The Simple DIY CO2 Method
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:27 PM   #1
Rich Guano
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Default The Simple DIY CO2 Method

Allow me share with you my favorite formula for Home Grown Yeast.

I have seen a threads with people struggling to produce DIY CO2. The problem lies not with the ingredients, or the measurement of each ingredient, but with the deployment of the ingredients.

First off lets not refer to this as "making CO2", but rather growing a yeast culture. It just so happens that a healthy yeast culture will produce Carbon Dioxide as a bi-product of breaking down sugars into alcohol. Or in our case the alcohol IS the bi-product.


Water: After you have thoroughly cleaned the bottle you will be using, fill it 3/4 full with room temperature de-chlorinated tap water. (edit: Strike the de-chlorinated. Agreed it is not necessary)

Sugar: Add 1/2 cup of granulated sugar for every quart of water in the container. I believe this is the same ratio as making Koolaid. Whatever. Now shake the ingredients until all the sugar is dissolved. If need be you can stir the mixture in a larger container before pouring into your bottle. Do not add the yeast until all the sugar is dissolved.

Yeast: Gently add the Fleischmann's rapid rise yeast (1 teaspoon per quart) by sprinkling it on the surface of the water. Allow time for the yeast to hydrate on the surface and then sink on its own into the sugar water. After about 15 minutes you can gently mix the remaining yeast into the water by tilting the bottle back and forth a couple of times like your tilting a "lava lamp". Be gentle these are living creature we are working with.


Your culture should be producing bubbles in the bottle within a few minutes and producing enough pressure to release bubbles into your tank with an few hours.

If you would like an explanation as to why this method works just ask. I would love to tell the stories behind each item.

Possible questions...

Why this bread yeast and not Champagne yeast?
Why am I cleaning the bottle?
Why room temperature water?
Why is this guy so full of himself?
Why am I still reading this?

Last edited by Rich Guano; 01-26-2013 at 10:28 AM.. Reason: de-chlorinated water not necessary
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:44 PM   #2
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following...I am currently waiting on my 1st generator to get going
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:31 PM   #3
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I have never had any problems using one cup of sugar per liter of water, with a 1/4 tsp of bread machine yeast per liter, and 1/4 tsp of baking soda. I just dump all of it into ordinary tap water, not dechlorinated, shake it vigorously, and use it. I have been setting up the new bottles at night, when the tank lights go out, so they have until the following day around noon when my lights go back on to build up a good supply of CO2, which they always do. I think it is theoretically better to be gentle with the yeast, but in practice it isn't necessary.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:15 AM   #4
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Hey Hoppy, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad to hear you have good luck when you shake your yeast vigorously. But there is a madness behind my method. Have you got any questions?
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Last edited by Rich Guano; 01-26-2013 at 12:16 AM.. Reason: embarrassing typo
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:25 AM   #5
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@Hoppy I'll give you the "not dechlorinated water", in fact it may be a benefit. Would you think that this would reduce bacterial competition within the generator?
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:43 AM   #6
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I really have no idea why my shake-it-up-in-non-dechlorinated-water method works. Since I never had a problem I didn't do any research or experimenting with it. Once I just sprinkled the yeast on the water surface, and it seemed to make a bigger mess at the top of the bottle, so I didn't try that again. Not being a chemist or a brewer I have never given much thought to yeast and sugar water. (I do like baking bread in a bread machine though!)
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
I really have no idea why my shake-it-up-in-non-dechlorinated-water method works. Since I never had a problem I didn't do any research or experimenting with it. Once I just sprinkled the yeast on the water surface, and it seemed to make a bigger mess at the top of the bottle, so I didn't try that again. Not being a chemist or a brewer I have never given much thought to yeast and sugar water. (I do like baking bread in a bread machine though!)
I agree on the mess at the top of the bottle. I should point that out that you should sink the remaining yeast before that occurs. But I can't give up on the surface hydration without a good argument against. I believe there is something about aerobic hydration and the complexity of the sugars I am still working out.

As far as baking, ME TOO! I started into baking with the bread machine loved it to death. Finally destroyed it by wearing it out needing dough. I bought a Kitchenaid mixer and have since moved on to many tasty things including Pizza, bagels, pretzels, loaves, breadsticks blah blah blah
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:02 AM   #8
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Here is how I did it... warm tap water in 2 liter bottle, added 2 cups of sugar and 1 tsp of baking soda, shook bottle till sugar dissolved, then added 1/4 tsp of yeast, shook again, then filled bottle (about 3-4 inches from top), shook a second or two more, then placed it. I have been seeing tiny bubbles throughout the bottle coming from the bottom upto the top, so as stated above I am hoping by morning/noon all has turned out well....
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqualady View Post
Here is how I did it... warm tap water in 2 liter bottle, added 2 cups of sugar and 1 tsp of baking soda, shook bottle till sugar dissolved, then added 1/4 tsp of yeast, shook again, then filled bottle (about 3-4 inches from top), shook a second or two more, then placed it. I have been seeing tiny bubbles throughout the bottle coming from the bottom upto the top, so as stated above I am hoping by morning/noon all has turned out well....
Why do you add baking soda? What is its purpose?

How did your generator do overnight, is it producing sufficient CO2 this morning?

You can get away with allot less sugar 1/2 cup or less per liter. What were are looking at is how much sugar is left over that you end up throwing away with the alcohol at the end of the process.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:07 AM   #10
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This is what I did... I went pressurized
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:54 AM   #11
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This is what I did... I went pressurized
Pressurized Systems are great and a necessity depending on what level of light you are using and what goals you have for your aquarium. Go Big or Go Home! Woof! Woof! Woof!

In this tread let us stay focused on culturing yeast. Yeast based CO2 generators can be an additional rewarding aspect to this hobby. It is truly awesome to see a living yeast system working correctly intermingled with everything else you have been doing with your aquarium.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:24 AM   #12
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what ever the original recipe was....
now that mine is going I dump 50% of the 2 liter bottle down the drain, add 1 cup brown sugar a pinch of baking soda then refill with h2o direct from the tap-aiming for room temp water. then give it a few good shakes.

I run two bottles and do one bottle each week.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:19 AM   #13
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i am running 4 diy 2liter bottles on my 125gal long and i have roughly 15-20 or more ppm of co2 in my tank i have found that if you use 2 cups of sugar the water turns into alchohol before the sugar is gone and then even if you up the amount of yeast you end up dropping the length the bottle can run. i do 1 cup sugar to 1/4 tsp yeast and a small amount of baking soda per 2 liter. if i switch all 4 bottles out at once i get well over 50+ppm for about 5ish days. so i only switch out 2 of them per week. as far as i know it does not matter about what kind of water i have used distilled, well, city, lake and stream water and no difference. this is yeast we're talking about the take a beating when you make bread with it so i really don't think you need to be gentle. warmer water makes the yeast activate quicker but too hot kills. too cold and it takes forever to activate.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:43 AM   #14
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There is no need for declorinating. Yeast is best proofed between 105-110F about 41-43C. For comparison, the human body is about 37C. I don't do diy anymore but when I did, I would always start it out warm. This worked for both fleischmans yeast from the grocery store aswell as champane yeast.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyalFizbin View Post
There is no need for declorinating. Yeast is best proofed between 105-110F about 41-43C. For comparison, the human body is about 37C. I don't do diy anymore but when I did, I would always start it out warm. This worked for both fleischmans yeast from the grocery store aswell as champane yeast.
Agree on the declorinating.

Will argue but not disagree on the water temperature. The 105-110F water temperature (varies depending on the strain of yeast) is a undisputed best practice during the rehydration of dry yeast. It is at these temperatures that the hydrating yeast cell membrane is correctly formed. Above that temp the yeast is poached. Below it and the cell membrane will not unfold correctly and the cell will eventually die.

Let the "simple" formula stand with enough yeast added to compensate for the initial loss of yeast during the hydration process.

Now if we were making wine beer or bread this would be a concern for us as unhealthy yeast will greatly reduce the complex flavors that healthy yeast can produce.
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