Posted By RichC on February 24, 2014
In my pursuit of cheaper soft drinks it has become my terminus to save a buck and still make decent tasting cola. I continue to tweak my Sodastream setup and can confirm that my tastebuds have now fully adjusted to self-blended Diet Coke … and that I’m addicted (not so good). Currently the five gallon cube of syrup ($60) being used with a tap (photo below) is stored in my cold garage, but I will move it to the refrigerator when the temperatures warm.
Ingredient number two is the CO2 … or carbonator. The best option would be to install a large commercial CO2 tank at home, but then that would defeat my end goal of “no-waste/no-hauling” of soft drinks cans/bottles on and off our sailboat. This can hauling is a hassle when “walking” to get groceries from a marina, but becomes an even a bigger hassle when on a mooring or anchored where the logistics require ferrying cans or plastic bottles to and from Encore by dinghy. Trash disposal is difficult enough in some locations, so reducing our waste to a minimum is a good idea too. So … for CO2 I’ve adapted the Sodastream to accept paintball sized tanks (photo below) which can be refilled over and over. My plan is a buy a few more tanks and recharge a few at a time as I find refill locations. Currently the best dollar for dollar size seems to be the common 20 oz aluminum tank. I purchased a new tank for $16.95 with free shipping to add to my smaller 12 oz bottles (2 used for $20). I like the 20 oz tanks because they can be refilled at Dick’s Sporting Goods for $3.99 ($2.99 for 12 oz), but if I could find inexpensive 24 ounce tanks I’d buy a couple (they refill for $4.49). Any real savings will come in finding a good tasting, but less expensive cola syrup (Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi) … although I do enjoy the Diet Lemon-Lime Sodastream flavor (syrup cost is half that of Diet Coke).
For those of you mathematically inclined, you’re probably already mashing the numbers … but here’s what I came up with (still not a “deal”).