How to biuld a home CO2 carbonation system (the nozzle part)

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I've built a home CO2 carbonation system but I have a question about carbon dioxide flow (see pictures below). http://yfrog.com/13homec02system5jx
Using a tire valve and a tire chuck, I can easily fill the soda bottle empty space with 50 psi of carbon dioxide, but that only gets the water slightly bubbly.
The build-it-yourself tutorials on the web say the carbon dioxide must be FLOWING and they say they remove the inside part of the automotive tire valve.
I have tried both ways and have two subsequent questions:
If I keep the tire valve stem (i.e., the white soda top in the photo): Q: Why doesn't the cold water get more bubbly (like soda) at 50psi?
If I remove the tire valve stem (i.e., the red soda top in the photo): Q: How do I get the tire chuck to work since it won't flow w/o the stem? Q: Even if I attach the hollow tire valve directly to the CO2 hose, how can more than the headspace of the bottle FLOW into the bottle?
I don't get how I can get the CO2 to "flow"; seems to me it would just be static and fill the headspace.
What am I doing wrong? See pictures here: http://yfrog.com/13homec02system5jx
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I forgot to list the URL which said the C02 has to flow: "Carbonating at Home with Improvised Equipment and Soda Fountains" (http://www.truetex.com/carbonation.htm )
If I leave the inside of the tire valve in (see white cap in the pictures at http://yfrog.com/13homec02system5jx ), the CO2 carbonization does not get to the 50psi you'd like that is in the bottle headspace; but at least the tire valve attached to the hose is operated by the center stem in the tire valve attached to the soda bottle cap.
Yet, if I remove the center stem from the tire valve (see the red cap in the pictures at http://yfrog.com/13homec02system5jx ), I can't get the air chuck to operate (since it depends on the center valve to open up).
I'm thinking of just attaching the red cap open tire valve stem directly to the carbonization hose but even then, I can't, for the life of me, understand the article's wording that says the CO2 needs to "flow". (Specifically it says leaving the valve stem on the valve "does not work because the process requires a continuous flow of CO2 into the bottle via an open connection".)
What I don't understand is where is the continuous flow into an "open connection"?
If I clamp the red bottle cap onto the yellow hose (thereby eliminating the air chuck), it's still a closed system, isn't it? Where does the "flow" of C02 occur (except momentarily until the headspace of the bottle is filled to 50psi or so)?
I'm sure I'm missing something simple ... I just do not understand what I'm missing and I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction.
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On Sun, 4 Apr 2010 01:02:24 +0000 (UTC), Elmo wrote:

Indeed! Like posting in an electronics newsgroup instead of a pneumatics newsgroup.
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Allodoxaphobia wrote:

Are you suggesting there will be a shortage of hot air?
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On Sat, 03 Apr 2010 22:02:19 -0500, Dean Hoffman wrote:

Since google sucks at newsgroup searches, I searched both Newsparrot and Giganews to find a pneumatics newsgroup.
I didn't find any.
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On Sun, 4 Apr 2010 01:02:24 +0000 (UTC), Elmo

I built a carbonator once and made several huge mistakes, some of which I see in the article. One mistake resulted in 2 liters of sticky sugar water sprayed all over the kitchen.
The carbonation bottle, as shown, is upside down. You need to bubble the CO2 gas THROUGH the liquid, not on top of it. A seltzer bottle does with with a "siphon tube". That will work allowing right side up carbonation. <
http://www.seltzersisters.com/graphics/bottles/plastic.jpg
You need a way to bleed off the pressure after carbonating the liquid or you will have the equivalent of a bottle rocket. The shutoff valve shown is only part of the puzzle. There needs to be a bleeder valve between the valve and the seltzer bottle. With a siphon tube, you'll need to make sure that you don't suck liquid back into the regulator. Think about a ball-spring type of one-way valve in the filler hose, near the bottle end.
The tire valve stem and air chuck are a lousy idea but do solve an important problem. You need to maintain pressure in the bottle after removing the filler hose. Lots of ways to do that, but the bicycle valve is probably the least effective. Like a selzer bottle, you need seperate paths to fill the bottle and to empty the bottle. If vent the bottle (especially when warm) the gas will simply come out of solution into the air, leaving you with a flat tasting drink.
Chill or cool the liquid BEFORE filling. It will hold more CO2 and taste better.
50 PSI is the recommended maximum pressure for the average bottle rocket. Some maniacs have gone to 100 PSI and up by reinforcing the bottle with duct tape, but methinks 50 PSI is a good safe limit. If you want more pressure, get a heavy wall glass bottle (i.e. seltzer bottle) or aluminum container: <(Amazon.com product link shortened)> Note that the tiny CO2 cartridges used in commercial siphon bottle chargers are filled to about 850 PSI. Commercial bottled seltzer water is delivered at 135 PSI.
Gourmet Syrup <http://www.1883.com
--
Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
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On Sat, 03 Apr 2010 21:22:39 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

Hi Jeff, I solved the problem after reading your response!
I thank you for taking your time to help others. I like the upside-down idea and I understand your points about the internal pressure and the need to bleed it off separately - but I wanted to make the right-side-up idea work first.
The original article said, I had to bubble 4 volumes of carbon dioxide into the bottle so I had to figure out how to bubble 4 liters of co2 into a 1 liter bottle.
It worked when I removed the stem of the tire valve (pictures here): http://yfrog.com/13updatehomeco2carbonatiojx
My problem was there is no measurable laminar gas "flow" in either system (1) tire valve with stem, or (2) tire valve w/o stem.
But, without the stem, the c02 molecules continue to "infuse" into the liquid until there are 4 liters of c02 in the 1 liter of liquid.
So, I think the word "infuse" would have been better than "flow".
Now I have really good tasting seltzer water, grape juice soda, orange juice soda, etc.
Thanks all!
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On Sun, 4 Apr 2010 13:33:46 +0000 (UTC), Elmo

Ok, that's fine. Now, clean up the rest of the mess. The natural rubber hose is not suitable for dealing with freezing liquids. Put a piece in the fridge and watch it get stiff and brittle. I suggest you use clear vinyl or PVC "food grade" hoses, and nylon fittings.

You can measure the amount of dissolved CO2 with a pH meter or pH testing paper: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonic_acid> See chart on acidity.

Why so complexicated? Infusion is more like a slow leak into the liquid. What you're really complaining about it is that it takes some time for the gas to dissolve in the liquid. It doesn't happen instantly. Patience. You can speed things up by increasing the surface area of the gas bubbles, using smaller bubbles or a manifold like contraption with more holes. Even so, it does take a while for the gas to dissolve.

Light reading: <http://www.ehow.com/carbonated-water/
Have fun... (burp, belch, hiccup).
--
Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
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On Sun, 04 Apr 2010 10:24:07 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

Hi Jeff, Thanks for your help!
I love the idea of testing the amount of dissolved C02!
I'm burping away as I read the referenced articles!
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wrote:

I just re-read the original article and noticed that the author recommends agitation under pressure to help with dissolution. That strikes me as a bit dangerous as aggitation is a great way to trigger a rupture, but will help disolved the gas. Hmmm.... maybe a paint shaker?
--
Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
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Jeff Liebermann wrote:

It's beginning to sound as dangerous as the new "Shake and Bake" method for making Meth in 2 liter bottled.
Jeff
--
Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.
Frank Leahy, Head coach, Notre Dame 1941-1954
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On Sun, 04 Apr 2010 16:07:13 -0500, Jeffrey D Angus wrote:

Let's be serious. Out of the entire google record, there's not one recorded case of a bottle exploding (that I can find) ... so is it that dangerous?
Maybe the danger you speak of is regarding the C02 tank itself (admittedly a bomb if the neck ever failed); however, lots of people have oxygen tanks in their homes which is far more dangerous than C02 (I would think), and they're not scared.
If anyone can find, on record, a case of a home carbonation system exploding the bottle (there's one case where the hose melted because it was too close to heat), then that would be interesting.
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On Sun, 04 Apr 2010 13:21:31 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

The agitation works. My orange juice is now fully carbonated.
As for the explosion ... in all the home carbonation articles I could find on the net (see below), not one discusses a rupture actually occuring. http://www.truetex.com/carbonation.htm http://jmillerid.com/wordpress/2010/03/home-carbonation / http://foo.net/~jmgray/carbonation / http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/001818.php http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Soda-Water-&-Home-Carbonation---Pays-For-Itsel / http://mendax.org/2008/05/02/carbonating-water-at-home / http://www.inventionsthatwork.com/carbonator.htm http://groups.google.com/group/alt.home.repair/msg/24e7cf7f24d463e5
I'm not brave enough to go over 150psi for a soda bottle, so, I'll have to leave it to others to say exactly what overpressure causes an explosion ... but I'd say, based on my one experience and my search, that explosion rarely (if ever) occurs at the pressures needed for home carbonation.
I agree that your upside-down suggestion is better from the standpoint of C02 contact with the liquid (no need to shake) ... but it's just so much harder to accomplish that the right-side up with agitation method seems safe for most of us.
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Elmo wrote:

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Soda-Water-&-Home-Carbonation---Pays-For-Itsel /
Perhaps a stupid question, but have you tried simply mixing frozen concentrate with fizzy water? Or for that matter, just mixing the jug juice half-and-half with fizzy water? I'd bet in a blind taste test, your mouth could not tell the difference after the first sip, between that and your injected fizzy.
I know, it's an engineer thing- I wouldn't understand. Anybody remember how they did 'needle beer' during prohibition?
--
aem sends...

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Dunno, but according to my parents "bathtub gin" was all the rage. ;-)
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On Sun, 04 Apr 2010 19:59:21 -0400, aemeijers wrote:

Hmmm... That might be interesting.
I did understand your point. What you're saying is that a blind taste test might not know the difference if we either (a) Mix 1/2 seltzer + 1/2 water, or, (b) Mix 1/2 seltzer + 1/2 juice.
The pro is that this is as simple as it gets ... Of course, the obvious con might be that test (a) isn't bubbly enough and test (b) is too diluted (in addition to potentially not being bubbly enough).
But it's worth a try from someone out there.
BTW, I saw articles suggesting dropping a chunk of dry ice into the liquid (outside, in case it pops the top when the very cold dry ice fizzes into the not as cold liquid). That would accomplish the same thing as you are suggesting.
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Elmo wrote:

I keep a "corney keg" of water (5 gal soda keg) full of water and carbonated, with a tap. I often just put a spoonful of flavoring, like "coffee syrup flavors" into a glass and top it off with the soda water.
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On Sun, 04 Apr 2010 19:59:21 -0400, aemeijers wrote:

Yes. I'm trying to learn as much as I can about the proper assembling & use of a home carbon dioxide soda fountain.
Another thing I learned is that I should NOT have used that Teflon tape to seal all the joints in the regulators and hoses! :()
According to this article (http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/CO2/bottle.html ), Teflon "flows" and refuses to "wet" but it "shreds", thereby fouling the regulators.
So far, I think I've made every mistake you can make! :( - I had the C02 bottle on its side - I pressurized the soda bottle to 150psi - I used Teflon tape to seal the high-pressure fittings - I used a tire chuck with an intact Schrader valve (instead of removing the stem of the Schrader valve) etc.
But, I'm learning ... Any advice you can give is always welcome!
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Elmo wrote:

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Soda-Water-&-Home-Carbonation---Pays-For-Itsel /
There's really no reason to go anywhere near 150 psi. 50 psi is more than you'll ever need unless your just in a panic of a hurry. And there's no danger in agitating it as long as you are not hitting the bottle with a sharp object. Just shake the bottle. Even just shake the top back and forth to make crashing waves, which increases surface area and CO2 absorbtion. Shaking the bottle decreases the pressure, as the CO2 disolves into the water. It does not increase the pressure because the pressure at the top is higher than the stabile pressure in the CO2 in solution.

You could make a filler cap with a 5 micron air stone that reaches to the bottom of the bottle. Or, you can shake the bottle, or just be more patient.
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On Sun, 4 Apr 2010 18:37:54 -0700, Bob F wrote:

That's another interesting idea!
Looking up air stones, I find such a thing exists (aka diffusion stone): http://www.homebrewing.com/equipment/stainless-steel-air-stone.php http://www.baderbrewing.com/store/product.php?productid !801 http://www.brewingkb.com/equipment/diffusion-stone-687.html
Right now, I have August Schrader's valve (.305" OD, 32 tpi or 7.7 mm OD, 32 threads per inch), which was chosen for ease of installation (5/16th inch hole) and sealability (rubber gaskets & tie-down nut).
We could put a similar threaded pipe sticking halfway on each side of the soda cap. On the bottom half (the half that goes into the bottle), we could put a hose and the 5 m "air stone".
I would assume the air stone should be large in relation to the bottom of the bottle so as to get as great a surface area as possible to bubble up since the pressure will soon equilibrate, hence the bubbling would (I guess) stop in seconds.
Of course, the partial pressure of C02 is what matters so, even though the bubbling that pressurizes the 1 liter soda bottle stops, the inside of the bottle will be pressurized to 50 psi.
This diffusion stone idea just might work.
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