DIY fizzy fruit

co2inator

[Rich] over at Evil Mad Scientist Labs took it upon himself to make eating fruit a little more enjoyable for his kids by infusing it with CO2 using his CO2inator. Observing the same principles used in making soft drinks and force-carbed beer, he decided to build a CO2 pressure chamber for use in his kitchen. He gathered a handful of easy to find components to construct his rig, including a household water filter housing and a CO2 cylinder from a paintball gun. He has some helpful hints for those who are not familiar with the process, noting that refrigerated fruit absorbs the gas more quickly than warm, and that considering the water content of the fruit is important when selecting what to carbonate.

Once [Rich] had everything safely connected and checked for leaks, in went the fruit. After about half an hour to an hour, the fruit was carbonated, much to the delight of his children. This looks like a quick and fun project for adults and kids alike, that can easily fit into a busy weekend schedule.

[via Neatorama]

37 thoughts on “DIY fizzy fruit

  1. The main issue with CO2 from a paintball tank would be any residual oils, which are not filtered out. The not for consumption stems from that and idiots who will huff it to get high.

  2. Lots of newbie things here.

    Cold holds more CO2, Duh if he knew anything at all about carbonation he would have known that.

  3. @fartface — I’ve got a lot more respect for someone who goes out and tries something and demonstrates an ability to learn from experimentation, than some blog comments ass who heckles someone for learning.

  4. At a guess, they don’t filter the CO2 very well, and you’re going to end up with oil, monoxides, sulphides, etc. Compressors for SCBA tanks have a truly ridiculous number of filters on them to prevent contamination.

    Of course, this is more like .05g of carbonation/contaminants in a 30g piece of fruit, once a month -vs 20Kg of air over the course of half an hour. Probably not gonna kill you.

  5. You can do something similar with a strong bottle and dry ice. Chuck fruit in, put some dry ice in, close it off. Stick in fridge (as long as you didn’t use too much dry ice) overnight and you have carbonated fruit!

  6. Just re-read the article and realized that the regulator is far more terrifying than the container. He’s talking about using a gas regulator that you buy from a garage sale. Which, for all you know, has been dropped in a bucket of motor oil. Yum.

  7. I like this. I tried making a carbonator like this using some 4″ pvc pipe, until it exploded at 80 psi and sent shards of PVC everywhere. This sounds like a much safer solution, and simpler too using a water filter housing! I never would have guessed.
    If you’re worried about contaminants, add a couple filters. This hack was made to be simple and effective.

  8. I second Rob’s comment. This seems like a lot of overengineering for what can be done with similar results by tossing some fruit into a cooler with dry ice for a few hours.

  9. I do this all the time for parties. You can use an isowhipper or in my case a cornelius keg (5 gal keg for soda or beer brewing).

    Most fruit works out well…the only exception I’ve found is strawberries which turn to mush. Grapes cut in half and apple chunks are awesome. The other bonus is that it halts oxidation, so the colors stay longer.

    I would suggest using beer brewing equipment as it’s meant for human consumption.

  10. @chavo — you can’t just throw the fruit in a cooler with dry ice; it has to be under pressure. The “fizziness” is from the CO2 dissolved in the fruit at high pressure coming out of solution when the pressure is reduced. Hence why Rob says use “a strong bottle”. That’s a terrible idea, by the way, because you can’t really control the pressure inside the sealed bottle like you can here with the regulator — it could work perfectly nine times in a row and then the tenth time you put in ten grams too much dry ice and it blows the door off your fridge.

    @setlahs — never use PVC for high pneumatic pressures. As you’ve discovered, it shatters like a hand grenade when it breaks. ABS pipe is a lot safer, because when it fails it just splits and tears open. No shrapnel.

    @jtaylor — yeah, they’d have to be pretty dumb to huff CO2 in an attempt to get high. I think all you’d get out of that would be dead :P

  11. @macw

    Not really, you get the lightheaded feeling of oxygen deprivation. There are kids that purposely strangle themselves to get that feeling, and yes, you can get dead pretty easy from what I’ve heard.

  12. @Those who think it’s a safety hazard to use dry ice, use a “strong bottle” type setup with a regulator to let built up pressure OUT of your bottle. If you’ve ever seen a pressure cooker they have ‘whistle valves’ and ‘rocker valves’ that prevent over pressurization.

    Dry ice is the way to go to prevent contamination and to do it on the cheap.

    That said, not sure if I’d enjoy carbonated fruit.

    Just my $0.02

  13. I see a lot of problems with readers’ alternatives; the bottle idea most of all. We used to make ‘dry ice bombs’ and let me tell you, they can make powerful explosions. Putting one in your fridge is a recipe for disaster (and probably not necessary. Dry ice is cold enough on its own–see below.). One reader’s comment about pressure cookers is particularly uniformed. Pressure cookers are regulated at around 15psi…not nearly high enough for the desired effect.

    That said, the pressure vessel (filter housing)in the article ‘could’ be used, along w/dry ice, to carbonate fruit IF a suitable pressure relief valve can be sourced. Those are available for a number of industrial and domestic applications. (The TPM valve on water heaters comes to mind–probably too high, and not adjustable–others may be familiar with alternative suitable devices…perhaps air-compressor relief valve?)

    It would be simple to toss some dry ice in with some fruit, set the relief valve to ‘pop off’ at 60psi, set the device aside until the indicated pressure fell below that point, relieve the remaining pressure; and voila’!

    However, the temperatures involved may have a deleterious on the fruit…?

  14. Reading my own comment, the only concern I have would be the possible effect of extreme temperature differential on the plastic of the filter housing. However the method does address readers’ questions about oil contamination…..

  15. Don’t use paintball gas!

    They sometimes mix in propane to lower the freezing point of CO2 so it won’t turn to dry ice inside the tank when the gun is fired repeatedly.

  16. @Jack Dedert
    I’m sorry you are not bright enough to understand my supposedly ‘misinformed’ post. You simply restated it in your post.
    So lets see,
    1)Call someone an idiot.
    2)Rip off their idea and claim it as your own.

    Way to go.

  17. @eikka – doesn’t CO2 have lower boiling point (-78*C) than propane(-42*C)? Propane would turn to liquid faster than CO2.

  18. A high concentration of CO2 in the presence of water (such as fruit) will form carbonic acid, which gives it a slightly sour taste.

    It will also promptly start dissolving the enamel on your children’s teeth. Don’t do this regularly!

  19. @Spork
    Sorry you took such exception to my post. However, nowhere did I call you an idiot or anything else. Misinformed is perhaps a negative term, and perhaps it was ill-stated. There is some value in your ideas, and yes mine are similar, but much more fleshed-out (and already in mind before I read your post), with no mention of ‘flapper valves’ or anything else related to pressure cookers except the idea of a ‘pressure vessel’.

    I hope I didn’t ruin your day….

  20. @Jack Dedert
    I’m so impressed that you were able to come up with the same idea and conveniently post it an hour after me! See, sarcasm, I can do it too.

    Don’t get me wrong, it is not that I took exception to your post. It is that you are an arrogant asshole who has no regard for other people’s ideas.

    You could come off as intelligent if you left your pretentious attitude in your undergrad business class and your creatively misconstrued posts in your creative writing class.

    Today is actually quite wonderful, so do not waste your time worrying about my well being. Thanks.

  21. Well, Spork…in that case, I’ll leave you to the pissing match you’re having with yourself on this wonderful day. I hope tomorrow is just as nice….

  22. i would rather my fruit be n2o-inated because co2 isn’t the best tasting substance in the world. taste kinda reminds me of automotive exhaust or something. i wonder if that’s where they get it before it is pressurized into little canisters. now.. if you can co2-pump the fruit while it’s still on the plant, that would make for an interesting experiment. of course the result would probably just be embolism.

  23. SODA STREAM!!! I tried to soda stream the following:

    Yogurt = bad idea, foamy
    Milk = very foamy endless foam run away!
    Coffee = very strange
    Tea= even weirder

    I thought carbonated food stuffs led to an increased chance of bowl cancer? I’m up for trying an apple!

  24. Just an idea but why not dry ice in a pressure cooker? or would the pressure be too low? I mean they are already setup to vent the pressure.

  25. @yetihehe
    Sometimes combinations can have a lower boiling point. If you add diethyl ether to dry ice, it will lower the sublimation point to about -100 C even though the boiling point of ether is 34.6 C. It is also added to paintball/airsoft gas bottles to prevent it from solidifying.

    A very common mixture called Green Gas is simply propane with silicone oil mixed in. It apparently produces much higher pressures than CO2.

  26. Why not do this using 9 gram food grade cartridges and the paintball adapters for them? Then no worries about oil or strange gas mixes.

  27. I tried breaking up the dry ice into small pieces and kept the fruit suspended over it in a metal colander, but ended up with no carbonation – just chilled fruit. I even tried one batch with the fruit directly on the ice, but they just froze solid. Is there something I’m missing?

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