Last week to Enter the Spike Brewing 20 Gallon Sight Glass Kettle Giveaway!



Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Soda Making > Soda Stream
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-01-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
Crazy8
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: St. Francis, Minnesota
Posts: 118
Liked 12 Times on 10 Posts

Default Soda Stream

I have seen a lot of posts here about soda streams. I am wondering though. Are they that great? I would very much like to do a force carb system without dropping crazy amounts of money on it. Are Soda Streams the way to go?

Thanks much in advance

__________________
Crazy8 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-01-2013, 09:21 PM   #2
Bensiff
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Bensiff's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: , Washington, the state
Posts: 4,683
Liked 344 Times on 269 Posts
Likes Given: 54

Default

I have one and I use it daily. I can't drink sugary carbonated beverages, for some reason it doesn't matter if it is corn syrup, sugar, caffeinated, or whatever it always gives me a headache the next day. However, I love carbonated beverages, can't live on beer, and find flavored carbonated water that doesn't have artificial sweeteners difficult to find and expensive when I do. So, I use my soda stream and add their flavoring extracts. In fact, I am looking into buying a fitting so I can run it off my CO2 tank in my kegerator as my single biggest complaint is that their CO2 refills are absurdly overpriced...$15 for the small size at Bed Bath and Beyond.

__________________
Bensiff is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-01-2013, 09:50 PM   #3
MrFoodScientist
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Erie, PA
Posts: 599
Liked 47 Times on 43 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Here's my thoughts on the economics of it.

Some folks here have had some success force carbonating in a Tap-a-Draft system with some modification to hook up a paintball tank and regulator.

I think it boils down to this:
If you want an aesthetic device that fits on your countertop, and you're satisfied with carbonating only water and adding flavored syrups (beit storebought or homemade), get the sodastream.

If you're looking for a cheaper alternative in the long run, have some space to devote to it, you want to experiment with force carbonating ready made beverages and have more flexibility, get yourself a kegging setup.

__________________

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
Old 04-02-2013, 01:11 AM   #4
daft
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 202
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Sodastream can run off cheaper paintball tanks with fittings at co2doctor.com. I may have to do this because walmart is showing no sodastream tank exchanges available or orderable at any branch for months. Only one bby store left to check. I wonder what the risk is for unclean paintball co2 tanks or gas. I'm sure they would just laugh if I demanded food grade (I live in a quirky area not at all like mainland usa).

The book "the artisan soda workshop" has a rave review of sodastream on page 17 which might even be readable online with the amazon sampler feature. The author passes on sodastreams explanation to her on why they only want you to add syrup after carbing. Sugar or whatever buildup can crystalize in the nozzle and clog and build up pressure. Therefore you have the knowledge on how to cautiously violate that rule.. just don't be a jerk and sue them if you get hurt doing it. I bet much of their high cost is to buildup a fund to payout for frivolous lawsuits like if their bottles burst (still worth it to buy their pricey half size bottles which work a lot better preserving fizz).

I would say buy sodastream for convenience and freedom to make flavors to your taste. Their premixed flavors are putrid to me because they all have at least half some fake sweetener. There is hardly enough headroom in the bottle to put in conventional sweetener (except maybe for expensive agave which is extra sweet). So I don't think you can easily replicate commercial sodas which require a lot of room for maybe 20% syrup.

But replicating commercial sodas is a fools game even if it was easily attainable, because like the book "fix the pumps" says we are in the dark ages of dumbed down sodas. A hundred or so years ago sodas were creative and aimed at excellence rather than mass market. You can do this yourself or at least fine tune like using good ingredients with less sugar needed to cover up it's low quality. However you won't attain this without a lot of initial failures and a battle with foam volcanos.

__________________
daft is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-02-2013, 03:18 PM   #5
Bensiff
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Bensiff's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: , Washington, the state
Posts: 4,683
Liked 344 Times on 269 Posts
Likes Given: 54

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by daft View Post
Sodastream can run off cheaper paintball tanks with fittings at co2doctor.com. I may have to do this because walmart is showing no sodastream tank exchanges available or orderable at any branch for months. Only one bby store left to check. I wonder what the risk is for unclean paintball co2 tanks or gas. I'm sure they would just laugh if I demanded food grade (I live in a quirky area not at all like mainland usa).
If you have a Bed Bath and Beyond try them, that is where I exchange, I keep all the $5 off a $15 purchase coupons they send me so I get the exchange for $10.

Quote:
The book "the artisan soda workshop" has a rave review of sodastream on page 17 which might even be readable online with the amazon sampler feature. The author passes on sodastreams explanation to her on why they only want you to add syrup after carbing. Sugar or whatever buildup can crystalize in the nozzle and clog and build up pressure. Therefore you have the knowledge on how to cautiously violate that rule.. just don't be a jerk and sue them if you get hurt doing it. I bet much of their high cost is to buildup a fund to payout for frivolous lawsuits like if their bottles burst (still worth it to buy their pricey half size bottles which work a lot better preserving fizz).
I accidentally tried to carb once after I put in the water flavor extract and it made a mess...it was a one time deal so I don't know if it will always happen but it was good enough evidence to only carb water for me.
__________________
Bensiff is offline
daft Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-03-2013, 12:18 AM   #6
Kythcat
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Posts: 32
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

ok, thought i would chime in with my 2 cents. I thought about the same as you, get a soda stream and enjoy the soda made from home. Then I started doing the math. Had I gone that route, then I would have spent almost as much as buying 2 soda streams for all the conversions or buying the tanks that is suppose to go in there. Instead, I spent some money getting 2 paintball tanks and everything needed to use a carbonation cap. That was fine for us for a while, but then we upgraded to a 5 gal keg with a picnic tap. It's spending about the same amount, but we were able to spread the payment across several months. Now we are enjoying carbed water with our choice of syrups mixed in (my son has come up with some weird combos like butterscotch/watermelon mixed) and it might cost us around $3.50 a month, which is what we are charged with refilling the CO2 tanks, and we don't have to worry about making the bottles explode when adding syrup. We mix by the glass. But your mileage will vary, depending on how much you use the machine.

sorry for the long-winded post.

__________________
Kythcat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-03-2013, 04:22 AM   #7
daft
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 202
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kythcat View Post
getting 2 paintball tanks and everything needed to use a carbonation cap. That was fine for us for a while, but then we upgraded to a 5 gal keg with a picnic tap. It's spending about the same amount,
I wonder if sodastream benefits over the carbonation cap by it's injector that goes below water level. Or it's a drawback forcing you to stay with their headroom constraints. But with the keg, doesn't that bring in a lot of complications to keep the water cold at carbing time? Won't fit in my fridge, or at least it would collapse the plastic shelves, let alone the carbing apparatus.
__________________
daft is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-03-2013, 04:40 AM   #8
JayDubWill
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
JayDubWill's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Pensacola, FL
Posts: 421
Liked 49 Times on 38 Posts
Likes Given: 47

Default

Your right, to go the keg route you would need a kegerator of some sort to keep the water chilled. I've had a sodastream for probably 3 years now and we use it daily. My biggest complaint is the cost of the co2 bottles. At $15 each its about 10 times what they should cost. Using their syrups puts the per liter cost right around $0.50. Which is about the same cost of soda on sale. Now the main reason we keep using it is the ease of use. My wife likes plain seltzer water, the kids like cola and root beer. Its easy to accomodate everyone. That being said I'm working towards a keg and refridgerator setup to get away from the expensive co2 refills. If your thinking about a sodastream in order to force carb anything but water, forget about it. The juice, beer,wine, whatever erupts like a mini vulcano due to the force of the co2 being injected. I know because i've tried...

__________________
JayDubWill is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-03-2013, 08:48 AM   #9
Kythcat
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Posts: 32
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by daft View Post
I wonder if sodastream benefits over the carbonation cap by it's injector that goes below water level. Or it's a drawback forcing you to stay with their headroom constraints. But with the keg, doesn't that bring in a lot of complications to keep the water cold at carbing time? Won't fit in my fridge, or at least it would collapse the plastic shelves, let alone the carbing apparatus.
It probably will, but then I'm lucky right now as I have space under my sink that stays cold year round, so don't need a Kegerator or fridge yet. It's something I am looking forward to getting in the future when I have the extra money.
__________________
Kythcat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-03-2013, 08:55 AM   #10
daft
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 202
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

For cheaper sodastream syrup I got ahold of some monin syrup bottles which are pretty good... torani may be cheaper but havent found them. And frozen concentrate cans work great.

For cheaper co2, http://co2doctor.com/freedomo.htm offers not only adapters so you can insert paintball bottles in the sodastream... it also seems to offer fittings to fill sodastream co2 bottles from a big cheap one by yourself. I can't follow his boobytrap warnings though.

I've got to admit my sodastream machine is crippled from me stroking the lever too fast and forcefully (once). I can barely get the gas to pulse. There seems to be a stupid interlock so I can't open it up to see if it is self repairable or if I need to return it or what. It seems to realize I have a new co2 bottle in it and waits till pressure drops til I can unlatch it?

__________________
daft 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
soda stream soda maker scottab General Beer Discussion 3 02-25-2013 05:58 PM
soda stream jackfrost Cider Forum 6 12-31-2012 09:58 AM
anyone ever try Soda Stream? crazyseany Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 06-15-2012 08:28 PM
soda stream co2 RandyAB Bottling/Kegging 1 04-10-2012 03:43 AM
Soda Stream? MeadWitch Cider Forum 8 01-28-2011 04:13 AM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS