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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In another thread discussing co2 I got to thinking about making beer. The analysis went something like this...

If I am going to have a bottle of liquid sitting on my counter for a month or more, and that container will have yeast and sugar in it.. why not make beer?

This was my first thought knowing absolutely nothing about beer brewing. I thus began my research into yet another hobby. ;P

This isn't a beer making forum so I will spare you my desperate grasping of new terminology and just say that for all practical purposes keeping beer in active enough fermentation for say 1 month that it can reliably drive a diffuser is not practical. Beer goes through a period where it rapidly produces co2 and then dramatically slows down and is more or less done with the large co2 production after 1 to maybe 2 weeks. Then spends another couple of weeks producing very little co2 before its completely done and ready for bottling.

Enter my idea of making beer jello!

Basically just adding plain gelatin to my beer wort to slow down yeast eating all the sugar. Will the result when it's done by drinkable??? I have no idea, thus the experiment part. If it's not drinkable I am much much better off skipping the beer part of this and just using yeast and sugar.

But wait! How do I get consistent co2? One major concern with diy co2 is getting the co2 to consistent levels so you can tweak lights and ferts to match uptake. Using a diffuser is the traditional route but I think this is because they are cheap, highly available, create high levels of dissolved co2, and with a pressurized cylinder produce consistent result.

I don't think a diffuser is necessarily the best option with diy co2 though and so I decided to go with a bell diffuser instead. A cheap glass bell diffuser 4cm in diameter costs just 12 dollars on amazon. The advantage of a bell diffuser is any excess co2 produced will just spill over in big not easily dissolved bubbles. Thus the amount of co2 in the tank can stay relatively consistent regardless if I am getting 1 bubble a second of co2 or 1 bubble every 5 minutes.

And that's it. Today is the first day so I have no results to publish but I will monitor it and see how it goes.

Picture of the setup:





 

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I can't say about the jello part of your test, but as for the problem with the co2 production of the beer being inconsistent, you could do like I was before I went pressurized. Basically you have multiple bottles staged at different start dates all plumbed into a manifold and then into your bell. You would have to figure out how long you are getting decent co2 rates to figure out how many batches total to have going at once. I had 3 2L bottles plumbed together, one started each week and I was getting pretty reliable/constant co2 rate that way. Each bottle had it's own check valve so I could take it offline and replace it without losing pressure in the rest of the system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I want to discuss how completely successful this was..... but yeah not so much.

Last night everything looked great. This morning when I woke up it looked like this:



Apparently the foam built up well beyond any normal expectation and overflowed the bubble container and then into the tank. I don't know if this is because of the gelatin or something else I did but it was definitely a bit of a disaster. I mean my fish were literally swimming in beer.

Six 80% water changes later and its looking back to normal:



Here is what my beer container looks like all filled with foam and still shoving more through the tubes:



Sooooooooo yeah calling this one a failure on the whole beer jello thing. The only good news is that there were apparently no losses of shrimp or fish or even snails. Either because I caught it quick enough, or its not as immediately toxic as I would assume, or everything is just much so much hardier then I expected.

Going forward I will be dumping the rest of my beer in this container cleaning it up and reusing it with regular ol sugar jello and yeast for a more traditional diy co2.
 
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