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For the last year, I've been making a lot of syrups. Usually I keep the syrups in the fridge and add carbonated water to it whenever I want to drink it. But now I'd like to make a bigger batch and bottle it in 200ml (~7oz) glass bottles, so I can hand them out to local bars to see if there's any interest my sodas.

What would you guys advice concerning the carbonation? I see three options now, but they have several pros and cons:

  • I figured I could add a bit of syrup in every bottle and add carbonated water. PRO straightforward and cheap CON I guess I will loose a lot of carbonation while pouring the carbonated water
  • I mix the syrup and normal water and add champagne yeast to carbonate it. PRO lots of carbonation in an easy and cheap way CON not easy to control sweetness, alcohol levels and carbonation.
  • I add the syrup and water to a soda keg and add CO2 to it with a CO2 bottle. PRO lots of control over sweetness and carbonation. No alcohol at all. CON I imagine I will loose a lot of carbonation while filling the bottles from the soda keg just like in option 1. Also, seems like a pretty big investment and doubt if it will get me the result I want.

So, are these the options I have or are there other ways? What would you advice?

Cheers! Ernest

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  • I routinely rebottle 2L club soda into 300mL bottles to make them convenient for my own use. The amount of carbonation lost during the pouring is trivial, and can be reduced even more by chilling the source bottle as cold as possible without freezing. At less than a dollar for 2 litres, you're not going find anything much cheaper unless you are thinking of industrial capacity production. Nov 20 at 2:05
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I would re-bottle with carbonated water. One trick you can use is based on the fact that the amount of CO2 (or any gas) which can be dissolved in a liquid increases as it is chilled. If you chill soda water to near zero, it will be visibly far less fizzy. You can pour it between vessels and lose little gas.

In practice, simply storing it in a fridge should be sufficient as long as your new bottle has a good seal.

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If you're looking for commercial quality and long-term stable carbonation- use a keg with C02 and a counter pressure bottle filler. You can DIY one yourself, or pick one up for ~$75USD. This is effectively a small-scale version of how breweries bottle. If done properly, it will hold carbonation about as well as a bottle condition.

Stay away from champagne yeast. It will be really hard to make a consistent product since you'll always be guessing at the carb level. Also, you want to avoid this combo:

Champagne yeast + glass bottle + sugar water + time = hand grenade

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  • Thanks for your answer! So the keg + CO2 bottle + counter pressure filler will add up to a setup of ~ $375? I'm gonna try to borrow one, so I can try it first. Jun 22 at 18:29
  • Regarding the champagne yeast; I was thinking about filling the glass bottles and one plastic bottle to keep the carbonation in check. And when the carbonation is done, to pasteurize the bottles. But I guess it will still be hard to control the sugar/alcohol/carbonation levels. Jun 22 at 18:31
  • It's doable with champagne yeast- but trust me that it will be a huge pain. I've gone through similar troubles trying to make a semi-sweet cider that way. That said, there's no harm in trying as long as you're safe. But bottle pasteurizing is a huge PITA compared to dialing the carbonation in exactly with a keg and using a bottle filler. Especially if you're doing this at any scale beyond a handful of bottles. A single keg C02 system + a beer gun will run you around $250 in the US.
    – rob
    Jun 23 at 2:00

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