How to Carbonate a Beverage

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Carbonate a Beverage

There are many drinks that can be virtually reinvented with the addition of a little "bubbly". The easiest way is to simply mix club soda with the beverage, but that can dilute the flavor. Here are some other techniques you can try.

edit Steps

Dry Ice Method

  1. 1
    Place the entire amount of beverage in a large container that has a tight lid or cover.
  2. 2
    Get dressed in a long-sleeved shirt, pants, gloves, shoes, etc. The goal is get covered up since dry ice can burn your skin.
  3. 3
    Punch several small holes in the lid of the container so that the extra carbon dioxide can escape the container. Make sure there is enough room in your container to accommodate the appropriate amount of ice.
  4. 4
    Take the container outside, since the process could get messy.
  5. 5
    Add 1-2 pounds of dry ice for every gallon of beverage, or 100-250 g of dry ice for every litre, in the container.
  6. 6
    Allow the beverage and ice to sit for 50-60 minutes for every gallon of beverage, or 15 minutes for every litre. The ice will sublimate and the carbon dioxide will diffuse into the beverage, making the familiar bubbles seen in soda pop and some fruit juices.
  7. 7
    Seal the container after the smoke-like gas has disappeared.

The person handling the dry ice in this video should be wearing long sleeves and gloves on both hands, and the ice should be broken within a pillowcase (see Tips).

Yeast Method

  1. 1
    Fill a plastic bottle with the beverage you want to carbonate. The beverage needs to be warm (not hot, not cold) so that the yeast will work, and it also needs to contain sugar (food for the yeast). You can substitute artificial sweeteners for the sugar as long as you use 2-3 tablespoons of sugar. This is all that is actually required for the yeast to carbonate the beverage (for a 2L bottle). Leave a few inches of air space at the top.
  2. 2
    Add yeast. You can experiment with different kinds of yeast, but many people use champagne yeast because it works quickly without affecting the taste, and it settles neatly at the bottom.[1]
  3. 3
    Cap and shake the bottle. Put it aside in a dark, warm spot for around two days. The yeast will eat the sugar, and a byproduct is carbon dioxide.
  4. 4
    Test to see if carbonation is complete by squeezing the bottle forcefully with your thumb. If it dents in as in the picture, it is not ready.
  5. 5
    Put the bottle in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process until you're ready to drink it. Before opening, refrigerate at least overnight to thoroughly chill. Crack the lid off the thoroughly chilled beverage just a little to release the pressure slowly.
  6. 6
    Pour the drink carefully, leaving the dormant yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle. This will get rid of all or most of the yeast flavor. If you'd like, you can strain the yeast with a cheesecloth or even a cotton t-shirt to remove yeast.

This video shows how to make cream soda, but it demonstrates how yeast carbonates the drink.

edit Tips

  • If you need to break pieces of dry ice into smaller pieces, use a hammer or rubber mallet, with the dry ice inside a pillowcase or wrapped in cloth so small pieces of dry ice won't fly everywhere.
  • It is recommended that your "airtight" container be made of plastic, or some other type of flexible material. In case of an accidental explosion, there will be less damage from plastic than glass or ceramic.

edit Warnings

  • When working with dry ice, cover skin as much as possible. Wear gloves when handling, and dress in long sleeves to avoid injury due to splashing.
  • Do not seal your container with dry ice still in it. Depending on the strength of your container you could injure someone when the over-pressurization makes it explode! Flying debris, especially glass or ceramic can cause severe injuries.
  • If you leave the yeast working on the beverage too long, one of two things might happen: the bottle will explode, or your beverage will become alcoholic.

edit Things You'll Need

Dry Ice Method

  • Beverage
  • Large container with lid
  • Food-grade dry ice (1-2 pounds for every gallon of beverage or 100–250 g/L)
  • Clothes long enough to cover most parts of your body

Yeast Method

  • Beverage
  • Bottle (preferably plastic)
  • Yeast
  • Sugar

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Last edited:
May 29, 2010 by BR

Sodas and Fizzy Drinks

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