Basics of Fizzics

Basics of Fizzics

A couple weeks ago I found a site that shows how to build a quick and easy carbonator. I have wanted to know how to do this for decades as we have always bought a lot of seltzer water and soda pop over the years. My wife drinks seltzer water all the time.

Cost - about $250 most of which is a CO2 tank and double gauge regulator, which can be re sold for most of it's purchased value. Refills of CO2 (20 pound) costs about $26 and you can exchange your tank for a full one. A tank will last about a year and a half if you carbonize a two liter bottle a day. You get these tanks and refills at your local welding supply store. In fact the tank that I bought had the words "Coca Cola" engraved in the top. If you shop around you can cut the $250 cost down even more.
The regulator is set at 50-60 pounds and connects to an 8' long 1/4" ID hose which clamps on to a steel valve stem that you can but at any auto parts store. A PET soda bottle cap is drilled and the valve stem is clamped onto it airtight. A 1/4" (quarter turn with lever handle) valve is installed on the regulator for fast shut off of the CO2. The hose connects to the valve with a hose barb and hose clamp.

We use one liter bottles as they seem to be more practical for everyday use. You can only use the PET soda bottles as they are pressure rated at about 150-200 PSI. I carbonate at 60 PSI. Fill the one liter (or two liter) bottles to the beginning of the curve of the shoulder of the bottle with cold water. The CO2 dissolves better the colder the water is. Next - screw the bottle onto the cap as the hose and cap are rigid and can't turn very far. Leave the cap very loose and with the main shutoff valve on the tank open - crack the 1/4" valve slightly in order to purge the air out of the hose. Next squeeze the bottle until the water level comes up to the bottom of the cap. Maintain this level and turn the bottle until the cap is tight. If you don't remove and purge the air out of the hose and bottle the carbonation process will be quite slow.

With the lid tight you are ready to begin carbonating the water in the one (or two) liter bottle. To do this you open the 1/4" shut off valve cautiously and the bottle will inflate fully and the water level will drop down where it was before you purged the air out. Hold the bottle horizontally and loop the hose up over the top and hold it against the bottle, so the water will not flow down the hose as there is not enough CO2 gas flow to keep it purged. Shake the bottle vigorously for about two minutes. My regulator growls when it is controlling the flow of CO2. It is loud and eventually stops, which is when I know that the water is saturated with CO2. If the water is warm it will not dissolve as much CO2 - it must be as cold as possible - use some crushed ice if necessary.

After a couple minutes or the regulator stops growling - I don't know if they all do - shut off the 1/4" valve and slowly unscrew the bottle from the hose and cap to decompress the pressure in the bottle. Next screw on a normal cap to preserve the CO2 charge in the bottle and refrigerate if it is to be used in the near future.

This is a simple batch system where you make one bottle at a time. There are more expensive systems that are continuous, but I don't know if we could justify one.

We're all having a lot of fun making our own concoctions most of which have turned out well so far. we have bought syrup at local stores, which you blend with 5 parts water. We have bought concentrates (4 OZ) which we mix with 1 1/4# of sugar and add water to make a gallon of "Syrup" which at 5:1 ratio will make about 6 gallons of soda or you can use this syrup on sno-cones and the like. So far we have made crème soda, root beer, grape and Lemon and they have all been very good. You can customize these flavors to fit your particular taste. I'm so excited!!! The whole family is making their own drinks and we have a stock of one liter soda bottles filled with water in the fridge so all you have to do is add syrup up to the second mark and carbonize. Had I not won over my wife - this thing would never have flown. Of course this a Guy thing limited to us garage tinkerers.
Jasher many people in the aquarium hobby use a similar set up to make calc( calcium-lime) water for their tanks .

Can you mail me a snow cone?
Jasher many people in the aquarium hobby use a similar set up to make calc( calcium-lime) water for their tanks .

Can you mail me a snow cone?

Why certainly - What flavor? The cone is free, but there will be a slight delivery charge - 40 cents per mile?

I wrote that for my brother as he expressed an interest - just edited it for CFS as there may be one "Tinkerer" like me here. The population of Tinkerers is about one in a thousand.

Larry II
Rigonomics is my specaility- I can rig anything!:D