DIY : How To Hack A SodaStream – Ryan Geddes – Medium
Do you have a SodaStream collecting dust in your home because you refuse to pay ridiculous CO2 refill costs? This guide will help you liberate your SodaStream and save substantially on CO2 refills.
Everyone on earth exhales CO2. It is difficult to understand why SodaStream users are charged so much for a refill CO2 canister. This is not a subjective statement, a larger CO2 tank refilled at your local brew, paintball or sports store only costs about $5.
Millions of people will get a SodaStream for the Holidays this year. While it’s convenient to use at home, buying the replacement CO2 canisters quickly adds up to more than the unit costs. Many people stop using the SodaStream altogether because of the inconvenience and expense of exchanging tanks. If the tank were a standard size like a propane tank, the adoption and retention rate would be much higher.
SodaStream designed their system in such a way that nobody can fill their tanks, and nobody can use a third party tank. It makes sense for them to have a re-occurring revenue stream after the initial sale — but this comes at a high cost to the consumer – in addition to the inconvenience of having to go somewhere that participates in the cylinder exchange. Sometimes what’s great for a business is terrible for the consumer. The SodaStream is one of those gifts you get that requires ongoing investment if you intend to keep your CO2 tank full and SodaStream operational.
As most of you know there is a difference between a mod and a hack. Hacking the unit using brew equipment is possible if you know what you are doing. Most people who decide to no longer use the SodaStream tanks but their own CO2 tanks and find themselves a mod that allows them to cheaply fill and use their own tanks.
How To Use The SodaStream Mod
- Buy a Sodastream to Paintball tank adapter. These are found on Amazon and eBay at various price points. Make sure that you find one people have tried already. The last thing you want to do is order an adapter from China, wait a month and find out its not the correct size. Sodamod and Interstate Pneumatics are two of the most commonly used. Don’t be afraid to contact the seller, if they can’t answer your questions — look elsewhere!
- Order a Paintball Tank. There are two tank manufacturers most people use. One is Tippmann— who also make an adapter. The other is SodaMod who make the adapter as well as their own “food grade” CO2 tank. The Tippmann tanks are cheaper and are used by a lot of SodaStream users, SodaMod guarantees the tanks are clean and safe for SodaStream — it’s your call — both work.
- Take your tank to a Dicks, Canadian Tire, or a Paintball shop and make sure they fill it with CO2, not O2. If you have a Brew store or gas supply company near you — they will likely be able to fill your tank as well.
- A paintball tank has threads like a soda bottle, you simply screw the adapter on top of the tank, then you slide the tank in like you would a standard SodaStream tank.
**Make sure you order the right size tank. 12oz works for most models 24oz works on many of the newer models.**
Explosion is a risk associated with all SodaStream machines usually caused by their bottles. Compressed CO2 has the potential to create small explosions — you can see examples of this on Youtube. These explosions happen both with the mod and with the original tank. This has to do with filling the bottle with too much CO2, not the adapter or tank. Be careful to not over carbonate your Soda or it might explode!
Oil and debris in the C02 tank is a concern. Some tanks are not cleaned after they are manufactured and they may have debris in them. Some have claimed that this can affect the taste and potentially your health — so most people either learn to clean the tank themselves – or they buy tanks other people are already using such as the Tippman or the Sodamod. Tippman is cheaper than Sodamod but only Sodamod claims to be “food grade”. There is a lot of internet debate as to which is better and whether there is even such a thing as food grade CO2 — its best to buy one of the tanks most people who mod their SodaStream are using.
Millions of people have been using homebrew equipment to make their own carbonated water and soft drinks for years. Some have purchased the SodaStream only to hook up large SCUBA sized tanks with a regulator. Others have purchased a mod and have gone the paintball route.
If you think filling up any tank is a huge waste of time or money there is a much easier, natural approach to carbonating your beverage — buy yourself some dry ice instead of investing in a SodaStream!
CO2 is a cheap resource. It’s upsetting when you receive a gift that you have to keep putting money into — month after month. With a CO2 mod, whether you use brew equipment or a clean Paintball tank, you will pay the fair going rate for CO2. The SodaStream is a great gift, it works well, but if you are buying it for yourself — or giving it to someone who you know will use it — make sure you get the mod and tank as well.