CHOICE membership

Experiences carbonating water with Sodastream

Am interested in hearing about experiences using Sodastream machines to produce carbonated (fizzy) water at home.

We bought a bottom of the range model just over a year ago. I am not sure exactly how much it cost (probably around $80 on special at Target) but it did include a full cylinder of CO2.

Initially, I was disappointed with how little carbonated water we got from the supplied cylinder of CO2 given that the company info suggested that we would get 60 litres of medium fizzy water.

Unfortunately, I did not record exactly how much we actually got but it seemed much less than this. So, after buying an exchange filled gas cylinder for $19 I kept a record of how much carbonated water we got from the new cylinder,

And, very importantly, I got, and applied, the following tips from the internet on how to achieve the best results:

  • Only gas very cold water, because the gas dissolves best in very cold water. (We always have a bottle of cold water in the fridge ready to pour into the Sodastream bottle for gassing.).
  • Wait a few seconds between each gas injection to allow more time for the gas to dissolve.
  • Wait about a minute after final gas injection before removing the bottle from the machine and putting the top on the bottle in order to allow more time for the gas to dissolve.
  • Only gas water, because the gas dissolves better in water than in juice, etc.

As result of using these tips, and making 3 short injections of CO2 per bottle, with the second cylinder we got 116 litres (138 x 0.84L bottles) of medium carbonated water, so the cost of the gas was only 16.4c per litre of carbonated water.

So, if the machine works OK for several years, I think this is a very economical way to buy carbonated water, plus there are the benefits of: always having carbonated water at home; not needing to carry bottled water home; and not using plastic bottles.
.
However, there was a negative. The plastic gas dispensing lever on the machine broke after a year. But, I got the machine replaced by Sodastream at no cost and with relatively little effort and also ended up with an extra full cylinder of CO2 and an extra carbonation bottle.

I am interested to know whether other people have also had this problem,

There is a 2 year manufacturers warranty and of course in addition there are the general guarantee provisions in the ACL.

Finally, there are several models of Sodastream machines which vary a lot in price, construction and sophistication. Currently, instead of the cheap one we bought, we are using an old but hardly used expensive Crystal model given to us by someone. I am still assessing its performance, but it seems to be more sturdy than the one we bought.

9 Likes

I have what I’d consider a low end soda-stream. I use the large cylinders and spritz the water enough to add the lemon-juice-in-a-bottle to make a quick lemonade without the added sugar. They seem to last a long time, but I spritz them to two exhausts only and only do chilled water, if that makes sense. It seems to last quite a while, many many months since I exchanged cylinders … I think it would be easy to overdo the spritzing without really knowing …

7 Likes

If all you are setting out to achieve is carbonated water?

Note added: There’s some updated comparisons in the following posts, which point out that the cylinders are 400gm capacity. The 60l on the bottles is not a direct conversion of the quantity of CO2 in the bottles. 400gms of CO2 converts to a free volume of approx 220l.

Expensive CO2 in the little SodaStream 60l bottles.
You need approx 11 of these bottles to provide 1kg of CO2. Correction 2.5 bottles.

Update follows.
Using Officeworks on line pricing $87.50 for 2.5 bottles new bottles. Noted Office Works also exchange refills for $19 each. Thanks @ijarratt for that. As you pointed out it’s still around $47,500 per tonne of CO2 using Office Works exchange cylinders.

Such a valuable resource it’s amazing we let any escape into the environment. (tongue firmly in cheek)

Alternately dry ice pellets cost $10-15 per kg.

P.S.
Someone might like to check the maths.
Someone did and found an alternate truth, as noted.:worried:

SodaStream online retail the cylinders at $45 each plus delivery.

2 Likes

I have one of the super-old Genesis models and it’s still going strong! It’s the second one I’ve had in nearly 20 years of using them, I think, which feels pretty reasonable to me.

If you drink a lot of soda water they’re a fantastic investment and save a lot of time and carrying crap home from the supermarket. Keep an eye on the bottles themselves - although they re-use safely for a long time, they do have expiry dates for safety reasons, as gassing them up over and over causes fatiguing of the plastic and you don’t want one to explode when you’re pressurising it.

3 Likes

$35 for a gas cylinder at Officeworks gets you the cylinder and 400g of CO2.
A refilled exchange cylinder at Officeworks and other retailers costs $19 i.e $47.50 per kg of CO2.
Not sure how this compares with the cost of other sources of CO2, but expect it is expensive. However, with these machines you can only use Sodastream cylinders .

2 Likes

CO2 has a density of approx 1.836kg/m3 at STP.
IE 1.836gms per litre.

So the 60l of CO2 per bottle is inconsistent with the weight of the contents? The 60l is not the equivalent volume of CO2 at STP. It measures something different.

Kegland offers a 450 gm option in a bottle with a storage volume of 600ml. They convert this to an equivalent in carbonate and or free gas. They suggest $15 to refill the 450gm SodaStream compatible bottles.

Closer to $33,000 per tonne.

Thanks to @ijarratt for the feedback.

1 Like

I’d like to ask everyone here to supply me with their Oz annual average of 17 tonnes of CO2 emissions (preferably in a suitable container), I’ll undercut the market and sell it for the bargain basement price of just $20000/ton :rofl:

More on topic, we have an almost entirely plastic Sodastream carbonator, which has worked well for quite few years.
My technique is to fill the plastic bottles to just above to top line (the bottom line is what they suggest), to minimise escaping/waste CO2 volume/$$ when you remove the bottle, and don’t let any gas burp at the end of each button press (they suggest you do burp it). A couple of shortish gas button presses is followed by a shake to dissolve the CO2, repeated 3 times. A lot more bottles of water can be gassed from each cylinder this way

2 Likes

I recall as a child my grandparents had one of these (or similar)…

to make soda water. In those days soda water was a treat and was often drunk in preference to soft drink or other flavoured beverages.

I wonder how these types of dispensers compare in price (soda water made) to Sodastream.

1 Like

I still have one of those, plus an even older one with glass bottle contained in stainless steel mesh, which my parents had since the 1970s. The cost of the small bulbs makes them significantly more expensive to use per litre of gassed up water.

1 Like

… and I remember dad shaking the living daylights out of the thing for a good few minutes to get it to absorb the co2, or whatever it’s doing :wink:

3 Likes

That’s exactly the one my grandparents had…with green glass…brings back memories.

1 Like

I used to build rockets using those little bulbs of compressed gas. :smiley:

1 Like

I think that is what we did with the first gas cylinder, plus we used only tap cool water not water that had been cooled in the fridge.

The 60L highlighted by Sodastream is the amount of water that can be carbonated by the 400g of CO2 in the gas cylinder. They say “up to” 60L.

Re: Kegland offers a 450 gm option in a bottle with a storage volume of 600ml. I’ll look into this later…

2 Likes

Thanks for drawing my attention to this issue with plastic bottle.
The use by date is only in small print and is part of the warning info on the bottle. It also says to not:

  • wash in dishwasher or with water over 50 deg C
  • place in freezer
    And to only carbonate water.
    These are important safety aspects that people need to be aware of.
    The Crystal model has glass bottles so i suppose that all these instructions for the plastic bottles excepr for only carbonating water are not applicable…
1 Like

Thanks for that. Reading some of the comments so far it’s not a given. It can go further or …?

When I initially looked at several suppliers on line to try and identify the capacity of the standard SodaStream cylinders, none indicated the 400gm storage capacity. They all simply referred to the product specification as 60l. Is there a loop hole that allows this or are the advertisers just omitting the true weight of the goods you are purchasing? Generally consumer products are sold by measured weight, or free volume. The 60l is neither.

2 Likes

I have Sodastream bottle and box here, and it clearly states net weight 400g CO2, makes up to 60l* of carbonated water.
*depending on level of carbonation and type of sparkling water maker

1 Like

Whilst at our local United servo today, I saw stocks of SodaKing gas cyclinders behind the counter so I asked how much they were.

The attendent said that they were $18.95 each exchange or around $34 each without exchange.

https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/396398#:~:text=SodaKing%20is%20a%20Sodastream%20clone,Refills%20%2419.

1 Like

Thanks for the education so far everyone. I’m not one to choose carbonated products over our tank water. There are some that appeal mainly due to fermentation.

Of curiosity following on from @gordon and @ijarratt observations, I went back to the online retailers. Most had bottle and pack shots but only in low resolution.

The exception.
Office works descriptions and product labeling.

Apologies as I took this literally as written, ‘60L CO2’. Obviously one of those things SodaStream customers get to know. I’ve over looked the capitalisation of litre. The product description was equally open ended.

For the well informed Office Works enables a slightly better or zoomed in shot of the bottle.

image

The slightly fuzzy Net WL 400g CO2 and an equally useful ‘Earth Friendly’ logo. :rofl:

P.S.
While probably not what the logo is intended to mean, a can of Coke supposedly has a 170g(eq) carbon footprint not including the supply distribution and retail carbon costs? Perhaps SodaStream are onto something.

1 Like

Corona Extra?

1 Like