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.
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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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.