ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology
 

Notices


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags carbonation , paintball , refill , sodastream

Reply
Old 29th July 2012, 09:04 PM   #1
jimtron
Illuminator
 
jimtron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 3,089
Sodastream: food grade CO2?

I bought a Sodastream a while back, not to make flavored soda but just because I like to drink carbonated water, and it's cheaper and less wasteful to make it from tap water than to buy it. Sodastream includes a CO2 tank with a proprietary nozzle or whatever you call it, so you have to exchange the tanks which costs $15 (which in the long run is still cheaper than buying seltzer water in cans or bottles).

So then I found out about the Sodamod, which is an adapter that allows you to use paintball tanks in the Sodastream, which cost only about $2 or $3 to refill, even for much larger tanks. I thought I had read somewhere that there's no such thing as "food-grade" CO2, but after using the paintball tanks (refilled at the chain store, Sports Authority) I noticed the taste was a bit weird, so I did some more Googling and found some indication that there are in fact different grades of CO2, some filtered, some not, and unfiltered gas could have Benzene or other nasty contaminants.

http://thebrewingnetwork.com/BN-Army...ths-and-Rumors

Anyone know anything about this? I'd hate to go back to $15 refills, but I'm not crazy about inhaling Benzene.
__________________
photography portfolio
instagram
jimtron is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th July 2012, 09:39 PM   #2
Pantaz
Muse
 
Pantaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 946
I don't have specifics, but I am aware of differing grades (purity levels) of compressed gases.
Depending on the volume you're using, industrial gas suppliers, such as Air Liquide, AirGas, etc., may offer a better price. You might need to bring your equipment to them to see if the connectors/valves are compatible.
__________________
My decision making skills closely resemble that of a squirrel when crossing the street.
- Bill Murray
Pantaz is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th July 2012, 10:04 PM   #3
jimtron
Illuminator
 
jimtron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 3,089
Originally Posted by Pantaz View Post
I don't have specifics, but I am aware of differing grades (purity levels) of compressed gases.
Depending on the volume you're using, industrial gas suppliers, such as Air Liquide, AirGas, etc., may offer a better price. You might need to bring your equipment to them to see if the connectors/valves are compatible.
I did call several of those places and they didn't refill paintball tanks.
__________________
photography portfolio
instagram
jimtron is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th July 2012, 10:12 PM   #4
Andrew Wiggin
Master Poster
 
Andrew Wiggin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,915
Another, potentially larger issue that might be giving you an off-taste is that tanks of gas intended for human consumption are cleaned, and tanks for random uses like paintball are not. I've had the valve off of a paintball cylinder, and it was filthy inside. I took it to be the residue from spinning the tank and machining the threads. I've heard the same from other folks who have opened their tanks for one reason or another. It doesn't mean it can't be cleaned, just that it hasn't been. I'd take the valve off, and use a strong detergent to get all the oil and dirt out, maybe throw some BB's in and swirl them around to help scrub the inside without abrading it.

In other news, I found a youtube video showing how to refill the sodastream tanks at home, using dry ice, which I'm pretty sure IS food grade, since it's sold for keeping food cold, and that implies contact with something that will be eaten.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWcRDMAA8RE
__________________
"Everyone takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the
world." - Arthur Schopenhauer

"New and stirring things are belittled because if they are not belittled,
the humiliating question arises, 'Why then are you not taking part in
them?' " - H. G. Wells

Last edited by Andrew Wiggin; 29th July 2012 at 10:17 PM. Reason: Imbedding disabled, replaced with link.
Andrew Wiggin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th July 2012, 10:20 PM   #5
Andrew Wiggin
Master Poster
 
Andrew Wiggin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,915
Originally Posted by jimtron View Post
I did call several of those places and they didn't refill paintball tanks.
You could get them to lease you a full size cylinder though, filled from the same tank they fill the cylinders for restaurants. Then get or make a transfill whip just like the sports stores use to refill the paintball cylinders.
__________________
"Everyone takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the
world." - Arthur Schopenhauer

"New and stirring things are belittled because if they are not belittled,
the humiliating question arises, 'Why then are you not taking part in
them?' " - H. G. Wells
Andrew Wiggin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th July 2012, 10:26 PM   #6
fuelair
Cythraul Enfys
 
fuelair's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 35,948
Actually, and more fun (though the useful life is shorter): you can just put a piece of dry ice in the water and as it bubbles it will nicely carbonate the water. My students and I make sodas every year (when studying gasses( by adding flavoring/sugar to water and putting dry ice in. They are surprised when they test it and find it very good and perfectly bubbly. Also, you make a weird cold candy - sugar and flavoring freezes on the dry ice - quite tasty................
__________________
There is no problem so great that it cannot be fixed by small explosives carefully placed.

Wash this space!

We fight for the Lady Babylon!!!
fuelair is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th July 2012, 11:08 PM   #7
BowlOfRed
Muse
 
BowlOfRed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 851
There are lots of ways to do it to keep the pricing down. See this page:
http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2010/...-on-club-soda/
BowlOfRed is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th July 2012, 11:11 PM   #8
volcano
Critical Thinker
 
volcano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 421
We buy cartridges at the local homebrew shop-- same size as paintball cartridges, but designed for human consumption.
(When at home we use a large tank for carbonating-- the little cartridges are useful for dispensing beer away from home, though, when we bring a keg of beer to parties, etc.).

Last edited by volcano; 29th July 2012 at 11:14 PM.
volcano is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2012, 12:22 AM   #9
Andrew Wiggin
Master Poster
 
Andrew Wiggin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,915
Originally Posted by volcano View Post
We buy cartridges at the local homebrew shop-- same size as paintball cartridges, but designed for human consumption.
(When at home we use a large tank for carbonating-- the little cartridges are useful for dispensing beer away from home, though, when we bring a keg of beer to parties, etc.).
You can actually carbonate with those (the 9 gram size) without any equipment at all except a soda bottle, water, ice, and a knife. It's a pain in the ass but I've done it several times basically as proof of concept. I fill a soda bottle with ice cold (literally shaken with ice right before it's poured in) water, use a sharp knife to make a tiny hole in the end of the cartridge, then drop it into the water and close the cap. You want to scrub the outside surface of the cartridge really well, since they don't figure on that touching the beverage, and make sure that you've got the tiniest possible hole, just barely hissing. Even barely hissing is a lot of gas once it's in the water. I rotate the knife around with its point on the end of the cartridge and basically let it dig its own way in. Once you drop it in the bottle, it helps to burp any remaining air out before closing the lid. Then you shake the bottle continuously. If you're shaking hard enough, the CO2 absorbs faster than the cartridge is emitting it and the bottle stays soft and sometimes even collapses a bit. If the bottle starts to get hard and pressurized, shake harder. If you're shaking as hard as you can and the bottle doesn't go soft again, then either you made too big a hole in your cartridge or the water has absorbed all it can. In either case, open the lid a bit and vent off the excess till the cartridge stops bubbling. I use a magnet to take the cartridge out of the bottle, but it wouldn't be a huge issue if you were serving it right away, or pouring it into a different container. Once when I left the cartridge in the bottle though it rusted and gave the water a nasty color and flavor.

You could do something similar with a chunk of dry ice, I'd imagine. If you just let it bubble through it won't be fully carbonated, but with the additional pressure build up in the bottle you could get it completely saturated. Not only that, but the dry ice would help cool the water, which is important for good absorbtion.
__________________
"Everyone takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the
world." - Arthur Schopenhauer

"New and stirring things are belittled because if they are not belittled,
the humiliating question arises, 'Why then are you not taking part in
them?' " - H. G. Wells
Andrew Wiggin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2012, 02:19 AM   #10
Pantaz
Muse
 
Pantaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 946
Originally Posted by jimtron View Post
I did call several of those places and they didn't refill paintball tanks.
Actually, I was thinking more along these lines...

Originally Posted by Andrew Wiggin View Post
You could get them to lease you a full size cylinder though, filled from the same tank they fill the cylinders for restaurants. Then get or make a transfill whip just like the sports stores use to refill the paintball cylinders.
You can probably get by with a 10 or 15 pound capacity cylinder, which shouldn't be too expensive. (Leasing is generally the preferred option for the larger cylinders.)

Also, home-beer-brewing suppliers might be a good place to go for CO2.
Pantaz is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2012, 05:23 AM   #11
casebro
Philosopher
 
casebro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,448
I guess I have my doubts that there is a lower grade of 'industrial' co2. Welders and etc that use the gas need purity too, probably more important than the food industry. I suspect there is only one supply chain with one grade of gas. The stuff is expensive to handle, what with high pressure tank trucks and storage.

Hmmm, next time I get to the keg store for a refill, I shall look at their tanks for a "food grade" designation. Hmmm, when I refilled at the welding gas store, where they knowingly fill tanks for either food or industrial uses, I don't recall them asking about usage. I do both with the same tanks.
__________________
Please pardon me for having ideas, not facts.

Some have called me cynical, but I don't believe them.

It's not how many breaths you take. It's how many times you have been breathless that counts.
casebro is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2012, 05:46 AM   #12
BenBurch
Gatekeeper of The Left
 
BenBurch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: The Universe 35.2 ms ahead of this one.
Posts: 35,280
The purity differences are significant.

http://www.pasuk.com/assets/File/co2purity.pdf

And there are industrial systems for purification.

If you care about your health, do not use anything other than beverage CO2.
__________________
For what doth it profit a man, to fix one bug, but crash the system?
BenBurch is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2012, 09:14 AM   #13
kedo1981
Master Poster
 
kedo1981's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,490
Me thinks there could be a bit of oil for lube also
__________________
"The dinosaurs never saw it coming; whats our excuse?" "Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, Steven soter, Neil deGrasse Tyson

I readily admit I donít know enough to say for sure that there is no God.
But I do know enough so say that anyone who claims to know the mind and will of a being such as God is a liar.
kedo1981 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2012, 10:47 AM   #14
jimtron
Illuminator
 
jimtron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 3,089
Thanks for the helpful replies. Homebrew store sounds like a good bet, and if that doesn't work maybe a big tank.
__________________
photography portfolio
instagram
jimtron is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2012, 11:08 AM   #15
casebro
Philosopher
 
casebro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,448
Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
The purity differences are significant.

http://www.pasuk.com/assets/File/co2purity.pdf

And there are industrial systems for purification.

If you care about your health, do not use anything other than beverage CO2.
The gist of that site is that Coke,Pepsi, and brewers have standards.

Nothing there says that industrial grade is out of spec. And nobody here has claimed that what their industrial supplier sells is anything besides food grade.
__________________
Please pardon me for having ideas, not facts.

Some have called me cynical, but I don't believe them.

It's not how many breaths you take. It's how many times you have been breathless that counts.
casebro is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2012, 01:04 PM   #16
BenBurch
Gatekeeper of The Left
 
BenBurch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: The Universe 35.2 ms ahead of this one.
Posts: 35,280
Originally Posted by casebro View Post
The gist of that site is that Coke,Pepsi, and brewers have standards.

Nothing there says that industrial grade is out of spec. And nobody here has claimed that what their industrial supplier sells is anything besides food grade.
Found some discussion of this as it relates to brewing; http://thebrewingnetwork.com/BN-Army...ths-and-Rumors
__________________
For what doth it profit a man, to fix one bug, but crash the system?
BenBurch is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2012, 10:34 PM   #17
Andrew Wiggin
Master Poster
 
Andrew Wiggin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,915
Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
The purity differences are significant.

http://www.pasuk.com/assets/File/co2purity.pdf

And there are industrial systems for purification.

If you care about your health, do not use anything other than beverage CO2.
I was starting to get excited, when I saw they were testing for THC levels, till I read down a bit and saw that it was probably their ad-hoc abbreviation for 'total hydrocarbon'.

I do note though that nothing in the article you linked indicated that commercial CO2 didn't meet the standards, just that standards had been proposed, and the company that made the powerpoint was planning to market a gas analyzer to Coke and Pepsi to meet said proposed standards.
__________________
"Everyone takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the
world." - Arthur Schopenhauer

"New and stirring things are belittled because if they are not belittled,
the humiliating question arises, 'Why then are you not taking part in
them?' " - H. G. Wells
Andrew Wiggin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2012, 10:50 PM   #18
Finn McR
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 285
If you have detected an off-taste due to possible "industrial-grade" CO2 (no control of tank cleanliness, possible lubricants in the system, etc), you should take a look at the fountain drink nozzles at you local fast food joints. Unless they are cleaned regularly in disinfectant, they develop impressive mildew/biofilm/whatever contaminants. Think of it, wet sugar syrup that sits for hours overnight unless cleaned regularly (and this is not purely theoretical but based on, shudder, anecdotal experience).
Finn McR is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2012, 11:48 PM   #19
Lamuella
Master Poster
 
Lamuella's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,480
I do wonder why carbonated water is so expensive in the US. When I lived there it was really hard to find fizzy water that wasn't either club soda or perrier, both of which were overpriced. Where I live right now, I can get a 2 litre bottle of carbonated water for 17p (around 30 cents).
Lamuella is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2012, 11:52 PM   #20
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: In my pants
Posts: 47,317
Weird. We exchange our Sodastream cannisters for free.
__________________
The punters know that the horse named Morality rarely gets past the post, whereas the nag named Self-interest always runs a good race.
- Gough Whitlam (1916 - 2014)
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st August 2012, 12:01 AM   #21
DrDave
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,664
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Weird. We exchange our Sodastream cannisters for free.
The equivalent of free refills?

We used to pay a hefty fee for the first as it included a deposit for the cyclinder, and then you would get a large proportion back if you handed it in, or you could swap it for a filled one for a small fee.
DrDave is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st August 2012, 12:20 AM   #22
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: In my pants
Posts: 47,317
Yes, we get unlimited free refills.
__________________
The punters know that the horse named Morality rarely gets past the post, whereas the nag named Self-interest always runs a good race.
- Gough Whitlam (1916 - 2014)
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st August 2012, 12:52 AM   #23
Damien Evans
Up The Irons
Tagger
 
Damien Evans's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 28,830
Originally Posted by Lamuella View Post
I do wonder why carbonated water is so expensive in the US. When I lived there it was really hard to find fizzy water that wasn't either club soda or perrier, both of which were overpriced. Where I live right now, I can get a 2 litre bottle of carbonated water for 17p (around 30 cents).
Flat bottled water costs over 2 dollars a litre here. I don't know why anyone's stupid enough to buy it.
__________________
WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT THE CARE OF THE REAPER MAN? - Death
http://australasianskeptics.info/
"The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on." - icerat
Damien Evans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:33 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.