Questions using soda stream? ( Want to carbonate my own flavors)
- lestblight Jun 8, 2011 07:37 AM
Was thinking about purchasing one of these but did not want to be limited to the flavor syrups they provide.
I wanted to make some homemade lemonades or chilled teas with a little carbonation.
It says you can only carbonate the water and then add the syrup.
What happens if you carbonate a chilled tea or homemade lemonade?
Anyone know of a method where i can add carbonation to any concoction i come up with?
I saw some youtube videos using champagne yeast and a few other ingredients.. but takes a while to cabronate..
is there a faster method?
What happens when you carbonate a chilled tea is that it tastes like a$$. Not a good idea. You can certainly carbonate any liquid directly, but there is a possibility of backwash into the unit in which case you'd have to remove the air canister and rinse it well. As for homemade lemonade, if it's sweetened you're better off adding overly-carbonated water to the lemon/sugar. Any syrupy backwash is just asking for trouble.
You're in no way limited to their flavored syrups. You can use anything out there. There are countless syrups on the market (Poles and Germans like adding fruit syrup to carbonated water and you can find cherry, raspberry and other flavors in specialty stores. You can also find real ginger syrups for ginger ale. or come up with your own combination. The traditional method with the Sodastream is to add a "capful" of syrup to already carbonated water (just like with fountain drinks), so you're not compromising anything by "rolling your own."
You can also find commercial soda syrups (Coke, Diet Coke, etc.) online but they aren't especially economical in small quantities.
I wonder why carbonating a sweetened tea would taste awful. Any thoughts ? I have some great Coca Leaf tea that i picked up in bolivian and would like to sweeten and carbonate for the hot summer days.
If backwash in the unit is an issue.. maybe a better option would be a co2? tank and some equipment? That might be cheaper too..
Backwash isn't a regular issue, but sometimes if you don't seat the bottle fully or overfill the bottle it can back up. We're huge tea drinkers, especially iced tea (even in winter) so I thought it would be a natural, but it just didn't taste right. It seems to enhance the bitter notes so you need to overcompensate with sweetener and we don't usually sweeten at all. If you're a fan of sweet then maybe you won't find it objectionable.
As for most other beverage combinations, adding syrup to the carbonated water shouldn't be a problem. As far as I can tell, any unit that will carbonate small quantities of liquids have the same potential issue for fouling, including the soda syphons - comes with the territory. So you'll need to rinse well after use if you're dealing with anything other than water. But you can hyper-saturate the soda with CO2 if you're adding a larger volume of un-carbonated liquid and end up with a satisfactory result.
I've never tried it myself but my son, once in a fit of experimentation, took some bad red wine and tried to carbonate it to see what would happen. I only found out about this afterward, as the experiment took place in the dead of night. What gave away the deal, however, was the weird stains all over the SodaStream unit, the counter and the wall behind it. Looked a bit like a murder scene. Not sure what the science is that causes the carbonation to go ballistic, but let's just say I haven't bothered trying it with anything else. Add some flavour to the carbonated bottle and it's a done deal.
you can make your own syrups easily enough. i make ginger syrup to add to water frequently.
for ice tea you could make some super strong tea - using 4 or 5 times the tea to water ratio you would usually use, and then add that to the carbonated water.
I don't limit myself to syrups. After carbonating the water, I often add a splash of cranberry juice. It gives it just enough flavor and some color. I wouldn't do pulpy stuff, but clean juices are my flavor of choice. I don't know if it affects the carbonation, but I usually drink it quickly anyhow.