By Joshua Rosenthal
Who does not like a cool and refreshing drink? I know, I know, a great beer during a hot day is the perfect remedy to stay cool and kick back with. What about the another cool drink? One where you can add your own flavoring, perhaps mix with a juice, maybe kick it up a notch and mix with a spirit and adjuncts. Yes, it is seltzer or carbonated water, like “soda pop” to “cola” it’s called differently depending on which region of the country you come from.
Are you tired of buying another case of La Croix or picking up a bottle of Pellegrino for the fridge? I am and I bet you share my pain. My kids drink it like its going out of style. I don’t know about you, but my wife and her girlfriends love the different flavors and want to mix their favorite spirit with them to keep their drink calories low. I am happy to say, I have drastically reduced my grocery runs for top brand seltzer and put that money to my Homebrewing! I am going to show you how to get started enjoying and saving by making your own sparkling seltzer water at home in seven easy steps!
7 Easy Steps to Make your own Sparkling Seltzer Water!
Pick your favorite flavorings at More Beer; they have great stock and selection for you to choose from. The Blackberry and Grapefruit are some of our household favorites.
Depending on how much you want to use, the packaging is designed for five gallons. Technically, you could have a seltzer water tap on hand (5 gallon keg) for your entire family to enjoy. We like to mix it up and create several one-gallon batches. My family drinks a lot of variety seltzers, so this gives me the opportunity to cater to their needs. If you do choose to make one-gallon batches I would encourage you to use the ManCan Mini Keg Growler for two reasons; one it’s a gallon and you can store in your refrigerator, and two, when you are done you can use it as a growler for your beer! You can also buy single CO2 cartridges to carbonate your seltzer water in your keg growler.
I highly recommend buying a cleaner and sanitizer to prepare your keg. You want to make sure you clean (PBW) and sanitize (StarSan) all parts that will come in contact with your seltzer water.
You could use your water and perhaps treat your water based on profile, but let’s make this a nice easy process. Either use carbon filterd water from home or buy a one-gallon water jug from the store.
Read the flavoring label for calculating for the right amount for one gallon. In this case, I normally start with a little more than .25oz (.25oz = .625gallon) to one-gallon of water and then you can always add more little by little until you are happy with the amount of flavor in the water.
Once the flavor is right, I simply screw the tap on my keg, inserted my cartridge, and proceeded to carbonate the keg. I typically follow the kegging guidelines found here, with one difference, I will rock/shake my keg to carbonate my water and then take small samples to get the right carbonation that I want. It does not take a lot of CO2 nor time to carbonate.
Once carbonated, place your keg in your refrigerator and it's ready to be enjoyed!
You can complete this entire process in less than 10 minutes. I would encourage you to start off slow with the flavoring and continue to add small amounts until you have the right taste. Remember, it may taste extremely sweet, but will mellow out once carbonated.
You can use your seltzer water for a nice cool drink or use as a mixer for cocktails. My wife loves using the grapefruit seltzer water to make a low-carb Paloma (grapefruit seltzer water, lime juice, and tequila.). My daughter enjoys using Blackberry seltzer water with lemonade. The possibilities are endless in how you want to use your seltzer water. The one thing for sure is, I am saving a lot of money and producing some great seltzers in less than 10 minutes for my family and friends to enjoy.