What happend to my yeast? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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What happend to my yeast?

I bought a jar of Red Star brand "Active Dry Yeast" and used it for 3 batches of DIY CO2, I got about 20 bubbles per minute consistantly for about 10 days with each batch then on the 4th batch I got next to nothing, about 2 bubbles per minute. I've made about 5 mixes using different amounts of yeast, different water temps but nothing seems to work like it did the first few times around. What could have happened, did my yeast go bad?

The recipie I used was about 1/2 teaspoon yeast 2 cups powdered sugar (I've got like 50lb of it from a craft project my wife did, it dissolves faster than granulated sugar and I'll never use all that I have unless I feed it to yeast.) I fill a bottle about 3/4 full of water as hot as the tap will go (~120F) I dissolve the yeast in a drinking cup with about 1 cup of hot water a tablespoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of yeast, after about 5 minutes I dump it into the 2 liter bottle with the sugar water.

Like I said this worked fine for about a month, now it's not working so well at all. I checked the air line for leaks, siliconed anywhere I thought a leak could be coming from and tested in a cup of water right next to the bottle with a short piece of tube to eliminate the longer tube as a possibility, I'm only getting 1-2 bubbles per minute no matter what.

I stored the yeast in the freezer after opening the container as directed on the container. I didn't let the yeast sit out and adjust to room temperature on the first couple batches, just went from freezer to warm water, last time I tried letting the yeast sit out and reach room temperature before dumping it in the warm water, still no luck. I'm tempted to go buy another jar of yeast but I'm not sure if that would make any difference or not, I don't really need two jars of yeast if one will last me a year, the second will expire before I could use it.

I had some blue green algea and some hair algea started growing once the CO2 died so I decided to do a blackout and get everything under controll while I get the CO2 figured out. I've got a few days but once the lights come back on I'm going to need some CO2 again.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 05:40 PM
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I'd say just buy some more. I just recently but Red Star "Active Dry Yeast" as well... Although I setup a new system I'm net getting any bubbles, I don't know if it's the yeast or a leak somewhere.

If I remember it's only like 2-3 dollars for the bottle, so just buy another one, it's easier to replace the yeast than to check for a leak.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure yeast can stop working like that, I'd have expected it to be more gradual if the yeast had actually expired. Maybe I'll just buy the packets if a jar is going to go bad after just one month.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 07:25 PM
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You might have killed the yeast with water that was too hot. The water shouldn't feel hot to you; the hottest you're supposed to activate yeast is at 110 F to 120, and that's not very hot. Even those temperatures are supposed to be for if you're mixing the yeast with other dry ingredients first. Read the package. Or a bread recipe. Ideally, you're supposed to activate yeast on its own at about 80-90 F.

I've killed yeast like that when baking and ended up with flour bricks. It's easy to do.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 07:28 PM
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Make sure to periodically soap test your tubing joints on the reactor, it's very common for them to leak. Use dish soap and water on it and swirl the bottle, then look for bubbles, I wipe it on with a Q tip, some people spray it on but then you have to worry about it floating into the tank which can kill all your fish and the biofilter.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 07:43 PM
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The solutuion could be getting acidic and killing your yeast. I pour about a tablespoon of baking soda in my bottle and add some more periodically (3-4 days later) and get about 3 weeks of strong bubbles with a gallon jug.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fshfanatic View Post
The solutuion could be getting acidic and killing your yeast. I pour about a tablespoon of baking soda in my bottle and add some more periodically (3-4 days later) and get about 3 weeks of strong bubbles with a gallon jug.
I'll give this a shot, my water is very soft, it's got no buffering capability. I haven't gotten enough co2 production to build enough pressure to expel air out of the bottle through a tube and into 2 inches of water in a drinking glass faster than about a bubble per minute from day 1 though. Unless the water out of the tap has suddenly turned very acidic I'm thinking this isn't the root cause.
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