Previously, previously, previously.
Apparently there's a hack by which you can apply a nozzle that couples with the CO2 tanks they use for airsoft/paintball guns. Same product, same form factor, 1/8th or so the price. (So I am told.)
That's not 40 pounds.
It's called the SodaMod, and I own one. Works great. I get my bottles filled at a local sporting goods store for a miniscule fraction of the cost of SodaStream refills.
[hits up Google and squeals with delight]
I can not click like enough!
You did it!
To quote Grandpa Simpson, "Ow, ow! The bubbles are burning my tongue!"
Best hack ever
We actually bought one of these adapters from http://co2doctor.com/usandcanada.htm last year and successfully used it in a fairly high-volume bar at Burning Man. Went through almost a full 40# tank in a week, using only the SodaStream to make all our mixers for the bar. I've been tempted to buy one for home use since then.
Nice!.. I have the same setup but my tank is a tasteful fire-engine red. It's been over a year and no sign we'll ever run out of c02.
I was almost disappointed to not see a corresponding "after" picture with an angry cat full of glass shards and the remains of the exploded gas cylinder embedded in the wall.
The pressure of a bottle of a liquefied gas doesn't vary with the size of the bottle.
Would it be worthwhile to get a regulator, a corny keg disconnect, and The Carbonator to be able to use standard commercial soda bottles and eliminate the SodaStream?
The SodaStream itself is a regulator, a valve tuned for using a bottle as a pressure vessel, and a timer. Yeah, I could re-invent all of that myself, but why? Building it from scratch would probably be more expensive and less ergonomic.
Also, all the Youtube videos that show people building their own from scratch end up with a system that goes: "fill the bottle half way, squeeze the air out, blast it twice, add more water, blast it again, and oh, make sure you do it in the back yard because water gets absolutely everywhere." So, uh, no thanks on that.
That makes sense. The proprietary bottles would still bother me, but I'm a weirdo.
The proprietary bottles last a very long time (longer if you either only every have water in them, and mix flavors in your glass/cup, or if you only ever use them for specific flavors).
Given that you can run a year's beverages or more in a single bottle, it just isn't cost effective to locate and use a non-proprietary source. Plus I figure actual price of the basic machine and a few bottles is reasonable, so I can ignore the proprietary nature...mostly things being proprietary piss me off when the cost gets higher then I find the value, or when they prevent me from making changes I really want.
I did this for some time, with the Carbonator that Peter suggests; while the water never went everywhere, it was just too much of a pain to fill 80% with water, chill, squeeze the air out, pressurize, shake, pressurize, shake, pressurize, shake, pressurize...
Your solution here is a better one.
(The only reason I didn't go with a Sodastream was that I heard issues of their reliability—probably fine for home use, but I'd wear it out.)
(A) The Carbonator fits fewer and fewer bottles these days - most of the soda companies have switched to a slightly different threading, and Liquid Bread doesn't have plans to change their threading.
(B) As jwz notes, there's a lot more effort in the Carbonator. ("SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE etc." versus "Button press until fart sound.")
(C) It IS a lot less messy opening up a Sodastream bottle versus a Carbonator-topped bottle - you get a LOT more "spritz" with the from-scratch system.
Hey, that's my motto, too!
Yup. We've done this. Works wonderfully.
I applaud the courage to attempt this, but do you apply the full pressure (200 bar?) to that thing or is there a pressure regulator involved? I can't tell from the pixels.
I plugged it straight in. It did not explode. That's just science.
The tank is larger, but not at a higher pressure; the regulator built into the Sodastream will handle it just fine.
I'm sure most people here know this, but I feel obliged to point out that if you absolutely must use a big ass bottle, be sure an unventilated room is big enough so a gas leak won't kill you, as CO2 is heavier than air. The formula to stay below 3% concentration is:
cylinder capacity in kg * 17 = minimum room size in m3
So if you have a 6 kg cylinder, and your room height is 2,5m, you'll need a 45m2 room, if we add a 10% safety margin for the space taken by furniture.
Shouldn't that be room area in m2 * 2m?
After all, since CO2 is heavier than air, it doesn't matter how much oxygen is left up by your cathedral ceiling, if the CO2 level is greater than head-high, right?
I suggested exactly this the day I brought mine home, and every time I have to buy one of those refills.
Unhappy with the various Soda Stream options, I bought a Big Mac MacCann carbonator and installed it in a converted chest freezer in my living room, which I then plumbed from a line I ran under the house (don't tell my landlord), and hooked up a bar-style soda gun.
It was a serious exercise in yak-shaving, with many a "what the fuck have I gotten myself into," but ultimately the best decision.
Yeah, that's basically what we have at the bars, but those compressors are loud.
The chest freezer damps out most of the sound, but yeah: it's not quiet. As long as I don't deplete the reservoir too quickly, though, it never kicks on.
I have this guy's setup with an ISI soda siphon bottle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z0PMHoaiog
That's what I used to do, too, but it was a continual pain in the ass: to get it fizzy enough, I'd be sitting on the floor of my parlour furiously shaking a 2-liter bottle in the middle of a party. And what's more, to carbonate properly, the water has to be cold—so you'd need to keep bottles of water in the fridge, taking up valuable booze room.
Really, it's what made plumbing my living room look like a sensible, less-effort option.
It's not a two liter plastic bottle, it's a one liter aluminum ISI siphon bottle. I have the regulator set to 80 psi. The water comes out as fizzy as I could want and no refrigeration is required. The process takes seconds. Obviously 1L bottles probably aren't practical if you're going through as much water as you indicate. But it works great if you're a two pints of seltzer a day kind of household.
Yeah, I realized it wasn't a plastic bottle, but I wasn't thinking of the PSI capabilities of the two containers, and that the increased pressure—80PSI rather than 45—would remove the need to repeatedly pressurize/shake/repeat in order to get the 2L bottle up to snuff. Nice.
Why not just get a proper soda fountain at that point?
I have the same setup, with a 20# tank. The tank lasts 3-6 months, at about 1-2 liters a day - I'd suggest getting a gauge so you know when to get a refill. and a stock sodastream co2 bottle makes a nice backup!
what are you doing for syrup? thats usually a hassle for those of us who dont have a bar!
I don't drink syrup. Fish fuck in it.
when i try to discover which connector to use that attaches to the sodastream on one side and the co2 hose on the other, the internet makes me sad.
The one on the SodaStream end is a custom connector, intentionally incompatible with everything to lock you into buying their CO2 cans. The other end is a CGA-320, 13/16".
Did you have your fitting custom made, or were you able to purchase it online from someone ready-made? Because my 20 pounder is sitting RIGHT NEXT TO my Sodastream, and it's looking all forlorn and shit.
Bought one from co2doctor via ebay.
YES WE CAN!
Seriously though I'm jealous.
If you have been wondering how long it would take before I had to re-fill the tank, now I know. The answer is two and a half years!