DiY CO2: No need to buy new yeast? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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DiY CO2: No need to buy new yeast?

I have been running DiY CO2 using a gallon moonshine jug and champagne yeast for a few months now with good results. Packaged yeast has a shelf-life, and I haven't found a place locally that carries any brewer's yeast.

I talked this over with a friend who makes his own Mead, and we came up with this idea:

after the reaction starts to slow (but before it tapers off too much), pour off 50% of the solution or so to dilute the alcohol. Add new water and sugar. Yeast will reproduce and bring the reaction back up to speed.

I am on my third cycle now with this method and am fairly happy with the results. I am curious if anyone else has tried this and with what results. I have been searching through DiY yeast threads and haven't found other examples of this yet.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 07:10 PM
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I have often thought about doing this. Glad to see it's working for somebody. I will give it a shot on of my DIY setups.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 04:09 AM
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It will work for a while, but it can't work long term without other additions to the mix. Yeast need more than just sugar and water to live, basically, and they definitely need more to reproduce (a good source of nitrogen such as urea, a source of electrolytes like Na/K/Ca, and a bunch of other stuff in smaller quantities.) When you make wine or beer they can get most of this from the stuff you're fermenting, but even then you usually have to feed them to get them to reproduce well. Yeast also don't reproduce well without oxygen (the reason you aerate a wort or allow must to work for a day or two before starting the primary fermentation.) We don't aren't adding much oxygen at all when we add new sugar/water to the mix, though for the tiny amount of yeast we're using it might be sufficient.

I wind up replacing my yeast every 2nd or 3rd bottle, based on how it has been performing.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 04:48 PM
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Just checking, but I have NEVER heard about yeast need anything but a source of carbon(i.e. Sugar) and oxygen.

In brewing yeast have to be replaced due to mutation.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
Yeast need more than just sugar and water to live, basically, and they definitely need more to reproduce (a good source of nitrogen such as urea, a source of electrolytes like Na/K/Ca, and a bunch of other stuff in smaller quantities.)
I've always wanted to try using my Micronutrient(flourish) as a nutrient supplement for my yeast. It has N/K/Ca and many others. I'm to cheap to go out and buy actual yeast nutrients, although they're for sale online for cheap prices. Has anyone tried this? I'm giving it a try this next time around and I'll let you guys know how it works.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 06:06 PM
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Just checking, but I have NEVER heard about yeast need anything but a source of carbon(i.e. Sugar) and oxygen.

In brewing yeast have to be replaced due to mutation.
Just type in yeast nutrients into google

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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I just wanted to provide an update on my own trials. On my 4th cycle, the reaction never quite took off and remained lower than I needed. Yeast does need some additional nutrients like jason said. Brew stores sell yeast hulls and other nutrient mixes, but this kind of defeats avoiding a specific trip to a brew supply store though. I'll update if I run into any easy ways to recharge the other nutrients that doesn't require a trip to a brew supply store for those that don't happen to live close to one.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-27-2011, 01:57 AM
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sorry

I am used to yeast for brewing, and I had never heard of a need for nutrients. I use yeast energizer and nutrients sometimes to accelerate and accentuate the yeast but I've never found it necessary.

However, to the point. The yeast is fine, it is just that you may need dirtier water. There is nothing in particularly bad about reusing yeast cells. Breweries will typically reuse 4-5 times. However they don't do any more out of fear of contamination and mutation.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 05:32 PM
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I do this all the time. No need to ever fully clean out and start anew. You really don't need to add any nutrients but if you want to treat your yeast throw some molasses into your fermenter. Better yet go buy molasses in bulk from a feed/Ag store and use it instead of sugar - a better reaction and you can distil the end product into something fun


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 07:17 PM
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I think the reason brewers don't need to feed yeast is because a lot of the starches and vitamins and minerals are coming from like hops and grain and fruit. This stuff is already rich in all the non-sugar nutrients the yeast need. I'm guessing if you like dropped a crushed up vitamin in there every 4 cycles or so. You'll be going on for good.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 08:58 PM
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slightly off topic but does anyone use the co2 from beer/mead etc directly into their tank? i was thinking of trying this. just a check valve, bubble counter and diffuser from carboy to aquarium. would this be safe? i have a 5 gallon carboy i need to do something with anyway, been too long. any input appreciated. thanks.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by pucksr View Post
I had never heard of a need for nutrients. I use yeast energizer and nutrients sometimes to accelerate and accentuate the yeast but I've never found it necessary.
Same here...just wanted to see if I could make my mix last longer. Although, the usual 1/2 tsp wine yeast, 2 cups sugar, and 1 tsp baking soda, is on it's 32nd day for me @ 1-2bps. So that's a pretty long time without nutrients or anything special. I only run it for 9 hrs a day though (when the lights are on).

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...regulator.html

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Last edited by BlueJack; 07-03-2011 at 02:21 AM.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 01:45 AM
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slightly off topic but does anyone use the co2 from beer/mead etc directly into their tank? i was thinking of trying this. just a check valve, bubble counter and diffuser from carboy to aquarium. would this be safe? i have a 5 gallon carboy i need to do something with anyway, been too long. any input appreciated. thanks.
You could, but a lot of the benefits of CO2 in planted tanks come with a permanent, steady, even injection rate. A healthy ale fermentation pretty much starts, peaks, and peters out within 36 hours. There is still activity after, but we are talking about rather large swings here. Maybe a lager would last a bit longer and not as explosive, and not sure about mead, but unless you have a flourishing brewing enterprise with a couple of carboys always active, IMO it's not worth to bother.

Whether it is safe, well... it is CO2, so it will benefit plants, and if in excess, kill your animals. All safe in good measure.

Now if you keg, you already have a CO2 tank and regulator... so you're 80% there.


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 04:46 AM
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You could, but a lot of the benefits of CO2 in planted tanks come with a permanent, steady, even injection rate. A healthy ale fermentation pretty much starts, peaks, and peters out within 36 hours. There is still activity after, but we are talking about rather large swings here. Maybe a lager would last a bit longer and not as explosive, and not sure about mead, but unless you have a flourishing brewing enterprise with a couple of carboys always active, IMO it's not worth to bother.

Whether it is safe, well... it is CO2, so it will benefit plants, and if in excess, kill your animals. All safe in good measure.

Now if you keg, you already have a CO2 tank and regulator... so you're 80% there.
lol, I have a keggerator, and after about 3 months of trying DIY co2, I finished my current keg and turned my keggerator into a tankerator. Shoot, the co2 setup for my keggerator was only 150 bucks, I just bought a solenoid and I was in business :P Poor keggerator has turned into a bottled beer fridge.
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