6

I prefer a lot of fizzy drinks when they have gone flat. What is the most efficient way to decarbonate them?

I've repeatedly shaken and opened bottles, left caps off, stirred, but I wonder if there's a more efficient way.

  • 2
    Have you tried adding Mentos? :-D – holroy Aug 29 '15 at 23:24
  • 1
    Mentos works well with Diet Coke, according to YouTube. However, most of it won't be in the bottle afterwards. – BrettFromLA Aug 31 '15 at 18:12
  • 1
    @BrettFromLA, I know... That is why I've added the smiley in the comment, and made this a comment not an answer! But it does decarbonate the fizzy drink! :-D – holroy Aug 31 '15 at 18:16
  • 3
    Tbf, I didn't specify that the drink should remain in a container. 😉 – James Webster Aug 31 '15 at 18:17
9

Whilst searching for some alternatives to support an idea of mine regarding decarbonating, I found a somewhat amusing thread: How can I de-carbonate soft drinks? (from the boards of "The Straight Dope").

Based on ideas mentioned there and another one of my own:

  • Pour the drink into a larger container to increase surface area, i.e. a cake tin. Leave for a little while, before repoured into a drinkable container
  • Put the drink into a blender, and give it a spin. A less amusing option, is to stir with a spoon for a few minutes
  • Sift the drink into another container. That is either use an ordinary sifter/sieve/strainer, or use something like a coffee filter

Either of these options should agitate the drink and decarbonate it. In terms of practicality, I would opt for the latter one. Especially if at office or at home. At office you need to a get a little sifter, but they are readily available.

  • 3
    I find it amusing that you're using a mixer to un-mix a substance. I think it's my favorite approach. – John Dvorak Feb 23 '18 at 0:19
5

Adding a teaspoon full of sugar will get rid of carbonation quickly; you will of course have a slightly more sugary drink.

5

Use a vacuum wine saver. This is a product that has a bottle cap with a valve and a pump. It is intended for pumping the air out of the top of a wine bottle to keep the contents fresher but if you've ever actually made wine you'll probably know that you have to degasify it before bottling and you can use one of these.

Put the cap on bottle with the drink in and keep pumping until you see no more bubbles coming out of the liquid

  • This is the least intrusive method but requires some less common equipment than a pot just to boil it. The warmer you have the drink while doing this the faster/better it will work. – KalleMP Sep 2 '15 at 19:39
2

Being a big tea-drinker, I have 1,5l glass containers with wide openings. Simply pour your drink into a large container from a decent height. A bottle of half a liter will bubble up to the top, but once settled down again will be devoid of carbon dioxide. Depending on the drink, container there might still be a tiny bit of fizz.

  • 1
    My impression is that this method is improved by pouring the drink back and forth between two containers, i.e. repeating the process until the drink is flat enough for you. My mother used to work doing quality control in a brewery (alas, not taste-testing) and had to decarbonate the beer before carrying out chemical analysis. Pouring it back and forth between two containers was the method that her lab used. – owjburnham Jan 23 '17 at 14:33
2

Put a frying pan on the stove, pour the soda in, and crank the heat. The frying pan will preferably have ridges in it ( it wont be an exactly flat surface ). By the time the soda is boiling, it will be pretty darn flat ( a minute or so? ). You don't really need to boil it, bringing it to 60 degrees Celsius will probably suffice.

A carbonated drink is one that has had carbon dioxide ( CO2 ) dissolved into it. This is generally done by forcing CO2 into it via pressure, and this is the reason why air ( CO2, in fact ), is pushed out of the bottle when you open it.

The word "dissolved" is key, as it speaks about the solubility of the CO2 in the liquid. Temperature greatly effects this solubility, as the temperature increases, CO2 solubility decreases. If you think about why boiling water creates bubbles, this makes sense. Oxygen is not as soluble in hot water as well.

Water near its freezing point can contain the most CO2. As the temperature increases, this amount drops significantly. However, it is not a linear drop, and by about 50-60 degrees Celsius, the curve is leveling off. As KalleMP states, you don't really have to bring it to a boil. However, what kind of life hack is it if you're holding a thermometer in your hand? :)

There is also the fact that a freshly opened bottle of soda contains more CO2 than the atmosphere, so the CO2 will escape even from ice cold soda. Increasing the exposed surface area of the soda will increase the rate of this escape.

The bubbles that form inside your glass are doing so at places that actually contain microscopic air bubbles ( think porous ). The CO2 will rapidly collect in these points, and larger bubbles will form. These are the bubbles that you see coming off the side of your glass.

So, high temperature, surface area, pores... I'm going to go with boiling it on a frying pan.

  • 1
    Have you actually tried this? And will not this change the flavour considerably (at least if it starts boiling)? – holroy Aug 30 '15 at 12:21
  • 2
    Yes, I've tried it and it works. – Carl Aug 30 '15 at 22:43
  • 1
    I've done this before too. Hot flat soda. – Doug Watkins Aug 31 '15 at 4:15
  • 2
    @Doug, it sounds so good when you say it like that :) – Carl Aug 31 '15 at 4:33
  • the title says "quickest". I doubt boiling it, waiting for it to cool down and pouring it back in the bottle is any quick. – Laurent S. Aug 31 '15 at 12:45
1

My girlfriend stirs her drink with a raw wooden spoon. This can also work with a bamboo stick but since it has less surface area, it takes a little longer. It's still quick enough, after about 3-4 stirs it will be completely decarbonated.

A warning, however, don't fill your glass to the top, because when decarbonating, it creates bubbles and there's a chance the glass will overflow.

I couldn't believe how well it worked the first time I tried it. I don't know exactly why it works so well, so if someone can explain it, please do.

  • Probably all of the pores on the wood/bamboo's surface, which a metal or plastic spoon doesn't have. The pores gather and then release the carbon dioxide as bubbles. – John Locke Feb 14 at 3:01
-1
  1. Take a paper napkin (also works with kitchen paper towel) and twist it into a tube shape;
  2. Pour the drink into a cup and simply stir with the napkin.

The gas bubbles will fill the free spaces between the napkin's particles, de-carbonating your drink.

-1

I added 6 drops of 12% food grade hydrogen peroxide to 24 ounces of a Coke Zero and watched the carbon dioxide disappear in about 2 minutes. It is only safe to drink the mixture if you use with food grade hydrogen peroxide, which has to specially ordered. Do not use topical grade hydrogen peroxide which you can purchase at a drug store.

  • Note that food grade does not mean you can eat it. Food grade means it can be used in food. So while food grade H₂O₂ won't have any toxic impurities, the peroxide itself may be harmful. I'm not saying it necessarily is at that quantity, but it bears checking. – piojo Feb 7 at 17:24
  • Please do not drink hydrogen peroxide! Unless it has been broken down, it is still harmful. What makes it good for sanitizing wounds is that it rips electrons off of bacterial cells. That causes the cells to rip open and kills the bacteria. The peroxide does the same to human cells too, so drinking hydrogen peroxide is a very bad idea. – John Locke Feb 14 at 3:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.