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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > 1056 and strong sulfur smell
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:18 PM   #1
jwalker1140
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Default 1056 and strong sulfur smell

Two days ago I pitched ~200 ml of a 1-day old rinsed slurry of 1056 into a very normal amber ale with an OG of 1.050. Last night it smelled great, the airlock was bubbling away and a nice looking krausen was starting to form. This morning the airlock had pretty much stopped, the krausen had completely disappeared (it never got higher than ~0.5") and the beer had a very strong sulfur smell. I've had sulfur with WLP300 and 3068 before but never with 1056. Anyone else?

Some other points worth noting: This is the 5th generation for this yeast. The previous 4 batches were all fairly low gravity/low IBU beers - blonde, 2 APAs, american wheat and they all had very normal fermentations. I made a 1L starter for the first gen, but they were all rinse-and-repitch after that, usually ~200 ml, just like this batch. I cold crash to 35F-40F in my primary around day 18 for a few days before I bottle. For this batch, I pitched at 67F and that's where it's been since. The current gravity is 1.018 and it should eventually get down to about 1.011. My sanitation practices are pretty solid. The only thing I can think of is that my crash temperature has stressed the yeast, but that's just a wild a** guess.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 03-20-2013, 01:10 PM   #2
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It's possible that the bulk of fermentation is complete, and the beer has moved in to the conditioning phase. During the conditioning phase, diacetyl is consumed by yeast and transformed into flavorless compounds. One byproduct of this process is hydrogen sulfur gas.

As to why you may have more diacetyl in the first place, there are two parts of your process that immediately jump out to me. The first is temperature. While you're in the range Wyeast lists, I think you'll find you're a little higher than most people start that yeast. Second is the possibility that you have a larger amount of petite mutants in your yeast--either from the number of generations, or from something more specific to your process (crash temp on prior batch, or fermentation temps).

There are numerous threads hereabouts on rhino fart yeast, and other terms for sulfurous smells coming out of the fermenter. You can look for those for more insight. If, as I suspect, you're already (at least partially) in the conditioning phase, you will need to just let it ride out and clean up.

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Old 03-20-2013, 08:46 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I was tempted to dump it but I've decided to ride it out.

I just remembered one other thing I did differently this time. I added some potassium metabisulfite to the water I used to wash the yeast with. It wasn't much, maybe 0.05g for 0.75 gallons, but that might be part of the problem. I normally add sulfite to my brewing tap water to neutralize the chloramines.

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Old 03-20-2013, 10:15 PM   #4
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Best way to treat you yeast rinsing water is to boil it. In a large pot, boil the container you'll transfer the yeast to with sufficient water to submerge it. Not long, maybe 10-15 minutes. Not only will this drive off chlorine (but I'm unsure if it will do so for chloramines, although I think it does, but don't take my word for it), it also de-oxygenates the water to help keep the yeast asleep.

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Old 03-20-2013, 10:48 PM   #5
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I did boil it in order to sanitize and to drive of the oxygen. Boiling doesn't get rid of chloramines though, which is why I added some k-meta to the water before boiling. After boiling for ~10 min, I chilled the water overnight and it was pretty much the same temp as the trub when I added it to my primary. Since most of the water gets decanted off, the k-meta is probably unnecessary, if not harmful.

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