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RE: SodaStream CO2

Hi Jon,

SodaStream is just one of the things we Brits inflicted upon the Aussies...
For those who've never seen one, a SodaStream looks like, at first sight, a
DIY CO2ers dream. It's designed to carbonate soft drinks on special pressure
bottles. (Most people have now worked out that it's much easier to buy them
ready carbonated. A few die hard types regard this as being far too easy.)
You add concentrated soft drink syrup to water in a bottle, screw it onto
the machine and press the button. CO2 is pressurised into the liquid and the
drink emerges fizzy. 
So, a small canister of food grade CO2, a release valve, all in a very cheap
and easily hackable package. However...
I have tried and failed to make SodaStream canisters work for aquatic CO2
injectoion. As you have no doubt found out, their control cycle goes fully
off.........a little bit on..ALL THE WAY ON WHOOSH FIZZ BANG. (That's the
only thing it was designed to do , after all.) And the useful "little bit
on" setting CHANGES POSITION as the canister empties. And they aren't a
standard size or thread so unless you have access to sophistcated
metalworking plant, you won't be able to get a regulator to fit them. The
only way I ever managed to work it was to use the Tetra style diving bell
system, ie a small inverted jar under the water which could be filled up
with CO2 in the morning and left to diffuse all day, maybe with a power head
on it for increased agitation. Even then, you'd want a big jar to hold the
inevitable slippage of your thumb which results in a *large* release of CO2
very quickly. And you'll find with all that wastage, the canisters don't
last quite as long as you think they will. They don't store any liquid CO2
in there, only compressed gas. Also what you'll find, is that yeast CO2 is
much easier and also cheaper.
OK, if you were prepared to fiddle around for a long time, and had access to
all the right tools and equipment, you could make it work. You could
construct a post valve regulator and just leave the canister valve all the
way open all the time, if you were REAL CONFIDENT that it wasn't going to
fail suddenly. Then it would be a good system, and probaly affordable. (at
least after you've paid for all the materials, the valve and the shop time.)
But then, Sander and Bioplast have tried to market systems using small
disposable CO2 canisters, and have not had great uptake.
But believe me, I have more patience than most when it comes to fiddling
with things and I'm not using it.

>Date: Thu, 1 Mar 200115:12:15 +0800
>From: "J. Hammond" <geohammo at iinet_net.au>
>Subject: sodastream co2
>Over here in Perth we have a little fizzy drink machine called
>which runs off a small co2 tank (like 2.5lb i think).  I was wandering >has
>anyone ever found a regulator to fit on one of these.   I am still
>investigating but the actual tanks of c02 are only AUS$7 which is
>cheap !!! :))