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-   -   Sulfur and Washed/Recycled Yeast (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/sulfur-washed-recycled-yeast-191716/)

Powers 08-19-2010 06:23 PM

Sulfur and Washed/Recycled Yeast
I've read alot of threads throughout the forum on sulfur odors during fermentation. I've also read quite a few posts on recycling/washing yeast.

I had washed some Wyeast 1028 a little over a month ago. I initially made a dark red ale with the yeast and liked the results, so decided to keep some for later.

Then I opted to make a dark wheat ale to later (in the secondary) add about 5-6 lbs of blackberries. Being a tight ass, I opted to use the washed 1028 instead of buying new yeast. The first 24 hours of fermentation went off without a hitch, with a roasty aromatic scent wafting from the airlock. Then came the strong sulfur odor. A decent amount of white sediment also began to accumulate in the bottom of the fermenter on top the yeast cake.

I've read the sulfur smell/taste will pass with time. But I'm now at a crossroads. I only have $15 in this batch and I have to decide whether I want to drop $30 worth of blackberries into this batch, or save them for one that's free of sulfur overtones. Any thoughts??

KingBrianI 08-19-2010 06:36 PM

I've had similar sulfur aromas come from the fermenter after using washed and saved yeast. It has almost always gone away. I don't know if it's due to bacteria or yeast health, but probably yeast health since it goes away. In your case, I would leave it in primary until after it's done fermenting and had a week or two to clean up. Then have a taste and if you don't detect any off-flavors, rack to secondary with the berries.

Powers 08-19-2010 06:47 PM

that kind of where i was heading; it's good to hear some confirmation. i usually give a long time in the primary for cleaning things up, but the second fermentation with the berries left me wondering. i might need to leave it a good long time with the berries as well, especially if the surfur comes back in the second round of fermentation

Powers 08-19-2010 06:48 PM

any thoughts on a better method of washing yeast to prevent sulfur production? i use a pretty simple method that basically sterilizes the water, but doesn't use any chemicals.

EDIT: i made a hurried decision to craft this brew at the last minute on a saturday, and so only had it in the starter for 18 hours. it barely started to bubble when i pitched it. this thread (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/sul...-yeast-188450/) seems to infer that had I waited for a full starter ferment, i might have avoided the sulfur.

Powers 08-20-2010 01:40 PM

checked the gravity today at about 6 days in the primary, as much of the activity seemed to stop. i tasted a sample from the thief and there was no sulfur taste. the sulfur smell had also reduced from the initial days of aggressive fermenting. so, looks safe to move forward with the berries after another week or so in the primary.

thanks for the advice!

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