DIY Co2 Problem

s2dat

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Out of the last 4 batches i have prepared, all 4 of them fail to develop any signs of a gaseous reaction taking place let alone release any bubbles into my filter intake.

I really need some sort of Co2 injection even with frequent dosage of excel. My current setup has a total of 78 W of 1 x10 000k and 1 x 6500 K THO bulbs with an eco compelte setup and medium intensity plants such as baby tears and fert tabs. While the plants are sufficing but there is some algae growth. the tank is 40 gallon long

I did test my equipment out and found no leaks in the 2liter bottle nor the tubing. Concluding that my yeast might be dead i bought a fresh package yesterday and while there were some signs of gaseous release it wasnt at the same frequency as in the past and as of today morning no visible release at all.
The steps i have been using for the last 6 mths are:
- dissolving 2 cups of sugar with warm water
-filling the 2litre bottle till the bottle neck
- adding 1/4 tsp of yeast and shaking the mixture rigoursly
Any help would be appreciated
 

ryanr

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Hi s2dat,

I would consider increasing to 1/2 tsp of yeast to 2 cups of sugar, and only fill the bottle to about 2" below the air tube (top of bottle).

R
 

Nutter

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Good advice above from Ryan. Adding to that, if the water adding the yeast to is too hot you could be killing some or all of the yeast off.

What is the temperature where you are overnight & during the day (average) & are you using some kind of bubble counter?
 

catsma_97504

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Yes, yeast can be killed off if the water is too hot. The water should not be more than 110 F. It should be like baby water....barely warm. What type of yeast? Are you using basic bakers yeast that would be used to make bread? Or, one of the wine yeasts? Or?

I've been adding 2 cups sugar, 1/2 - 1 tsp bakers yeast and 1/4 tsp baking soda. When I fill the bottle I add small amount of water first and remove the chlorine which can affect yeast. Then add the ingredients and shake vigorously to dissolve everything. Once dissolved, I add enough water so that it goes slightly above the label on a 2 liter bottle. If the bottle is too full, the CO2 will dissolve into it instead of being released. This works well for me so long as the temperature is warm enough.

Hope you figure out what's up with your CO2.
 

pepetj

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I would first of all sterilize the bottles (pouring near-boiling water inside, shake and then dumping in a container with ice cold water worked fine for me).

The pH of the water is important for the yeast. That is addressed simply by adding 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda (not baking powder but baking soda) to the mixture.

I only used RO processed drinking water (TDS <20ppm) to mix the 2 cups of sugar. I used a blender vase to mix the stuff, then I pour this mixture of sugar (brown sugar or white sugar works well) and room temperature RO water into the 2 litre soda bottle. I filled this with more room temperature RO water to 1" below the upper curvature of the soda bottle (I used mostly Coca Cola).

Once that is done, in a different container (I used a coffe cup) I place lukewarm RO processed drinking water (used an electronic thermometer to confirm temperature since too hot will kill the yeast, too cold will slow down the "jump-start") to which I added 1/2 teaspoon of yeast (most types work well), followed by the 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Mix it vigorously (some "slug" might remain int the bottom of the cup, I just ignored it).

Pour the yeast mixture into the 2L bottle with the sugar mixture. Screw the cap and shake vigorously. It helps to jump start the generation of CO2. Within eight hours I have CO2 running through.

Pepetj
Santo Domingo
 

Nutter

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Chlorine affects the yeast? Do you have any evidence that supports that Dena? I've experimented with straight tap water & dechlorinated water & found no difference at all myself. I'd be interested in having a read if you can give some supporting evidence or chlorine affecting the yeast? I'm always happy to learn something new.

Pepe, no need to over complicate things. So long as the sugar gets totally dissolved, there's no need to bother with worrying about exact temps or blending it all or anything else like that. Dissolve the sugar in 1 cup of hot water & then fill the bottle to 2" from the bottom of the co2 line with cold water straight from the tap. baking soda is optional unless the water being used is under PH 7.2 (like your RO water would be).
 
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ryanr

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Great advice above

Another thought, have you checked your air lines for any blockages/obstructions, both internal (e.g. gunk caught in the opening?) and external, something crimping the line.
And is the check valve around the right way?

Sorry, if it seems obvious, but I always go back to basics when chasing problems.
 

catsma_97504

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Chlorine affects the yeast? Do you have any evidence that supports that Dena?
I don't have any documentation to share, only my personal experience with using yeast in the kitchen.

It may be something else in our tap water, such as chloramine or phosphate, but what I do know is that when I use my tap water the bread will not rise or will rise poorly as if the yeast was old. However, using the same yeast (I purchase in a small glass jar that holds enough yeast for several loaves of bread) with bottled water or water that has been filtered to remove chlorine, the bread will rise as expected.

Chlorine is used to kill bacteria and parasites in our drinking water. And with yeast being a fungus, it is also a living organism, just like the bacteria, and I figured that was why I have these issues.
 
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s2dat

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What is the temperature where you are overnight & during the day (average) & are you using some kind of bubble counter?
The temperature here has been fluctuating over the last few days. Currently its about 70 F (20 C).

The only other thing that i do differently than the conventional method is that I usually use a cup of boiling water to dissolve the 2 cups of sugar and afterwards fill the bottle up to the label mark with lukewarm water. Could this be killing the yeast which happens to to be fleischmann 's dry yeast.

As for the 5th batch i made yesterday, so far there are bubbles being broken up by the impeller but every 2-3 mins. Would increasing the quantity of either the sugar or yeast help?
 

ryanr

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More yeast will create a faster reaction, but will also result a shorter life of the reaction.
 

Nutter

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I don't have any documentation to share, only my personal experience with using yeast in the kitchen.

It may be something else in our tap water, such as chloramine or phosphate, but what I do know is that when I use my tap water the bread will not rise or will rise poorly as if the yeast was old. However, using the same yeast (I purchase in a small glass jar that holds enough yeast for several loaves of bread) with bottled water or water that has been filtered to remove chlorine, the bread will rise as expected.

Chlorine is used to kill bacteria and parasites in our drinking water. And with yeast being a fungus, it is also a living organism, just like the bacteria, and I figured that was why I have these issues.
Interesting. I think it must be something other than the chlorine in your water causing this. Perhaps Chloramine or Phosphates like you suggested. I certainly don't have the same problem & my tap water is free of both Chloramine & Phosphate.

s2dat, those temps shouldn't be too bad for the reaction. We have similar temps here at the moment & I'm still getting a good reaction from my mixes. The yeast you mentioned is ok up to about 120f from what I can find. It is possible that your killing the yeast though if the water your adding it to is over that 120f mark. Perhaps try adding straight cold water after you dissolve the sugar & before adding the yeast rather than luke warm water.
 
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s2dat

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thanks nutter, i will try another mixture with cold water and hopefully have some positive feedback.
on a side note, since i have refrigerated my yeast powder, do i have to get it down to room temperature or can it be used straightaway?
 

Nutter

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You can use it straight away. I do & have never had any issues with slow or no activation.
 

Nate McFin

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On the recipe I read it also says to add the yeast to a small amount of water and a pinch of sugar. Stir vigourously and let it air for 10-15 min. Once bubble start forming on the top of the water is when I go ahead and add the sugar and water. I have tried adding baking soda to our VERY soft water and have noticed no difference at all in production. So I now I occasionally try it just to see. No difference that I see.
Also make sure and rinse the bottle very very well after dumping the previous batch as the alcohol formed can stop yeast production. Does your previous batch have a alcohol smell to it? If it is producing it should smell....if it smells like bread you may not have production. Hard to explain that smell... LOL
 

catsma_97504

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I store my yeast in the freezer so it stays good longer. I measure the amount I need into a small cup to sit at room temp before adding to my bread/DIY CO2 bottle. And, so long as I don't use straight tap all is well.

We've been having cold weather and am still able to get an average of 2 bubbles per second. I'll be glad when it warms back up.
 
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s2dat

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Just an update.
I did get my sixth attempt reacting and CO2 being expelled as per Nutters advice. The only difference now is that the rate of bubble release is about 1 every 1-2 seconds, vastly faster than my previous batches. Would that result in fermentation ending rather quickly.
 

Nutter

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As long as you followed the 2 cups of suger to 1/2 teaspoon yeast & the ambient temperature isn't to high, then you could expect anywhere from 2-6 weeks out of it. 4 weeks is probably about average for that recipe. I get 6-8 weeks but I use 5lt generators so the PH drops slower & the alcohol concentration rises slower.
 
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