Continuous Seltzer Deployment System Solves Our Bubbly-Water Sourcing Problems

inside shot of a refrigerator with water bulk tank and seltzer pump

Seltzer water – that bubbly, carbonated water that disappoints sugar-craving children everywhere – has experienced a steady rise in popularity over the past few years. This is perhaps partly fueled by the availability of countertop carbonators such as the SodaStream.

Not satisfied with the tedious and pedestrian process of manually carbonating individual bottles of water, [piyoman] has instead built a tidy little tap of unlimited cold, filtered seltzer. It’s no easy gag. The build uses a commercial carbonator pump, reverse osmosis water filter, bulk tank, and a standard CO2 cylinder to create a constant source of carbonated water. Most of this setup is stuffed into a dorm-sized fridge (tetris-style) and topped with a fancy beer faucet to dispense the resulting bubblewater.

At roughly $800 for the documented system, you need to have a great reason to build your own. But [piyoman] provides detailed instructions, a parts list, and suggestions for cost savings and future improvements if you do take on a system like this for your seltzer needs.

Cheaper Carbonation Options

While looking at how DIY carbonation has been done in the past we found [Richard Kinch’s] Carbonating at Home with Improvised Equipment and Soda Fountains page which dives into many other options. His site – a wonderful, dense demonstration of the beauty of “web 1.0” – walks through the basics of carbonated water, discusses CO2 tanks and gauges, and shows how to build a simple carbonation cap for making seltzer in standard PET soda bottles.

19 thoughts on “Continuous Seltzer Deployment System Solves Our Bubbly-Water Sourcing Problems

    1. No it doesn’t:

      Sugary stuff is the main issue, yes, carbonated water is slightly worse for your teeth than plain water, but it’s not nearly as bad as soda/juice/sweet tea.

    1. i can recommend this too. I was sick of the local lemonade manufacturer (SPA) constantly changing the recipe. At some point it just became really bad and i decided to try one of those sodastreams and was pleasantly surprised. Also you can just mix to whatever ratio you want, and my preference is actually to mix a lot less concentrate than is recommended, i finally got me some good consistent lemonade, and I’m not going back.

  1. Thats crazy.
    “Seltzer water – […] – has experienced a steady rise in popularity over the past few years.

    Seltzer water is widely available in Germany since the early 20th century, commonly called “Selters” or “Mineralwasser mit Kohlensäure”. Seltzer is the most consumed drink in Germany with a per capita consumption of 144 L/A. Higher than the consumption of all kinds of softdrinks combined (125 L/A).

    Btw: Carbonated drinking water must not be sold as “Mineralwasser” in Germany. The water has to be very pure groundwater with a specific amount of different minerals that was derived from a spring or well.

    1. The most expensive part is the chill plate. So I placed the carbonator vessel in a dorm fridge.
      I made my system for a total of $255.00
      24oz mini Carbonator procon pump was 80 bucks on eBay.
      24pound CO2 tank and regulator $100.00 Amazon And 25 bucks to fill. Regulator set to 70psi
      Various 3/8 nylon fittings from lowes $40.00
      Old dorm fridge to house the carbonator tank and not the pump. Plus a $10.00 temp controller. (already had the fridge.) Set it to 34F with a 6F hysteresis.
      Had to use a solenoid valve to control the tap. The RO tap was chrome plated brass. and the seltzer made quick work eating the valve seat and started dripping in a month. Replaced it with 11in of 3/8 diameter Stainless tubing.

      I just add a little bit of Mio flavoring to the bottle and pour in the seltzer from the tap.

    1. Me and my SO both do, that’s why I built a carbonator, though admittedly not nearly as fancy as this.

      Plenty of people do, obviously, or there wouldn’t be an article about it.

  2. I have been making fizzy water by hand in 1 and 2 liter bottles for years now. I have pondered making a mechanical shaker for them. I really want a fizzy water tap. The PITA here is that we have water with a lot of dissolved gasses in it. All the time our water reeks of rotten eggs and some times of the year you can light the water coming out of our tap. Our hot water comes out in very powerful spurts from the gas expanding. So, we can not simply use the tap for our water supply. We can age our water for a couple of days and once all the gasses bubble out of it, we have very nice tasting water. Anyway, I have been collecting pieces for years. I am thinking of a 5 gallon refrigerated water dispenser driving a harbor freight shallow well pump/pressure tank that would go into the water input side of a commercial carbonator. The output side would go into a commercial pull handle soda tap that I have. I already have the CO2 setup for making fizzy by hand. I figure most of the pieces can go in a wooden box (just to keep the dust and cob webs down…) in the basement. I will probably need to work out a vent for the water chiller and tap right into it’s chill tank. The HF pump should cycle on and off with use, as should the carbonator. Another one of these days projects…

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