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Thread: DIY CO2, jello VS traditional, what is advised?

  1. #1
    DIYFK member RafaelAmorim's Avatar


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    DIY CO2, jello VS traditional, what is advised?

    Hello people,

    First of all, sorry if this isn't the correct subforum, but I can't see any other part where I can put this question.

    I'm looking to make a DIY CO2 system, (not going to pressurized since I plan on moving out of the country in 2 years, and I'm a college student, so, automatically, I'm broke Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge ) I heard that the traditional (sugar + yeast) is really maintenance heavy (switching bottles every week or so), and then after some research, I heard about the Jello method, which consists on doing some kind of jelly in a bottle and then add a little bit of yeast from time to time untill the jelly is consumed. Does anyone here have any experience with both methods? Which one is prefered?
    I kinda want a low maintenance and low cost type of setup.
    if it means anything, I'm planing to use this CO2 method in a 10g.

    P.S: I don't want to do the citric acid method just because of the cost and the "hardness" to find it available in Portugal.

  2. #2
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    All the DIY systems are going to require constant maintenance... The 'jello' might slow down the reaction and delay the need for refilling, but at that same time it's producing proportionally less CO2 overall so you gain one point and lose another...

    To boil this down, 1 unit of sugar is going to produce 1 volume of CO2, thus if you make a jello mix or a traditional water mix out of 1 cup of sugar they are going to theoretically produce the same amount of CO2 at the end of the day... The water mix will release that in give or take 7-10 days, I hear the jello mix takes about 9-12 weeks... Thus working the math you are getting about 1/9 the CO2 per day out of the jello mixture... This can certainly be made to work in your favor if you monitor CO2 levels and tweak the batch size of the jello mix, but it might get quite large to compensate for the slower reaction...

    Honestly I have debated the DIY CO2 over and over in my head... I also brew my own 'stuff' so many times I have a DIY source of CO2 already going somewhere in the house... But, at the end of the day I just don't see it being practical... Yeah a pressurized system cost money upfront but it's a whole lot easier one it's set up...

    I do fully understand financial restraints, but with that lack of investment comes the time to constantly replenish the DIY system...

    It's certainly not cost effective, but have you looked at using liquid or pill forms of carbon for now?

    Also I don't know what it's like in Portugal but in the US I recently found out that 'small' under 2" diameter and under 2 ' long CO2 tanks stamped with "DOT-3E 1800" are exempt from pressure testing, these 7-9 oz sized tanks have become popular with many paintballers as they don't have to pay the fees (generally more then the cost of a new tank) to have them re-certified every so many years... The local sporting goods store will recharge a 7-10 oz cylinder for $3, for the amount of CO2 a high price but very economical vs the investment in a bigger system for a small tank and there are some very decent priced 'paintball' cylinder sized/threaded pressure regulators on Ebay out of Asia... You can probably get yourself setup using a paintball cylinder and mini regulator for just over $100 if you shop around...

    Just some options to consider, if you can stash away a few bucks every weeks while you tinker with a DIY system...

    I started years ago collecting some CO2 tanks, so I could spread out the cost as it is a rude amount if you jump right into a new pressurized system...

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