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Old 04-27-2011, 08:58 PM   #1
Douglefish
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Default Wedding Hefeweizen - Sulfur/Bad Taste

So I no chilled a hefeweizen in corny kegs for my upcoming wedding. I tasted the wort before pitching and it tasted great. I then pitched an appropriate sized starter (mrmalty.com), and the beer reached terminal gravity 1.010 from 1.048 in about 4 days which seems about right.

I tasted it last night, and could definitely smell sulfur. I used 3068 and there are countless threads on that yeast throwing sulfur. I am also getting a kind of bad taste from the beer.

My question: What does sulfur taste like in beer? I can't tell if that's what I'm tasting or not?

Wort tasted great
Controlled Fermentation @ 62
Oxygenated for 3 mins with pure 02
Very healthy ferment (4 days)

Just trying to figure out this off flavor, and hoping it's sulfur but I'm not sure. I need to decide pronto if I am going to re-brew it?

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Old 04-27-2011, 09:11 PM   #2
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I've had some slight sulfur smell in my hefe's pretty early and it's faded. I believe it's a by product of the fermentation. I've never tried to keg them before 2 weeks though. Others probably can chime in though.

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Old 04-27-2011, 09:14 PM   #3
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Just reread your post and I've never tasted sulfur in the beer, but again I usually give them time. SO I'm no help. LOL

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Old 04-27-2011, 09:32 PM   #4
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I had a bad sulfur smell in my hefe for the first two weeks. I'm now in primary week four and the airlock smells AWESOME. I think you just need to give it more time. I used 3068 as well, and it is known for the bad sulfur smell. When I tested the FG last week, it still had a slight sulfur smell, but it tasted awesome. I think you just need to give it time.

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Old 04-27-2011, 09:38 PM   #5
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I appreciate the quick responses, does sulfur also throw a taste? If so, how could I identify if that's what I'm tasting?

Thanks!

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Old 04-27-2011, 10:50 PM   #6
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I noticed a very strong sulfur-ish aroma in another homebrewer's German hefe. It had only been in the bottle for about a week or so. He called it bandaid, but I normally attribute that character to chlorine in the water. This, to me, seemed like a yeast byproduct. The taste had a little bit of it too, almost erring on the side of rotten bananas. I am willing to bet that has faded significantly, if not gone away completely. Next time I see him, I will hopefully get to taste it again. I've also experienced this in two of my ciders brewed a few years ago. Both of these batches had this character and it did eventually fade.

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Old 04-28-2011, 07:39 PM   #7
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Interestingly enough, I tasted the gravity sample that had been sitting on my kitchen counter last night and it was MUCH better. I'm not sure it the container allowed for it to off gas, or the yeast chewed through the sulfur. Anyway, the fermenter still has the character so I have been running c02 through it to try scrub it daily. Hopefully this does it!

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Old 05-11-2011, 02:52 PM   #8
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Alright, so I tried running the beer through a clean copper 3/8" tube into a glass and that didn't really work. I'm really puzzled!

I had convinced myself that I possibly had an infection, but I looked into the fermenter half way expecting to see a film on the top of my hefe, but it looked great?

We are at 3 weeks and still have a BAD sulfur flavor. At this point, would you rack it into kegs and try to scrub it out with CO2?

Again...
Pitched the right amount of yeast
Oxygenated for about 3 mins (10 gallon)
Fast ferment (Finished in 3-4 days)
No sign of infection

Also...
I made 2 other beers that weekend and none of them had signs of sulfur
I made a saison about a year ago, and realized today that it did have a sulfur taste. Still have some left and the taste is identical!
Even further back, I made a kolsch the exhibited the exact same taste (didn't know what it was at the time)
Why would sulfur be sticking around in my beers more than others?

Any advice or troubleshooting help would be very much appreciated.

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Old 05-11-2011, 03:18 PM   #9
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The sulfur smell should leave the beer on its own. I assume you had an airlock on it or something while it "aged"? Or did you seal the keg? Maybe try increasing the temperature on it, with an airlock, see if the co2 coming out of the solution will take that sulfur smell with it.

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Old 05-11-2011, 03:32 PM   #10
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So I had one of Derrin's fermentation kit's for a sanke on the it. It has a hose hooked up to the output that sits in a ball jar with starsan?

I've had this thing at near 70 degrees for a couple of weeks now. I even bubbled c02 to try to off gas some of the sulfur.

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