i love seltzer. i've loved it long before it became the hip millennial drink, when i was weening myself off of sodas. it's pretty much all i drink during the summer, besides ice water and the occasional smoothie when the mood hits me. besides my love of seltzer, i also love saving money, and buying all these cases of seltzer week after week has made me think that i could probably save some bucks if i just made my own. i've known for a long time that it's actually quite easy to make seltzer, i just need some way to carbonate it with carbon dioxide. when sodastream came out i initially thought it was a great invention but soured on the idea of buying one when i saw how much replacement proprietary CO2 cartridges cost. you were also limited to the amount of seltzer you could make, that it all had to fit in its container. so periodically i've toyed with the idea of building my own home carbonation setup.

this sunday morning i finally got around to visiting the modern homebrew emporium on mass ave, figured they'd have a lot of the equipment i needed to make my own seltzer. i've visited before, though ironically every time it was to look for supplies unrelated to making beer (fermented sauerkrauts, moonshines). i was surprised they weren't familiar with seltzer making, but i knew what things i needed: CO2 tank, regulator, tubing, and hose attachments.

i already had a sense of pricing, so i was shocked how much the equipment would cost if i bought through homebrew. they sold 5 pounds CO2 tanks for $106 pre-filled. that was almost twice as much as brand new empty tanks i saw on amazon for just $65. granted, it'd probably cost me an additional $15 to get it filled, bringing the price to $80, but the tanks they sold all looked used and battered. they also do refills by $26, with the stipulation that you trade in your tank with one of theirs.

even more expensive was the dual gauge regulator. i knew they were pricey, but not the $80 price they gave me for one of theirs; i found similar regulators on ebay for less than $33. it was around that time i decided i'd go the online route to collect my seltzer making equipment, if i do decide to do it.

5 lbs. CO2 tank$106 (filled)$50 (empty) (+$7.99 shipping) homebrewers.com
60 psi dual gauge regulator$80$32.58 ebay.com
gas line assembly$10 (ball lock only, tubing sold separately)$9.93 (ball lock, swivel nut, 3ft 5/16" tubing, hose clamps) amazon.com
stainless steel carbonation capN/A$10 ebay.com

* not including tubing (~$5), hose clamps (~$2), and carbonation cap ($10), actual total around $213; ** not including ~$15 to get tank filled with CO2, actual total $126.

i ended up doing a cost analysis comparing homebrew and online prices. in total it'd probably cost me $126 to buy everything online and go someplace to get my tank filled with CO2. compare that to the $213 price if i bought everything from homebrew (i'd still need to buy a carbonation cap online, they didn't carry those). so going online would save me $87. that's not including the flavoring i'd need to get to drink something other than bland seltzer. i have a dream of making jasmine seltzer, something i've never seen sold in stores, or maybe rose seltzer as well.

so i did some math: assuming the average cost of a dozen case of seltzer costs $3 on sale, and add another 60¢ to that for deposit, that comes out to $3.60 a case. with the cost of a DIY carbonation rig costing $126, that's the equivalent of 35 cases of seltzer, or 420 cans. i don't know how many cases of seltzer i go through in a typical summer, but i'd estimate 20 cases on average. that means the seltzer rig would pay for itself after 2 years.

the one thing holding me back is that i only drink seltzer during the summer, rarely in the winter, as i usually switch to hot drinks like tea and the occasionally coffee. i also don't know how much seltzer i can make with a 5 lbs. tank of carbon dioxide. but i have other uses for CO2, like injecting my aquarium plants to make them grow better. but for that, i'd need a special aquarium CO2 regulator.

i had some buttercup squash porridge with pork floss for lunch. i was supposed to get a haircut but my mother was busy with her knitting and her spanish netflix show (4 seasons) so we postponed it for tomorrow. not counting the game on thursday night, this sunday marked the start of the football season for most of the NFL. there was a division rivalry game between the bills and the jets and a rams and panthers game. i was more interested in how the colts and 49ers were doing (though those games weren't televised), both with former patriots QB's at the helm. jacoby almost won his game, sending it into overtime, but the chargers ended up with the victory. jimmy fared better, winning his match against the buccaneers. the main event was of course the steelers-patriots game later in the evening.

we have a little 1.5W solar panel. it's really too small to do anything useful except to trickle charge some batteries. performance-wise it hasn't really been that great, but we always attributed that to the fact that it's only 1.5W. but my father took a voltage reading today and noticed it was only giving out 80mV, essentially zero.

today we uninstalled the air conditioners. we made room for storage in the sun room by finally taking my meade telescope down into the basement. the one in the living room was easy; just wheeled it out. the one in my parents' bedroom was harder because it was a window unit that had some water in it so we left it out in the backyard to dry out.

patriots kicked off their 2019-2020 season with a game against the pittsburgh steelers on sunday night football. the steelers have never won in foxboro, and tonight would be no different. it was a game - in belichick parlance - where all 3 phases were working well. the final score demonstrated that fact - 33-3 - offense scored 33 points, while defense held pittsburgh to just 3 points. josh gordon scored the first touchdown of the game, and made some incredible catches in the middle of the field where he either broke away from a tackle or was hit but kept his composure and held on to the ball. it got to a point in the 4th quarter that i wondered if we shouldn't have sat out some players just to keep them from getting injured. patriots seemed to have escaped the injury bug with the exception of the right tackle marcus cannon who went down, hopefully he's okay.

as impressive a performance was tonight against a supposedly good team, the patriots weren't even operating on all cylinders. van noy couldn't play tonight because he wife was in the hospital giving birth. antonio brown hadn't even set foot in the patriots locker room yet. wide receiver demaryius thomas was out with a hamstring injury and drafted wide receiver phenom n'keal harry was out on injury reserve, won't be play until mid-season. and there's the undying rumor that rob gronkowski might come back at some point. i can't remember the last time new england was this stacked with offensive talent.

i don't like it when we play the steelers or the packers. not because i hate those teams, actually it's the exact opposite: if i wasn't a patriots fan, i think i would choose either pittsburgh or green bay. when we play them i hate seeing them lose, i rather we never meet at all. the patriots' schedule this season looks pretty easy. don't see any problems until maybe in november, when new england plays the eagles and cowboys, followed by the chiefs in december.