DIY CO2, how much water?
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:24 PM   #1
buffheman
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DIY CO2, how much water?


I've read differning opinions on water in different recipes. The article hosted here on plantedtank just gives the sugar to yeast ratio, then says fill the bottle up with water most of the way.

But on this super helpful article, it recommends just using 2 cups of water for a 2 liter bottle.

http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html


So what I should be doing? I know having the bottle filled will allow the system to pressurize more quickly, but I don't know how water impacts the reaction.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:46 PM   #2
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The water is just a medium for the yeast to eat the sugar. I generally made sure the 2 liter was no more than 3/4 full once all the ingredients we added...but I never measured.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:13 PM   #3
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But does the concentration of sugar in the water affect the reaction? Like, would a more dilute formula slow the reaction, producing less CO2 but prolonging it?
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buffheman View Post
But does the concentration of sugar in the water affect the reaction? Like, would a more dilute formula slow the reaction, producing less CO2 but prolonging it?
Don't take me to the bank on this, but...I think having more water would slow the process making it last longer. Not because of anything to do with the sugar or the yeast, but because what ultimately happens is that this process starts fermenting and creating alcohol. It is this rise in the amount of alcohol that kills off the yeast and stops your reaction. Therefore, I think more water might, maybe, slow this "burn out" process as the produced alcohol would take longer to rise to high levels when diluted with more water.

I have nothing to back this up. It's a theory.
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Old 12-17-2011, 03:03 AM   #5
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if you are looking to slow down the yeast digesting the sugar a pinch of salt will slow the reaction down, to much will kill the yeast though, never tried it in a fish tank but i know from 15 yrs of cooking/baking the ratio between salt and yeast controls how fast your dough will rise

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Old 12-17-2011, 02:39 PM   #6
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So I've set up my mixture and everything... I waited 24 hours and wasn't getting any bubbles so I figured I had screwed something up. When I opened the bottle to try a new mixture, there was definitely pressure in it.

I took out my diffuser and just tried to blow through it to see if I could make bubbles, and I couldn't. Does it take a crazy amount of pressure to get through this thing? Should I be able to blow bubbles through my diffuser?

http://www.amazon.com/Hagen-Fluval-R.../dp/B004H2B8I0


EDIT: Ok... so apparently I'm not supposed to be able to blow through it. So follow up question, is this diffuser meant for a paintball system? Will my yeast setup generate enough pressure to use it?
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:25 AM   #7
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I doubt that your DIY C02 will build enough pressure to go through a diffusor disk. Better try a bubble ladder or diffuse through a powerhead.

Fill a 2L bottle 1/2 full of lukewarm water. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups white sugar. Shake until dissolved. Fill water to 3/4 full with lukewarm water. Water temps over 70 will kill yeast . Add 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon yeast. Shake again.

Wait.

You want it to be a slow, steady reaction. Too much yeast or sugar will result in increased c02 production but reduced duration.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstehman View Post
I doubt that your DIY C02 will build enough pressure to go through a diffusor disk. Better try a bubble ladder or diffuse through a powerhead.

Fill a 2L bottle 1/2 full of lukewarm water. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups white sugar. Shake until dissolved. Fill water to 3/4 full with lukewarm water. Water temps over 70 will kill yeast . Add 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon yeast. Shake again.

Wait.

You want it to be a slow, steady reaction. Too much yeast or sugar will result in increased c02 production but reduced duration.
Water temps over 70 F will not kill yeast. Many baking recipes call for water between 100 and 120 F.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daximus View Post
Don't take me to the bank on this, but...I think having more water would slow the process making it last longer. Not because of anything to do with the sugar or the yeast, but because what ultimately happens is that this process starts fermenting and creating alcohol. It is this rise in the amount of alcohol that kills off the yeast and stops your reaction. Therefore, I think more water might, maybe, slow this "burn out" process as the produced alcohol would take longer to rise to high levels when diluted with more water.

I have nothing to back this up. It's a theory.
I have rough data that I have collected since I started playing with DIY CO2, so far it matches your theory:

1 cup of sugar + 1l water + 5ml yeast at 30C/80F ambient temperature = 16days peak

2 cups of sugar + 1l water + 5ml yeast at 30C/80F ambient temperature = 21 days

1 cup of sugar + 1l water + 10ml yeast at 30C/80F ambient temperature = 11days

2 cups of sugar + 1l water + 10ml yeast at 30C/80F ambient temperature = 14days

New experiment

1 cup of sugar + 1l water + 5ml yeast at 30C/80F ambient temperature = 16days
+ siphoned of most of the top still water, added back plain water = reaction restarted after 1 day and ran for 6days, 23 days total

2 cups of sugar + 1l water + 5ml yeast at 30C/80F ambient temperature = 21 days
+ siphoned of most of the top still water, added back plain water = restarted reaction after 4 hours, continued 10days so total of 31 days and still counting.

I have another experiment running where I have managed to isolate a slightly more alcohol resistant strain. I tasted the solution it produced, it was like soju.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:06 AM   #10
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Maybe "kill" was the wrong term to use. I tend to get better results (longer fermentation) when pitching at closer to room temp. plus they start up faster
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buffheman View Post
So I've set up my mixture and everything... I waited 24 hours and wasn't getting any bubbles so I figured I had screwed something up. When I opened the bottle to try a new mixture, there was definitely pressure in it.

I took out my diffuser and just tried to blow through it to see if I could make bubbles, and I couldn't. Does it take a crazy amount of pressure to get through this thing? Should I be able to blow bubbles through my diffuser?

http://www.amazon.com/Hagen-Fluval-R.../dp/B004H2B8I0


EDIT: Ok... so apparently I'm not supposed to be able to blow through it. So follow up question, is this diffuser meant for a paintball system? Will my yeast setup generate enough pressure to use it?
I use one of those with DIY yeast CO2. Works fine. It shuts down easy if it starts to get clogged though.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstehman View Post
Maybe "kill" was the wrong term to use. I tend to get better results (longer fermentation) when pitching at closer to room temp. plus they start up faster
Longer makes sense, starting faster doesn't at all.


Yeast is way more active at 100 degrees than it is at 70.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:37 AM   #13
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Nano glass diffusers will generally work with DIY CO2. Larger diffusers are hit or miss. No idea what the Hagen is like.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:01 PM   #14
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I tried a new mixture. I have 2 cups sugar, 1/2 teaspoon yeast... I boiled a little water to dissolve the sugar in, then filled up the bottle the rest of the way with cold water to help cool it... I stirred the yeast up in some warm water and let it breathe for a little bit, then tossed it in the bottle.

12 hours later, I was getting a steady flow through the diffuser once the pressure built up. I wanted to use a lower amount of yeast to make the the mixture last longer, but we'll see how long this goes.

I'm just glad it's working!
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:04 PM   #15
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If you have access to a local brew club and/or supply store, check out some of the champagne yeasts. They are specifically bred to tolerate much higher alcohol levels than a standard yeast will. That's what I was using before I switched to a pressurized system
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