National Homebrew Club Ireland

Brewing Discussions => Yeast Board => Topic started by: banjobrew on October 31, 2016, 11:35:56 am

Title: Smells like sulfur
Post by: banjobrew on October 31, 2016, 11:35:56 am
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?
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: irish_goat on October 31, 2016, 11:47:47 am
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.
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: banjobrew on October 31, 2016, 12:11:08 pm
Aye, I read that it's the same strain as notty. I'll post back here in a week.
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: 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..
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: SkiBeagle on October 31, 2016, 01:10:23 pm
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.
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: irish_goat on October 31, 2016, 01:35:03 pm
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.
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: BrewDorg on October 31, 2016, 01:49:17 pm
Yeah, that's why I said at the time. I've since realised that it was just exactly as you say, an old pack.
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: Pheeel on October 31, 2016, 02:09:36 pm
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.
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: banjobrew on October 31, 2016, 02:36:10 pm
"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  ???
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: banjobrew on October 31, 2016, 06:44:47 pm
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.
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: DEMPSEY on October 31, 2016, 09:05:08 pm
Way too much ah well strike a match as it's halloween :D
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: banjobrew on November 01, 2016, 04:38:18 pm
I've read that one campden tablet per  80L or so. Is this right?
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: Leann ull on November 01, 2016, 05:13:17 pm
I thought it was one per bucket say 25-30l left overnight? Don't know on well water
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: garciaBernal on November 01, 2016, 05:17:07 pm
I always use the one tablet on 30 litres from the night before and have seen no adverse effects on the beer.
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: Will_D on November 01, 2016, 09:39:33 pm
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.
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: banjobrew on November 01, 2016, 09:59:17 pm
I really did mess this up. I didn't even let the water sit overnight. I assumed I could just throw it in there and start brewing. I think I was reading from a winemaking website.

Is it worth seeing if this will clear up or just dump it and brew again?
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: Leann ull on November 01, 2016, 10:07:32 pm
@ Will I don't use the stuff!
@banjo Read from the beer making websites next time I guess, it will be fine has the potential for flaw for chlorinated water, you'll know soon enough, don't throw it out though.
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: Qs on November 02, 2016, 05:35:21 pm
Do you really need to leave it overnight? I always add before heating the strike and sparge water.

I read this on BYO

QuoteIn easy to use terms, a 1/2-gram Campden tablet can be used to dechlorinate 20 gallons of water. This reaction occurs very rapidly and all you really need to do is dissolve the metabisulfite in your water, let it sit for a minute or two and you are finished with the dechlorination process.


http://byo.com/american-amber-pale-ale/item/472-clearing-chloramine--historical-hopping-mr-wizard
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: SkiBeagle on November 02, 2016, 08:43:06 pm
Great sticky on HBT by AJDeLange:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=361073
Looks like you can add it a few seconds beforehand *as long as it dissolves*.
It will attack both Chlorine and Chloramine. Leaving it out overnight helps to dissipate Chlorine but it won't dissipate chloramine.
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: pob on November 02, 2016, 09:06:53 pm
Quote from: SkiBeagle on November 02, 2016, 08:43:06 pm
Looks like you can add it a few seconds beforehand *as long as it dissolves*.


Crush a tablet between two spoons into a powder. Then a good stir & it'll dissolve pretty easily (probably because we're brewing at room-ish temperatures for the water, ~20°C would make it easier to dissolve).
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: banjobrew on November 02, 2016, 10:03:57 pm
That's what I did, just dissolved it right before brewing. It's been five days now and it still smells and tastes of sulfur. In the interest of brewing in time for xmas I'm going to buck it out and brew again.
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: Qs on November 03, 2016, 05:51:26 pm
I wouldn't be overly worried about a smell of sulphur anyway. Usually sorts itself out. Give it an extra few days fermentation to clean up.
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: SkiBeagle on November 03, 2016, 06:08:08 pm
Agreeing with Qs. Way too early to decide if it's bad. Sulphur is normal for some yeasts/recipes. Perhaps post the recipe and a photo?
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: banjobrew on November 03, 2016, 09:48:43 pm
If only I could post the smell. It smells like sewage. Fair enough if I leave a sample out it loses the smell after a while.
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: bigvalen on January 04, 2017, 10:00:31 am
I'm dead curious...How did this work out ? Usually a smell of sulphur is a good thing, as it's blowing sulphur out. But really, at boil time, that's when any free-ish sulphur should be turned to DMS and vaporised off.

Will; follow-up question... I though Irish water never has chloramine added. Would you need a lot of ammonia in the water to react with the added chlorine, to make chloramine?

Sent from my Pixel C using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: banjobrew on January 05, 2017, 07:08:13 pm
Quote from: bigvalen on January 04, 2017, 10:00:31 am
I'm dead curious...How did this work out ? Usually a smell of sulphur is a good thing, as it's blowing sulphur out. But really, at boil time, that's when any free-ish sulphur should be turned to DMS and vaporised off.

Will; follow-up question... I though Irish water never has chloramine added. Would you need a lot of ammonia in the water to react with the added chlorine, to make chloramine?

Sent from my Pixel C using Tapatalk


I ended up bucking the batch out. It wasn't the sulfur smell you would expect (even for a lager) it smelled (smelt?) more like sewage. It could've dissapated with time but I doubt it. Defintely due to to much campden tablet.
Title: Re: Smells like sulfur
Post by: Pheeel on January 06, 2017, 12:41:06 am
Sewage suggests a bacterial infection. Clean, clean, clean!!!