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Re: DIY on a 180 gallon

Tom Barr wrote:

Don't try the DIY method on anything over a 40-55gal at most.

Kyle wrote:

Ahem. Well I agree a cylinder system would be much better.
But with DIY on a 125 gallon I don't feel the bite financially.
I've never figured the cost and don't doubt the other would be cheaper
in the long run.
I just can't spring for the chunk right now.

I consistently measure over 20ppm with 5 2l bottles of DIY.
Fed into the intakes of 3 Magnum HOTs (Walmart poly fill as the only
media) and one
Magnum 350 (no media--used to power a UV I haven't needed to use in a
couple of years now).
Each bottle produces CO2 for 3 weeks or better sometimes. It's not that
big a chore as I stagger them.

I would also recommend the cylinder system but it can be done with DIY
and it doesn't hurt that much. For me anyway.

I reply:

Compressed CO2 is almost always better in most ways but I agree with
Kyle. Any size tank however large is no problem at all with yeast/sugar
CO2. In fact, it is much easier with large tanks than with small tanks.
I can never get the pH stable on small tanks. The thing that defeats
most people is that they do it wrong. They usually have leaks in their
system or use the wrong sort of yeast or don't provide any nutrition for
the yeast or add too much yeast and end up with a very unstable
fermentation or don't size the fermentors properly. Yeast/sugar does not
have to cost more either. If things are done properly, almost 50% of the
weight of the yeast will be converted to CO2. If you compare 20 pounds
of sugar to a the cost of 10 pounds of CO2 I think there is not a lot of
difference in cost on a yearly basis. Around here the CO2 would be
cheaper but the payback time on the CO2 equipment would be many years.

I don't think it is necessary to use so many bottles on your tank. Two
fermentors of about a gallon each should be fine. Each fermentation will
be more stable and last longer. A lot less work too. It really helps to
use a yeast that can be added 2 or 3 times during fermentation. This
keeps the fermentation even and lasting up to 2 1/2 months. The only 2
yeasts I know for sure that will do this are the Lalvin versions of S.
Bayanus and S. Cerevisiae. I am sure there are many many others but I
have personal experience only with those two. It is a lot easier to just
add a little more yeast and keep a fermentation going than to be
constantly mixing up new batches of yeast and sugar every few days. You
have to be careful with the Bayanus yeast as it will really increase an
existing fermentation if you add too much at a time.