Any beverage manufacturer must have a carbonation system designed to enrich products with carbon dioxide. In order to make the carbonation process simpler to understand, just think about how a home system works. The industrial systems follow the same concept while offering a larger capacity.
The Need for a Carbon Dioxide Tank
An empty tank is the first necessity required for a new carbonation system. Fortunately, these are easy to find. Your first step is to fill them with CO2. This can be done at wedding and hobby shops. Naturally, you can get a pre-filled tank if you want to speed up the process.
The Gas Regulator
In order to add a specific amount of carbon dioxide to the beverage, you also need a gas regulator, which is meant to regulate the high pressure gas and allow it to flow at a constant pressure. Most manufacturers use more complex regulators, such as the ones with two gauges. One of them measures the pressure in the tank while the other measures the pressure in the recipient.
You have to make sure the vinyl tubing you use is suitable for pressurized application. This means the tubes must be at least ¼ inches thick. In the majority of the cases the small regulators come with a 3/8 inch outlet, so a 5/16 inch tube should do the job.
The Ball-lock Keg Coupler
The ball-lock keg coupler is used to keep the gas under control. The piece is connected to the other end of the tubing, and it keeps the gas inside the tank until the valve on the tank’s cap is released.
The Bottle Cap
This is a special kind of cap you can secure to the mouth of the bottle. It has a valve on the other end which is connected to the keg coupler, making sure there will be no leaks in the gas supply.
You should pour some cold beverage into the bottle. It is best not to handle warm beverages because carbon dioxide dissolves better in cold liquids. When choosing the bottle, make sure it has a standard cap size.
The carbonation system large manufacturers use are similar to homemade ones. The key difference is that large manufacturers often need to customize the machinery to fit the design of the bottles and to be suitable for the beverage they are handling. Aside from this, manufacturers also use industrial-sized CO2 tanks, which can fill hundreds of bottles in a matter of hours. Beverage manufacturers also need automatized equipment offering the capability to work at high speeds. Otherwise, the company will be unable to make shipments in a timely manner.