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Rover

SodaStream – at home soda maker

60 posts in this topic

I believe the SodaStream system has been available for a while in the U.S., but only over the past year or in Canada with limited distribution. Now, however, it seems to be everywhere you look. I've had mine for about 6 months and I think I've died and gone to Heaven! It's easy, fast and you can control the level of carbonation.

For me the advantages are that I no longer have to haul those heavy 2 litre bottles of carbonated water from the supermarket and then store and haul the empties right back again for recycling. It's economical, convenient and a slick-looking machine. I drink about a litre of sparkling water a day, so this has made a big difference for me.

For those who are interested, there are all kinds of flavours including colas, but I haven't investigated those. I flirted briefly with an attempt at sparkling wine, but ended up wasting half a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc as it fizzed all over the kitchen counter - I may return to that experiment another time.

For those who love sparkling water this system is terrific.

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Didn't realise SodaStream was new to the US and Canada. It's been in the UK for decades. I thought they would have gone international ages ago.

Seems they did. Interesting history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodastream


Best Wishes,

Chee Fai.

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I haven't heard of this specific brand but for as long as I can remember I've had friends who've done home carbonation here in the US, either with dedicated devices, cartridges, or plain old tanks of CO2. The problems with the consumer-grade machines I've seen are that 1- they're flimsy, and 2- they kill you on the cost of consumables, charging 10x or more what you'd pay for an equivalent amount of CO2 from a commercial supplier.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
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I haven't heard of this specific brand but for as long as I can remember I've had friends who've done home carbonation here in the US, either with dedicated devices, cartridges, or plain old tanks of CO2. The problems with the consumer-grade machines I've seen are that 1- they're flimsy, and 2- they kill you on the cost of consumables, charging 10x or more what you'd pay for an equivalent amount of CO2 from a commercial supplier.

This is true. I bought one a couple of years ago because I was so frustrated with pricing of soda. Buying it at the regular price usually means that you're paying twice the price of getting it on sale elsewhere. Having to constantly comparison shop for a staple had me very annoyed. Brand loyalty was the first casualty, but even then, I sometimes had to visit two or three stores. So I got the SodaStream.

But I concluded that if you can find 2 liter bottles for 99 cents, you come out ahead of the SodaStream cost of about $1.24. Convenience is a trade off. On the one hand, you can stock a lot of soda syrup - and making up a bottle is much easier than going to the store. But there is a whole set of logistics required for maintaining a supply of syrup and CO2.

A pleasant suprise was that I liked their diet cola formula as much as the 'Big Two'. I had never found a generic store brand I could drink. Even buying bulk brand name syrup from GFS was not a better option - either economically or quality-wise.

Still, my SodaStream has fallen into disuse. But I may re-stock it now that their are more retail options. It looks like they had a failed distribution attempt with Kohls and Williams & Sonoma. But now they're back with more retailers.

The best solution would be to hack it to use large CO2 tanks. This would reduce the 2 Liter price by nearly 40 cents. But this would be tricky, potentially dangerous, and legally dubious given all the legalese involved in with the SodaStream. Even that name brand name bag-in-box had a legal warning about using it in a non approved manner.

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I've been meaning to ask one of my beer-making friends to help me set up a home-made system like this:

Carbonating at Home

Edited to add, I only drink sparkling water, no flavored sodas.


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)

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Funny to see this mentioned here, it would have decidedly naff connotations in Ireland. Can you still get "Dracula's Blood" concentrate? Probably not, I imagine most of the ingredients have since become illegal. :biggrin:

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I've been meaning to ask one of my beer-making friends to help me set up a home-made system like this:   Carbonating at Home...

I've been meaning to set one up for quite a few years now, and still mean to do it one day! It's just gathering the materials, putting it together, testing, etc...

A hacked SodaStream looks more appealing as time goes by.


So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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SodaStream has been available in Canada for at least 3 years - I bought mine that long ago. But it's true that distribution has become more widespread, making it possible for me now to get CO2 refill cartridges nearby, which is great. I groused, for a while, at the sudden increase in price of the CO2 cartridges - they jumped by probably 25% about a year ago. So now I'm trying to encourage a geeky friend of mine to buy a system and rig it up to work with bulk canisters. There's a place - I can find the link if anyone is really interested - that sells valve adapters so that you can refill the small canisters yourself. The original SodaStream units have proprietary valves that make it impossible otherwise.

But I love this thing. I go through 1 to 2 quarts of fizzy water a day and I'm delighted to be able to make my own using my own delicious well water. And no empties to recycle or bottles to lug home from the store. I feel so smug when I put it out on the table instead of a bottle of Perrier or San Pellegrino.

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I really like mine as well. It does a great job. Anyone experimented with carbonating things other than water like Cranberry juice etc? The warranty says not to but i'm tempted still.

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I really like mine as well. It does a great job. Anyone experimented with carbonating things other than water like Cranberry juice etc? The warranty says not to but i'm tempted still.

You need to carbonate just the water and then add flavorings. I once absentmindedly added the cola flavoring to a bottle I had not yet carbonated. Faced with throwing it out, I decided to ignore the admonitions and carbonate it. Not a good idea. There was soda everywhere.

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not to take this off topic, but you carbonated whole strawberries? What do you get? A fizzy strawberry or fizzy strawberry foam/mush? Either seems intriguing, just curious.


"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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We have two. One at home and one in the office. I use it everyday. And the price is wrong above. It works out to a quarter a litter once you get into refills, not 1.24 per 2. I never use the flavorings, but I don't like sweet stuff.

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I use a 5-gallon cornelius keg for soda water. I drink a ton of it. It sits in the kegerator, next to the keg. They're both attached to a large CO2 bottle that I only need to fill twice a year.

After initial setup, the cost is negligible.

Here's a link to a a complete setup: http://morebeer.com/view_product/18192/102298/Deluxe_Homebrew_Draft_System (It isn't hard to find the individual components FAR cheaper than this kit. Shop around.)


Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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I go through 2-3 bottles a day. With the price increase the last time I ordered my exchange canisters, I'm paying about a quarter a liter, too. Was less! Plus, no shlepping. I've had my Sodastream for about 3 years now, one of my all-time favorite purchases.

I've noticed they're now at Macy's and Sur La Table around here, but those are smaller units, with the 60 L. CO2 canisters. Mine's bigger :wub: (Not keg-sized, unfortunately.)

edited because a canister is not a cartridge.


Edited by hsm (log)

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not to take this off topic, but you carbonated whole strawberries? What do you get? A fizzy strawberry or fizzy strawberry foam/mush? Either seems intriguing, just curious.

If you carbonate them for about 3 1/2 hours you get fizzy strawberries, but has to be in a sealed container hence you would probably need to leave the bottle attached to the sodastream


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We have two. One at home and one in the office. I use it everyday. And the price is wrong above. It works out to a quarter a litter once you get into refills, not 1.24 per 2. I never use the flavorings, but I don't like sweet stuff.

I was comparing the cost to soda.

Carbonator: $29.99/130 liters = $0.23

Flavoring: $4.99/12 liters = $0.41

Name Brand Cola: $0.99-$1.89 for 2 liters

Sodastream Cola: $1.28 for 2 liters (plus initial investment and shipping where applicable)

Cheaper CO2 sources have been mentioned, but on the flavoring side there's also Open Cola.

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... SodaStream system ... I flirted briefly with an attempt at sparkling wine, but ended up wasting half a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc as it fizzed all over the kitchen counter - I may return to that experiment another time.font]

Just eavedropping on my husband's high school chemistry lesson on gas laws ... did you chill the wine? (Henry's Law)

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... SodaStream system ... I flirted briefly with an attempt at sparkling wine, but ended up wasting half a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc as it fizzed all over the kitchen counter - I may return to that experiment another time.font]

Just eavedropping on my husband's high school chemistry lesson on gas laws ... did you chill the wine? (Henry's Law)

I don't think it would help. For some reason, it must be chilled plain water. I once prematurely added the flavoring syrup and realized I had not carbonated it yet. Rather than pouring it down the drain, I decided to try to carbonate it (the instructions say specifically not to do this, and that it could damage the machine). I got the same fizzy countertop syndrome.

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This appears to just be a Let's-Celebrate-SodaStream thread, in which case I'll happily join! In my family we get through a bottle or two a day, and many more when guests are around.

The new smaller cannisters seem almost pointless, at least for our type of use, but luckily we have the larger cannisters for our setup. Unfortunately they cannot do refills of the large ones at the local Sur La Table, so we have to order them online and wait for delivery.

I wasn't really a fan of any of the syrup flavors, but I like to make my own (less sweet!) sodas by putting the heavily carbonated water in juices and the like. Those usually come out very nicely :smile:

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I recently saw an ad for a new model of SodaStream which has digital controls and allows you to monitor the level of the gas. Not knowing how much butane is left is probably the only disadvantage as far as I'm concerned; I tend to try to keep two canisters on the go.

Special K - I did use chilled wine. I think when I next try it I'll fill the bottle only to the 3/4 level.

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if I want to use fresh fruit juices would you recommend filling the canister with fresh fruit juice as you would with water. or make seltzer then mix with fruit juice?

Thanks

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if I want to use fresh fruit juices would you recommend filling the canister with fresh fruit juice as you would with water. or make seltzer then mix with fruit juice?

Thanks

From the SodaStream FAQ:

3. Can I carbonate drinks other than water?

No. Only water should be carbonated in the SodaStream home soda maker. You risk damaging your soda maker, not to mention making a big fizzy mess! The money-back guarantee and the warranty are both invalidated if you carbonate any liquid other than water in your soda maker. Stick with plain cold water and adding any one of our fantastic flavors - after the water has been carbonated!

We've documented two fizzy messes so far.

You'd have to make a concentrate to add after carbonation.

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I use flavor syrups we purchase at a local coffee shop. They are concentrated enough that the flavor isn't diluted too much.

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We've been using our Soda Stream for a couple of years now. We go through at least 2 bottles a day. Couldn't be happier with it. Since we live in the middle of nowhere, we have had great luck just returning the empty gas canisters to the company after receiving our fresh ones. Good turn around and have never had a problem with it.

Plus, if you can get some of that Lingonberry syrup at an Ikea grocery, you've got a tasty soda treat.

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