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Old 03-09-2010, 03:08 AM   #1
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Default Soda water not the same as the real thing - bubbles are tiny?

Tiny bubbles!

So, SWMBO is preggo, and cannot drink beer. I boiled up 5 gal water, cooled, and kegged it to make her soda water for her to mix with fresh lime, juice, etc.

I carbonated by chilling to 38F, cranking my reg to about 45, and shaking the crap out of the keg. After some trial and error, it dispenses correctly at 30 PSI, (20' 3/16" thick walled bev tubing, perlick 525SS tap). This is about the carbonation I was shooting for, (and by correctly I mean, if I go less than 30 PSI I get the characteristic "chuffing" of bubbles in the line...and I can see bubbles in the line, if I go more than 30 PSI it flows too fast and knocks out carbonation).

So, I think it's correctly carbed. But, it doesn't look like soda water in a glass. It's got itty bitty bubbles, not the big huge bubbles that normal (commercial) soda water has. Any reason for this? This is the first time I've tried to do anything "soda like".

Thanks...

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Old 03-09-2010, 12:37 PM   #2
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Water quality might effect the carbonation. If you have low minerals it might not have the nucleation points to make lots of bigger bubbles.

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Old 03-23-2010, 09:49 PM   #3
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Water quality might effect the carbonation. If you have low minerals it might not have the nucleation points to make lots of bigger bubbles.

It's hard to believe that something so subtle as this would have such a big impact on quality.

Mixing it with fresh lime sounds lovely though. I'm sticking to water mostly these days because of my diet.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:55 PM   #4
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Could be the minerals. I know most commercial Soda water is actually high in Sodium.

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Old 03-24-2010, 04:01 AM   #5
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Thanks for the thread resurrection. A little update:

I swapped out my 20' of 3/16" vinyl bev tubing for 35' of 3/16" poly tubing from McMaster, (I think like 12 cents/foot?). I also increased carbonation to 35 PSI. The extra tubing seemed to really help slow the flow down, and the soda water is a lot more like the "real thing". My wife is happy with it now, as am I.

I think there's still room for improvement. I couldn't get the poly tubing onto the 1/4" tailpiece no matter how hot I heated it. It fit onto the 1/4" QD MFL tailpiece, but that one had a "rounder" end. I settled for connecting 3/16" vinyl line to the tap tailpiece, then inserting the poly line into the vinyl line and hose clamping it. This works, but at the junction of the two lines there is a diameter change, which causes a pressure drop and lots of CO2 to come out of suspension, (I can see it when I open the fridge). I think if I could reduce this, um, "foaming" (to use the beer term), I'd get even better performance.

Nevertheless, the solution, for the most part, seemed to be the same thing I repeat over and over and over in the kegging forum. LONGER LINES!

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Old 03-24-2010, 02:28 PM   #6
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I get big bubbles when I pour and for about a minute afterward, then tiny ones. I've been using 20' of 3/16ths and 35 psi. Next time I need to replace a beer line, I may use the soda line and get a longer one.

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Old 03-25-2010, 12:49 AM   #7
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I fill my corny up with water (muni supply) right out of the tap, throw in a pinch of sea salt and hook it up to the gas. Sometimes I shake it other times I set and forget it. 30-35 psi, about 18-20' (I can't remember the length) of 3/16 with a picnic tap. It always turns out perfectly bubbly.

One thing I do is pour off the first 6 oz. or so of the water that was in the line because I just don't like the taste or feel of it.

Congrats by the way

I just went and poured one because this thread reminded me of it sitting in the kegerator. hmm hmm delish

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Old 03-28-2010, 03:10 PM   #8
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Do you have to boil or does the cold and pressure keep the water sanitary?

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Old 03-28-2010, 04:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Do you have to boil or does the cold and pressure keep the water sanitary?
I boil to be sure. I boil for 10-15 min, (also knocks oxygen out of solution), then transfer while still boiling hot to the corny using a silicone hose. I then put it on CO2 as it cools. I figure there's nothing that can live through all that and hurt us.

Normally I wouldn't be quite as paranoid, but with a pregnant wife, you can never be too sure.
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortyjacobs View Post
I boil to be sure. I boil for 10-15 min, (also knocks oxygen out of solution), then transfer while still boiling hot to the corny using a silicone hose. I then put it on CO2 as it cools. I figure there's nothing that can live through all that and hurt us.

Normally I wouldn't be quite as paranoid, but with a pregnant wife, you can never be too sure.
Same here. Due in September!
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