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June 24, 2024 4 min read

We’re sure by now you’ve worked out how convenient mini kegs are over bottles, in fact we’ve written about it in the past, but one of the main draws of using kegs over glass bottles, besides the convenience (hooray for no longer washing 100s of bottles), is that you can force carbonate and dispense directly from the keg!

The easiest and most cost effective way to force carbonate your mini kegs is with SodaStream bottles. So let's take a look at how you can best use your iKegger mini keg system and SodaStream bottles to get the most out of them.


SodaStream bottle attached to iKegger mini keg

SodaStream Bottles vs Co2 Cartridges

Both SodaStream bottles and Co2 cartridges functionally do the same thing, but with everything there's pros and cons to both, so let's take a look and see why upgrading to using SodaStream bottles is worth it.


There’s no doubt about it, cartridges are the most portable way to use co2 with your mini keg, their size means you can easily store them in your pocket or keg sleeve while out and about. They also easily screw directly into your regulator. SodaStream bottles on the other hand, although still very portable, are heavier and take up more space. They also need extra equipment to connect to your regulator, including a SodaStream adapter and depending on what size keg you have, you’ll also want a remote gas line to make it easier (luckily we have all of these things in a handy kit ready to go).


Although 16g and 8g co2 cartridges are super portable, they don’t last very long, one 16g bulb can dispense around 5L, especially if you’re planning on force carbonating or dispensing large amounts from your keg. In fact one SodaStream bottle is about the equivalent of  25 x 16g co2 cartridges(or 50 x 8g cartridges), so you can see how the cost of using cartridges would pretty quickly add up, and once you’ve moved past the initial investment for the extra equipment the savings you make will be worth it.


Even though cartridges are recyclable, unfortunately, many still end up in landfills, whereas SodaStream bottles can be exchanged for refilling at almost every supermarket causing less waste and having a smaller impact on the environment.


With these points in mind it's easy to see how investing in a SodaStream bottle is worth it, especially when you look at some of the other things you’re able to do with it, like force carbonating your drinks!


Force Carbonate like a pro

Force carbonating your beverage of choice is as easy as connecting your iKegger 2.0 regulator to your mini keg, attaching the SodaStream bottle and turning it on.

Of course the level of carbonation you want depends on what you’re making, for example every beer style has a different recommended level of carbonation and this applies to just about every fizzy beverage you can think of, from hard seltzer to sodas. We’ve got a handy table that’ll get you started on your new force carbonation journey.

Once you’ve connected everything together, you can turn the regulator on and set it to the correct pressure. If you’re wanting to get the most out of force carbonating your beverage and potentially carbonate it faster consider doing the following.

Close up of SodaStream bottle connected to Keg

Chill your keg

One of the best things you can do to elevate your carbonation game is by making sure both your keg and the liquid you’re wanting to carbonate is cold! In large breweries they have cold rooms or temperature controlled vats, but the next best thing is to leave your keg in the fridge overnight before filling it. This way the liquid spends less time cooling down before the carbonation can start.

Shake your keg

Although it might sound counterintuitive, one of the best ways to speed up the carbonation process is to shake your keg. The simple explanation is that by shaking the keg, you’re increasing the surface area of your liquid, and the larger the surface area the more liquid the co2 from your SodaStream bottle has to absorb into. This speeds up the force carbonating process and you can repeat as necessary.

Wait and Test

Time will always be the biggest factor when it comes to force carbonating in your mini keg. However, depending on the temperature your beverage can only hold a certain amount of co2 so even if you wait longer it might not become “more carbonated”. The best way to know if your beverage has finished carbonating is to try it! If you’re happy with the level of carbonation you can get drinking, but if it’s not carbonated enough you can check the temperature, shake the keg again to increase the surface area and wait again.

If it’s too carbonated, turn your regulator off, release some pressure with the pressure release valve, give the keg a shake and release the pressure again, repeating the process and letting it sit for a while can help remove some of the carbonation.


Now with your perfectly carbonated beverage it’s time for the best part, drinking it! With the same SodaStream bottle you used for force carbonating, you can also use it for dispensing. Most beverages can be dispensed with ease at around 10-12 psi.


iKegger mini keg with SodaStream bottle and a glass of beer

It’s pretty easy to see on a whole how using SodaStream bottles over single use cartridges with your iKegger mini keg just makes more sense in the long run. Although they need extra attachments, which of course does come with an initial cost, the savings overall and being able to force carbonate and dispense all from a single bottle makes the investment worth it - and that’s without taking the environmental sustainability aspects into account!

So if you’re ready to elevate your keg game maybe it’s time to switch over to SodaStream bottles and enjoy a whole new world of perfectly carbonated beverages!

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