Seltzer Water Questions

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MTBbrewer

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I have started carbonating some water in a 2.5gal keg. It is in my keezer set at 25lbs, and temp is 36 degrees F. Hopefully that is good for the carbonation, but if not please let me know. I have two questions: How long will it take to carbonate, and how much beverage line should I use? The reason I ask about the line is because I saw somewhere that I need to use like 20 feet.
 

pvpeacock

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I make 5 gallon batches of soda water at a time. I keep the regulator set at 30 psi and use 11 feet of line although I think I could get away with a much shorter line. The reality is that unlike beer, soda water doesn't have a head. As a result, you don't get "foamy" soda water. I usually hook up the keg and let it sit a week to carbonate. Again, because there is no head to worry about, you could speed the process up by force carbing it.
 

fred588

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Thanks for the info
First, yes I realize this thread is nearly 6 months old, so I hope the originator might be still watching. I carbonate water one liter at a time. All I use is a 10 pound cylinder of carbon dioxide with the valve set at about 28 pounds, and a hose about 18 inches log to a cap that fits my bottles, which are simply empty soda bottles. I chill the water so there is a small amount of ice inside. Carbonation takes about 3 or 4 minutes. The key, in my view, is that I shake the bottle during the carbonation process. Obviously one cannot do that with a significantly large container, but one liter is about my daily consumption.
As a little add on information, the last time I had the gas tank filled it cost about $40.00. Since that time I have kept a tally of bottles carbonated. As of yesterday I am up to 358. About 6 more and the cost per bottle will be down to 11 cents. I hope, and expect, to drop that to under 7 cents by the time the tank is empty.
 

MaxStout

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I force-carb seltzer water and homemade root beer in 1L PET bottles. I use a similar method. Fill the bottle to a few inches below full and chill overnight in the fridge. I attach a carbonation cap, purge the air out of the headspace and charge with CO2 at about 30PSI. Shake until the bottle gets soft from CO2 absorption into the water, add more CO2, shake, repeat. I usually have to do it 3 times. When the bottle remains rigid despite shaking, the water is fairly saturated and ready to serve.

Here's a good video:

 

fred588

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This is in reply to Max Stout. What you describe seems identical to what I do with one exception. I keep the valve on the CO2 tank open while I shake the bottle. I continue that until the flow of CO2 into the water is more or less stopped by the water having reached saturation.
 

MaxStout

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This is in reply to Max Stout. What you describe seems identical to what I do with one exception. I keep the valve on the CO2 tank open while I shake the bottle. I continue that until the flow of CO2 into the water is more or less stopped by the water having reached saturation.
That makes sense. It continues to force CO2 into the bottle while it goes into solution.
 

fred588

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Exactly. And when the bubbles stop it means the water is saturated at the pressure selected.
 

MaxStout

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I do have a question about the durability of these PET bottles. I use 1L plastic bottles from Aldi's sparkling water, and have some 500ml PET bottles from the LHBS. All are designed designed for pressure, with the 5 bumps on the base. I'd like to know when to start tossing these out. Especially since I squish them a bit to purge out the air in the headspace before carbing, that puts wrinkles in the plastic. Thinking that too many repetitions of that may eventually weaken them. I'd like to keep reusing them for homemade root beer, but want to recycle them before they get weak and breach. I usually don't go above about 30psi to carb. Anybody have a good rule of thumb?
 

fred588

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I can only give an incomplete answer. I have been using empties from 1 liter bottles of soda I bought at Walmart. I don't recall the brand. I have a set of 9 bottles and those have been used, so far, to make about 370 bottles of carbonated water - same pressure and I also squeeze them to get rid of the air at the top before carbonating. I would estimate than the nine bottles have been used about equally although I have made no effort to control that. Thus far there have been no failures. Of course, I just make carbonated water so if one did burst it would dump a liter of water all over the room but there would be no sugar or yeast. I mostly mix the water about 50-50 with things like grapefruit or pineapple juice, but this is after the carbonation.
 

Tegra

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The key to bottle life might be the temperature.

Bottles are designed to be safe on the store shelf and in your hot car. The normal 20-30 psi can get above 80. If the bottles get scratched and worn, this is were they will rupture.

If you keep them in the fridge the pressure will stay low and the bottles will live a long time.

(What is the worst that can happen? A bit of a soaking with bubbly water?)

Tom
 

fred588

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First, yes I realize this thread is nearly 6 months old, so I hope the originator might be still watching. I carbonate water one liter at a time. All I use is a 10 pound cylinder of carbon dioxide with the valve set at about 28 pounds, and a hose about 18 inches log to a cap that fits my bottles, which are simply empty soda bottles. I chill the water so there is a small amount of ice inside. Carbonation takes about 3 or 4 minutes. The key, in my view, is that I shake the bottle during the carbonation process. Obviously one cannot do that with a significantly large container, but one liter is about my daily consumption.
As a little add on information, the last time I had the gas tank filled it cost about $40.00. Since that time I have kept a tally of bottles carbonated. As of yesterday I am up to 358. About 6 more and the cost per bottle will be down to 11 cents. I hope, and expect, to drop that to under 7 cents by the time the tank is empty.
This is to follow-up on my own post quoted above. I finally used up the 10 pound bottle of carbon dioxide a week or so ago. The final tally was 502 one-liter bottles, so the actual cost was a tiny fraction under 8 cents per bottle. With a new bottle of gas I am reducing the pressure setting to 26 pounds, by which change I expect to increase the output a bit. Increasing the output isn't really the point, of course.
 
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