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>Date: Thu, 4 Sep 1997 07:52:53 -0400
>From: "Ken Guin" <kenguin at erols_com>
>I am not having as much success with my DIY CO2 system as some others seem
>to be having.  I am using the usual 2L bottle with 3/4 cups of sugar and
>1/2 tsp of yeast.   No matter what I do, the system seems to function fine
>for about a week or two and then stops.  I have seen where some have
>claimed to have theirs going for months. What could I be doing wrong.
>Some facts regarding what I have tried:
>1) an output of nothing but an airline tube (into a DIY reactor);
>2) a "glass" airstone on the airline output tube
>3) more sugar
>4) less sugar
>5) more head space
>6) less head space
>7) more yeast
>8) less yeast
>Any suggestions regarding how I can prolong the CO2 output would be

I've tried varying the amounts of yeast and sugar in my CO2 generators
without much benefit.  I finally settled on this formula:

2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 liters water

I'm convinced that at least with my tap water (5 dKH) the baking soda is
necessary.  It probably serves to buffer the pH in the CO2 generator
upwards, preventing a pH crash from killing all the yeast.  I suspect the
resultant KH is the limiting factor as to how much yeast can be active and
producing CO2 at any given time, because adding baking soda stabilizes the
output of my generators and lengthens their useful life to three or four
weeks, depending on how much drop-off you will allow.

David W. Webb           Texas Instruments
(972) 575-3443 (voice)  http://www.dallas.net/~dwebb
(214) 581-2380 (pager)  2145812380 at alphapage_airtouch.com