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Old 05-31-2012, 04:16 PM   #1
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Default Sodastream Alternatives

I'm a relatively new member to the boards here. I joined for the beer discussion but hoped you soda guys could help me with something.

I've been looking at an easy home carbonating system just for things like water, flavored water, juice, green tea, and maybe a few sodas. I really just want something that I can put on the counter without my gal telling me how hideous it looks and can easily carb a liter or so on my way out the door in the morning.

I looked at Sodastream but even the less expensive versions have the proprietary CO2 cartridges that seem like they'll add up cost over time. Sodastream also dominates Google searches due to their stranglehold on the market.

Anyway: I was wondering if anyone knew of a company that has a Sodastream like unit that uses a universal CO2 tank (like a paintball tank). Ideally under $100.

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Old 05-31-2012, 05:25 PM   #2
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Carbonator cap, CO2 Bottle, regulator , and hose. You are also on your way to kegging beer, so you can grow your hobby.

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Old 05-31-2012, 08:55 PM   #3
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Adapters to use standard CO2 on a soda stream exist. Price is decent too if I remember. Google around, one company might be Soda Doctor, Soda Stream Doc, or something like that.

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Old 06-01-2012, 03:28 AM   #4
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You'll want to be careful on the adapters and figure out which one works without screwing up a $100+ machine though. Also, you'll still wind up needing a co2 tank, regulator and hose (100-150).

Honestly, it'd be best to start with a co2 tank, regulator, hose and ball lock connector and a carbonator cap. (Or the tire filler adapters that people make). It doesn't look pretty, but you can keep soda bottles (I re-use sprite/7-up or carbonated water or tonic bottles) filled with cold water in the fridge and when you want to carbonate one, stick the cap on, hit it with 30psi and give it a shake for about 30 seconds and serve.

Just keep the tank in a different room.

While you use that, then you can decide if you then want to get the sodastream and adapters. In which case to look "good" you'll probably need to drill holes and run hoses into the machine.

Although, at that point, it's probably cheaper to get a second fridge, keep the co2 tank and two kegs filled with water and have them carbonated anyways. And Airplanedoc is right, if you're going to be doing beer, you're eventually (and probably) going to want to just put the beer into 5 gallon kegs anyways, in which case you can use the co2 tank. many of us have a freezer with temperature control, or fridge, that we keep kegs of beer, wine, cider and water in that we use one co2 tank to dispense (with a multi-output regulator.)

And if you plan on doing that down the road, why get a soda stream that you'll have to leave around collecting dust?

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Old 06-02-2012, 04:36 AM   #5
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There's something out there called the twist n' sparkle, I think it uses the little chargers.

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Old 06-02-2012, 05:00 AM   #6
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That's true. Isi (makers of some soda siphons that used the chargers before sodastream came out) makes the twist & sparkle. It looks kinda nice, but you're going to wind up paying more for the co2 cartridges even on major discount compared to a larger co2 tank. (I priced it out when I was looking and I do have a soda siphon I used early on, but it was a pain only getting 8 ounces at a time. Good for a spritz in multiple alcohol drinks like an old fashioned, not good for multiple sodas.) You'd be looking at 1-2 cartridges per 8-12 ounces, and each cartridge is roughly 25 cents each. Sodastream, even with their propriatary canisters is cheaper than that.

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Old 06-04-2012, 02:22 AM   #7
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image-3468782226.jpg

This is what I use! 20 ounce paintball tank, regulator, hose with shut off valve and carbonator cap.
I looked at everything as well and didn't want the overly priced co2, and I wanted it to be portable. You can see the size next to the wine bottle.
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Old 07-28-2012, 05:00 AM   #8
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that 20 ounce paintball tank, mind telling me how many fill you get out of it by filling 2L bottles? I remember reading somewhere where it was mentioned it came out to about $0.05/L but not sure if it was using a 5lb or 20lb tank. So I am curious to know about the success of thie 20 ounce tank.

The cheapest 5lb tank I found was $155 filled brand new with 10 year warranty, and they charge $30 to refill. I live in Canada so this is in CDN currency.

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Old 08-18-2012, 02:00 AM   #9
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http://www.ontariobeerkegs.com does 20lb co2 tanks for 137. Just picked up all the stuff I need to carbonate my own bottles from them. I haven't gotten all the supplies I needed for my syrups yet so I can't tell you how long a 20lb tank will last let alone a tiny painball tank.

Filling the tank cost me 60 bucks (15 for a 5lb) at http://www.homebrew-supplies.ca . I see you live in Toronto, but the GTA is big so I don't know if this place is close for you or not, its close to shoppers world, brampton.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:24 PM   #10
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i use the soda rope, made by fizz gizz. he has a few devices for soda on his page.. www.fizzgizz.com .. i think.. google it.

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