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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?

thanks!

  1. invinotheresverde Jun 8, 2011 07:39 AM

    My husband carbonated Hawaiian Punch with our Soda Stream. Our formerly green kitchen is now red. Caution.

    1 Reply
    1. re: invinotheresverde
      lestblight Jun 8, 2011 07:48 AM

      what exactly happened? sounds like he didnt give thje bottle enough room for the gas?

      did at least taste ok?

    2. f
      ferret Jun 8, 2011 07:54 AM

      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.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ferret
        lestblight Jun 8, 2011 08:04 AM

        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..

        1. re: lestblight
          f
          ferret Jun 8, 2011 08:27 AM

          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.

      2. n
        Nyleve Jun 8, 2011 08:44 AM

        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.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Nyleve
          s
          sbs401 Jul 8, 2011 06:16 AM

          Umm yeah ...i did the exact same thing, the result was not tasty and the cleanup continues months later

          1. re: sbs401
            n
            Nyleve Jul 8, 2011 07:53 AM

            Years, actually. I'm still finding splotches.

        2. thew Jul 8, 2011 06:24 AM

          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.

          1. s
            smkit Jul 8, 2011 06:28 AM

            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.

            1. splatgirl Jul 8, 2011 06:38 AM

              My partner tried to carbonate lemonade. Big mess, but better than the red stuff that's been described.

              There is a video on Youtube of a guy who built a homemade carbonator ala SodaStream using some basic parts and one of those CO2 canisters you can buy for beer brewing. He makes a cap using a valve implanted in a regular plastic bottle cap. It seemed doable for anyone handy and he gave good directions, but I was adverse to the idea of having to have that big CO2 canister someplace being a lot less convenient than the countertop thing.

              1. JEN10 Jul 8, 2011 08:06 AM

                For lemonade, I just pour some strong stuff into a glass and top it off with the carbonated water for the perfect glass. Mom likes cranberry juice this way, I also do this with tea.

                1. c
                  collinsgavornik Jul 29, 2012 04:17 PM

                  I know this is an old stream, but I just got a soda stream and like everyone else, I want to experiment. I accept that carbonating things other than water can cause explosions, but the person that carbonated tea [unsweetened] just said it tasted bad, not that the thing overpressurized. Has anyone tried carbonating cucumber water? [water in which cucumber slices have been soaking, cucumbers removed] It seems like it could be awesome, but I'm afraid to destroy my kitchen to find out.

                  1. Chemicalkinetics Jul 29, 2012 04:22 PM

                    Can I carbonate milk? :) (probably not).

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                      Chris VR Jul 29, 2012 05:49 PM

                      http://www.sodastreamusa.com/faq.aspx#c3

                      3. Can I carbonate drinks other than water?

                      No. Only water should be carbonated in the SodaStream home soda maker. You risk damaging your soda maker, not to mention making a big fizzy mess! The money-back guarantee and the warranty are both invalidated if you carbonate any liquid other than water in your soda maker. Stick with plain cold water and adding any one of our fantastic flavors - AFTER the water has been carbonated!

                      That being said, I can't imagine cucumber water would be any problem as long as it was strained of all solids. I wouldn't try milk.

                      1. re: Chris VR
                        Chemicalkinetics Jul 29, 2012 07:45 PM

                        Nooooo. I want carbonated milk :)

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                          Chris VR Jul 30, 2012 09:59 AM

                          Hey, I wouldn't try it, but I hope you do and report back! I'd recommend doing it outdoors though :)

                          1. re: Chris VR
                            Chemicalkinetics Jul 30, 2012 10:06 AM

                            :) I don't even have a soda stream. But if I ever get one, milk will be on top of my list. :D

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              f
                              ferret Jul 30, 2012 12:12 PM

                              We're apparently not a carbonated-milk culture:

                              http://www.slashfood.com/2009/07/28/v...

                              1. re: ferret
                                Chemicalkinetics Jul 30, 2012 12:27 PM

                                I want to try them. :) I bet they taste great.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  f
                                  ferret Jul 30, 2012 03:39 PM

                                  Where were you when Coke was test-marketing them?

                                  1. re: ferret
                                    Chemicalkinetics Jul 30, 2012 04:11 PM

                                    Not in New York for sure. You said 2009, right? I was in New Jersey .

                    2. l
                      Leepa Jul 29, 2012 06:00 PM

                      I've used a soda syphon for years to make my own carbonated beverages. It's easy and I don't see any reason you couldn't do it with flavored drinks. The standard syphon and CO2 cartridge might provide more carbonation that you're looking for though. If it did, you could make a concentrated version, carbonate that, and then dilute it when you serve it.

                      1. l
                        LabLady Jul 29, 2012 06:05 PM

                        "Anyone know of a method where i can add carbonation to any concoction i come up with?"

                        ici twist and sparkle. It is meant for smaller throughput (not a smaller volume each time, but like, you wouldn't want to be going through 5L a day, which you fairly easily could do with sodastream), but you can directly carbonate things like juice/tea/

                        eep . . . I just went to look up a link to make sure I had the name right, and apparently this product has been recalled. c'est la vie?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: LabLady
                          r
                          rexster314 Jul 30, 2012 03:07 PM

                          Go look here. http://pittsburghsodapop.com/carbonat...
                          I haven't tried their syrups but there's some good information there.

                        2. r
                          rodrickjae Mar 15, 2013 09:57 PM

                          I came up with somthing pretty cool. I squeezed juice from about 5 oranges into a mug. Then, i added a small amount of stevia (natural sweetener...very potent.. you only need a little). Mixed it really well and added to a liter i carbonated via the Fizz sodastream model. Turned out really well for a natural orange flavored soda. I also bout a few alternatives that are compatible. Ralph's Soda Mix has an old fashioned cream soda flavor that is absolutely wonderful. No after taste and a real authentic cream soda taste. My dad is experimenting with carbonating his tea... we will see how that goes lol!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: rodrickjae
                            SWISSAIRE Apr 30, 2013 11:32 PM

                            Passion Fruit concentrate and cane sugar.

                            Goiaba, Guava, and Pineapple, again with cane sugar.

                            Mix into a syrup to your taste, and slowly add it to 1 L of carbonated water.

                            I also purchase Nestle Maracuja (powdered Passion Fruit) when visiting Brasil, and use this as well. I do have to add it slowly as it effervesces quickly, and can bubble-up out of the bottle.

                          2. pdxgastro May 2, 2013 04:36 PM

                            When I came across this syrup recipe recently, I thought it would make an interesting soda: http://www.littlehouseliving.com/make...

                            1. a
                              abczoomom Aug 6, 2013 03:53 PM

                              I suspect that some frozen juice concentrate after the water is carbonated, though I have not yet tried it. However, my kids have enjoyed very much adding "water additives" such as Mio, Dasani Drops, and similar products. Taste testing would be necessarily, and only the juice concentrate would be sweet, but you like Mio, etc you may well like it with carbonated water.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: abczoomom
                                SWISSAIRE Aug 6, 2013 08:04 PM

                                I have tried the frozen concentrates.

                                And powdered drink mixes too.

                                They work,some tasting better than others.

                                Try keeping the water cool to col before carbonating. Add as they suggest slowly, with the 1 : bottle topped over at a slight angle.

                                We had a problem with the commercial brands of Soda and Tonic water. Either the bottle was flat, or went flat, or the brand was not even available ( during the Holidays ).

                                The Sodastream solved both problems, and we have never looked back. One can even add Japanese or Hawaiian Shave Ice syrups also, but try making your first.

                              2. Atomic76 Aug 6, 2013 07:06 PM

                                You may want to look around for one used, the price they charge for a new one is a rip off. All it is is a plastic stand and some plastic bottles with a couple of CO2 cartridges. I think I paid like $100 for mine, and regretted it afterwards.

                                Also, I didn't like any of the sodas I made with it. The water never seemed to get as carbonated as pop I buy at the store - no matter how many times I blasted it with the CO2. Also, all of their syrups, even the non diet ones, have Splenda in them. They don't taste much like the real thing either. The bottles are tiny too, only enough for a few drinks.

                                I would assume anything syrupy probably wouldn't work, unless you added it afterwards. Even tea will foam up, so be careful.

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