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Old 08-22-2012, 01:03 PM   #1
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Default Multiple questions.

Well hello everyone, i'm new to the whole hobby, and i will be buying equipment soon, and making a kegerator out of a chest freezer(keezer or some such name i believe people have been calling them) anyway i have a few questions about setting up a keg or two for soda. and just some general questions not related to soda but i thought i might as well post all in one thread.

1. what pressure should i carbonate soda at? i wont be using yeast, just carbonating it in the keg. this goes for just plain soda water too.

2. can i use the same co2 tank for soda and beer, i know soda need to be much higher, and ive seen like 4 gauges sticking out of some peoples co2 tanks. does that mean i could effectively set 4 different kegs to 4 different pressures using only one tank?

3. syrup recipes? i'll be making mostly fruit and such, but for things like mountain dew and dr pepper and cola, i dont need 5 gallons of syrup, i dont drink it that much, so is there recipes out there for those? but for my baja blast mountain dew it seems my only option is bribing the taco bell managers lol

4. bottling, i will bottle some occasionally t bring to parties and such, so as long as im careful not to lose carbonation as i put it in the bottle, i should be fine right?

5. labels. when i get a brewery name and logo, whats a good place i can custom order labels? i will be looking for not your normal square labels but oval and slight different shaped labels, like a Heineken. also labels for the neck of the bottle. and some custom 6 pack cardboard cases, just for parties and to give to friends and family if they like one of my flavours(cantaloupe soda is a hit)

6. can you set up a soda gun easily to work just out of a keg? that way i can have my beer on tap in a set up similar to this then have a soda gun sticking out of the counter.

7. where in the hell can i find clear 12 oz long neck bottles, thats all i want and i cant find them anywhere, and considering i dont drink corona, going and buying cases of it isnt really price effective, you can get the amber ones everywhere so why is clear so rare?

8. well my girlfriend wasnt so happy when i first said i wanted to set up basically a home bar, however i told her i would make her some stuff she likes so this is where this question comes from, will putting fruit juices in to a carbonated and sanitized keg, at a temp just above freezing, make them keep for a long time, as i will have 5 gallon kegs, we wont go through 5 gallons of fruit soda or of hard strawberry lemonade in about a week which would be how long it would last in a pitcher in the fridge.

9. do i leave the co2 tank on at all times, like im not sure how it works, when i turn it on does it not keep feeding co2 in to the keg to the point where it will explode, or when its on does it just keep it at a constant pressure?

10. so after the initial investment, i know its extremely cheap to make your own soda and beers and such, so for all those who do, do you ever find your self coming home with a 2L bottle from the store or just making your own all the time? and is it rewarding to know you made your own beer/soda/whatever or does it get old?

and feel free to inform me on anything i may need to know but did not ask, thanks in advance for reading this, i know i asked a lot, so when your answering a question please refer to which of my ten you are answering that way we dont go insane and get confused haha.

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Old 08-22-2012, 02:07 PM   #2
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Ok,.. Wow. I'll try my best. There is a lot of information to be had on this subject and I'm sure my advice is not the only option out there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by IXIboneheadIXI View Post
Well hello everyone, i'm new to the whole hobby, and i will be buying equipment soon, and making a kegerator out of a chest freezer(keezer or some such name i believe people have been calling them) anyway i have a few questions about setting up a keg or two for soda. and just some general questions not related to soda but i thought i might as well post all in one thread.
Quote:
1. what pressure should i carbonate soda at? i wont be using yeast, just carbonating it in the keg. this goes for just plain soda water too.
I think soda is generally carbed at about 30 PSI.


Quote:
2. can i use the same co2 tank for soda and beer, i know soda need to be much higher, and ive seen like 4 gauges sticking out of some peoples co2 tanks. does that mean i could effectively set 4 different kegs to 4 different pressures using only one tank?
Exactly. You can buy or build a regulator set with more than 1 pressure port. You can daisychain the regulators and each one will have it's own pressure gauge.

Quote:
3. syrup recipes? i'll be making mostly fruit and such, but for things like mountain dew and dr pepper and cola, i dont need 5 gallons of syrup, i dont drink it that much, so is there recipes out there for those? but for my baja blast mountain dew it seems my only option is bribing the taco bell managers lol
I've not seen an accurate recipe for any MDW product. I think you can find syrup and mix it up yourself, but I have never searched. I know they usually sell it in a bag inside a box and the syrup is mixed into a stream of Soda water at the fountain. This may not be as cheap as buying MDW on sale though...


Quote:
4. bottling, i will bottle some occasionally t bring to parties and such, so as long as im careful not to lose carbonation as i put it in the bottle, i should be fine right?
Yes. Some people use a counterpressure filler to fill bottles. You could also fill 2L bottles or even go with glass growlers.

Quote:
5. labels. when i get a brewery name and logo, whats a good place i can custom order labels? i will be looking for not your normal square labels but oval and slight different shaped labels, like a Heineken. also labels for the neck of the bottle. and some custom 6 pack cardboard cases, just for parties and to give to friends and family if they like one of my flavours(cantaloupe soda is a hit)
There are a few places that can make your labels. Some people print them off onto label stock at home using their own design software or one of a couple websites like beerlabelizer.com. I'm sure there are places that can print for you if you want to spend the $$ on it.

Quote:
6. can you set up a soda gun easily to work just out of a keg? that way i can have my beer on tap in a set up similar to this then have a soda gun sticking out of the counter.
I would just have the soda on tap like the beer. The soda gun is just another faucet, right? I have used a picnic tap (cheap plastic) and a regular beer faucet and they both worked fine.

Quote:
7. where in the hell can i find clear 12 oz long neck bottles, thats all i want and i cant find them anywhere, and considering i dont drink corona, going and buying cases of it isnt really price effective, you can get the amber ones everywhere so why is clear so rare?
You probably won't find clear bottles because nobody wants to put beer in clear bottles due to the UV light from the sun and florescent lights causing the hops compounds to skunk. Corona is a skunky beer when it doesn't have a lime in it! I think your best best it so try and find a SODA that has pryoff caps and removable labels. Also, some people use twist offs and a bench capper, so that might work for you. I just don't use them myself.

Quote:
8. well my girlfriend wasnt so happy when i first said i wanted to set up basically a home bar, however i told her i would make her some stuff she likes so this is where this question comes from, will putting fruit juices in to a carbonated and sanitized keg, at a temp just above freezing, make them keep for a long time, as i will have 5 gallon kegs, we wont go through 5 gallons of fruit soda or of hard strawberry lemonade in about a week which would be how long it would last in a pitcher in the fridge.
This should be fine. I've got soda in the keg for several weeks with no apparent issues (Ginger, sugar, vanilla flavor, lemon juice). Make sure you sanitize everything very well, as normal.

Quote:
9. do i leave the co2 tank on at all times, like im not sure how it works, when i turn it on does it not keep feeding co2 in to the keg to the point where it will explode, or when its on does it just keep it at a constant pressure?
The regulator will keep the PRESSURE at a constant PSI. Your kegs would explode at anywhere near the proper pressure. You keep the pressure set to the proper amount for your carbonation needs. You'd use the amount of liquid line required to keep the soda from foaming at that pressure. It varies by the Inside Diameter of the line.

Quote:
10. so after the initial investment, i know its extremely cheap to make your own soda and beers and such, so for all those who do, do you ever find your self coming home with a 2L bottle from the store or just making your own all the time? and is it rewarding to know you made your own beer/soda/whatever or does it get old?
I very rarely ever buy soda from the store. I do buy a bunch of beer though. Soda is a side hobby for me. I mostly do it for the kids or for school functions, and other gatherings. Soda is just so cheap compared to beer. But it's a good way to make just what you want. I just don't like to drink that much sugar. I'd rather get my carbs from beer, LOL!

Quote:
and feel free to inform me on anything i may need to know but did not ask, thanks in advance for reading this, i know i asked a lot, so when your answering a question please refer to which of my ten you are answering that way we dont go insane and get confused haha.

I strongly suggest you take a look at the kegging area and see if you can find more information. Soda making is simply mixing a few ingredients and putting it under pressure. There are many books with soda recipes and quite a few websites with recipes. Feel free to experiment too. I think there could be some interesting sodas made from ingredients that nobody thinks about.

Just remember to sanitize everything extremely well, as is normal to making beer or wine or anything else that you will consume over time.
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
Ok,.. Wow. I'll try my best. There is a lot of information to be had on this subject and I'm sure my advice is not the only option out there.






I think soda is generally carbed at about 30 PSI.




Exactly. You can buy or build a regulator set with more than 1 pressure port. You can daisychain the regulators and each one will have it's own pressure gauge.



I've not seen an accurate recipe for any MDW product. I think you can find syrup and mix it up yourself, but I have never searched. I know they usually sell it in a bag inside a box and the syrup is mixed into a stream of Soda water at the fountain. This may not be as cheap as buying MDW on sale though...




Yes. Some people use a counterpressure filler to fill bottles. You could also fill 2L bottles or even go with glass growlers.



There are a few places that can make your labels. Some people print them off onto label stock at home using their own design software or one of a couple websites like beerlabelizer.com. I'm sure there are places that can print for you if you want to spend the $$ on it.



I would just have the soda on tap like the beer. The soda gun is just another faucet, right? I have used a picnic tap (cheap plastic) and a regular beer faucet and they both worked fine.



You probably won't find clear bottles because nobody wants to put beer in clear bottles due to the UV light from the sun and florescent lights causing the hops compounds to skunk. Corona is a skunky beer when it doesn't have a lime in it! I think your best best it so try and find a SODA that has pryoff caps and removable labels. Also, some people use twist offs and a bench capper, so that might work for you. I just don't use them myself.



This should be fine. I've got soda in the keg for several weeks with no apparent issues (Ginger, sugar, vanilla flavor, lemon juice). Make sure you sanitize everything very well, as normal.



The regulator will keep the PRESSURE at a constant PSI. Your kegs would explode at anywhere near the proper pressure. You keep the pressure set to the proper amount for your carbonation needs. You'd use the amount of liquid line required to keep the soda from foaming at that pressure. It varies by the Inside Diameter of the line.



I very rarely ever buy soda from the store. I do buy a bunch of beer though. Soda is a side hobby for me. I mostly do it for the kids or for school functions, and other gatherings. Soda is just so cheap compared to beer. But it's a good way to make just what you want. I just don't like to drink that much sugar. I'd rather get my carbs from beer, LOL!



I strongly suggest you take a look at the kegging area and see if you can find more information. Soda making is simply mixing a few ingredients and putting it under pressure. There are many books with soda recipes and quite a few websites with recipes. Feel free to experiment too. I think there could be some interesting sodas made from ingredients that nobody thinks about.

Just remember to sanitize everything extremely well, as is normal to making beer or wine or anything else that you will consume over time.
thanks for the answer, much appreciated. yeah so what im thinking is just having soda water on tap with a line of syrup pumps beside the taps. will be great for parties as children and people who cant/dont drink will have something to drink as well. also if you know is it possible to put liquor on tap? or will it get carbonated? i would love to have rye on tap just in a one gallon keg so i cant drink my rye and coke right from my bar
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:06 PM   #4
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#3: There do seem to be some old recipes out there, mostly detailing the origins of various sodas. Not exactly mountain dew, or exactly coca-cola, as they have their own secret recipes. Also things for Open cola. I've priced out Bib vs just buying the bottled soda, and since bottled soda goes on sale, I've found that to be cheaper than buying a bag, unless I can get it at cost that a large purchaser pays.

#6: Use either a plastic tap, or a full stainless steel tap and shank. Chrome can dissolve due to the acid in the soda water, and then leach stuff from the brass. A soda gun is possible, but usually a higher price anyways.

Yes, it's possible to have liquor, or mixes on tap. Some people have rum and coke, or whiskey and coke on tap for example. Depending on the mix, it is possible to carbonate the liquid. Trying to carbonate straight liquor is pretty difficult, so it's unlikely you'll get it carbonated, but not impossible (has to be much colder and wont' hold co2 very long). You'll also be keeping the co2 pressure low if you were doing this (under 10psi). I doubt that you would want to use a quality spirit that you would drink in a crystal tasting glass, but for your normal drinkables, co2 would be fine. If I had an incredibly good/expensive spirit, I'd probably look to (and have the money for) a different neutral gas system such as argon.

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Old 08-22-2012, 03:12 PM   #5
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#3: There do seem to be some old recipes out there, mostly detailing the origins of various sodas. Not exactly mountain dew, or exactly coca-cola, as they have their own secret recipes. Also things for Open cola. I've priced out Bib vs just buying the bottled soda, and since bottled soda goes on sale, I've found that to be cheaper than buying a bag, unless I can get it at cost that a large purchaser pays.

#6: Use either a plastic tap, or a full stainless steel tap and shank. Chrome can dissolve due to the acid in the soda water, and then leach stuff from the brass. A soda gun is possible, but usually a higher price anyways.

Yes, it's possible to have liquor, or mixes on tap. Some people have rum and coke, or whiskey and coke on tap for example. Depending on the mix, it is possible to carbonate the liquid. Trying to carbonate straight liquor is pretty difficult, so it's unlikely you'll get it carbonated, but not impossible (has to be much colder and wont' hold co2 very long). You'll also be keeping the co2 pressure low if you were doing this (under 10psi). I doubt that you would want to use a quality spirit that you would drink in a crystal tasting glass, but for your normal drinkables, co2 would be fine. If I had an incredibly good/expensive spirit, I'd probably look to (and have the money for) a different neutral gas system such as argon.
would something like argon or another suitable gas work the same as co2? basically just stick a tank of whatever gas beside my co2 tank then set it up the same way, i mean i would prefer something other than co2 as to keep the liquor as good as possible, i mean im not going to have 30 000 dollars worth of single malt scotch and dump it in a keg just to have on tap but i for one can not stand cheap liquor, it all taste like pure rubbing alcohol to me, i dont get how people cam drink smirnoff or anything lol.
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:40 PM   #6
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Id forget putting liquor on tap, but that's me. I don't see the point. With beer and soda you want it cold and carbed and are probably pouring a full glass worth. Taps are handy for all of that.

For liquor, I'd rather just pour a glass from the serving bottle.

Nitrogen is sometimes used to carb some beers, like stouts.

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Old 08-22-2012, 03:55 PM   #7
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Id forget putting liquor on tap, but that's me. I don't see the point. With beer and soda you want it cold and carbed and are probably pouring a full glass worth. Taps are handy for all of that.

For liquor, I'd rather just pour a glass from the serving bottle.

Nitrogen is sometimes used to carb some beers, like stouts.
just thought i'd put some rye on tap, i drink it more than beer and i like it cold as ****, and why is nitrogen used, and does anyone use any other gasses for beer/liquor or mead or cider or anything else?

also pros on cons of the different gasses people use and why its used for certain types of beer? its really interesting im curious now
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:43 PM   #8
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It's an interesting read about the different gasses. Personally, unless I was a distillery that served samples, I'd probably keep it in a bottle too.

As for the different gasses, it's mostly that co2 can dissolve in the water content of a drink to give the carbonation we know so well. Nitrogen does something differently, and argon is used just to push the liquid out since it won't dissolve into the liquid. Usually, argon is used for dispensing wine from a keg. It's just a pain since you'd have to get a tank, the argon, etc. And I believe argon is more expensive, and it doesn't compress as easily as co2 does, so your tank won't have as much argon as it would co2 (if the same tank could be used).

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Old 08-22-2012, 06:29 PM   #9
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Nitrogen is used because it's bubbles are smaller and it gives a creamy mouthfeel. I was surprised at how well it went with a stout, and how it didn't go well with an IPA.

Doesn't drinking liquor cold take most of the flavor out?

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Old 08-22-2012, 09:04 PM   #10
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Nitrogen is used because it's bubbles are smaller and it gives a creamy mouthfeel. I was surprised at how well it went with a stout, and how it didn't go well with an IPA.

Doesn't drinking liquor cold take most of the flavor out?
not really, my friend is like a huge single malt scotch drinker and buys expensive stuff, and he keeps the bottle of it in the freezer til he drinks it
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