My Infinite Seltzer Setup (the easy way; no carbonator)

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

risottto

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
5
So I used a lot of ideas I found on this forum to upgrade my old kegerator into a limitless seltzer dispenser, I think this way is a lot easier, cheaper, and safer than some of the other methods, so wanted to share so people in the future can reference this method.

I did not want to resurrect ancient threads, but I got a lot of info from these:

DIY - Auto-refilling Seltzer Water Keg
On Demand Seltzer Water
Carbonator set up in home wetbar/drink fridge

For four years I was making seltzer using two corny kegs that I would manually refill using a faucet filter and hose every few weeks. I had carbonation stones dropped with a silicone hose to the bottom of the keg from the CO2 barb inside the keg (this made a huge difference in carbonation speed and nice bubbles). 30 psi with the stone and fridge set to 39 degrees yielded perfect sparkling water. Filling was a getting to be a hassle, as you have to vent and waste CO2 to pop the lid, and the cats ran for the hills every time!

I just remodeled the kitchen and ran a couple of ice maker lines to the empty space behind the main fridge so I could put the kegerator there and somehow refill on demand. It took a bit of research; but I decided to forgo the carbonator route, as it was a lot more complex, expensive, and a greater leak risk running 100 psi (needed a carbonator, new 100psi regulator, and some kind of cold plate, plus all the fittings and hoses).

So I ended up using a carbonation cap I had laying around to insert a float valve into the keg without modifying it. This little part was the key to the whole setup, fits perfectly in the corny, attaches to the bottom of the carbonation cap, and automatically refills water bit by bit as you pull water out of the keg.

All in all spent under $60 to convert my kegerator into an hidden infinite seltzer dispenser. No high PSI carbonator to set up, and seems like the carbonation is staying bubbly with just a bit of fresh water being added on every fill.

In the future I could also use my second corny keg with another float valve and dual pressure regulator to make chilled filtered flat water, going into a shotgun shank through the same hole in the wall. Or even better, beer.

EDIT: Minor modification: 5 gallon bucket filled with water as a pre and post chiller. Had some spare 1/4OD tubing and ran a long coil between the check valve and keg though a bucket of water. Threw the 25ft of seltzer-out hose though there too (might as well, it's only there to reduce the output pressure). This should pre-chill the incoming water to around fridge temp and make it carbonate quicker.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Andude2

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
9
Great write up, and great set up! Wish I had this 36 hours ago, as I dropped $800+ for the Under Sink Carbonated Water set up. Half the items showed up today, other half showing up tomorrow, then lots of plumbing/tubing and set up. Your way looks WAY easier! :)
 
OP
risottto

risottto

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
5
That kegland cap looks like the pro version of what I made, and at only $40 is a deal, as a carb lid and float were over $20 each. Surprised the Kegland guy did not mention dropping a carbonation stone in, this makes such a huge difference!

I did order that pressure guage / regulator the guy was showing off in the video for my water line, and might switch the 5 gallon bucket filled with hose with second pre-chilled keg.

Has anyone done a full of water daisy chain on cornys? I would put the water-in to the gas post, then the out-post jumpered into the float valve input. Let the keg fill with the PRV open, then it just functions as a chilled water reservoir, pulling the coldest water from the bottom and under pressure from the top.
 
Last edited:
OP
risottto

risottto

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
5
Great write up, and great set up! Wish I had this 36 hours ago, as I dropped $800+ for the Under Sink Carbonated Water set up. Half the items showed up today, other half showing up tomorrow, then lots of plumbing/tubing and set up. Your way looks WAY easier! :)
Still better than paying over $2k for an Elkay or Grohe system. The carbonation level dial on the Grohe is pretty neat though!
 

Andude2

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
9
Still better than paying over $2k for an Elkay or Grohe system. The carbonation level dial on the Grohe is pretty neat though!
I looked into the Grohe, and while it looks neat, I've seen tons of negatives on it - and it wouldn't ship to California. (lame!)

I'm relatively new to this whole process of carb'ing, and wondering if I can merge the two systems. I don't have a kegerator/keezer, so putting the keg & cap from your system into a fridge would require me buying a fridge/kegerator. I'm wondering whether your system at room temperature piped into the water chiller (from my system), and then from the chiller to the faucet....would that work? Or is it just not going to work with the keg at room temperature? (I'm totally new to this).

My thought is: your set up has a boatload fewer connections than the one I was planning to set up, so fewer points of possible failure, plus it has fewer parts, so ultimately, an easier set up. BUT - I have no clue about a carb'ing at room temp.
 

Transamguy77

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
581
Location
Perkasie
I’m just posting to follow this thread, @risottto thanks for posting, I’m in the middle of setting up something like this for carbonated water for my wife who drinks seltzer like it’s going out of style.
 
OP
risottto

risottto

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
5
I looked into the Grohe, and while it looks neat, I've seen tons of negatives on it - and it wouldn't ship to California. (lame!)

I'm relatively new to this whole process of carb'ing, and wondering if I can merge the two systems. I don't have a kegerator/keezer, so putting the keg & cap from your system into a fridge would require me buying a fridge/kegerator. I'm wondering whether your system at room temperature piped into the water chiller (from my system), and then from the chiller to the faucet....would that work? Or is it just not going to work with the keg at room temperature? (I'm totally new to this).

My thought is: your set up has a boatload fewer connections than the one I was planning to set up, so fewer points of possible failure, plus it has fewer parts, so ultimately, an easier set up. BUT - I have no clue about a carb'ing at room temp.
At room temp you will need a mechanical carbonator like the McCanns, then chill though a cold plate, no real way to do it without a fridge. Carbonation level just putting CO2 into water is a direct function of pressure and temperature, at room temp you will not get good carbonation without a motor to push them together and 100 PSI. I'm running around 4.2 volumes of CO2 at 39 degrees and 30 PSI, and it's just right for me.

This guy will tell you more than you need to know about how to go that route with an abundance of enthusiasm!

If you go with the method i described above, I shelling out around $200 for a mini fridge that can fit corny kegs and drilling a few strategic holes will get you the best results with minimal connections / high pressure / expense. And you can get that Kegland cap pre-assembled and save the work I did making that whole float thing work. I also can't stress how much of a difference pushing CO2 through a carbonation stone at the bottom of the keg makes!
 
Last edited:

Cool_Hand_Luke

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
Messages
109
Reaction score
58
Location
St. Paul

Andude2

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
9
At room temp you will need a mechanical carbonator like the McCanns, then chill though a cold plate, no real way to do it without a fridge. Carbonation level just putting CO2 into water is a direct function of pressure and temperature, at room temp you will not get good carbonation without a motor to push them together and 100 PSI. I'm running around 4.2 volumes of CO2 at 39 degrees and 30 PSI, and it's just right for me.

This guy will tell you more than you need to know about how to go that route with an abundance of enthusiasm!

If you go with the method i described above, I shelling out around $200 for a mini fridge that can fit corny kegs and drilling a few strategic holes will get you the best results with minimal connections / high pressure / expense. And you can get that Kegland cap pre-assembled and save the work I did making that whole float thing work. I also can't stress how much of a difference pushing CO2 through a carbonation stone at the bottom of the keg makes!
Thanks a ton for the detailed response. I figured I needed to chill the keg, but was hopeful I could get around it with a chilled dispenser.

Oh well. I’ve got the McCann’s Big Mac and all the rest of that set up, so today’s probably the day I’ll give it a go!
 
OP
risottto

risottto

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
5
Thanks a ton for the detailed response. I figured I needed to chill the keg, but was hopeful I could get around it with a chilled dispenser.

Oh well. I’ve got the McCann’s Big Mac and all the rest of that set up, so today’s probably the day I’ll give it a go!
A Flash Chiller could be an option, most are pretty pricey, but a quick google led me to this under counter model.

As an addendum to the OP, I ordered some connections to daisy chain my other corny keg to store incoming water and pre-chill it, as the 5 gallon bucket does not seem to do much (the volume of water in the hose is actually pretty minuscule if you do the math, and PEX does not conduct heat well). This should lead to nice cold water coming into the carb keg, and as a bonus I can tap into the jumper line to get chilled filtered flat water in the future on another tap.

And dual carbonation stones, why not!?
 
Last edited:

Andude2

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
9
A Flash Chiller could be an option, most are pretty pricey, but a quick google led me to this under counter model.
I might try this with the Corny + Kegland lid. I actually have both of those waiting for me, so it wouldn't be hard to "try" it out for a little bit. I had the under counter chiller set up, so it's an easy swap, without having to set up the mechanical carb and all the rest. Onward and upward!
 

Transamguy77

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
581
Location
Perkasie
So after reading this we are going to put a tap in my kitchen, only thing is I will have to run from my keezer which is in the garage, going to be a 30ish foot run. I’m concerned about the heat loss over that stretch.

I looked into Eva barrier tubing to make the run, still a few months out but I’ll post back and let you know how it went.
 
OP
risottto

risottto

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
5
It will get warm, even if you insulate the line, but using 3/16" ID line, it's going to be less than 6 oz in the 30 feet of hose of warm seltzer before you get to the cold stuff. Not worth glycol chilling the line IMO, just dump the first cup of warm stuff if it's been sitting unused for a while.

(pi*(3/16/2)^2)*12*30 = ~10 cubic inches = 5.5oz
 

Transamguy77

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
581
Location
Perkasie
That’s good to know, not much of a waste if at all. Another thought is my basement stays in the 60’s and colder all year around (which is where the line will be routed after leaving the garage) so maybe that temp drop won’t be as much of an issue.

Now from what I’ve been reading that 3/16” is too small to make a run that long most recommend 6mm. I have 3/16” beer line so I might try it with that and finalize it with Eva barrier.
 
OP
risottto

risottto

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
5
I have 25 feet of 3/16 coiled inside the kegerator simply to reduce the output pressure at the tap since the keg is at 30+ PSI, otherwise it would dispense with a vengeance. Output flow is perfect with that much friction.
 

twd000

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2010
Messages
750
Reaction score
142
Location
New Hampshire
Very creative solution!

However I mix my seltzer in batches since I like to add mineral salts. Our well water is especially low in magnesium and tastes a lot better with 100 ppm worth of Epsom salts.

I'll try your idea of the sintered stone on the gas side to speed up the carbonation
 
OP
risottto

risottto

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
5
Very creative solution!

However I mix my seltzer in batches since I like to add mineral salts. Our well water is especially low in magnesium and tastes a lot better with 100 ppm worth of Epsom salts.

I'll try your idea of the sintered stone on the gas side to speed up the carbonation
My old method of filling up the kegs manually would be perfect for adding minerals, as you've got 5 gallons measured out perfectly each time. I wonder if a water softener that uses salt could get you the similar results in-line?

When I first set up the carbonation stone, I forgot to clamp it to the hose and it fell off when I was filling it. Literally did not carb for 2 days. When I found the problem and put it back on I had seltz in under 4 hours.
 
OP
risottto

risottto

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
5
Finally got a day to do the upgrades today. Added the Kegland pressure regulator to the water-in line, and then daisy chained the cornys. Filtered water going into the first flat water keg reduced to 55PSI (in case mains pressure jumps, it will always stay the same), then a jumper line with the check valve goes into the float valve in the carbonation cap on the seltzer keg. Also put in 2 carbonation stones though a Y adapter, possibly more carbonation?

Everything else is the same. I put the flat water keg in a bucket of water to speed the chilling so water going into the seltzer keg should be nice and frosty. As an aside I did the 100K ohm resistor mod to the temp sensor on the Chill'n'tap, which seems to have nicely re-calibrated the kegerator to a more accurate (and colder) temperature.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

3PDP

New Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Finally got a day to do the upgrades today. Added the Kegland pressure regulator to the water-in line, and then daisy chained the cornys. Filtered water going into the first flat water keg reduced to 55PSI (in case mains pressure jumps, it will always stay the same), then a jumper line with the check valve goes into the float valve in the carbonation cap on the seltzer keg. Also put in 2 carbonation stones though a Y adapter, possibly more carbonation?

Everything else is the same. I put the flat water keg in a bucket of water to speed the chilling so water going into the seltzer keg should be nice and frosty. As an aside I did the 100K ohm resistor mod to the temp sensor on the Chill'n'tap, which seems to have nicely re-calibrated the kegerator to a more accurate (and colder) temperature.

love the set up and was thinking of doing the same the only question I had was, do you not notice a dip in carbonation if the keg is filling with flat water while you are dispensing sparkling water? it would seem that you dilute your entire keg once the float opens? could you possibly add gas to the first keg to start the carb process and daisy into your drawing keg once that drops low?

-Dan
 

DuncB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2019
Messages
890
Reaction score
404
Location
Paremata New Zealand
Very good setup, I use an aeration stone from an aquarium supply shop and it's much cheaper than the metal one that I use for oxygenating the wort prior to pitching. I add some salts to my water and so I'm stuck with the refill scenario.
 
OP
risottto

risottto

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
5
love the set up and was thinking of doing the same the only question I had was, do you not notice a dip in carbonation if the keg is filling with flat water while you are dispensing sparkling water? it would seem that you dilute your entire keg once the float opens? could you possibly add gas to the first keg to start the carb process and daisy into your drawing keg once that drops low?

-Dan

I fill up two 32 oz growlers to take to work regularly and they’re both equally bubbly, as is the glass afterwards. In sum I have not noticed any dilution. if you pulled 2-3 gallons at once it could be an issue.

also might help that the valve fills from the top, and tap pulls from the bottom.

It also re-carbs quite quickly with pre-chilled water and two carb stones. I would not worry about double gassing unless you plan on pulling gallons at a time, in which case the McCanns force carb route might be the way to go.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
Messages
753
Reaction score
1,197
Location
Torrance
Love this thread, I had no idea there were so many professional ideas for how to keep seltzer on tap. I keep 2x5G cornies, fill them with mineral salts, and just swap out as they empty. I add gas using the water out tube, so the CO2 fills from the bottom of the keg. It speeds up the process to overnight for carbing up a keg.
 
Top
五月天婷五月天综合网_日本不卡免费一区二区_日日橹狠狠爱欧美视频