Currently I use the "shake" method of carbonation to carbonate beverages. You pressurize the bottle with CO2 at about 35 PSI then shake it vigorously for about 30 seconds and it is fully carbonated.

Recently I have discovered that beer makers use a "diffuser" which is a cylinder with microscopic holes in it to inject CO2 into their liquid (beer) and carbonate it. Will a diffuser work as well as shaking and fully saturate the liquid?

One of my concerns is that some beer manuals describe carbonation as taking hours or days. I want to carbonate a bottle in like 5 seconds rather than the 30 seconds it is currently taking me.

Typically I am carbonating one to two liters of water/syrup at a time.

Concerning Soda Stream: the problem with something like Soda Stream is two fold. First of all, their CO2 canisters are small and expensive. The other is that the momentary injection type system they use (which I could duplicate if I wanted) can only get the pressure up to about 20 PSI which is way below saturation. With my system I can easily get fully saturated 35-40 PSI, which is what a soda can or fountain produces.

  • As a note, part of why it takes hours or days in beer is the huge volume (five gallons, often) and the fact that you want beer to age a bit before you drink it... it tends to make the flavors better.
    – Catija
    Sep 3, 2015 at 19:43
  • @Catija not only the volume, but the fact that beer is often naturally carbonated, rather than force carbonated. It appears that the OP is wanting to force carbonate after the primary fermentation.
    – moscafj
    Sep 3, 2015 at 20:50
  • @moscafj The OP seems to be talking about soda specifically and only mentions beer to ask if the beer method could be used for soda... which doesn't have a fermentation process or any sort of yeasts present for natural fermentation... but the OP could probably help the question by specifically stating what sorts of "carbonated beverages" are being discussed.
    – Catija
    Sep 3, 2015 at 20:54
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    @moscafj honestly, even with force carbonation, beer takes several days while bottle conditioning takes closer to two weeks.
    – Catija
    Sep 3, 2015 at 20:55
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    @Catija I am way beyond Soda Stream. I have pressure regulators, CO2 tanks, pipe fittings etc. I already said that. I can make 2 liters of soda in 30 seconds. I am trying to find a way I can make it without having to do manual agitation. Sep 4, 2015 at 2:09

1 Answer 1


The solubility of Carbon Dioxide (CO₂) in water (or beer, soda, soft-drinks) is governed by the pressure of CO₂, temperature of water, and the amount of CO₂ already dissolved in the liquid.

Obviously the surface area of contact is important in helping the gas dissolve. This is where these sintered steel stones help break up the gas into micro bubbles. I regularly use a one of these diffusers to dissolve O₂ into an aqueous solution. While it's better than not having a diffuser, it's no magic solution. I'd expect you'd still have to shake the vessel. At no time can I adjust the rate of gas so it never rises to the top of the vessel - that is: it does never completely dissolve.

So to answer your question: Yes it helps, but no you will still probably need to shake the bottle. Also the diffusers themselves need to be carefully cleaned and sanitised (by boiling) after use.

So what can be done here? Temperature is a primary factor, and probably the only one that is easily controlled. If you can cool your beverage down to near-zero, the gas will dissolve more readily.

Solubility of CO2 in water


"Effect of temperature on the rate of CO2 dissolution" Solubility of CO2 in water

Note how much faster the CO₂ dissolves in colder water. Obviously higher pressure helps too.

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