SodaStream question - What happens if you re-carbonate?

Got one of these for Xmas and they’re great. It mentions several times to only ever carbonate plain water, to not carbonate (or re-carbonate) with the flavor already mixed in. My question is why? What will happen if you carbonate flavored water? Will the ones with sugar in them foam all over the place? What about the diet mixes? Create a mini-black hole?

Educated Guess:

Plain water is better able to dissolve CO2 than water + syrup.

If you put in the syrup first, first absorbs, than after the max is reached the CO2 goes directly into pressurizing the bottle and pop.

I’ve had one for 2 years and love to carbonate a nice Chardonnay to make mimosas on the weekend. I only ever 1/2 fill the bottle though. Any more and the foam will squirt out when you vent the CO2. It does take a while longer to vent out as well…

Two reasons, one as D-bear suggests it will get overly foamy, & two you’ll get sticky syrup over the injector nozzle. I can imagine if you did it regularly the injector nozzle would get pretty festy.

In doing research to purchase (I haven’t yet, but still may), I remember reading in the instructions that keeping the nozzle clean is the reason that you’re supposed to carbonate water only.

I’ve thought of getting one of those, but the main worry I have is the CO2. The directions don’t seem clear on how much you really will need. Can one of you who has one tell me how much drink you really get from a volume of CO2?

My husband has occasionally carbonated at the wrong step. It gets extra fizzy, even too fizzy for me to drink and I love a lot of bubbles. So you have to be careful about how much you fizz it up. Otherwise, it’s probably just the getting the nozzle dirty part.

I get around 50 liters on one CO2 cylinder. It depends a bit how fizzy you want your drink.

What is the cost of a refill?

My brother has one, but he tends not to think about these things.

I think the canisters we buy say up to 60 liters to a canister. I have not counted how many we get. I probably carbonate more than average, and I’m sure the 60 is if you carbonate way less than average.

New canisters are $30. Refills are $15.

Most flavors are $5. Fruit punch is $6. You can use Kool-Aid type mixes if you are willing to experiment.

I care less about the price than about having no bottles and cans in the trash, so that’s why I don’t pay a lot of attention to how many liters we get.
ETA: Oh, we use the diet ones, so my answer for carbonating after flavoring should take that into account.

I haven’t counted how many bottles I’ve been able to carbonate, but I got mine in September and with frequent use I’ve gone through 2 CO2 cylinders so far.

Do you need to get some kind of food-grade CO2 for refills, or is it all pretty much the same?

I don’t know. I use the SodaStream refills.

Google ‘sodastream hacking’ and you’ll find a whole subculture about this (of course). There seems to be a long-standing debate over whether or not CO[sub]2[/sub] comes in ‘restaurant’ and ‘industrial’ forms. Most seem to believe that there’s no difference. I tend to believe this because even if it’s for industrial use CO[sub]2[/sub] is usually used as a non-reactive, inert gas so it would ***still ***need to be pure.

You can also buy a custom made adapter that lets you use a paintball gun tank with the Sodastream instead. The adapter is expensive ($60) but the tanks are cheap ($15), and more importantly paintball tank refills at sporting good stores are only like three dollars! You can’t refill the Sodastream tanks on your own, they have a ‘trap’ valve which prevents this. As long as you can buy refills locally (Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, Staples, Walmart etc.) I don’t think this is really worth the expense. If you have to buy refills online and get them shipped however, it adds a lot to their cost because they’re HAZMAT (high pressure gas cylinders).

Some CO2 cylinders, like ones for industrial use and at least some used for things like paintball guns, contain oil that helps lubricate the machinery they’re used for. (Found THAT out the hard way. :smack: YUK!) Food grade CO2 contains no oil.

Not all paintball cylinders have oil in them, and not all paintball refill stations use oil either.

I bought these paintball cylinders and this SodaStream Adapter from Amazon. I have the cylinders refilled at a local sports supply store (Dick’s) for a fraction of the cost of SodaStream cylinders - $1.99 each instead of $15.00.

The SodaStream refills are a ripoff racket.

I’ve been using these for 3 years now, and refill 4 at a time every two or three months.

A little cheap CO2, good well water and a squeeze of lime - YUM!

I work for a fire equipment company, and we recharge C02 cylinders. We use the same machine to charge fire extinguishers and cylinders used for beer kegs. We recharge the type of cylinder that the guy in this video is using to recharge his soda stream cylinder for quite q bit less that you would pay for new cylinders at Bed Bath and beyond. The one in the video holds ten pounds of C02 which, by my rough calculations, would be about fifteen recharges providing that the sodastream cartridges are 250 grams by weight.

Using the info provided by our friend jsgoddes

15 refills at $15.00 each = $225.00

I don’t work in the office, and I don’t do the cylinder recharging, but I think we recharge a ten pound C02 cylinder for around $30.00

Here is a mod that utilizes a 20 pound C02 commercial cylinder (the one in the picture was probably originally marked “Property of the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company”) to replace your sodastream cylinder all together. Your local fire extinguishing company would gladly sell you a cylinder, and recharge it for you very inexpensively, to bring your sodastream costs down by quite a bit.

Modding your sodastream

There is a link from that article to the Freedom One device

Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light. Total protonic reversal. So important safety tip; don’t re-carbonate the SodaStream.

It’s the same effect as the mentos in diet coke trick. The flavouring provides masses of nucleation points and the CO2 outgasses immediately making a sticky mess of your kitchen.

We mix the drinks in each glass so we can have different flavours or strengths from one bottle. I often just have soda water with a slice of lemon or lime. And the bottles never get dirty that way. Which is great because they aren’t dish washer safe and cleaning bottles by hand is a pain in the ass.

As for the economics, I think it runs at about 80 cents per litre for the gas and flavourings (and we tend towards non Soda Stream syrups which taste better in our opinion).