Finally got my Sodastream and was so eager to use it! Right out of the box setup was super easy and I was ready to make my first soda in no time at all.
I am not a big instruction reader, but I did browse through the short first time use tips to make sure I was doing everything correct. I had watched a few video reviews on Youtube so I was already ready for some of what was going to be done.
On this model, I would make sure when putting the bottle in that you push it in as firmly as you can while at the same time locking it back. I watched a video where the guy did not inset the bottle right and while it was not earth shattering what happened, it would be enough to startle you and give you a little mess to clean up.
After you have the bottle firmly in place, pull down on it with a little force. Don't manhandle it, but if you pull down a little you will be able to tell that it is secure. Now you are ready to go.
On this model there are three carbonation levels. One, two and three. I was not sure what the difference was completely so I tried them all.
Level one carbonation is almost like a going flat soda. It isn't bad by any means, but if you had store bought it you would more than likely not drink it unless you like it that way.
Level two is my personal setting. This is a fully carbonated drink without the taste of it being flat. For me it is perfect.
Level three is really carbonated and is good if you plan to make and store some soda for more than a few days. Also really good for adding to juice because you won't put as much water in your juice, but will still have a good fizzy drink.
My first attempt at hitting level two carbonation did not go so well. As once the machine hits the first level it starts making some pretty strange noises. You can avoid a good deal of this by (strangely enough) following the instructions. My first attempt I held the carbonation button down all the way. What I should have been doing was small short bursts. Doing it this way will get you to the second level of carbonation before too much hissing and whistling and if you like super level three, just keep going and it will get there.
Another thing to consider before getting a SodaStream is to go into it ahead of time without the justification that you are going to save money. You will, but the cost of the machine and initial supplies is higher than it should be and it will take a good bit of time before any savings can be calculated. The more you use it and/or the bigger the family the faster potential savings can been seen.
The main reason you want to get this is because you can have the freedom to make any soda you want and you have 100% control over what is going into your body. Look at the ingredients of your favorite soda and I'd venture that half of what you read won't be going into your body.
So far I have tried the Cola and Root Beer and I like both very much. Very hard to tell the difference between the samples and Coke for example. My cola trial was messed up because this was the one I did not carbonate right, but I still drank it all.
I am very very excited to try my own creations! Search the web for soda flavors and you will find a TON of good ideas and recipes. My family is very fond of Cream Soda and we found a homemade recipe from Martha Stewart we can't wait to try. We bought some canning jars a few weeks back for my kid's science project and will be using the ones left over to store different flavors.
Overall I really like the device! If you have a Bed Bath and Beyond nearby, start saving the $5 and $10 and even the 20% coupons as they can refill the Co2 canister when it is empty. The lady I spoke to said it was about $14 to refill. With a coupon you can get this down to about $10.
Hope all this help! Leave comments if you have any questions!