Originally Posted by Chainfire
The machines that dispense sodas need to be calibrated often. That usually doesn't happen.
Coke is working on maintaining quality with the new hi-tech machines to dispense soda.
The new machines that dispense fifty or so different sodas use really impressive technology.
^^^^^^^Is for the most part all true^^^^^
Coke is much more hands on with their machines but some store operators are just plain lazy or trying to max profits. Pe3psi does not pay near the attention to their machines. So it's up to the store operator to make sure it's set correctly.
Both providers give the store the tools and training needed to set their fountains.
The fountains are supposed to be calibrated to a 5:1 or 5.5:1 depending on the particular syrup being used. Most restaurants never do this or wont till they have to. A beverage fountain is supplied by a figel (tank) or the newer more prevalent box of syrup then buy CO2 form some local place and get their water from the public system. This can also have a lot to do with flavor. If the water is not filtered at all, not filtered properly due top lack of maintenance the beverages will taste off also. The beverage supplier provide the fountains in most instances and will maintain them but a driver that rather does not give a crap or a restaurant just does not want to spend the time usually means the fountain will not get any maintenance unless it breaks down. The latter is usually what happens. A soda fountain should be brixed (calibrated) weekly. If it is not then there will be problems. It required a few minutes of time and a brix cup. A cup with three openings. The center is to collect carbonated water the other two are to collect the syrup. Remove the fountain head and replace it with the head that separates the water and syrup. A adjustment screw can add or take away syrup asneeded. If the fountain is set right the level of CO2 water to syrup will be at the same level in the brix cup.
All that is for a machine that has a separate head for each beverage. The gun heads that dispense several form one head are calibrated at the valve to feed the product in the back.
I spend a good while as a food service employee. before I went back to school. I actually like the work a lot but it usually does not pay real well. Being I had went to school to be a chef (didn't finish though) and the plethora of experience I had jobs as everything form a kitchen mgr, store mgr, asst chef etc. I had to mess with those infernal machines all the time. It bothered the crap out of me when it was not set right. I have been a pop addict for many-many years
I always wanted to open my own place (small home cooking place) but the damn spine is trying to say no to all that..But we'll see
I aint dead just yet.
Anyway..That's the deal with soda fountains. They are usually crap for two reasons. They have not been maintained or they are cutting back syrup to maximize profit. Though truth be told you maker a huge profit off sodas even with it set correctly. That gives you a glimpse into the mind of a store that sells weak pop to make a few extra pennies.
Here's a link to how it's done in case you're curious