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Help with foul smelling brews

Started by onemanorthree, December 01, 2019, 01:02:28 pm

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December 02, 2019, 11:42:45 pm #15 Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 09:14:06 pm by johnrm
I'm interested in where you got the idea to use Camden tablets just before you pop in the yeast.
Cider makers use CT to kill off wild yeast before pitching a known yeast, but generally leave it a few days to allow off gassing (afaik)
1 tab per 5l is about how much would be used too.

I generally use half tab in 25l (or so) the night before brewing to push out chlorine.


@ johnrm: I'm not sure where I got the idea or why I thought it was right. I think it came from having a bad brew once and
putting it in the kill off any bacteria.

@eoghanr: My fermentation temp is 19°C, Room temp is 20°C, would that actually make a diff'?


Quote from: onemanorthree on December 03, 2019, 09:41:59 am
@ johnrm: I'm not sure where I got the idea or why I thought it was right. I think it came from having a bad brew once and
putting it in the kill off any bacteria.

@eoghanr: My fermentation temp is 19°C, Room temp is 20°C, would that actually make a diff'?

It's worth a try. Let it sit for another week at room temp and see what happens. It's the least invasive of all the options.


There are three main reasons for adding campden tablets to your brew:

1. To remove chloromines from your tap water. This is only really needed for fermentations using a large portion of tap water, i.e. beer. For beer this is added before the mash so that any sulphur dioxide that has been generated will blow off during the boil.

2. To inhibit wild yeasts and bacteria in the wort/must before pitching your own yeast. Most commercial yeasts are more tolerant of sulphites than wild yeasts but it is still a good idea to delay pitching your yeast by 12 hours after adding a campden tablet. For beer you do not need to inhibit wild yeasts because you've boiled most of them to death anyway. This is only needed for wine/cider using raw fruit.

3. To prevent oxidation and infection after a fermentation. Campden tablets will scavenge oxygen that is dissolved in a liquid. A campden tablet can be added before racking or bulk aging (though maybe not directly before bottling if you intend on drinking it straight away). This works well for wine and cider, but for beer:

The thing is that campden tablets on their own aren't the magic bullet they are sometimes made out to be. For wine and cider it's not just the campden that is preventing the infection and oxidation, it's the acidity of the liquids. So for beer with much less acidity, campden is not particularly effective for usage 2 and 3 above. Maybe it has a use in a kettle sour!


Great post, thanks. Again, I'm not sure when I started doing this.

I added a little boiled DME to the mix and took the lid off overnight (just muslin on the open top), seemed much better this morning.
Going to add a small bit of DME mix and a little yeast nutrient later to see if that kicks out a little more of the smell.
I'll dry hop then for about 3 days to hopefully rescue the brew.


So I put some boiled DME in, added some yeast nutrient and replaced lid.
Started fermenting again within the hour, took the top off and smelled and it was normal.
Checked again this morning and again, smelled pretty much as it should.
Dry hopped and will leave for another two days before bottling.

Thanks for all the help.  :)


I hope this got solved, if not another thing could be plastic fermener. Did you mention what kind of fermenter you have, I've read plastic one needs to be replaced once In a while as they may cause infection...


I've got a Fast Ferment Plastic Conical Fermenter, it's only had about 15 brews put through
at this stage and its in pretty good condition, so I dont think that's the issue.


Just a quick update.

Beer is bottled and is totally fine. No smell issues. All I did was add extra nutrient, small bit of DME and let the top
off the fermenter overnight on two nights.

Thanks for all the help!



Frankenstein brews we all got them in our early brewing careers, you have to be merciless and put the two legged dog down and out of its misery.
You don't use campden in wort just 1 tablet for water treatment the night before and it's important that it sits for 8-12 hours.
The campden you put in killed everything and so what you had was a sterilised wort which over time will develop something floating around in the air, that could end out in tears on the jacks.
You will also have a monster hangover from that level of campden.
My advice, tip it and start again.
Ask questions here lots and lots of questions no matter how stupid you think they are.
Find a brew buddy and go and watch what he or she does.
Don't feel like an idiot about stuff here we all learn everyday, I could tell you stuff that the pros do that would make you wince.
There are some brewday threads on here which will also help.