Experiments With Mineral Water …With Lasers

In recent weeks, I’ve upped my game on mineral water exploration and experiments. I’ve had a SodaStream for almost ten years, and for a long time I barely knew the difference between seltzer, soda water, club soda, and tonic. (Hint: two of those are the same.) Let me share with you what I’ve learned and what I’ve built in the process.

Back in the day, I made some weak attempts at club soda, since you can do that with carbonated water and a tiny bit of salt and baking soda. It was okay, and not a terribly reproducible non-recipe of just adding pinches of things. Last year, in chatting with someone in the XOXO Slack, I learned of a local tech company that has not just beer taps in the office, but also mineral water taps. They make their own. This conversation then led me to a book, Fix the Pumps, primarily about making old-timey sodas (which sounds amazing), but also with a chapter on various sparkling mineral waters. Do you want Perrier? All you need is the right ratios of calcium carbonate, calcium sulphate, sodium chloride, and silica. I know a lot of these reverse-engineered mineral water recipes are out there on the internet, but this book acted as a catalyst to start from. Well, to eventually start from.

As I said, that was about a year ago. A few weeks ago, I finally ordered some food-grade chemicals and a little micro-spatula to help measure. Since I was making individual drinks or 1 liter bottles, the bags of minerals and salts were a little too bulky to comfortably deal with. I figured I should put together something that would work better for me and also look nice in the kitchen.

Small Test Tube Rack
My new kitchen test tube rack

That was my second design. The first had a lot more interlocking wood pieces, but barely made it through cardboard prototyping once I realized I had those metal standoffs, which would give it a very utilitarian and industrial look, offset against the elegant wood and glass.

The design itself is simple. There are two layers of wood at the bottom, a solid one as a base and the other has bottle-sized holes to prevent the bottles from wiggling around too much. That other is repeated at the top.

Design File

If you want to build your own, my parts list included:

Were I to do this again, I probably would have added some holes in the test-tube/bottle rack for the spatula/spoon to stand upright alongside the bottles. In fact, I can still do that, even without lasers. I just need to disassemble and drill a couple of holes.

As for the actual mineral water flavors and combinations… I’m still experimenting. I’ll report back if I find anything outstanding.

Posted in: Food Projects

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Brian Enigma

Brian Enigma is a Portlander, manipulator of atoms & bits, minor-league blogger, and all-around great guy. He typically writes about the interesting “maker” projects he's working on, but sometimes veers off into puzzles, software, games, local news, and current events.

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