Soda Stream or Something Else? [moved from Quebec board]
The Sodastream equipment is inexpensive and convenient, but the CO2 refills are a killer. If you make lots of carbonated drinks, in a year you'd have saved money just buying a small homebrewer's CO2 draft setup.
Small 2.5lb CO2 bottle, regulator, small 2.5 gallon Cornelius keg, fittings from tubes to keg. Just under $200 if you shop around. Used kegs are fine. CO2 refills from any homebrew shop or welding shop very cheap.
Back when I was homebrewing a lot, I kept a small Corny keg just for the kids.....they got to mix up their own soda recipes, let it chill down, and force carbonate it. You can use fresh fruit juice, honey instead of sugar, whatever you want. Favorite here was frozen limeade concentrate, honey and fresh mint cooked down and strained.
Sterilize keg with bottle brush, then boiling water (*I* did that part, and pouring sticky syrup into keg!). Chill down, and inject CO2 -- either let it sit 2-3 days, or shake the keg and do it in 5 minutes (always the favorite here).
Should be refrigerated, or it will spoil, just like beer. But we'd easily use up the 2.5 gallon keg of pop in a weekend.
I did actually wind up buying it online special thru the Canadian Sodastream but I buy my bottles of soda from another canadian site that is a bit cheaper. Sears depending on the store has the bottles and carbonators especially at Angrignon.
I only buy Diet Sodas and the United States has more of a selection in that respect. Love the Diet Orange and hate the Diet Cola. I also have in the diet area: cream soda and dr pepper as well as grapefruit and gingerale and rootbeer
I use it all the time
i absolutely love it. I have 4 bottles and three cyclinders by choice and I have had to exchange twice at Sears Angrignon and they seem to know what they are doing with the exchange although u have to get the manager of the department.
they are limited in their diet syrups so I order from https://www.soda-maker.com
What I love is that last minute I can make a bottle of soda and never forget that I didn't buy for company or just for that desire to quench a thirst. I have not used the flavored water but I have made use of just regular carbonated water as well.
It is addictive and I had posted on it http://eyezinacookbook.com/?p=3607
Note to the mods: This discussion does properly belong on the Cookware board, as we're talking about equipment to carbonate water.
Compared to homemade alternatives, the Sodastream gizmo is awfully expensive no matter where you live. Depending on how much you buy at once, the Sodastream refills cost between $13.79 and $16.55 (NB: I'm working in US dollars here) per pound of CO2, or between 21 and 25 cents per liter of carbonated water. Looks like a great deal considering the price of a liter of club soda. That is, it looks like a good deal until you find out how much food grade CO2 goes for in bulk. My local home brewing supply place fills up canisters for between $1.35 and $3.20 per pound depending on the size of the tank, which works out to between 2 and 5 cents per liter of carbonated water. Better still, the equipment needed to use a big tank of CO2 will almost certainly end up costing less than the little Sodastream gizmo.
The equipment needed instead of a Sodastream is fairly straightforward. Of course you need the CO2 tank, but then you also need a regulator, some tubing, and a connecting nozzle. Some home brewing places offer a ready-made connecting nozzle, but one can make a connector fairly easily out of a tire valve kit and a bottle cap. There are details about all of it (lots and lots of details!) at http://www.truetex.com/carbonation.htm . You can find a wealth of other information by Googling home carbonation.