19. August 2020

Siphon – Seltz – Selz – reaktivieren, reattivare, use again!

This is the world’s most famous soda syphon. It’s genuine Italian design, and still available, for prices up to a hundred Euro. Just google soda seltz when in Italy, or saccab or sergio asti.
   The pictured red and orange model is somewhat unusual in colors, and I ask forgiveness to the unknown copyright holder (let me know and I’ll correct it).
   Mine is classic blue and chrome, see below.

The Italian name Seltz (sometimes wrongly spelled Selz without t) derives from the German Selters, and that’s a water that springs in the small town of Niederselters (“Lower Selters”) just north of Frankfurt am Main, in the Taunus mountains.
   Here is the full Seltz etymology, albeit in German: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selterswasser#Namenkundliches . This is the English version: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selters . Even Alka-Seltzer got its name from the fountain, linguistically …

The famous bottle to make seltz was introduced by S.A.C.C.A.B. of Milan in 1956, the Società anonima costruzione, commercio apparecchi brevettati. It liquidated in 2005 in Swiss Ticino.
   The designer Sergio Asti, born on May
25, 1926, became famous with this bottle. Wikipedia: “While still a student [of Politecnico di Milano] he designed a soda syphon for Saccab which became an icon of 1950s Italian design. It was nominated for a Compasso d'Oro in 1956, exhibited at the Milan Triennial exhibition in 1957, and later at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.[3] It is in the permanent collection of the Triennale di Milano museum.” 

At home while in summer on our mountain farm in South Tyrol we used this practical sparkling dispenser, some seventy years ago. The unit – see bottom – shows the manually engraved serial number 2041 under the 18/8. 18/8 is not 2.25 here, but stands for a specific popular quality of steel, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_304_stainless_steel : “In the commercial cookware industry it is known as 18/8 stainless steel. In the unified numbering system it is UNS S30400.”.

So. What’s the problem? All these historic bottles are empty

And they miss the most important part: the screw-on cover for the gas cartridges. In German these are called Kapselhalter or Kartuschenhalter, capsule or cartouche holder.
   You fill the bottle to some two thirds with fresh (Alpine … ) water, put in the plastic tube that reaches to the bottom, and screw close the cover. And then you put a CO2 capsule into the holder (not a Capsule with N2O to make whipped cream!), and screw it in until the capsule opens and releases its gas into the bottle, with an audible blubber. You should now remove the capsule and its holder before serving.

Where do you get capsules from? Local shops used to recycle them, but today they rarely even sell them. Looking at the internet today I found capsules for setz at about 20 Euro per 20 or ten for about five, and the more pupular ones for whipped cream for half this price.
   One of the manufacturer is Isi in Vienna (https://isi-shop.com). 
· Isis’s cream capsules – the wrong ones for soda – are marked U4537 and contain 8 gram N2O, Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, with all its strange properties. More at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrous_oxide .
· The CO2 capsules – the ones we need here for soda – are  marked Y9037 or Z1551B or Z1911 or whatever … – and contain 8.4 gram CO2, carbon dioxide, to make the bubbles. (All this without guarantee for correctness …)

But finally: Where do you get capsule holders from? The originals in cast aluminium usually are lost. As you need just one – just buy a cream maker and use its holder. It will fit both the same size steel capsule (with different content!) and the unusual traditional thread.


Here you see the original capsule holder, I think of cast aluminium. (From my album Farm February 2019)

The capsules by GIMAS, called « bombolette » (little bombs) in Italian, were green and recylable and contained « anidride carbonca pura «.

And here at left my own old Seltz maker with the white capsule holder from a brand new whipped cream dispenser.
   The whipped cream dispensers are dangerous! They have no saftety release for too high pressures and can explode vividly! See https://bit.ly/fj2Z5V6WI or https://blogabissl.blogspot.com/2020/06/hochgefarliche-sahne.html (German, but with pictures).

Or buy a new screw-on capsule holder, as I did. You get them for five to ten Euro new.

The following is a German Amazon screenshot from buying both capsule holder (»Kapselhalter«) and soda capsules online:

charger capsule
Kapsel, Patrone, gas charger –
U4537 etc. =
N2O for whipped cream –
Y9037 etc. =
CO2  for soda


 full gas charger capsule, seal unbroken





When you loaded (charged) the bottle with soda (CO2) shake a bit and remove the capsule right away! The pressure in the bottle is maintained by a one-way valve. For it to operate you must unscrew the capsule, or else you loose the pressure within the bottle quickly. With just the cover cap screwed on my old dispenser holds the pressure forever …

Prices for 8 g CO2 capsules in Germany Sept. 18, 2020:
· 50 (5×10) from iSi € 24,30 + delivery  ≙ 1 for € 0,49
· 50 from Mosa via Amazon € 23,50, free delivery ≙ 1 for € 0,47
· 50 (5×10) from Kayser via Amazon  € 37,50 + 5,59 delivery = 43,09 ≙ 1 for 0,86

Handy bicycle pumps may also use CO2 capsules. Some capsules are compatible and without thread (ohne Gewinde), but in bike shops usually much more expensive.

Links to this blog entry: https://bit.ly/fj3iWzyEn

 = https://blogabissl.blogspot.com/2020/08/siphon-seltz-selz-reaktivieren.htmlBesucherzaehler


More links and related stories:

italiano: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acqua_di_Seltz

english: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soda_siphon


deutsch: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siphonflasche



“The soda siphon (sometimes spelled syphon), also known as the seltzer bottle or siphon seltzer bottle, is a device for storing and dispensing carbonated beverages (typically carbonated water) while maintaining the internal pressure, thereby preventing it from going flat.”


https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siphonflasche Im Gegensatz zu Sodasiphons werden Sahnesiphons (in der Schweiz Rahmbläser genannt) nicht mit Kohlendioxid [CO2], sondern mit Distickstoffmonoxid (N2O [Lachgas], oft nur Stickstoff genannt) befüllt. Auch hier haben sich mittlerweile Einwegkartuschen durchgesetzt.

Autoseltz 58c,

Non conosco il sifone, ma il portacartucce ha un passo di filettatura che si adatta a molti tipi di sifone.


Il sifone da seltz – o “Autoseltz” – disegnato da Sergio Asti (Milano, *1926) per Saccab nel 1956 è uno dei simboli del “Bel Design” italiano, che furoreggiò in tutto il mondo fra la seconda metà degli anni Quaranta e la prima metà dei Sessanta dello scorso secolo.

tipo 56/00, tipo C

see https://www.italianways.com/it/lautoseltz-saccab-di-sergio-asti-design-e-cocktail/

https://mixology.eu/soda-siphon-fizz-geschichte-gegenwart/ Bis zum Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts waren wiederbefüllbare Kartuschen mit Pfand üblich, mittlerweile gibt es nur noch Einwegkartuschen.

Michael Andres: Hallo Pia! Ich habe einen kleinen Getränkehandel in Bregenz (Dreiländereck Deutschland, Schweiz und Österreich); wir befüllen noch die alten Siphonflaschen, und du kannst, wenn du Genaueres wissen willst, gerne ein Mail an mich schicken bzw. vielleicht ein Foto von deinen Flaschen schicken, dann kann ich dir sagen, ob wir sie evtl. befüllen können. office@andres-weine.at lg. Michael

Kapselhalter https://www.amazon.de/Sparklets-Kartuschenhalter-Einsatz-Vintage-Sodaflaschen-Siphon/dp/B01MCV7SIZ


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