM   #6
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Possibly. Carbonated water is just tap water that a large company carbonates and bottles anyways. What you're looking at is generic sanitation. Don't go poking your finger into the bottles, wash them out, sterilize them etc. You want to consider volume and turnaround time. Are you making a 2 liter bottle? How long will it last? A few days probably, just make it when you need it. Are you doing 5 gallons? 10 gallons?

Usually, the volumes you're looking at is 12 oz, 2 liters or 5 gallons. If you buy a the co2 tank, regulator, hose, connectors and maybe ball lock, you can buy or make a carbonation cap. You can then reuse a soda or sparkling water bottle. (I've used a 12 oz metromint water bottle, a 16 oz sprite bottle and a 2 liter sprite bottle. I prefer sprite since it doesn't have a lingering taste like rootbeer or cola does). I usually store a bottle or two in the fridge and carbonate it when I want it. I refresh the water every other month if I don't use it, but generally I'm cycling between the two every other week, if not every other day.

If you're looking at a 5 gallon keg (or 2-5 gallon kegs) then you'll have to do some figuring. Per fema.gov, you'll probably want to refresh every 6 months or less. (For example, a few days before keg 1 empties, you can prepare keg 2 by filling it, getting it cold and even starting to carbonate it).

Per www.fema.gov/plan/prepare/water.shtm
"Filling Water Containers

Fill the bottle to the top with regular tap water. If the tap water has been commercially treated from a water utility with chlorine, you do not need to add anything else to the water to keep it clean. If the water you are using comes from a well or water source that is not treated with chlorine, add two drops of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to the water.Tightly close the container using the original cap. Be careful not to contaminate the cap by touching the inside of it with your finger. Place a date on the outside of the container so that you know when you filled it. Store in a cool, dark place.Replace the water every six months if not using commercially bottled water.
"

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Old 07-09-2012, 08:17 PM   #7
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KevinM - you are thinking of using epoxy mixers in the liquid dip tube. Specifically, these.

I just installed my three-way secondary regulators over the weekend and have my first keg of H2O carbing. Can't wait.

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Old 07-09-2012, 09:42 PM   #8
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I was just thinking of carbing some water with a bit of flavor (not sure how much lime essence or whatever I would need) and put it in a keg with a clean line and tap. I probably wouldnt even bother with bottling. The most I would do is simply put some water in a glass swingtop that is run through the washer. If she that wasnt consumed in a week, I would be blown away.

Currently, my parents own a soda stream (http://www.sodastreamusa.com/), and we will sometimes bring home a little liter bottle. The thought passed through my mind if of running purified water into one of my soda kegs, as well as some of the lime/lemon blends they sell, and just getting my wife a glass of fizzy water everytime I get myself a fizzy beer. Sounds like it is possible.

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Old 07-09-2012, 11:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenyabob View Post
I was just thinking of carbing some water with a bit of flavor (not sure how much lime essence or whatever I would need) and put it in a keg with a clean line and tap. I probably wouldnt even bother with bottling. The most I would do is simply put some water in a glass swingtop that is run through the washer. If she that wasnt consumed in a week, I would be blown away.

Currently, my parents own a soda stream (http://www.sodastreamusa.com/), and we will sometimes bring home a little liter bottle. The thought passed through my mind if of running purified water into one of my soda kegs, as well as some of the lime/lemon blends they sell, and just getting my wife a glass of fizzy water everytime I get myself a fizzy beer. Sounds like it is possible.
Should be. I have a keg for soda, but my seltzer keg stays clean to avoid any off flavors, etc... all seltzer all the time.
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:48 AM   #10
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Perhaps I'm the laziest of the bunch, but I don't give too much thought to it when I make seltzers and they always come out fine. I've done it two ways. The simple way is to fill a keg with water, attach the gas at the same psi as your beer, and stick it in the fridge. And yes, I just use regular, short beer lines for dispensing. After a few weeks, it's carbed up plenty. No one has yet complained, anyhow.

If you're in a hurry, you can kick up the psi and force carb more quickly. I once got away with bringing a keg of beer to a work party (generally a no-no where I work) by also bringing a keg of lemon-lime seltzer. Everyone was happy. This was made the night before the party.

Either way, I don't worry about purifying the water at all. Just a clean keg is all. It's going to live in the fridge, so that helps. If it starts to taste funky, you've been drinking it too slowly! Then you could just throw it out and make more; it's only water, after all. And you might be surprised how much water one can drink when it's this easy.

I've also added citrus juices, like lemon, lime, or grapefruit. They all work well. Remove the seeds, but pulp isn't a big deal. It flows through into the glass.

Overall, it's a worthwhile thing to have on tap if you've got extra fridge space. My wife and her friends love it when it's available. Unfortunately they also know I can shake up a new keg in short time, so they know there is no such thing as being all out of seltzer.

Jeff

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