Inexpensive Home Soda Maker That You Can Build
*quickly make your own homemade soda*
Ever wanted to
make your own carbonated beverages inexpensively? Why not build this very inexpensive
home carbonation device. This home soda maker allows you to carbonate any beverage
for about 15 cents per litre (33 US Fl. Oz). With this device, you can
make your own homemade soda (sparkling water or seltzer), or soft drinks sweetened
with pure cane sugar instead of the widely used glucose-fructose engineered
sweeteners. In addition, you may wish to carbonate your own fruit juices, which
existing soda machines are not able to do. Specifically, you can carbonate any
beverage of your choice and avoid unnatural sugars, and preservatives
such as sorbates or benzoates typically found in commercial carbonated beverages.
The soda recipe page gives you some ideas about soft drink ingredients.
Not only are your drinks healthier, you will also help the environment by reducing the fuel that is consumed when commercial soda is shipped to stores and further to your residence. Reusing the soda bottles will also greatly reduce the number of empty soda containers that get shipped to landfills or recyclers. This carbonator device is both a health, and environmental product.
A number of builders have provided positive feedback on their homemade carbonator. Below are comments I have culled from my carbonator emails:
I want to congratulate
you on a truly ingenius idea.
Making soda this way is really a lot of fun...RJ USA
We finally completed
the carbonator and made a batch of fizzy water today!
It worked great, though we probably could have left it going for a bit longer...LJ USA
am very impressed with your plans and I hope my small contribution to
the bulkhead fittings will make it even better, or at least give people
another option...GH USA
I have successfully
downloaded your instructions. Now... looks like a little challenge to collect
and put this together, but you have excellent directions...DD USA
My primary use
for the carbonator will be for club soda (2Liter Bottles).
I really enjoyed constructing your system...JC USA
On the Market:
Counter-Top Soda Makers:
Now, there are counter-top soda making machines available on the market. They use highly pressurized CO2 cylinders. Unfortunately with these devices, you cannot carbonate anything other than water. Once you carbonate your water, you add a syrup concentrate to make the soda. Attempting to carbonate something else such as fruit juice will plug the valves and damage the unit. In addition, once the CO2 cylinders are empty, they must be shipped back to the manufacturer for refill... a great inconvenience. Cost with shipping comes out to typically $0.30/litre and that is if you are in the vendors service area.
You may also come across soda siphons. These use very small non-refillable steel CO2 cartridges that get used once and are only able to carbonate one small bottle of beverage each. The cylinders are non-re-usable and must be thrown out in a wasteful manner. They are also rather expensive costing up to $1.00 per cartridge.
Home-Rigged Carbonation System:
While the cost to carbonate is lowest here, amounting to a few cents per litre, the setup is non-portable, cumbersome and space consuming, not to mention the industrial appearance of the hardware. Larger CO2 tanks are usually employed along with a combination of high pressure hoses, valves, and a pressure regulator. Leaks are a constant threat, and the tanks must be hydro pressure tested every several years in accordance with safety regulations pertaining to the storage of pressurized gas.
This Home Soda Maker:
This device now
in its 7th version, generates CO2 through a chemical reaction between food grade
Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate), and Citric Acid (or vinegar). These ingredients
can be purchased inexpensively from grocery stores, bulk food stores or various
mail-order houses. Citric acid is also used in most soda pop that you purchase
as it adds tart. This comes in handy when you make your own soda recipes. The
Home soda maker can be built in a few hours and requires only basic mechanical
skills and a few tools such as a hand drill. You can carbonate a 1, or 2 litre
bottle of beverage in a matter of minutes.
There are also a few soda recipes at the soda recipe page here.
Benefits of this home soda maker:
Below is a photo of the complete system.
Seen in the photo is the GENERATOR on the left and MIXER on the right with hose assembly.
I have made the building plans for this device available for download in electronic form (Acrobat). The article is called "A Home Soda Maker You Can Build- A Guide to Building Your Own Inexpensive Home Carbonator Using Readily Available Materials". It is 44 pages long and includes many step-by-step photos. There is also helpful information on soda ingredients, making concentrates, and inexpensive web based mail-order sources of Baking Soda, Citric Acid, and soda concentrates.
There were a number of challenges that had to be overcome in order to make it work effectively. Namely, these were:
See the Safety First! page for more information.
Thumbnails of Construction section found in article
Table of Contents
A Carbonation Chart
Included, are numerous
charts in metric-kitchen and imperial-kitchen units, eliminating
the need for calculations. These make it very fast to determine the amount of
carbonation powders. I rarely reference these chart because I have written the
amounts that I typically use, on the containers that I store the powders in.
with the Soda maker:
I have run 100s of carbonation cycles with this model. I replaced the beverage bottles just past their one year anniversary not because they did not work, but because they started to look a bit scratched up and creased -more aesthetic than anything, I guess. I replaced the GENERATOR bottle after 1.5 years of use because I wanted to avoid plastic fatigue, which will eventually weaken the bottle. I did replace one of the hose assembly caps recently because the threads showed a little wear although it continued to function normally. I replaced it with a longer lasting cap- the ones I find on Pepsi, or Coke bottles (ones with continuous threads versus segmented threads). The bottle threads have shown no visible wear probably because they are of a harder plastic than most caps.
Questions? You can email me at:
sodamaker(please remove)@inventionsthatwork.com When your mail program opens, remove "(please remove)" -brackets and contents!. This is done to reduce spam. Sorry for the inconvenience.
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