Originally Posted by Slopples
Well let me pick your brain slightly. I am having trouble getting the mixture right I think. When the soda water and syrup mix its extremely carbonated and then goes flat. I have the icebin filled for at least 20 minutes so the cold plate should be good to go but I just can't get it right. Any suggestions?
I will rule out 2 odd things 1st....just in case: You are not using beer gas and you do not have a descaler hooked up to your water supplying the fountain unit correct? These are 2 carbonation killers that I see out in the trade.....people hook up beer gas instead of co2 by mistake.....and they put de-scalers for ice machines on the water supply to the soda fountain. If these 2 don't apply, then read on..... If they do....fix it. : )
There are 2 things that I would check 1st.
Final product temp and flow rate out of the valve.
The 1st thing I would check is the finished product temp in a glass with no ice. It should be under 40 degrees. Preferably 38. Soda has to enter the glass below 40 degrees or it will taste flat. 20 minutes is plenty of time to chill down the cold plate...but you may want to cycle the ice agitator motor....and run some product through the cold plate if the unit has been inactive. It will melt some of the ice and chill the cold plate faster.
Next, check the pour rate. If the valve is dispensing to fast, you will get lots if initial carbonation but it will taste flat because the co2 is getting blasted out. Try slowing both the soda and the syrup down quite a bit. Shoot for a pour speed of about 2.5 oz per second.....or, 5oz in 2 seconds...a little easier to time out.
Sometimes, after the unit has sat for a long time....the 1st pour will taste flat.... that is because the soda and syrup between the cold plate and the valve have warmed up....and rarely the ice in the bin will "bridge" and not be touching the coldplate. (meaning...the lower ice will melt and the ice above will hold in place.) Sounds weird but it does happen...that's why fountain units have timed agitators.
AS far as the mixture....if it is coke product it is 4.75 parts water to 1 part syrup. If it is Pepsi product it is 5 to 1. The mixture will not affect the carbonation level though...and it is hard to set the brix properly without a brix cup and separator. You will just have to go by taste if you don't have one.
I hope my ramblings made sense....and I hope this helps you.