View Full Version : Did I get the wrong brewer's yeast?

07-01-2010, 09:39 PM
Not sure if I picked up the right stuff here. My first batch that I tried with it didn't work right away, so I figured I may have had too much hot water and killed it off. The first batch was 2 cups sugar, 1/2 tsp. brewer's yeast. I then added another 1/2 tsp. after it seemed like it wasn't going to work and after I think almost two days I started seeing some bubbles, but it wasn't enough to make an impact. I was getting a bubble every 6 seconds or so and originally I had it going every 2 seconds with the other yeast which worked great, but only lasted maybe 6-7 days.

Now yesterday, after doing my water change, I mixed up a new batch. This time I did 2 cups sugar and a full tsp. of yeast. Almost 24 hours later, still no bubbles. When I emptied out the last batch, it definitely smelled like wine/beer, so it was fermenting and everything, but it just doesn't seem to be very effective.

So am I doing something wrong here with my ratios that I'm not aware of or did I just get the wrong stuff? Here's what I got...


Kind of hard to see, so here's the link where I got it if that helps too.
Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Brewers-Yeast-16-454-Pwdr/dp/B00068U27W/ref=pd_sim_k_1)

Lady Hobbs
07-01-2010, 10:25 PM
I bet you have a leak somewhere. When I used CO2, I used 2 cups of sugar and 1 t. of yeast and it was going great guns in about half an hour.

07-01-2010, 10:29 PM
I actually did just double check all my tubing and stuff. Turns out there was some water on the other end of the check valve, but luckily nothing in the tubing leading to all the co2 stuff. Stupid cheap-o check valve :smad:, I guess I'll get a newer more expensive one. Maybe I put it too far off from the air stone? It sits probably about 20" down from the surface of the water, right at about the base of the tank. Anyway, I put silicone on the tubing on top of the co2 bottle and the muck catcher and blew all the water out of the tubing and then reattached it elevated above water level. Hopefully I'll start seeing some bubbles here soon.

That is definitely the right kind of brewer's yeast, though, right?

little hawaii
07-01-2010, 10:40 PM
Any kind will work. I use bakers fast rise and start getting bubles fron 1gal. bleach bottle in about 10 min. if it is warm enough. I put it on top of my fluor lights to warm it up ounce in a while. :fish2:

07-01-2010, 11:47 PM
Another trick to make sure you're bottle's leak proof (and I wish I could remember where I learned it), is to drill a hole in the cap that's just smaller than the diameter of the tubing. You'll need some pliers to pull the tubing through, but it'll be pretty leak-proof.

07-02-2010, 12:21 AM
I normally use around 2 cups of sugar , but you need to mix it very well with the water , you problably don't disolve the sugar and water that why nothing really happen. Use warm water and disolve the sugar with a spoon but dont use to hot water otherwise you will kill the yeast. Add 0.5 g of yeast and 5 g of baking soda in around 455 ml of water, baking soda is your stabilizer for the ph. Otherwise you can lower your ph to much wich is not good. Hope that help.

07-02-2010, 01:56 AM
I did drill the caps and pulled the tubing through like you said. I put silicone on to make doubly sure now. 3 hours later, still no bubbles :bluescratchhead:. To make the mix I add 2 cups of regular table sugar to a 2 liter bottle and fill it up about 1/3 of the way with hot water from the sink. Shake vigorously for at least 60 seconds, then fill almost to the top with cold tap water. Next I added 1 tsp of brewer's yeast. Shook vigorously again for about 30 seconds, then hooked it up to the cap with all the tubing connected. At this point I'm blaming it on the check valve, I don't know what else it could be really??

07-02-2010, 02:45 PM
As blesser13 said, the water might just have been too hot. I use a whisk to make sure my sugar is fully dissolved, and then I let the mix sit a few hours before adding the yeast. If it's running fine with the new check valve in place, then ignore me. :ssmile:

07-02-2010, 09:17 PM
You don't need to shake that much , just be sure your sugar is well disolved, add your yeast and baking soda. I have bubbles coming out after 15-20min like crazy

07-02-2010, 09:29 PM
I wasn't adding baking soda before as it worked the first time and I never saw to do that in any of the DIYs I looked at. Is it really necessary to add to the mix? Forgot to get the new check valve today at work, got sidetracked doing other things. I think I'll at least try cutting the tubing and getting the check valve up closer to the surface of the water so if it does fill up it at least shouldn't fill up so much, maybe the pressure of the water is just not letting the co2 come through? I dunno, I'm pretty stumped at this point. I may go back to the other yeast just to see if it's that or the rig itself that's causing the problems.

07-02-2010, 09:41 PM
I will tell you my setup, 1 L bottle , i made a hole in the cap put my air tube inside. After add around 460 ml of warm water in another container and mix the sugar to disolve it well. Add your water with sugar in your 1 L bottle. Add the yeast , if you don't add baking soda its fine but its better. Actually when you buy the nutrafin kit you have 2 little bags inside 1 is the yeast and the other is the baking soda.

07-18-2010, 06:34 PM
What a great post. I have just started with my own DIY system. I am using a one pint (473ml) of a container. It is actually a container for the Talenti Italian ice cream. I drilled a hole and ran tubing from it. I sealed it well with aquarium silicone and am using half of the ingredients. I am using 1 cup of sugar and half a teaspoon of active yeast. It did not look like it was going to work but then in about 20 minutes a constant flow of bubbles started to appear.

At this point I just dropped the air stone into the water. It has a weight on it so that it won't float.

Is there supposed to be some sort of air pocket reservoir where the bubbles collect which helps to disperse the CO2 into the water better? I thought I remembered seeing a sort of umbrella like glass apparatus that is submerged in the water and this is the area where the bubbles collect. Or am I just having a brain fart? :hmm3grin2orange:

07-18-2010, 08:16 PM
There are plenty of contraptions out there to help diffuse your co2 into the water better, but I've found with my tank that just using an air stone gets me ~30 ppm co2, so I don't really see the need to go any more high tech than I am. I think normally with bigger tanks and true co2 systems you'll want a good diffuser, but for smaller tanks with DIY setups, it's not really necessary if it gets you where you want.

May as well update this thread while I'm at it. I did switch back to the Fleischmann's highly active yeast I started out with, and I'm back to great levels of co2 again with constant bubbles. There was a lot of stuff in this brewer's yeast powder I got. I know it's intended to be a dietary supplement too, and I think that may have had something to do with it not working?? Who knows :shrug:, I'm not going to try to look into it too much at this point since I do now have a working setup that is not all that expensive. Maybe I'll start adding brewer's yeast to my diet; it actually doesn't taste bad, kind of like cashews or something... some kind of nut, anyway, I can't quite place which one it is.

07-19-2010, 02:04 AM
What sort of kit do you use to measure the carbon dioxide levels in your tank? Right now I have been watching the pH in my tank and it has droped from 8.2 to 7.2 so it is now neutral. I have not added the baking soda yet as I was out of that when I set up my tank. I am watching how things go.

Does anyone know how low I can go with the pH? I was wondering if 6 was the lowest. Some plants seem to like a lower pH like Cabomba.

07-19-2010, 07:45 AM
Ok, well here's the thing about measuring co2. They have those charts online that show a realtionship between kh, ph, and co2, but they're not really all that reliable. Your water is composed of way too many other things for the chart to be accurate. The best way to get approximate readings on your co2 is a drop checker. Here's a link to one that I use, but there are many others out there on ebay and other websites... LINK (http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/207617/product.web)

Now, the thing about these indicators is that the instructions they come with actually tell you the wrong way about doing it; it's no better than using the charts online really. The best way to use the indicator is to buy a premade 4 dkh solution, or you can make it yourself if you have the right equipment, and add 2 ml of that plus 2 drops of a liquid pH tester and then put the contraption in your tank about 4 inches or so from the surface and on the opposite side of where you co2 is being injected from. The co2 will actually build up in the air pocket in there and since you know the water in the indicator is exactly 4dkh and with no buffers, the change in pH will directly correlate to the amount of co2 in the tank. The liquid will turn a nice green for you when you're at about 30 ppm co2, or 35 ppm co2 if you're using water with a hardness of 5dkh.

There's a few threads on here in the plant section (you have to scroll through, the search function takes out all the necessary words to find it) and online about these drop checkers and their ins and outs, but that's the basic rundown for ya :22: . Let me know if you have any other questions about it, be happy to answer them.

07-20-2010, 04:13 AM
Thanks,Sun. You have been so generous with providing me with a ton of information. I appreciate it greatly. I will admit it sounds a bit overwhelming just to get these plants to flourish. It is so different than all my plants in my apartment (which I take very good care of, by the way:shappy: ).

I have had my DIY CO2 running for about two days. Interestingly I found that there are more bubbles now than on the first or second day. But I did a pH reading and the pH only dropped from 8+ to about 7.2.

I will have to find out a method to test the CO2 levels but I am wondering if it has to do with my bookshelf tanks having such a shallow height that maybe the CO2 is not dispersing heavily?

I also made a second batch for another fish tank and I used baking soda and I am noticing that there are not that many bubbles coming from the mixture. I am wondering if the addition of baking soda suppresses CO2 production slightly.

07-20-2010, 07:19 AM
The height of the tank may have something to do with it since the bubbles will have more time to diffuse into the water with a taller tank. Without at least a proper approximate way of measuring it, there's really no way to tell what levels you're sitting at. After re-reading my last post, I admit it looks a little overwhelming :lol:.

I have to say, I have never used baking soda, and haven't really researched its use in DIY co2 setups yet, as I haven't had to use it for mine to work, but I would like to look into it soon just to know more about the subject.

One thing I can suggest to help your co2 diffusion is to keep on top of your water levels. If there is any drop between where the water comes out of the filter and the surface of the water in the tank, you're probably losing a lot of co2 that way. You always want to see the bottom of where the water comes out in those Aqueon filters from inside of the tank to make sure there is as little surface disturbance as possible. I actually removed that little blue plastic piece at the front of the filter with all the holes in it to help keep some more co2 in my water.

Here's a link to a thread I started when I first found out that I could obtain ~30 ppm co2 with a DIY setup and an HOB filter that shows how I kind of set up my tank with the Aqueon filter to make it as efficient as I thought I could... LINK (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=64566)


Now I'm also interested in what other plants you're keeping in your place. I've started to branch out into some non-aquatic plant keeping since I'll soon be starting up a dart frog tank and haven't had much experience keeping other plants just quite yet. What kind of plants do you take care of now?

08-02-2010, 05:12 AM
Hey, Sun.

Thanks again for your post. Sorry I have not been around for awhile. Been so busy with family, school and life. :)

I switched out my filters to the AZOO filters. So they are much gentler as far as the flow of water. It also will all ow me to buy the white "floss" where I can cut it and put it in place without having to worry about throwing away charcoal. I think the replacement filters for the Aqueon filters are expensive, especially if you are going to throw out the charcoal after cutting them up.

I will have to take some pictures of my house plants in addition to my aquatic plants. It is becoming a forest on both accounts. :) I have a braided 5ft tall ficus, a braided schefflera, crotons, jade, many succulents and a lot of African violets.

Just bought three crypts from Petco. They are having a buy 2 get one 1 free sale. I luvs me a sale. :hmm3grin2orange:

I have not tested my CO2 levels but my plants seem to be doing very well. I need to get going with some pictures someday. I will get on it soon. :)

08-02-2010, 06:27 AM
It's all good, I know how that goes. I was actually going to try to figure out a way to use aqueon filters without having to buy the replacement cartridges all the time.

Looking forward to seeing your stuff thumbs2:

08-02-2010, 06:38 AM
Hey, SunSchein, I took a few pictures just for you and created my own post. Hope you like them. I am not 100% completely done but so far I think my tanks are coming along nicely. Check out the link here:


Plant Man
08-02-2010, 01:37 PM
Two cups of sugar is a waste of sugar, you only need 1 cup of sugar in two liters of water. If youíd like I can make you a Co2 bottle like this one and ship it to you. It will not leak. It would cost you only the shipping, $20.00.

I could also paint the lid black to cover up the welding. I already have the extra bottle, I just haven't welded the bleeder valave in it yet.


08-03-2010, 02:21 AM
Thanks for the offer, but I think I'm good at least for now. I'm just going to try to continue tweaking the system I have currently. Less sugar and baking soda is the first of things on my list to try. I may try the brewer's yeast again, but not shake it like I was. Maybe that's what the original problem was with it? :shrug:

Plant Man
08-03-2010, 02:18 PM
Thanks for the offer, but I think I'm good at least for now. I'm just going to try to continue tweaking the system I have currently. Less sugar and baking soda is the first of things on my list to try. I may try the brewer's yeast again, but not shake it like I was. Maybe that's what the original problem was with it? :shrug:

In all the years I've run DIY Co2 the biggest issues I think you'll have (besides maximizing diffusion that is), are leaks caused by air hose hardening at the silicone sealant and coming up with a mixture that works "every" time. Iím telliní ya use tank water not tap. Using tank water was a eureka moment for me. My mixtures work every time and they last at least 3 weeks.

08-04-2010, 07:58 AM
Thanks for the tip on using tank water, plantman.