Carbonating water is quite simple and there are 3 ways by which you can carbonate water at home.
- Shake the water as you feed carbonic acid into it.
- Feed carbonic acid to the water and wait for some time for it to completely dissolve in it
- Raise carbonic acid levels in the water and wait for a part of the acid to evaporate.
If you have a Ritchie carbonator then you can easily add carbonic acid to water, wine or different beverages. However you cannot do the same with simply a soda machine as you would have to carbonate a little, wait for some time and then carbonate again. This method could take a long time and would not be suitable when you want an instant carbonated drink.
This video will show you on how to pressurize and then shake the carbonic acid into your water in order to end up with carbonated water when using your soda machine. This is good enough as carbonic acid costs hardly any money when bought in larger CO2 bottles, but a smarter move would be to just over-pressurize the water as this simply eliminates shaking or waiting.
Over-pressure is used by all the soda machines available in the market and as carbonic acid dissolves very quickly in colder water, cooling the water in your refrigerator is the best way. Just like in a purchased bottle, you should partially fill a PET bottle with water before you pressurize it since space will be required when you do pressurize it. Mix carbonic acid and as soon as you hear the pressure valves releasing, immediately release the button that allows equalization of pressure. Repeat the steps if additional carbonation is required based on how much carbonation suits you best and if you add flavor for carbonated water then you can even improve on the taste.
This German video shows how you can carbonate water with the Sodastream brand of machine. You can either drink or add flavor to the carbonated water within a few moments. The bottle too is quite strong and long lasting while the method for making the carbonated water is quick and best.
Use Home made Soda Machines to lower the price of Carbonic Acid.
Actually, carbonic acid hardly costs anything and some manufacturers will simply give you 5, 10 or even 15 kilograms at the same price itself. You simply pay for the labor involved while refilling the bottles and a small mark-up over it. Refill bottles above 2 kilograms are usually used by restaurants or small businesses. These cost around 20 Euros each and hence the average rate for 1 liter of carbonated water comes to only a few cents.
At around 10 Euros for each refill the Carbonic acid purchased for your soda machine is really cheap and this brings the average cost to even less than 20 cents per 1 liter. If you compare it with bottled soft drinks then your home-made carbonated works out to be really very reasonable. But if you compare it while using large acid bottles, then at 10 Euros for each refill or more than 20 Euros for each kilogram seems to be quite costly. Many people too feel that this is a very high price and thus manufacture their own soda machines to accommodate larger canisters.
On the other hand soda machine manufacturers will try everything to prevent their customers from refilling from other sources by binding them in a web of legal documents and contracts so as to retain their monopoly over refilling their bottles. Actually, it would be better if they simply allowed refills by anyone since this could lead to a substantial increase in sales of their own machines.