For many, mineral water is the perfect drink – versatile and extremely refreshing, capable of cleansing the palate, and zero calorie. And it sure seems to have a moment. Sales of packaged mineral water have skyrocketed since the pandemic confined so many Seltzer fans to their homes. In March alone, MarketWatch saw a dramatic 52 percent increase. In the same month, demand from the aluminum can industry fell and US sales rose 24 percent by volume. If these trends continue, experts predict that widespread dose shortages may be in sight.
Of course, there are ways to solve your bubbly problems without draining aluminum reserves or hoarding plastic Polar Seltzer bottles in your pantry. Countertop carbonizers like SodaStream are a popular method, but if you’re – like so many of us – drinking enough seltzer, the constant hand pumping, frequent gas bottle changes, and limited power (a liter at a time, who can live like that!) Are reasons enough to look for bigger, better, and more sustainable options. Step into the Selzterator, a DIY bubble machine that is guaranteed to revolutionize your drinking game at home.
The idea might seem innovative, but it’s actually just a repurposed kegerator, retrofitted refrigerator that home brewers and other small beverage makers have been using for decades. Setup is easy once you get going, and most of the materials can be picked up from an online marketplace, either new or used. or from a hardware store or local brewery. It’s best to check home breweries and online forums first, as these people are usually full of helpful advice on everything from building tips and fixes to getting the best prices for equipment.
The entire exercise takes about a day and can cost less than $ 150 if you buy used and research. After that initial investment, you’ll see a near-endless stream of perfectly calibrated tap water that costs zero dollars and creates no waste.
⅞ inch diameter hole saw
Power drill and drill
Flat head screwdriver (for tightening metal clips)
Spray bottle filled with soapy water
Work mini fridge with internal shelf removed and no freezer compartment
Five pound CO2 tank
Clean 5 Gallon Cornelius / Homemade Keg (Small Enough To Fit In The Fridge)
Faucet tower with rubber tower seal, faucet head and faucet handle (can be purchased separately, but purchasing as a kit makes the job easier)
Fluid line (a standard clear vinyl tubing used in drum systems; runs three to five feet 3/16 in. In diameter and should be included with every tap tower kit)
CO2 line (the same 3 to 16 inch diameter and 3 to 16 foot diameter clear vinyl tubing as above)
Liquid line connection (quick release with ball lock)
CO2 line connection (quick release with ball lock)
Three to five metal screws for both lines
1. Center your faucet tower on top of the mini fridge and mark the locations where you want to install the liquid line and tower screws. Using the hole saw, cut a 1 to 1.5 inch hole through the top of the refrigerator for the liquid line, being careful not to damage any mechanical elements. Then drill the appropriate holes for the tower screws.
2. Disconnect the liquid line from the bottom of the tower kit and route it through the hole in the refrigerator. Connect the open end of the line to the connector on the liquid line and secure the connection with a metal clamp.
3. If not already in place, attach the faucet handle and faucet head to the tower according to the instructions and lower the tower onto the top of the refrigerator. Insert the tower screws in their holes and secure them inside the refrigerator with a washer and nut. Close and plug the refrigerator in and let it cool in the coldest spot.
4. While the refrigerator is cooling, connect one end of the CO2 line to the CO2 regulator and secure it with a metal clamp. Attach the CO2 line connector to the other end of the CO2 line and secure it with a metal clamp.
5. Connect the regulator to the CO2 tank and tighten the connection with the Allen key. Make sure that the tank and regulator are both in the closed or off position.
6. Fill the keg with clean, cold tap water and lock the lid. Connect the CO2 line to the barrel’s IN valve via the CO2 line connector – it should click into place smoothly.
7. Turn the CO2 tank to the open position and open the valve on the regulator to allow CO2 to flow through the line into the keg. Spray soapy water on the system and look for bubbles to indicate gas leaks.
8. Slowly turn the regulator knob until the needle on the pressure gauge reaches 40 PSI. At this level, it should take about 24 hours for the tank to carbonate. If you want to speed up the work, gently roll the barrel on the floor for about 10 minutes while keeping the connection to the CO2 tank. The stirring helps disperse the bubbles faster than letting them sit.
9. Carefully place the tank and regulator in the refrigerated refrigerator and slide the keg next to (or in front of) the tank. Connect the liquid line to the second valve of the drum via the liquid line connector. Allow the keg to carbonate for 24 to 36 hours before serving (less if you used the rolling method). When you’re ready to pour, set the dispensing regulator’s PSI reading to 15-25 PSI (more or less depending on how bubbly you like your seltzer). Take a glass and enjoy.