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Old 10-31-2010, 01:53 PM   #1
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Default holy sulfur bomb batman! (wheat yeast ferment)

I'm fermenting a stout with Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen 2 days in and the smells coming off of the airlock are SULFUR...like rotten eggs. it also has the thinnest krausen I have ever had in a fermenting beer (about 1 inch). This is a split 10 gallon batch and the other half is fermenting with a belgian abbey yeast and is nearly blowing off in a 6 1/2 gallon carboy!) I am fermenting about 65 so perhaps it is a little too low for this yeast. Wyeast suggests fermenting 68-72.

searching for similar threads it seems that lots of wheat yeasts can pump off sulfur and most suggest RDWHAH, but WOW...i've never smelled anything like this during active ferment. I'm thinking I'll raise the temp a few degrees and hope the yeast cleans up after its done fermenting (or the sufur off-gasses)

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Old 10-31-2010, 02:00 PM   #2
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The weizen yeast like it a little higher, I would try warming it up a bit. If the yeast doesn't fare well at lower temps, that could be part of the problem, and its stressing the yeast a little.

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Old 11-01-2010, 03:05 PM   #3
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True Story

Wife: Honey, I need your help when you get home. I think the cat took a $#!^ somewhere.
Me: Oh. Stupid cat.
<Me walks in door>
Me: Mmm, beer. A bit sulfury.
Wife: Do you smell that?
Me: Yeah -- aren't wheat beers awesome!
Wife: $@%(*@&!#$@#


Anyway -- I fermented a wheat with 3638 @ 62F and it stunk like mad for a few days. It took quite a while to offgas -- but I got a 40pt beer out of it.

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Old 11-01-2010, 05:43 PM   #4
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I felt kinda bad when I fermented a wheat with this yeast in our bathroom closet. Everybody coming out of the bathroom had a funny look, but was too polite to accuse somebody else of being the source.

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Old 11-01-2010, 08:16 PM   #5
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I fermented a witbier a bit low last week. I needed to have the plumber come take a look at my bathtub drain a few days after pitching. The guy was sniffing around trying to trace the smell the minute he came into the house.

I showed him the beer. I got the beer out of the cooler to let it clean up and the smell is now gone.

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Old 11-02-2010, 04:54 PM   #6
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Check for infection. Check water for excessive sulfates. Check yeast health. Check for yeast autolysis (beer left on yeast too long at warm temperatures).

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Old 11-06-2010, 09:03 PM   #7
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UPDATE:

took gravity readings from both carboys (one with Westmalle yeast, one with the sulphury weizen yeast). the belgian yeast that was super active is at 1.018 and the weizen yeast that looked like it wasn't doing anything is at 1.013! weird! still tastes/smells sulphury and sort of sour.

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Old 12-03-2010, 11:40 PM   #8
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how did it end up for you. I got a 1.053 hef going right now, and its huuuuggee sulfur, im just hoping if yours went away mine will to

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Old 12-04-2010, 12:00 AM   #9
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Let it warm up near the end and it should help clean it up. Sulfur comes from yeast stresses like temperature swings, low temperatures, inadequate aeration/yeast health, and underpitching exacerbates those problems. If you warm it up near the end it should clean up a lot of it, but beyond that, time is your only friend. I had a saison that was a sulfur bomb after about a month in primary and 2 weeks in secondary, but 6 months later it's just a hint of sulfur that apparently only I can notice because all my friends tell me it tastes and smells delicious.

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Old 12-04-2010, 01:42 AM   #10
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My last two wheats (using Wyeast 1010) both smelled like rotten eggs. The one before that did not. In hindsight, I think the ambient ferm temperature was too high on the sulphur bombs. Neither beer came out all that great but were drinkable.

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