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How Much Co2 Is Produced During Fermentation?


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#1 Dragonslayer

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 08:18 PM

A year or so ago it came up in a thread on one of the several forums I am on about the volume of CO2 produced during fermentation. Someone actually provided a formula and like an idiot I didn't write it down. I just spent several hours going through most of my threads but didn't find it. Does anyone know the answer? I need to convince the City of Lakewood that the volume of CO2 produced by my basement winery (less than 200 gal at any given time) is harmful to neither myself or the neighborhood before they will approve my business license. Thanx.

#2 hamster

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 09:11 PM

The chemical equation is:

C6H12O6 → 2C2H5OH + 2CO2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol_fermentation

So, for every molecule of ethanol (molecular weight 46) you get one molecule of CO2 (molecular weight 44).

Suppose you have 200 gallons of wine with SG 1.000 that's 13% alcohol by volume ... That's 10.3% by weight, so, 78 kg of ethanol. Times 44/46, you've produced 74.6 kg of CO2. At standard temperature and pressure, that's 37.7 m3 or 10,000 gallons.

That's roughly the amount of CO2 produced by burning 8 gallons of gasoline.

#3 gregorio

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 09:34 PM

The formula is C6H12O6 → 2C2H5OH + 2CO2. The ratio of CO2 released from a Glucose molecule is 48%.

Using a maximum of 25 Brix or % sugar, each liter of wine will contain approximately 290g of sugar. Using the formula above, you would theoretically release about 140g of CO2 for every liter of wine produced. Over the course of a 760L (200 gallon) 10 day ferment, you would release about 105,000g or 240lbs. IIRC a gram of sugar releases about .25 liter of CO2 so this example would be about 50,000 liters.
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#4 Proud Puppy

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 10:09 PM

10,000 gallons or 40,000 + liters doesn't sound good to a town board of ignoramus beaurocrats. Better use 'the equivalent of about 75kg or 165 lbs of dry ice' as a more soothing example of the insignificance that would be the result. Ya know?

If that doesn't work, explain how much it helps the trees and plants with their photosynthesis! smileyhelp.gif

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2013 Atlas Peak Merlot 6.5 Gallons; 2012 (frozen)Beckstoffer Carneros Lake Merlot 6.5 Gallons; 2013 Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauv 6.5 Gallons


#5 hamster

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 10:13 PM

10,000 gallons or 40,000 + liters doesn't sound good to a town board of ignoramus beaurocrats. Better use 'the equivalent of about 165 lbs of dry ice' as a more soothing example of insignificance that would be the result. Ya know? smileyhelp.gif


Let me put it this way: if you put a 200 gallon battery of carboys in an unventilated 2500 sq.ft. cellar, they will produce enough CO2 to make the air in that cellar toxic for humans.

#6 rpage53

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 12:02 AM

10,000 gallons or 40,000 + liters doesn't sound good to a town board of ignoramus beaurocrats.

Most likely they are concerned that you have a carbon dioxide management plan in your winery so that you aren't going to pass out and kill yourself or a visitor. Wine is not a major contributor to global warming.

Rick.

#7 Proud Puppy

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 12:25 AM

Let me put it this way: if you put a 200 gallon battery of carboys in an unventilated 2500 sq.ft. cellar, they will produce enough CO2 to make the air in that cellar toxic for humans.

For sure, I'm well aware of the risk if done in an enclosed unventilated space...many have been overcome cleaning giant fermenting vats prior to dispersing CO2.

Under normal circumstances, ie typical ventillation, the risks are minimal and certainly less than having a car burning the same eight gal of gasoline in that same space. Dragonslayer doesn't have to get an approval for driving a car to that same meeting, even though the car is a greater hazard (if improperly used).

Just trying to help grease the way for getting the permit approved for Dragonslayer by presenting the facts in a 'friendlier' comparison.

Ron
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2013 Atlas Peak Merlot 6.5 Gallons; 2012 (frozen)Beckstoffer Carneros Lake Merlot 6.5 Gallons; 2013 Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauv 6.5 Gallons


#8 Medsen Fey

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 05:02 PM

Definitely go with the weight rather than the volume. It sounds like so much more when you put it in terms of volume.

Whether it is helpful or not, it is good to remember that when making wine (or mead or beer) that you are not creating new CO2. The sugars which the yeast will consume were created from CO2 taken out of the atmosphere by the plants during their growing season, so you are only putting back a portion of what was taken out of the atmosphere by the plants. The rest remains in the form of alcohol in your wine. This CO2 captured in the alcohol is prevented from entering the atmosphere during aging so you are creating a CO2 holding system that actually keeps it out of the atmosphere until it is consumed and metabolized. The corollary is that if you didn't turn this sugar into wine, the fruit (or grains or honey) would be be consumed or rot releasing all the CO2 back into the atmosphere immediately.

Your home zymurgy is performing a valuable public service and you are to be commended! (that is if you are gullible enough to buy into CO2 as a significant factor in global warming). :lol:
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#9 deb_rn

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 05:54 PM

I think of global warming a lot.... when we have extra snow, esp!!

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#10 Hammered

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 10:55 PM

Chris,

As someone who gets permits for a living, let me say that communicating the right terminology to the officials is very important. Because they are obviously (to me) referring to the International Building/Mechanical Code when they come up with this question, they need the information in quantifiable terms, so weight is irrelevant to them. Present the information in cubic feet over time, preferably in minutes and be prepared to offer to install an exhaust fan that will evacuate the space in that amount of time. The fan should probably be located near the floor rather than the typical ceiling fan, although I doubt they would know that CO2 is heavier than air. Also, if you showed them you had CO2 sensors strategically placed in the wine area, they'd probably get on board faster than not.

If you bring in a spreadsheet or even hand calculations on your plans, using Greg's and hamster's formulas, they'd be blown away.

Good luck with this and if you need any help, PM me and I'll give you my two bits worth hopefully in the hopes of one day enjoying a bottle of your efforts!

Cheers!
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#11 Crazy Run Ranch

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 12:39 AM

Let me put it this way: if you put a 200 gallon battery of carboys in an unventilated 2500 sq.ft. cellar, they will produce enough CO2 to make the air in that cellar toxic for humans.


This isn't really the case. CO2 mixes with air so you never breath pure CO2. Its good to take precautions like a fan but it can be overhead. Just get the air moving so you keep a decent mix of O2 with the CO2.

#12 hamster

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 12:43 AM

This isn't really the case. CO2 mixes with air so you never breath pure CO2. Its good to take precautions like a fan but it can be overhead. Just get the air moving so you keep a decent mix of O2 with the CO2.


You don't need to breathe pure CO2 to pass out. It's already toxic at 5% concentration. Even at 1% some ill effects are possible. Thus the need for proper ventilation.

#13 WnCmbll

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 10:38 AM

Fermenting wine is not unlike a living organism whose CO2 production can be compared to humans. Doing some searching on the internet, it seems that the average human being produces about 400 liters CO2 per day when at rest, which would be about 4000 liters over the 10 day fermentation period. Fermentation of 200 gallons of wine over 10 days was estimated by others to be about 50,000 liters. So 200 gallons of wine fermenting in your basement would be about the same as having a dozen people living in there, which should not be a problem if you have a good ventilation system. A CO2 detector is still probably a good precaution.

#14 Wade's Wines

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 11:46 AM

I like your analogy, WnCmbll!

Dragonslayer, you can go into that Govt. office, count heads and say, "You have 24 people in this office. Your 24 people produce the same amount of co2 per day as my winemaking. ( Do the math first, I'm just guessing on the amounts!) Ask them how they monitor the co2 they produce, to be sure not to pollute the air. I like it! luxhello.gif Maybe they have to take turns holding their breath! lmao.gif
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#15 deb_rn

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 10:16 AM

That really puts it in perspective... nice!!

Debbie
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