Force carbonation is one of the methods of carbonating. You can also do the natural carbonation method but more and more people are opting for the force carbonation because it is much easier though will cost you a bit more. In force carbonation, it is very important to have a CO2 tank. You can either buy one or just rent it or borrow the tank. What is important is that you have a source of CO2 that you will be using to force the carbon dioxide into the liquid of your choice.
CO2 tanks and force carbonation really go hand in hand but there are other methods for force carbonation that you can do at home even without a CO2 tank. The cheaper way is to let vinegar or lemon juice (not artificial) react with caustic soda in one container and add tubing from that container to the container where you will be doing the carbonation with your chosen liquid. The use of vinegar can add a vinegar-like taste to the drink so you can just use the lemon juice as it gives the same effect in carbonation.
For carbonation is not to be messed around with because it can get quite dangerous. Take note you are dealing with a pressure tank here and you are putting a gas into a sealed container. Just imagine blowing on a balloon, if you add too much of air in it, the balloon pops. It’s the same thing with a sealed container for carbonation. Adding too much of the gas, no matter how thick your container is, eventually it’s going to give in and explode. The balloon, once it pops, will only make a sound and there won’t be any serious damages that may occur, but it’s completely different when you’re dealing with thicker sealed containers that can throw fragments of its material to the air and can cause some damages. Of course, just imagine too how much noise it can generate.
There are handy CO2 tanks that you can also use especially if you just want to use it at home. These are small tanks with enough gas to carbonate several bottles of your soda and you can even have them refilled at your local gas refilling stations where CO2 is available. You won’t find it difficult to find these stores because CO2 is also used for air guns and there are many enthusiasts for air guns anywhere. Just make sure that whatever CO2 tank you are using, you have a regulator that goes with it. This regulator is very important because you have to know how much pressure built up inside your container of beverage. Don’t ever try to carbonate your drinks using CO2 if you don’t have a way to check out the pressure. Others use the observation technique by using PET bottles and squeezing it, if it can’t be squeezed then it’s already packed with a lot of CO2 so you should already stop. This technique might work but can still be dangerous if you are still new to this method. Experience will eventually show you the signs when the pressure is already enough and when it goes beyond that. For starters, a regulator with your CO2 tank is a must.