> Mark Thorson wrote:
>> I've been thinking about buying a carbonator, for experiments in
>> making carbonated stuff. The main candidates a
>> a) Seltzer-bottle type carbonators which use 8 gram CO2 cartidges --
>> disadvantages are low carbonation, and the cost of cartridges. About
>> $45 for the bottle from iSi. A big disadvantage is that the bottle
>> would be difficult to clean if I put something in it that left a
>> residue, like something viscous.
>> b) Tap-A-Draft -- this system uses two 8 gram CO2 cartridges, costs
>> about $55 for a basic system. It's not clear to me how good the
>> carbonation is. One guy said he had two of these units explode.
>> They look rather cheaply made. Cleaning is also a concern here, but
>> the carbonation is done in interchangable plastic bottles, with new
>> bottles costing about $6, so I could always just replace them if my
>> experiments in carbonated turkey gravy or mint jelly turned out
I forgot to mention, you usually rent the CO2 tank if larger than 20#,
and buy them for 20# and under, but the 20's might can be rented. It's
a location thing. If you buy your own tank larger than 20 pound
capacity, be sure and save your receipt, otherwise you might have
trouble getting it refilled if the place you bought it from goes out of
business or if you move to another city.
Disposable CO2 cartridges get very expensive once you start really using
them. They also come in bigger sizes than just 8 gram -- I'm not sure
if they are 12's or 16's. Make sure you know what size you need.
You might can find a carbonator based on 5-liter beer mini-kegs. All it
would really take is a tap designed for use with a bulk CO2 tank. The
little kegs are pretty cheap at the homebrew shop, or you can buy German
beer in them and reuse the keg.