Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Nitrous cream soda

Everything good about whipped cream, in a drink.
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
  [vote for,

This is a shameless spawn of the helium soda idea, but different enough that I wanted to put it up. I wondered why CO2 is exclusively used for carbonation. Maybe the term carbonation obligated the beverage makers. More likely it is because naturally carbonated beverages (like beer) contain CO2, and so this principle was carried over to soda.
CO2 in water is acidic. I suspect that this is the reason whipped cream makers pressurize the cans with N2O - acid would curdle the whipped cream, and nitrous oxide does not make acid in solution.
The acidic fizz of CO2 does not necessarily go with all types of soda. I wonder if cream and fruit sodas might not be more pleasant if pressurized with N2O. In addition, ingredients could be used (cream, for example) which would be incompatible with CO2.
bungston, May 25 2003

Helium soda http://www.halfbake.../idea/Helium_20soda
[bungston, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Physical properties of N2O http://mattson.creighton.edu/N2O/
[bungston, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Somewhat off-topic article about beer bringing about civilization http://beer.tcm.hut...c/SumerianBeer.html
[rapid transit, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

(?) Phyiscal properties of CO2 http://mattson.crei...u/CO2/CO2_Info.html
This guy at Nebraska has a really fine gases website! [bungston, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       (A man laughs histerically in the corner of the room).
"What's so funny? What's his problem?"
"He's been snortin' coke."
"Mexican Brown? China White?"
RayfordSteele, May 25 2003

       I've been shamelessly spawned! Yay!
friendlyfire, May 26 2003

       Interestingly enough, some beers are dispensed with Nitrogen. Guinness, for one, is dispensed on tap with a 77% N2 to 23% CO2 blend using a special nozzle. This is what gives it its creamy appearance and cascading head.
birdsong, May 26 2003

       I wonder if that is because the nitrogen comes out of solution faster, whipping up a frothy head. The remaining beer is then only slightly fizzy with CO2. I wonder if the Guinness people charge their bottled beer with nitrogen as well? Nitrous soda would be bubbly in much the same way as regualr CO2 sodas: solubility for N2O vs CO2 is 56 vs 74 ml gas/100 ml water.
bungston, May 26 2003

       Nitrous Oxide, or N2O (laughing gas), was used widely by dentists as an anaesthetic. Laugh-Trip Cream Soda! Hundreds of people with soda and chips at a horror premiere, all giggling...
mailtosalonga, Apr 08 2004

       carbonation of soda was directly tied to beer - n.b. that the term "soft" drinks refers to alternatives to alcohol, and that modern soft drinks gained significant ground first during Prohibition.   

       i've achieved promising results from initial tests using nitrous in my brewery lab. N2O has same mw as CO2, so bubbles are same size; the head seems to dissipate less quickly though, reverse of expectations. mouthfeel is more slippery, less grating on the teeth like carbonation; sweet taste allows balance with bittering agents without excessive addition of malt sugars and consequently increasing alcohol levels - for the same reason, nitrous in soft drinks would probably allow for lower sugar content without sacrificing taste.   

       will post more results when available.
beyowka, Apr 30 2004

       Very cool stuff, [beyowka]. Real-world reports are rare and wonderful here in armchair land. I look forward to your followup.   

       You mention that the head dissipates less quickly. Since N2O supports combustion I wonder if you could burn the head off with a lighter? If the drink were even slightly alcoholic this would work especially well. It would carmelize any sugars present for a good toasty flavor.
bungston, Apr 30 2004

       even though (http://mattson.creighton.edu/N2O/) shows that the presence of nitrous can reignite a glowing splint, apparently nitrous is a flammable oxidant only at high temperatures (such as that would occur in an automobile engine, hence NOS), such that it will burn at lower temps, but won't ignite of it's own accord unless under more intense conditions than afforded by typical beverages. i found this out when i was researching the oxidant effects of N2O on beer (which as *everybody* knows is extremely sensitive to staling in the presence of O2; CO2 acts as a protecting buffer in this regard, N2O may be different, I'll let y'all know)   

       In brewing, the head is considered a good thing; not only protecting against staling, but coagulating bitter hop acids and proteinaceous compounds and removing them from the drink. The head would also change due to inappropriate carbonation - or, more importantly, the presence of unwanted biological action. Noticing the change is important with homebrews, at least; people take standard larger brews for granted.   

       A drinker may think that a beer with head means the mug simply isn't filled the whole way; it's a personal preference, I guess. Having pounded my share of Flaming Doctor Peppers, I will definitely try the carmelization thing (i got one of those creme brulee torches a few years ago). One of my beers in progress is a coffee oatmeal stout (beer for breakfast, nutritious AND delicious), if the toasted head thing works, that would be the one to try it on.   

       I'm going to go back to the original topic now, so as not to totally rob this thread, but I'll make some cream soda or some kinda soft drink this weekend and charge half one way, and half the other and let y'all know. I think nitrous in sweet drinks is more than appropriate, and can't wait to find out. If i don't post back, i prolly blew myself up or something ha ha ha...
beyowka, Apr 30 2004

       I thought that the co2 in pop came from carbonic acid, that broke into c02 and water when de-pressurized. Croissant for the idea, I'd drink it
swimr, May 01 2004

       ///I thought that the co2 in pop came from carbonic acid, that broke into c02 and water when de-pressurized. ///   

       AFAIK, it's injected with the soda at the factory. The CO2 produces carbonic acid under pressure (the solubility goes up), not vice versa.
Macwarrior, May 01 2004

       We haven't heard back from [beyowka] in a while. Perhaps it's a bit too flammable?
Worldgineer, Feb 18 2005

       ok i'm finally back - here's the scoop;   

       tried originally with the cream chargers, but i couldn't figure out a way to control or measure the pressure accurately, so I sought a tank that I could put a spare regulator on. Naturally, since tanks are not widely available, this took some time, but not too much; you just have to know who to ask nicely. Once that was obtained, I mixed up some homemade root beer and cream soda, both of which tasted like raw ass, so instead of continuing with the soda/fruit juice thing, I reverted to the more familiar realm of homebrew for the base liquid. Since beer is universally charged with CO2, this would be an even better comparison, as not all fruit drinks and sodas are carbonated. So I had two 3-gal kegs of homebrew, charged one with CO2 and the other with the same volume of N2O. Then i did taste tests - tough work, right? Some notes:   

       - The head on the different glasses was virtually the same, the N2O lasted a bit longer and the lacing residue was more prominent - perhaps the gas reacts differently with the proteins that form the head. - The mouthfeel was a little bit more *thick* with the N2O, taste no different (anticipated sweeter, didn't observe any difference) - N2O does not appear to be sufficiently flammable to support combustion in this setting - I don't expect that the mixture is flammable in any way. I have no reason to believe that the caramelization thing was going to work. Maybe with other sugar additives?   

       Most notable was the difference in the chemical-brain interaction; apparent, yet gradual. In my experience with the methods of ingestion, the inhalant form gives immediate and undeniable positive results, and extended use can bring some negative side effects like sore joints, headache, etc. With drinking nitrous in solution, the positive effects are virtually nonexistent, and, contrary to my prediction that the abundance of B vitamins in yeast would counteract the thiamin depletion of nitrous use, the negative effects are manifested, even a little bit more strongly, after extended use. In fact, the negative effects appear to persist even longer than usual.   

       Therefore, in my opinion the mixture does not improve on the original formula in any way. which, given the experimental nature of man, seems to fall in line with the whole "if it really was good someone would already be doing it" idea. Yes, this is with beer, so my juice/soda experiment was altered, but because my assessment leads me to believe that it is the method of ingestion and not the mixture liquid that is the source of the observations, I am not personally compelled to conduct another experiment with another liquid. If you are not convinced, feel free to conduct your own experiment.
beyowka, May 17 2005

       Beyowka, we hereby bestow upon the The Royal Order Of Homebrew Test Pilot, an esteemed honor reserved for brave souls such as yourself. We recognize you for your hard work and daring sacrifice at great risk to yourself.   

       Now you must excuse me, I have to see if the sake is ready to be bottled.
normzone, May 17 2005

       oohh, this idea makes me just ITCH for a soda or something to drink right now. I'm thristy and hungry as hell and not a good tasting nothing in sight! Althought it is lunchtime, I never eat lunch, I hate t3h cafeteria.
EvilPickels, May 18 2005


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