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Old 01-19-2004, 05:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonapersona
If you make a bubble counter that is filled with water, it ought to strip out any alcohol -- though I have tasted mine and never noticed any alcohol, just a lot of fizz. It will also stripout the entrained yeast that I suspect as the culprit in the snot that forms on airstones and the end of tubing.

With DIY CO2, all you can do is to know your target pH for proper CO2 levels and then add volume (more bottles or bigger bottles) or efficency (better diffusion, contact time, or reactors) until you reach that target without going into dangerous territory at the start when rates are at the highest. Great fun if you like to tinker.
Thanks for your post anonapersona, very helpful . Anyway, I don't have this problem about yeast and gunk traveling up the tubes. Is the CO2 bottle sopposed to be bubbling/foaming alot? There's hardly any in mine but I still get CO2 at 18-20 bpm. The bubble counter should not strip alcohol though, the alcohol is a gas and quickly escapes as the CO2 does, hence why you didn't taste any.

An easy way I found to increase CO2 is to put the bottle in warm water. This stimulates the yeast to work faster. I started a post regarding this. http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4671

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noric
As for seperating alcohol...not to my knowledge, allthough you may want to give champagne yeast a shot, as it handles the highest alcohol content.
I'm not sure what you mean, does the yeast absorb the alcohal or something?
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Old 01-19-2004, 07:45 PM   #17
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Yes, you are in fact fermenting the sugar water into alcohol, but alcohol as we know it kills many living organisms including yeast.

Quote:
1) Respiration -- the first stage in the life cycle is aerobic. When
yeast is added to an unfermented nutrient broth (called wort in brewing,
or must in winemaking), it utilizes free oxygen in the solution. No
alcohol is produced in this stage, and CO2 production is low. During
respiration, yeast stores energy in various chemical forms to be used
later during reproduction and fermentation. Aerobic respiration will
generally continue until most of the dissolved oxygen is exhausted.

2) Fermentation -- this is the stage during which most CO2 is
produced. When no oxygen is available, yeast will switch to an
alternate metabolic pathway utilizing sugars for energy and producing,
primarily, CO2 and ethanol. Yeast divides rapidly in this phase,
reaching its carrying capacity (about 50 million cells/ml) in the wort
or must, and remains suspended in solution in order to expose maximum
surface area to nutrients. Assuming no oxygen is added back to the
fermenting wort, yeast will continue fermentation until one of two
things happens; either alcohol concentration will exceed tolerance, or
the yeast run out of food.

3) Sedimentation -- once conditions are no longer amicable to
fermentation, yeast will stop dividing and start storing energy in the
form of glycogen, a polysaccharide. Yeast will flocculate and fall out
of solution, creating a cake of sludge on the bottom of your
fermentation vessel. At this point, the yeast are no longer
metabolically active, and await better conditions in a state of
dormancy.
Quote:
Use beer or wine yeast. Bread yeast is OK, but poops out before beer or wine. The primary difference is in alcohol tolerance. Beer yeast will go up to about 5-7%/vol EtOH, and wine yeast 14-18%, depending on strain. Bread yeast is below beer yeast in alcohol tolerance

If you want to superload sugar in your initial mix,
Champagne yeast will work the longest, as it has the highest alcohol
tolerance.

http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/CO2/co2-ferm.html#0
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Old 01-19-2004, 11:12 PM   #18
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Thanks very much for the info Nordic...it wasn't what I was asking but interesting and beneficial anyway.

I rather wanted to know if there is anything to preven/seperate the alcohol from CO2 so it doesn't get into the tank...this particularly concerns me b/c I'm using my filter as a reactor and don't want alcohol to kill my bacteria colony. I revived a post regarding this. http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4098
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Old 01-20-2004, 02:03 AM   #19
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Alcohol vs bacteria is a very minor issue, I don't think I've ever heard of anyone who thought that that had been an issue in their tank.

On the other hand, having backsphoning of tank water into the bottle, having the bottle bust a seal and drip nasty yeast water into the rug is a real problem.

Having the mix foam up and spew yeast inot the tank and make a foul smelling cloudy stinky mess that kills fish is a real problem.

these problems are resolved by using a bubble counter, which is also very handy for .... counting bubbles. Charting the bubbles vs the pH and implied CO2 will be very useful so that you will know whenthe bottle is producing too little CO2 or too much.

As for alcohol, it is a liquid and has an affinity for water, thus is easily trapped by water.
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Old 01-20-2004, 01:27 PM   #20
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Yeah, I should have known that alcohol has a low affinity for water...but I'm talking about alcohol vapor, b/c the vapor is what's getting into the tank, not the liquid. However low affinity applies to the gas state as well.

Do you have problems with yeast water/foam coming out of your bottle? Is the reaction sopposed to be that active? b/c I only have thin patchy lowers of foam and thats all, they never get even close to escaping. I've got it hooked up t o a bubble counter anyway.
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Old 01-20-2004, 03:12 PM   #21
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Usually it only bubbles out of the bottle if the bottle's too full, or if you're using 2 liter plastic bottles, and the temperature dropping causes them to 'compress' inwards, leaving less volume inside for the yeast mixture, allowing it to reach the tube and be pushed into the tank.

This is why I used 1 gallon glass jugs...no chance of them compressing.
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Old 01-20-2004, 03:58 PM   #22
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I only get foam ups with the gelatine + wine yeast mix + yeast nutrient that I use in the 29 gallon tank. It is a slow and steady mix on a lower light tank.
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Old 01-20-2004, 06:01 PM   #23
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Well as long as I don't get foam I guess I'm good!

Yeast nutrients? Could you explain this anonapersona.
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Old 01-20-2004, 06:29 PM   #24
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when I started on this planted tank thing (all of 16 months ago!) I began with a 10 gallon and a Hagen system. Within weeks I had a 29 gallon and set up a DIY system. As the hagen mixes rean out, I began trying to duplicate their mix and tried several others along the way.

At the "Home Brew" supply store I bought champagne yeast and an ale yeast, trying to find a yeast that resembled the Hagen yeast in appearance. Some online sources said that champagne yeast was better for alcohol tolerance, ale yeast wa bottom fermenting and tolerated different temperatures (I forget now if higher or lower)

The Brew Store also had "yeast nutrient" that they sold for wines and beers. I don't know exactly what it is, it has phosphates and vitamins and I don't know what else.

The champagne yeast seems to do better when I use it, but with the gelatine, it can form a stiff foam on the 2nd or 3rd day. I use these in the 2liter jug on the 29 gallon tank. When I changed to a canister filter on that tank I decided I needed to be concerned about too much Co2 at the start, this mix is slower and lasts 3+ weeks.
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Old 01-21-2004, 02:44 PM   #25
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ale yeast is top fermenting and does bet at 65-75 degrees...lager yeast is bottom fermenting and does better at temps in the low 50's.
champaigne yeast does have the highest alcohol tolerance..but also the most vigorous fermentation time.

Yeast nutrient is indeed just a few vitamins to help the yeast out. Use normal tap water that's a little hard, and they'll have what they need for minerals really.

To be 100% honest, bread yeast is a fine fermenting yeast...it can get you up as high as any wine yeast. it's not typically used in modern brewing because it creates off flavors in the wine/beer/mead. But if you seem to get better results with brewers yeast, and don't mind the cost, stick with it. I myself just get the jar of bread yeast that has to be refridgerated, and it's phenomenally better than the packets of bread yeast.
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Old 01-21-2004, 04:28 PM   #26
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I'm using packets of bread yeast and after 1 week there still going strong. It's bottom fermenting so I hardely get any foam, that's a plus. I'm glad malkore that you mentioned hard water is good, since I can walk on mine. I read somewhere else that the optimum pH for yeast was between something like 3-6. Mine don't seem to care, my pH is 8.2...and I doubt the pH has lowered much since the buffering is 22dKH.

Whats the ideal temperature for bread yeast? Mine are at 64F, I think thats kinda low, but the yeast are still doing great.

For me, the cost and hardiness of bread yeast cannot be beat.
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Old 01-21-2004, 05:26 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo737
I'm using packets of bread yeast and after 1 week there still going strong. It's bottom fermenting so I hardely get any foam, that's a plus. I'm glad malkore that you mentioned hard water is good, since I can walk on mine. I read somewhere else that the optimum pH for yeast was between something like 3-6. Mine don't seem to care, my pH is 8.2...and I doubt the pH has lowered much since the buffering is 22dKH.

Whats the ideal temperature for bread yeast? Mine are at 64F, I think thats kinda low, but the yeast are still doing great.

For me, the cost and hardiness of bread yeast cannot be beat.
I think there is a big difference between bread yeast and wine yeast as far as pH. Bread yeast does better with baking soda, which of course raises the pH of the water. Wine yeast hates baking soda (in my tests)and vintners actually acidify the fruit juice to prevent bad molds (?) from starting. So, it stands to reason that wine yeast is better with acid waters.

I suspect that the "yeast nutrient" that I use with the wine yeast contains phosphates that lower the pH. I've neve tested the water after adding that, I'll try to remember to do that next time.

In my tests, the Hagen bottles with identical measures of sugar and yeast and water temps, the bottle with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda had half the bubble rate at one week as the bottle with one teaspoon. My water is moderatly hard, KH ~8 -9.

As for temp, I'm a bit surprised that you are doing so well at that temp, but if it works, great. I saw a real slowdown at high 60's room temp, you may find that the same mix will be much faster in warmer temps. I've read that cold simply slows the yeast, so a sudden hot day may affect the rate a lot.

As for foam, that thin layer on the surface can suddenly start to grow if bubbles get to the top and then get stuck in that layer. Just keep an eye on it. If it happens, it happens over a period of a few days, but as the foam reaches the neck of the bottle the end can come quickly. It may be that this is an issue more in warm weather for you, maybe never, I don't know.
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Old 01-21-2004, 06:51 PM   #28
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I can confirm that brewer's yeast prefers acidic living conditions. You'll see a lot of mead recipes where you add the juice of 1 lemon.

I know when you let dough rise, you want it around 80 degrees, but that's a fast reaction compared to normal fermentation. 65 isn't too low, but you'd see a higher bubble rate at 70 degrees.
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Old 01-21-2004, 07:13 PM   #29
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Well, then we may be onto something, I never could get wine yeast to do anything for me if I added it with just sugar. It must not like my water, with a pH of 8.2 normally. The bread yeast likes it just fine.

This consideration for the acidity of the tap water and the preference of the yeast seems to be something that no one has been considering. This would explain the variability that we see as people use the same mix but get different rates and lifespans from the mix.
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Old 01-21-2004, 11:23 PM   #30
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It is true that I get a lower bubble rate at lower temperatures...but there is a trade off. At lower temps the gasses are denser, so each bubble I get has more CO2 packed in it than a warmer bubble. However this is assuming that the yeast production rate is the same at 65F or 80F for e.g. So in reality warmer temps are better since the yeast produces more...but keep in mind one reason for higher bpm is by the gasses looser density.

Actually pH and hardness are very studied topics in relation to yeast. Here is a helpful page which I have been drawing info from...

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