Can Carbon extend the useful life of DIY CO2 generators? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-14-2003, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, might be a total newb question, but can Carbon (as in the stuff from the filters) be used to control the acidity of a DIY CO2 generator, and thereby extend its useful life? Or would it affect the yeast somehow?
I know that carbon has been used for a long time to "leech" impurities and excess acids for a long time in places where more high tech methods arent available (i mean in humans. Think DIY antacid tablets).
Would that work? Has anyone tried it?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-14-2003, 07:02 PM
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Hmmm... is acidity the limiting factor in DIY CO2 life? As a (reformed) homebrewer, I had assumed it was alcohol level.

In any case, carbon will take up organic compounds, but I don't think it would do anything towards balancing out acidity. You need something alkaline for that.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-17-2003, 02:34 PM
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I'm not sure that acidity is a limiting factor so much as alcohol level.

"Fourteen days seems to be the limit for most yeast mixtures in a two-liter bottle when using bakers yeast. This is due to the fact that the alcohol levels reach a point where it kills the yeast cells, even if it hasn't used up all the sugar. The general consensus has been that it is the rise in acid levels that kills off the yeast. But this is probably not true. One way that has been proposed is to add baking powder as a buffer to the mixture to regulate the acids, but this does little to effect the alcohol levels. Oddly it is not the acids that are problematic. Yeast can generally deal with acidic levels to a point, as you will see below."

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-17-2003, 06:43 PM
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alcohol is the limiting factor, not acidity. I too was a home brewer.
I use 1 gallon glass jugs for my yeast container. I can get by with using more sugar, because the container is almost twice as big as a 2liter pop bottle I can add twice the water, thus diluting the alcohol down. Mine have lasted at least 3 weeks, and I don't do the gelatin recipe either.
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