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Old 05-15-2012, 02:48 AM   #1
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Default Sulfur Cause

I've brewed three beers now with 2206. On about the 4th day of active fermentation, the third beer with 2206 is starting to throw off some sulfur. Never got even a hint of sulfur on the previous 2. I totally understand that this is "normal" for a lager yeast and it's certainly not the worst I've ever seen, but I'm starting to wonder how I can avoid it in the future. After all, wouldn't it be nice to not have to lager the beer for many weeks just to get rid of the sulfur? So here are the the things I think might be at play:

1st beer:

"Warm" (60F) pitch, then cool down to midpoint of 2206 (~52F)
Recipe: Warsteiner Clone, Smash Weyermann Pils and Hallertauer, 90 min boil
1/4 tsp Supermoss, Wyeast Yeast Nutrient

2nd beer:

"Warm" (60F) pitch, then cool down to midpoint of 2206 (~52F)
Recipe: 70% Rahr Pils and 30% flaked barley, (11 oz DME due to poorer than expected mash efficiency), Hallertauer, 90 min boil
No finings, Wyeast Yeast Nutrient

3rd beer:

Narziss scheme: Start at 44F, pitched yeast already cooled to same temp, warm to 48F over next 2-3 days. Fermentation started between 36-48 hours.
Recipe: BCS Munchen Grosses Bier
1/8 tsp Supermoss, No Yeast Nutrient.


I'm beginning to wonder if the difference is the lack of added nutrient. Another nutrient (Servomyces) claims to be able to cut down on sulfur production. Perhaps the cold start was at play, but I've done this before and don't remember sulfur.

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Old 05-15-2012, 02:55 AM   #2
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If you use one of these:



You could stick a toilet paper tube over the airlock and stuff dryer sheets on top of it. It doesn't stop the sulfur, but it does mask the odor.

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Old 05-15-2012, 03:07 AM   #3
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Luckily I don't have one of those wives/girlfriends that is majorly offended by it. Could also be the fact that it's in the basement in a chest freezer too.

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Old 05-15-2012, 03:09 AM   #4
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That sulfurous be from the yeast being stressed. Is this the 3rd generation? And the only cycle without nutrient?

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Old 05-15-2012, 03:10 AM   #5
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Oh yeah, forgot to mention ... I made appropriately sized (per Mr Malty) starters on all of them - between 4 and 4.5 liters. Only difference was that the last starter also sat in the basement at 60 F for an extra week more than the others due to delays in the brewing schedule.

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Old 05-15-2012, 03:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mux View Post
That sulfurous be from the yeast being stressed. Is this the 3rd generation? And the only cycle without nutrient?
Each starter was made from a fresh pack of Wyeast Activator, none more than a month old and starter volume adjustments made per Mr Malty based on pack expiration/age.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:47 AM   #7
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i think a lot of people make the debonger (the tube with active charcoal and dryer sheets) for apfelwein. I also think fermax or a piece of copper in the beer helps.

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Old 05-15-2012, 04:10 AM   #8
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Some yeasts are just going to throw sulfur no matter what, it's the same with wine yeast. I have heard that the closed pressure fermentation greatly reduces it but I haven't done it yet, getting the gear together to try it.

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Old 05-15-2012, 04:41 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by helibrewer View Post
Some yeasts are just going to throw sulfur no matter what
Based on my experience 2206 is not one of those yeasts. It sure would be nice to know how to control it. Most writings I see on this topic talk about the yeast being stressed, but I can't really point to anything I did on this last batch to stress the yeast. It's hard to imagine that a simple all-malt grain bill would not have enough nutrients. I guess I'm just looking for more details (more than the generic "stress") on the conditions that lead to this.

I did cut my water 4:1 with DI on this batch, but I also did that with the first batch, so I doubt that was a factor.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:45 AM   #10
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kind of old thread but i just had a similar experience. have used this yeast a few times now and not had much sulfur, even with this same pitch. just repitched it into a smaller (1.054) wort at 10C, healthy yeast, lots of O2, nutrient, fermenting away by the next morning, two days later it smells like a retirement home cabbage fart! i found my ladyfriend wandering around the fermenting area checking the trash can and looking for something rotten. i recently had some aged hops stinking the place up, was asked to get rid of them after a week (smelled like nasty old socks and the odor got into the coats and scarves hanging nearby), then a new batch of lacto cabbage/carrots (stinking it up for a week or two) and now this.

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