How to carbonate home brew beer with a soda stream machine

Friday, March 8, 2024
Homebrewing is a craft that combines the art of brewing beer with the science of fermentation and carbonation. One of the crucial steps in creating a delicious beer is carbonation, the process that gives beer its fizziness and enhances its flavor profile. 

Recently, innovative homebrewers have started using SodaStream machines, traditionally designed for carbonating water, to carbonate their beer. This guide explores the viability of using a SodaStream for carbonating homebrew, detailing the process, equipment, and considerations involved.

How to carbonate home brew beer with a soda machine

Understanding Carbonation

Carbonation occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) dissolves in beer, creating the effervescence that beer lovers cherish.

It not only contributes to the mouthfeel and aroma of the beer but also affects its overall taste. Traditionally, carbonation in homebrewing is achieved through natural fermentation, where sugars are converted into alcohol and CO2, or by forced carbonation, using CO2 tanks.

Why Consider a SodaStream?

A SodaStream is a device designed for carbonating water at home, offering a convenient way to enjoy sparkling water without the waste of disposable bottles.

Its simplicity and efficiency have led homebrewers to experiment with carbonating beer using the SodaStream, seeking a quicker and more controlled carbonation process.

guide to Carbonating Beer with a Soda Stream device

Preparing Your Homebrew

Before carbonation, it's essential that the beer has completed the brewing and fermentation process successfully. The beer should be clear of any fermentable sugars to avoid overcarbonation or bottle explosions.

Tips for ensuring readiness include checking for consistent specific gravity readings over a few days and ensuring the beer has been properly cleared and settled.

Equipment Needed

To carbonate beer with a SodaStream, you'll need:

  • A SodaStream machine
  • Compatible, clean SodaStream bottles (preferably the plastic ones designed for use with the machine)
  • A way to chill your beer to the recommended temperature for carbonation
  • Any additional cleaning and sanitation tools to ensure your equipment is beer-ready

How to carbonate home brew beer using a soda machine

Step-by-Step Guide to Carbonating Beer with a SodaStream

  • Chilling the Beer: Cool the beer to around 2°C (35.6°F) to increase CO2 solubility.
  • Filling the Bottle: Carefully fill the SodaStream bottle with beer, leaving adequate space at the top to prevent overflow.
  • Carbonating: Attach the bottle to the SodaStream and carbonate according to the machine's instructions. It may take a few pulses to achieve the desired carbonation level.
  • Refrigeration Post-Carbonation: Store the carbonated beer in the refrigerator to maintain carbonation levels and beer quality.

Safety Considerations

When using a SodaStream for beer, it's essential to be aware of potential safety hazards. The device is not designed for carbonating sugary liquids, which can lead to overpressure and, in extreme cases, bottle explosions. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and use the device with caution.

Pros of Using a SodaStream for Homebrew Carbonation

One of the most appealing aspects of using a SodaStream for carbonating homebrew beer is the sheer speed and ease with which you can carbonate your beverage. Traditional carbonation methods, such as bottle conditioning, require weeks to achieve the desired carbonation level as the yeast slowly ferments the sugars to produce CO2.

In contrast, a SodaStream can carbonate beer in a matter of minutes, allowing brewers to enjoy their creations much sooner. This method eliminates the waiting period associated with natural carbonation and the setup time required for kegging systems, making it an ideal choice for those seeking immediate results and simplicity.

The SodaStream offers an unparalleled level of control over the carbonation process, allowing users to fine-tune the level of carbonation to their precise liking. This is particularly beneficial for homebrewers who enjoy experimenting with different styles and flavors of beer, as the carbonation level can significantly impact the taste, mouthfeel, and overall enjoyment of the beverage.


Over time, the initial investment in a SodaStream machine can prove to be more cost-effective than the ongoing expenses associated with traditional carbonation methods. Purchasing CO2 tanks, regulators, and other kegging equipment can be costly, and the maintenance and refilling of CO2 tanks add recurring expenses.

In contrast, a SodaStream uses refillable CO2 canisters that are widely available and relatively inexpensive. For homebrewers who produce beer in smaller quantities or less frequently, the SodaStream presents a more budget-friendly option without the commitment to the higher costs and space requirements of traditional carbonation equipment.

soda stream beer carbonation guide

Cons of Using a SodaStream for Homebrew Carbonation

One of the challenges associated with using a SodaStream for carbonating beer is the risk of overcarbonation. Achieving the perfect carbonation level requires a delicate balance and often a bit of trial and error.

Overcarbonating can lead to excessively fizzy beer, which may affect the flavor profile and overall enjoyment. It can also increase the risk of beer foaming over or causing the bottle to burst during the carbonation process. Homebrewers using a SodaStream must exercise caution and gradually refine their technique to avoid these pitfalls.

The SodaStream is designed primarily for carbonating water, which means its capacity and design may not be ideally suited for all homebrewing needs. The machine has a limited volume capacity, typically requiring the carbonation of beer in smaller batches. This can be a drawback for homebrewers who wish to carbonate large quantities of beer at once.

Tips for Success

For best results when using a SodaStream with homebrew:

  • Start with lower carbonation settings and gradually increase to find your preferred level.
  • Ensure the beer is as cold as possible before carbonation to reduce foam and increase CO2 solubility.
  • Clean and sanitize all equipment thoroughly before and after use to prevent contamination.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

If you encounter issues such as excessive foaming or inadequate carbonation, consider adjusting the beer's temperature, carbonation level settings, or ensuring the beer is fully fermented and free of residual sugars.

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