Make your own selzer with commercial beverage equipment and give up soda
Youtube video link: https://youtu.be/F_Qzzf0Nd6c
purchase the components on Amazon:
co2 tank: https://amzn.to/2VpthpT
cga320 regulator inlet fitting for weld regulator conversion: https://amzn.to/2LRXdGD
cga580 to cga 320 adapter: https://amzn.to/2C3dqUX
co2 beverage regulator: https://amzn.to/2LPASJM
ball lock connector with hose: https://amzn.to/2C3EPWM
carbonator caps- buy two: https://amzn.to/2LPAXNA
reverse osmosis filter setup- not required: https://amzn.to/2R6yRPe
metal carbonator cap with dip tube fitting: https://amzn.to/2RuaURr
plastic tap valve: https://amzn.to/2SAVE2w
cornelius half keg: https://amzn.to/2RrxtX1
fridge side mount tap handle valve: https://amzn.to/2VuPZNj
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Transcribed text of video:
In this video I'll explain how and why to make your own selzer with inexpensive long lasting commercial beverage equipment to reduce your appetite for sugary drinks and the hazard to your health they represent to you and your family.
A 12 ounce can of coke contains 39 grams or 9.3 teaspoons of sugar or more likely high fructose corn syrup. The US recommended maximum daily allowance of sugar is amazingly, 38 grams. Whether that is just a coincidence or conspiracy is a question for another forum but the fact of the matter is that much sugar is bad for you when you are not getting it as part of a balanced diet from food rather than a chemical concoction sometimes used to clean rust from chrome plating. It's not good for your teeth, is relatively expensive, and a hassle to transport cans by the case or large bottles from the grocery store, not to mention the waste, even if it does get recycled.
We used to drink a good bit of soda but had switched almost completely to selzer a few years ago. The cravings for soda last about 2 weeks, but soon after that we greatly preferred selzer, to the point where I can't stand drinking soda anymore as it seems disgustingly sweet, with a nasty aftertaste. Our local grocery stores did not always have 2 liter bottles in stock so we ended up buying 12 packs of cans, with our best price coming in at about $2.50 per case. Because of the cost I started looking at carbonating my own. Sodastream looked like a possible alternative but it looked expensive to me for what it does, and I'd need a big tank anyway if I wanted to refill my own sodastream tanks rather than buying new ones. You can put together the setup I'm using with the links below. I ended up trading in an extra used welding tank I had here to my local welding gas supplier for a 20 pound full c o 2 tank for $35. You exchange the tank for a full one when empty. Steel tanks are about 29lbs empty, aluminum 25lbs empty. Add 20lbs for a full tank of C O 2. You could also buy a new tank at about $120. There is some debate among home brewers if there is such a thing as beverage grade c o 2. From what I've seen it is just marketing to squeeze a little profit margin out of commercial restaurant accounts, but in some places such a product is available at a small premium over generic c o 2. You can repurpose a welding gas regulator- oxygen or inert gas only, but you would need to change the inlet fitting from welding c g a 580 to c o 2 use c g a 320 to fit the c o 2 tank or use an adapter. Best would be just to buy a new c o 2 regulator at about $55 in the link below. Either way don't forget to get a few of the small nylon sealing washers for the regulator to tank valve connection. Next is the ball lock connector with whip hose, $15, and then a pair of the $15 carbonator caps to fit any used soda bottle. I prefer the plastic ones with the hex head so you can get a better grip on them. The metal ones are too smooth, especially for kids to grip. A pair of empty used plastic 2 liter soda bottles will complete your setup. The bottles I have are just regular used bottles and have lasted through hundreds of refills. I use reverse osmosis filtered tap water. Some places have hard water that may leave deposits in the bottles which can be cleaned with vinegar or just get new bottles.
Total cost of the equipment was about $130 for me because I had a tank to trade, and since we go through about 10 liters per week, the payback period was about 22 weeks. That period will approximately double if you buy a new tank. After that it will be saving me $24 per month or so versus cans. An alternative setup that I do not use is to get one of the stainless carbonator caps with a dip tube barb on the inside, then dispense from a beer tap valve mounted on the carbonator cap. The problem with such a setup is that we go thru bottles so fast its not worth the trouble, and its best to run higher pressure (up to about 70 p s I), in the bottles- high enough where use after use is more likely to result in a burst bottle. I may experiment with that at some point, but we are very happy with our current setup. If I do try that it would be with a half size cornelius keg sittiing in the fridge with a beer tap valve in the side of the fridge so you don't need to open the refrigerator door to get a drink. I'll document the process if I do, but the kegs are around $100 and take up a lot of space in the fridge.
So how do we use this setup? Easy. Install the regulator with the nylon sealing washer and an adjustable wrench. Compressed c o 2 is like propane in that it is stored in the tank as a liquid and the tank pressure which is the regulator primary gauge pressure will remain relatively constant while liquid remains in the tank and vary mostly just due to outside air temperature. Don't prematurely refill your tank until it is not filling bottles. We get 1.5 YEARS or so from a tank, there's a lot in there when stored as a liquid. Turn the tank gas valve off after every use, and secure the tank to the wall with a hardware store screw hook and sash chain. It is important to store the tank setup in your garage or other somewhat ventilated area as a high c o 2 concentration resulting from a leak can be fatal. Securing the tank and closing the valve reduces the risk, proper location eliminates it. Fill a pair of 2 liter soda bottles to 3 inches from the top, then squeeze the bottle to eliminate any air space and screw on the carbonator caps. Put them in the refrigerator to chill. Attach the quick disconnect ball lock valve with a hose clamp to the barb on the regulator. Screw the regulator pressure adjustment screw out a few turns to make sure you don't overpressurize the hose, then open the tank valve. Turn the regulator screw back in till the regulator secondary pressure gauge reads 35 p s i . Close the tank valve. The 35 p s i should take more than just a few minutes to leak down. If quicker than that you may need to tighten your clamps or fittings, check with soapy water on a paintbrush to help track down a leak. Good connections are essential in case someone forgets to close the tank valve after carbonating. When your bottles have chilled you are ready to carbonate. Chilling them is not absolutely necessary but will allow a higher gas concentration. Leave one bottle in the fridge. Attach the ball lock to the bottle cap and open the tank valve a turn or 2, and shake the bottle as the gas goes in, you will see you can get much more gas into the water with agitation. After 40 seconds or so of shaking you will see the amount of gas entering the bottle will taper off, so disconnect the ball lock and close the tank valve. Serve over ice for the best effect. You can add fruit juice if you like, or buy flavored syrups, but that partially defeats the purpose. When your bottle is empty, carbonate the second bottle and refill the empty one, remembering to squeeze out the airspace. Refrigerate unpressurized, then carbonate this cold bottle when your other bottle is empty. You'll always have one carbonated and one uncarbonated chilled reserve, and never run out. Enjoy! Remember if you don't like it as much as soda, give it at least 2 weeks. When the sugar craving goes away you'll love it, and nothing is better when it's hot outside. Thanks for watching. Please use the links below if you decide to purchase some of this equipment. I get a small commission from the use of these affiliate links and that will help keep this content coming. I've posted the transcript from this video on my website at industrialtoolandmachineworks.com (all one word) in the projects section along with the links to the components below, and you will find some other instructional material there for other topics as well as some stuff for sale you may be interested in.