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Old 09-04-2009, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,633,860 times
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Home | SodaStream

I found this company too - http://www.prairiemoon.biz/flavors.html

Last edited by Sgoldie; 09-04-2009 at 07:39 PM..
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Durham
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What strange timing.

Yes, heard of it. Yes, have tried it, and yes - love it.

I just got mine about 2 weeks ago after seeing it in action at my brother-in-laws. I bought mine used on eBay.

I've already ordered an adapter to connect it to my own 20# CO2 canister so I don't have to deal with their puny, proprietary and expensive CO2 tanks.

Here's what I can tell you about it:

It makes very good carbonated water. The colder you get the water, the better it works. The difference of 10 degrees or so makes a world of difference as to how much CO2 the water can hold.

Their syrups are...strange. As I got my unit (Fountain Jet) used, it didn't come with any syrups. I found some on sale at Kohl's. I went back today actually to see if there were any new ones, and couldn't find a trace of them at all. I've tried Cola, Root Beer, Lemon-lime and Orange.

Even the non-diet ones are made with some sucralose, so they have less calories than commercial soda, but the tastes are just a little off. I really don't care - I use less syrup than I'm supposed to and I like it fine, but if you're super-picky about your soda, this might be an issue.

You're not going to save a ton of money doing it if you do it like you're supposed to. By that I mean if you use their CO2 and their syrups, you're going to find it hard to beat the benchmark I use - $1.00 2 liters.

I've experimented with making my own syrups. The Torani coffee syrups work pretty well too, but I think they are pretty expensive because you're paying a premium for the bottle, sugar and water (all things I have in abundance) and just a little flavoring - thus the Prairie Moon syrups look like an interesting option to me. I have been looking at them for a few weeks and sent them an e-mail asking if their cola syrup contains caffeine. It does not - which is a major bummer for me. Fortunately, I have found sources of pure caffeine powder that I could add to it - but it makes me nervous. That's a measurement you don't want to screw up, and it's very small.

The other thing I thought about was getting my hands on genuine Diet Coke syrup - my personal addiction. There are problems going that route too though. For one; it can be difficult to obtain. GFS sells it, but they're supposed to only sell it to businesses. I'm not sure how vigorously they enforce that. It's also made to be connected to a fountain machine, so you'll have to find some sort of containment. Also, it's expensive - about $60 for 5 gallons. Which seems like a lot until you get to the last issue; which is the mix ratio. The proper mix ratio for this type (called post-mix) syrup is 1 part syrup to 5 parts water. The SodaStream syrups are much more concentrated. If my back-of-the napkin math and memory serve it was closer to 1:20. But I have heard anecdotal stories of folks who have gone that route. Sam's Club also has a knock off product in a similar bag-in-box configuration called "Diet Red Wave Cola" (there's also a Diet Blue Wave, I'm guessing they are Coke/Pepsi knock-offs)

As far as being a "green" option; I like it a lot.

Anyway...that's about all I can think of at the moment.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,633,860 times
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Thanks for the reply!

I'll have to ask my nephew about the fountain mixes, he's a managing chef. I was wondering how these machines differ from getting one of those spritzer carbonator bottles you see for bartenders? I'm not a drinker so I'm not familiar with them. Seems like the same concept, maybe cheaper?

I like the idea of not having a lot of bottles around but don't think it would end up being used by a couple of guys here if it's too much hassle or didn't taste like what they're use to in the way of soda.
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Durham
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I think the technology is similar to the old fashioned seltzer bottles, but they used little tiny disposable CO2 cartridges. There are other ways to carbonate tap water.

Here's a sort of impractical one. Another, a little closer to the SodaStream technique.

The SodaStream machine just simplifies it and takes some of the dangerous aspects out of the equation. (Oh, and looks better in the kitchen too I guess)

As far as the syrups, I think they're pretty good. Certainly good enough for me to mix up a batch before work instead of spending $3 a day at the vending machine. And don't forget you can really customize it to your liking. Want more fizz? Give it a few extra button presses. Want less sugar? No problem. More sugar? Not a problem.

I'd almost be sold if it just made tonic and soda water. The tonic syrup is really nice - I don't own a bottle of the syrup yet, but I tried my brother in laws and it's the real deal, contains quinine - very tasty.

If you really want to geek out, there's always OpenCola to mess around with.
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Old 09-05-2009, 09:02 PM
 
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I first saw one of those at the Nevada State Fair about 15 years ago. I was really tempted to buy one as they not only offered their own syrus but the national ones as well.

Personally, I found a source for cheap club sodas (3qts for $1) and started mixing it with frozen juice concentrates. That wasy, my soda had less sugar and at least some nutritional value.
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Old 09-05-2009, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Durham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
....as they not only offered their own syrus but the national ones as well.
Hmmm. I wonder if it's the same outfit or just the same idea? If it was the same company then their 'national name brand syrups' deal fell apart. Maybe they just decided they'd make more money just offering their own?

Quote:
Personally, I found a source for cheap club sodas (3qts for $1) and started mixing it with frozen juice concentrates. That way, my soda had less sugar and at least some nutritional value.
That's a good price I think..(how many quarts in a liter?)

I do the same with the SodaStream. I actually found a cranberry juice concentrate - not the 'cocktail' stuff mind you, real, pure concentrated cranberry, tart enough to give you permanent pucker. I mixed that up with a simple syrup, half sugar, half splenda, and add a few tablespoons per liter for a really refreshing soda.
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Old 09-08-2009, 02:45 AM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
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nice i never knew of these machines.
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:47 PM
 
13,710 posts, read 22,826,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycricanpapi View Post
nice i never knew of these machines.
In the "old" days - like the 50s, you would buy the syrup in gallon bottles (like vinegar). And you would buy the selzer water and "make your own."

In fact, Coke and Pepsi would sell you fluted glasses with a "syrup line."

The advantage is that you could adjust the "brix" - the ratio of syrup to carbonated water. Currently, the only way that you can do that is to own your own machine.
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Old 09-08-2009, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Durham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
Currently, the only way that you can do that is to own your own machine.
And in the old days you, as a consumer, could get your hands on the syrup. They make that difficult now.

Not impossible, but they don't carry it in the soda isle.
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Old 09-08-2009, 07:32 PM
 
13,710 posts, read 22,826,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arsbadmojo View Post
And in the old days you, as a consumer, could get your hands on the syrup. They make that difficult now.

Not impossible, but they don't carry it in the soda isle.
Sam's Club carries the 1.5 gal "Bag in Box" that most businesses use in their post-mix soda machines. It is NOT particularly cheap.

Generally, there is ALWAYS a way to get ahold of something you want ... if you have the cash and are willing to ask.
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