Search YouTube and you’ll find tons of videos of SodaStreams exploding after some poor schmuck tried to carbonate wine and turn it into champagne. And while these epic fails are funny to watch, we’re here to to tell you there is a better way.
You CAN make sparkling wine in a SodaStream.
Before we get into the details, let’s talk about the science.
How Does the SodaStream Work
To date, SodaStream machines have only been designed to carbonate water. While it seems like they should be able to force carbonate anything, those epic fail videos are a good indication that that’s simply not the case. Make no mistake, trying to carbonate anything other than water is hacking your SodaStream and results will vary.
When making soda with a SodaStream, you carbonate the water first and then add a concentrated syrup with the flavouring. This is how soda guns in restaurants work too. Carbonating liquids other than water is more complicated. This is because the density of the liquid you’re carbonating is an important factor.
Generally speaking there are two things you need to be wary of. The thickness or density of your liquid, and the sugar content. The more you have of either, the more likely an explosion will occur.
These considerations, of course, apply to wine. However, many people have successful carbonated wine in their SodaStream machine, turning it into sparkling wine. Before you go rogue, here are a few tips to help you be more successful.
Tips for Carbonating Wine in a SodaStream
1. White Wine Works Better Than Red
Brave experimenters have successfully carbonated both, but generally speaking dry white wine is best. It’s not as thick and sugar content is typically lower. This is fine by us because champagne is usually white anyway.
3. Use the Right SodaStream Model
Some machines have better success rates than others. Because there is a risk of explosion, you’re better off with a model that uses plastic bottles instead of glass. It’s also a good idea to use a model that allows you to customize the carbonation level. That way you can work up to the optimal amount of carbonation.
We recommend the SodaStream Dyanmo, which also comes with a larger CO2 canister for more experiments.
4. Take It Slow
Don’t fill the bottle up to the top like you normally would. Leave some headspace for the liquid to foam and expand. Start with a couple small pushes of carbonation before slowly—very slowly—unscrewing and releasing the bottle. Remember, you’re moving the bottle from a pressurized environment to an unpressurized environment so provide time for that transition to take place.
Once you’ve got the bottle free of the machine, give it taste taste to determine whether or not it needs more carbonation. You might end up doing this a few times the first time, but in the future you’ll know exactly how much carbonate you can get away with.
5. Find a Safe Spot
Since your SodaStream doesn’t require electricity. We recommend using the bathtub the first time you try to carbonate a new liquid.
Some people say the worst thing that can happen from trying to carbonate wine is ruining your machine but they’re wrong. The worse thing than can happen is spending 3 hours cleaning wine off your walls. Do yourself a favour and run a test batch in the bathtub. If it doesn’t work, it’ll be a cinch to cleanup.
6. Clean the Machine Right Away
Of course, you’ll want to try your creation as soon as it’s ready, but don’t want to long to clean off your machine. Remember, it was only made for water. The longer you wait to clean it, the harder it will be. If it’s gunked up you won’t be able to more experiments in the future!
Alternatives to SodaStream
If you’re really serious about carbonating other liquids, you might want to try a SodaStream alternative like the Purefizz Soda Maker, which can carbonate any liquid, risk-free. You might also want to wait for the new SodaStream machine machine rumoured to do the same thing.
Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you that if you decide to hack your SodaStream, you do so at your own risk. Attempting to carbonate wine in a SodaStream will not only void the warranty, it can also be dangerous!