Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Last Sponsor Giveaway of the Year!

Come Enter the BrewDeals/FastFerment Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Soda Making > Scaling up carbonation
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-14-2012, 03:43 PM   #1
Bobak
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 4
Likes Given: 2

Default Scaling up carbonation

Hey, I've learned a lot of info on this forum as to how to get started, but now I'm a little stumped on what's the best way to scale up and get consistency for carbonating/bottling.

Background

I started developing alcoholic beverages (spirits) but the costs of licensing in my state is still very prohibitive. It made more sense to instead start with non-alcoholic beverages.

I did some homework, learned from here and other sources (but mostly here) on how to force carbonate, bought a corny, equipment (I live the Twin Cities so very close to both Midwest Brewing and Northern Brewers), a freezer, temp regulator, BeerGun, etc. So it's allowed me to run experiments on and off for a while now, including trying some bottling for shelf-life tests. At this point I have a flavor I like and want to try testing on a larger scale.

The term "soda" might be a slight misnomer: this isn't really like a cola, but rather a flavored, clear seltzer (with a couple of proprietary tweaks but nothing that would affect the carbonation profess).

Issue

My present issue is with the right approach to scaling up a bit to a start-up level. Right now it takes a good while to force carbonate a batch in my corny (sodas require a higher PSI and take a while longer). I've also noticed it's hard to get the different batches to match on carbonation--though maybe it's because my system could be better. I often seem to run out of CO2 mid-batch but there are no leaks in my system (used the diluted dishsoap/sprayer test). Basically the issue is a combination of speed and efficiency.

Question(s)

What would be the best method of carbonation for a start-up beverage business? Do I stick with force carbonation, tweak my set-up and get more cornys and CO2? Is there an option between force carbonation and large scale carbonation systems (i.e. the ones in the tens-of-thousands range)?

I know most motorized carbonation systems (McCann, etc) are aimed at bag-in-box systems (e.g. bar-guns, fountains,etc) but is it possible to use one to mix my own syrup with carbonated water and bottle it or is it just for immediate dispensing?

I appreciate feedback. At worst I figure this will end up being another thread that gets Google hits by folks wondering the same thing (which is how I found this forum to begin with).

Thanks!

__________________
Bobak is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-14-2012, 07:20 PM   #2
MrFoodScientist
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Erie, PA
Posts: 554
Liked 35 Times on 33 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

There is a thread here somewhere showing that someone was able to hook up a carbonator to a corny keg to keep the corny as a sort of reserve tank in the fridge, so they always had cold seltzer on tap. That way you could just bottle with syrup and you'd be just fine.

I've been able to carbonate a cold keg of water in less than an hour by shaking. Have you tried doing that?

__________________

Find Recipes on my blog: The Homemade Soda Expert I'd love some feedback!
Now Available from Quarry Books -- Making Soda at Home: Mastering the Craft of Carbonation
Like on Facebook!, Follow on Twitter, Add to Goodreads

MrFoodScientist is offline
Bobak Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-14-2012, 07:50 PM   #3
Bobak
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 4
Likes Given: 2

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFoodScientist View Post
There is a thread here somewhere showing that someone was able to hook up a carbonator to a corny keg to keep the corny as a sort of reserve tank in the fridge, so they always had cold seltzer on tap. That way you could just bottle with syrup and you'd be just fine.

I've been able to carbonate a cold keg of water in less than an hour by shaking. Have you tried doing that?
Hey, first off, nice website--I just checked yours out. I've got several open tabs from it I need to go through but before I get totally distracted I wanted to follow up:

You've got me thinking that maybe I've been making this harder than I need to: I started from infusing hard alcohol using a method I'd been working on and thus, when I moved to nonalcoholic drinks (and sodas vs. infused liquor) I assumed that I needed to first infuse the water & syrup and then carbonate the mixture for bottling. So that might explain this dumb question: Would I be able to mix the syrup with the carbonated water in the bottle and have the same effect? Wouldn't they separate?

It would certainly speed up the carbonation to not have the syrup in the water. Another dumb question: one you pressurize the keg do you ever disconnect it or do you continue to leave it on the line (thus temporarily removing it to roll/shake)? Right now I leave it on the line at the required PSI.

EDIT: Would I be able to take a sanitized bottle, put the syrup in first, then use a BeerGun to fill it up with carbonated water and top of with CO2?
__________________
Bobak is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-08-2012, 07:33 PM   #4
MrFoodScientist
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Erie, PA
Posts: 554
Liked 35 Times on 33 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Bobak,
Sorry for the long wait on a reply.

As long as everything in your syrup is water soluble, it shouldn't separate. Spices or fruit pulp will settle out, but flavors and sugars will mix just fine. I do the same thing you're considering when I bottle my sodas. Syrup in the bottle, top w/ cold carbonated water, cap, shake.

When I shake or roll a keg to speed up carbonation, I usually leave the gas on. That's always the fastest, and eve if you tip it upside down so that the liquid is in contact with the gas in post, water doesn't creep up the line until the pressure is equilibrated (meaning fully carbed). Once that happens you may have some trouble, but as long as you have positive pressure going into the keg, then you'll be fine leaving it connected.

__________________

Find Recipes on my blog: The Homemade Soda Expert I'd love some feedback!
Now Available from Quarry Books -- Making Soda at Home: Mastering the Craft of Carbonation
Like on Facebook!, Follow on Twitter, Add to Goodreads

MrFoodScientist is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Natural Carbonation gunnerm109a6 Soda Making 5 08-22-2012 06:20 PM
Another carbonation issue...Sorry Toymaker Soda Making 1 03-14-2012 12:54 AM
Force Carbonation Darkman1989 Soda Making 7 02-07-2012 09:51 AM
Carbonation System bradydennis Soda Making 3 01-21-2012 11:39 PM
Carbonation? KENfromMI Soda Making 2 12-01-2008 08:05 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS