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Soda Gun

Why would you want a soda gun in your house? If you drink a lot of soda then this could save you a pile of money. We tend to go through 4-6 cans of soda per person per day. This is a fair bit of water that we are paying for. I started doing some research about what it takes to make soda. I came across this site, some really good ideas and explainations.

www.truetex.com/carbonation.htm

 

After reading that you should have a better understand how soda works. Soda and selzer are almost the same thing, from what I read, it sounds like club soda has a bit of salt and selzer does not. So I will be making selzer at home, just tap water and CO2.

 

So here are the parts that I bought off of ebay:




Click to Enlarge







So now that I have all of my gear, I can get it all connected. This is pretty straight forward. Water goes into the pump, CO2 goes into the pump and soda comes out of the pump. So we need to get it from the basement to the kitchen. When I ran the hoses to carry the soda I also ran two other food grade hoses to accomodate syrup for the soda if I ever decide to dispense coke or some other flavor. I also ran my filtered water line with the same bunch. So now I needed to come up with a way to cool the liquid. Usually you run the soda through a plate that is chilled with ice. I don't want to put ice on a cold plate everyday to have soda to drink. And if you don't chill your soda, you don't have soda or at least not very good soda. So I decided to run the cooling lines along with the soda/water lines so I could run coolant through the line to keep everything cold. I had no idea if this was going to work or not. So I bundled the hoses together and went to Home Depot and wrapped the line with foam pipe insulation (1 1/2").










So now that I have my hoses prepaired and installed to the kitchen I can get the counter ready for the actual gun. The gun I purchased is a 2 product dispenser, there are lots of different types out there. The 8 and 10 product guns are more common. I am rarely going to drink anything other than soda water so all the other buttons are just a waste.

 

I drilled a hole in my counter (in event this doesn't work I am replacing my counter in the next couple years), and setup a bit of cooler pouch under the counter. I wanted to be able to not only cool the lines running to the kitchen but I wanted to chill the gun hose. At a bar you run liquid through the gun frequently enough that it will never warm up, but at home you will probably be pouring a glass every hour or two. So as you can see I am chilling everything...








On the last couple pictures (above) you can see the soda gun line (silver), the fitered water line (white) and the cool loop hose all coiled up. Once I was finished hooking it all up I closed up the insulation bag with silver tape (see first picture below).

 

So now I have a working soda gun. Because I put the pump and CO2 tank in the basement I can branch off the hoses and run a separate gun in another part of the house. On these final pictures you can see the gun mounted on the couter.






Now the only thing I am missing is the ability to chill the coolant. My first test was with a 12v food cooler. I put about 6" of water in the cooler and hooked up a bilge pump from Princess Auto www.princessauto.com. Plugged in the cooler and after chilling all night the water was pretty cold. Once I turned on the pump the water warmed up pretty quick, but the soda was cold enough to keep its fizz. The cooler was just not able to keep up. If I threw a bag of ice into the cooler it was perfect. So I am keeping my eye on ebay looking for a water chiller of some type (aquarium, laser, etc...). Fortunately it is almost winter so I will run the coil outside and circulate glycol or something similar. I will let you know how that works out. My goal is to keep the beverage between 1 and 3 degrees Celius (not cooler than 1 degree - freezing).

 

Notes:

  • I think I need to add another layer of insulation to the pouch under the counter, this foil stuff is a little lite for this purpose.
  • Of course I am using Misterhouse to turn the soda pump off and on. I don't run it continually just every few minutes for a minute or two. And it will only turn on when we are home. Eventually I will have a temperature sensor in the line so it circulates only when needed. That is another project all together...

 

If you have another solution for this problem please feel free to send me a note or leave a comment below.


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2 Comments
#2 Brad wrote at 23.03.2012 20:37

Sorry for the late reply on the soda gun. I puchased the carbonator pump from ACityDiscount for under $70, and then I purchased the gun, syrup pump and hose from a supplier that I found online (can't remember who). There are lots of these online. Then all you need is a co2 tank and you good to go. I disconnected mine a couple years ago and never hooked it back up again (home renos). But I hope to get it back up and running in the near future.


Send me some pictures of your setup.

Thanks
Brad

#1 Mike wrote at 17.01.2012 21:38

I put a keg of beer,CO2 tank w/2 regulators,5ga water tank & 2 beer type faucets on door. Works excellent! Butt>> I have a 1/4" water line & valve to manually keep the water tank aprox 3/4 full, plus we have to put syurp in glass be fore filling.
I notice you have a gun! what makes it work? I think I need one of those. Syrup pump too.
You have inspired me!

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