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Old 06-12-2014, 07:37 PM   #1
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Default New developments in home forced carb

I'm quite disappointed this forum hasn't noted recent new offerings that are competition to sodastream home carbonation. Here is what little I gathered here and elsewhere. Oh, somehow I missed sodastream offering alternative "natural" syrups with real sweetener rather than with that vile, ghastly stevia they put in even non-diet flavors. I let my BBY coupons expire, so wonder if anyone thinks their cola or other flavors are worth the retail cost?

I lost a chance to get a primo flavorstation which seemed to be a very shortlived clone of sodastream with some convenience features but a disasterous lack of automatic blow-off valve. If you removed the bottle without remembering to manually release the pressure, it became a rocket. Pluses wwere that it used an econo paintgun bottle to charge, and the quick release top sounded nice. They saved paying sodastream for their auto blowoff patent, and ended up dumping the systems for about 90% discount.

I discovered the Cuisinart system, or at least their flavors by my monthly troll of Amazon looking for a cola syrup at non-extortionate cost. Yeah, I know you have options where you live, but everything has to be airmailed here which doubles the cost or rules out shipment by non-amazon companies. Anyway I got cola, ginger ale, and energy syrup with sugar "natural" base. The cola is really good! Not as mediciney as coke or oversweet like pepsi, but smooth and wholesome like I remember some competitor to RC Cola. Unfortunately it is pricier than the other flavors, so I pour in equal amounts of their ginger ale syrup for a delicious ginger coke. This helps mask their slightly "off" ginger flavor.

Equally cheap as ginger is their energy drink syrup which is closer to ginger and even like the beloved guanara soda flavors from Brazil. They don't breakdown their "natural" ingredients on the label. I don't know what their machine is like or if it is one of those with a stupid expensive tiny cartridge, but worth a look to sourcing their syrups cheaply by the case or whatever.

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Old 06-12-2014, 07:52 PM   #2
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I'm quite disappointed this forum hasn't noted recent new offerings that are competition to sodastream home carbonation.
Hmm, took you a while to post it I see!
With the cost of soda stream supplies why not just use this little jem? Uses standard co2 tank and pet bottles.


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Old 06-12-2014, 08:55 PM   #3
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Don't you have to shake up the bottle to drive in co2 with that device? And also have a sprawl of tubes and tanks to support it? I guess you can turn the bottle sideways or upside down to lessen the shaking or sitting.

Sodastream has an injector that sends the bubbles from the top to the bottom and back top for instant carbonation. Also you can get an adaptor to put a large paintgun co2 bottle inside for cheap co2. Nice tidy setup for consumers with little space to spare on kitchen countertop.

P.S. this forum discards posts when you forget to login first. It may say it will hold the post til you register, but doesn't save it if you simply need to logon (with no previous cookie).

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Old 06-12-2014, 09:02 PM   #4
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I love my carbonator cap.

I'm too much of a cheap ass for a soda stream. But then again, I don't drink all that much soda, for health reasons.

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Old 06-17-2014, 07:21 PM   #5
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OK, I see the quisinart soda machine at half price at amazon. It includes a ridiculously small (therefore expensive) co2 cartridge. And isn't avail outside continental US due to bundling the stupid cartridge which cannot be airmailed. Wotta shame Primo isn't available anymore, whose machine was ready made for paintball co2 tanks.

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I'm too much of a cheap ass for a soda stream. But then again, I don't drink all that much soda, for health reasons.
But your setup can carbonate any healthy drink, as long as you can funnel some fruit juice or whatever into a narrow bottleneck? The specialty machines have a wide mouth bottle, and have to start with unflavored water that is only flavored after carbing. Thus you tend to add sweet extracts, although thawed canned concentrate is good.

Man, I can't find any cuisinart syrups locally, and looks like they may be heading out of business too. That ginger cola combo is so darn good... in fact their ginger syrup is a great way to revive a failed mix like from the tail end dregs of root beer extract.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:04 PM   #6
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Don't you have to shake up the bottle to drive in co2 with that device? And also have a sprawl of tubes and tanks to support it? I guess you can turn the bottle sideways or upside down to lessen the shaking or sitting.
True, it is a bit more work (or time, take your pick). You can do the "set-and-forget" method, where you set the regulator to 30psi and let it sit for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks (depending on your desired carb level), or you can speed things up by shaking the hell out of it for a few minutes.

Granted it's less easy/convenient than a soda stream, but as I said I'm a cheap-ass. If I wanted easy & convenient, I'd buy soda instead of making it, and that's goes doubly so for beer. I guess it all depends on what you're trying to get out of it.

I already have a CO2 tank and line for my lagering chamber (plus a whole other setup for my kegerator) so it's not like I'm investing in a whole new setup for my soda making, apart from the little carbonator cap doohickey.

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But your setup can carbonate any healthy drink, as long as you can funnel some fruit juice or whatever into a narrow bottleneck? The specialty machines have a wide mouth bottle, and have to start with unflavored water that is only flavored after carbing. Thus you tend to add sweet extracts, although thawed canned concentrate is good.
I've actually taken to carbonating fruit juices in lieu of sodas most of the time. I especially like sparkling apple juice/cider and white grape. It's still not especially healthy in large quantities (fruit juice still has a ton of sugar in it) but it's a hell of a lot better than drinking lots of root beer or cream soda.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:15 PM   #7
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Having a keg setup already there is no need for me to waste time & money on a second setup that carbonates drinks. For $9 I bought a carbonator cap because the results, as I've witnessed, have been great for small batch and quick carbonating.

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Old 06-17-2014, 09:51 PM   #8
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I've actually taken to carbonating fruit juices in lieu of sodas most of the time. I especially like sparkling apple juice/cider and white grape. It's still not especially healthy in large quantities (fruit juice still has a ton of sugar in it) but it's a hell of a lot better than drinking lots of root beer or cream soda.
I'm slightly tempted to do that for fruit juice. Now I chuck some yeast into cranberry juice jugs, which is fantastic after a few hours but it gets too sour before I finish the jug. Mostly I sodastream with froze concentrate fruit punch + lemonade (2:1 ratio minutemaid). Use the adaptor for paintball tank co2.

That leaves me with a craving for cola and rootbeer. I give up desserts and sugary cereal for it, so I have earned it. Rootbeer concentrate is cheap and healthy with low glycemic index agave syrup. Agave used to be affordable, but now it has shot up, and my stockpile is draining.

I can't find a decent cola extract until this cuisinart syrup, which has to be airmailed to me. I'm gonna try combining their energy drink syrup with their cola, which might send me to heaven (try combining a can of coke with can of ginger ale, then imagine more backbone).
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:08 AM   #9
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this cuisinart syrup, which has to be airmailed to me. I'm gonna try combining their energy drink syrup with their cola, which might send me to heaven.
That didn't work since the energy syrup dominated the cola. But what DID work... what produced almost the ultimate soda I have ever experienced was: a mix of about 1 part Ribina blackcurrent syrup with 3 parts Cuisinart energy drink syrup.

The results look exactly like zinfandel wine... a translucent rosy peach color. The energy stuff gives a zingy kick very similar to alcohol. But the taste is what wimpy zinfandel promises but usually fails to deliver - a bold fruity taste that really satisfies.

Blackcurrent syrup is so appealing but hard to tame due to (something?) maybe acidity or tannin... but this is one fine way to bring it into harmony besides ginger ale.
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