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Smells like sulfur

Started by banjobrew, October 31, 2016, 11:35:56 am

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October 31, 2016, 11:35:56 am Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 02:40:40 pm by banjobrew
I've pitched Gervin GV12 to a porter recipe at 19C. It's day three and it's bubbling away nicely in my new fermentation chamber (a brand new currys essentials fridge) and there's a strong smell of sulfur or eggs that I've never come across before. Books I have say it might just be characteristic of the yeast and recipe, or it could be an infection.

Has anyone experienced this smell before? Does the yeast usually clean this up?
Belfast Homebrewers.


Gervin GV12 is nottingham yeast and one I use a lot of the time. Can't recall ever getting a sulfur smell off it but I've had it from WLP001 before and it was only temporary. Since it's only 3 days in, the fermentation should scrub the sulfur smell out of the beer. I'd give it a week and reassess then.


Aye, I read that it's the same strain as notty. I'll post back here in a week.
Belfast Homebrewers.


The last kit I did, a pale ale, had this yeast. I got the same strong sulfur smell during the first 5 days. The sulfur smell cleared but the beer was gack and I blamed the yeast at the time..


I used a Fermentis T-58 yeast in a pale light ale about a year ago. Wow - smelt like a gust from Satan's bottom, cloudy with a radioactive green tinge. I thought it would be a dumper. Took another sample about 4 weeks later and it was clear as crystal and all the sulphur was completely gone. Apparently some yeasts do produce sulphur, but they generally clean it up afterwards if given time. Another point is to just use tinfoil on top of the fermenter during the first few days of active fermentation to let the sulphur out. Plan to try this next brew.


Quote from: BrewDorg on October 31, 2016, 12:14:51 pm
The last kit I did, a pale ale, had this yeast. I got the same strong sulfur smell during the first 5 days. The sulfur smell cleared but the beer was gack and I blamed the yeast at the time..

Could have been an old pack of yeast if it's from a kit. In general it's a really reliable yeast for standard ales. It's so cheap as well.


Yeah, that's why I said at the time. I've since realised that it was just exactly as you say, an old pack.


Eggs could be Hydrogen Sulphide which would normally be a bacterial infection. But I would leave it and see how it turns out after a full two weeks.
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"Hydrogen sulfide is the chemical compound with the formula H
2S. It is a colorless gas with the characteristic foul odor of rotten eggs; it is heavier than air, very poisonous, corrosive, flammable, and explosive; properties shared with the denser hydrogen chalcogenides.

No naked flames then  ???
Belfast Homebrewers.


I have found the problem! This was the first time I used campden tablets in the water and campden tablets are a sulfur-based product.

I must've used too much? I used two tablets in 20L of water.
Belfast Homebrewers.


Way too much ah well strike a match as it's halloween :D
Dei miscendarum discipulus
Forgive us our Hangovers as we forgive those who hangover against us


I've read that one campden tablet per  80L or so. Is this right?
Belfast Homebrewers.

Leann ull

I thought it was one per bucket say 25-30l left overnight? Don't know on well water


I always use the one tablet on 30 litres from the night before and have seen no adverse effects on the beer.
"If you do not enjoy my beer, then I say it is a pity for you!" Armand DeBelder-Drie Fonteinen


Just to be clear:

You add the campden tablet to water the night before to remove the Chloramine that is added to mains tap water. There is no free chlorine in treated mains water.

Adding a CT to well water? There is no chloramine to remove!

If brewing with well water then really recommend a water analysis to check for agricultural inorganic pollutants (nitrates/nitrites/phosphates etc) to say nothing of the biologiical problems like Clostridium, e-coli etc.
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