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Old 01-17-2011, 06:29 PM   #1
Paisano
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Default Apfelwein Sulfur Smell Apparently Solved

It would appear that, at least temporarily, I’ve solved the sulfur smell issue created by some batches of fermenting apfelwein. This is a workable solution for those who are fermenting in a living space or an apartment.

I made a batch of apfelwein following Edwort’s recipe EXCEPT I used Cote des Blanc yeast (because that is what I had on hand) & yeast nutrient at the recommended rate (since some said this would reduce sulfur smell). The fermenting carboy is on a counter in our dining room due to lagering temps in the garage. I awoke to *very strong sulfur smell permeating the entire main floor of our house today (so much for the yeast nutrient argument). Obviously I realized this setup wasn’t going to work, especially in the dining room. SO… I made a filter housing out of household materials ($0) to attach to the top the fermentation lock. I filled the filter housing with activated carbon ($6 from wallyworld) and…. INSTANT SUCCESS! There is absolutely no odor coming from the escaping gas out of the filter atop the fermentation lock. I aired out the house and the filter has kept the smell to absolute zero for several hours now.

Here’s a link to how I did it.
(the photos have notes so mouse-over to see them.)

I expect that at some point the carbon in the filter will become saturated and need to be replaced to continue absorbing sulfur. There is enough carbon in the single container I purchased for dozens of filtrations. I’ll keep you posted on how long it works. This is my first batch of apfelwein so I’m not sure how long the sulfur smell persists during fermentation… anyone know?

(KEYWORDS: smell, odor, gas, sulfur, sulphur, sulfer, sulpher, filter, how to, DIY, make)

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Old 01-19-2011, 01:17 AM   #2
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This solves the smell from getting in your apartment, but isn't the smell an indicator of something not quite right? I'm no expert just curious.

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Old 01-19-2011, 02:32 AM   #3
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There have been posts in Edwort's Apfelwein thread about this smell issue. Apparently, you may be correct from a technical perspective. However, loads of people are fermenting Edwort's Apfelwein (or a variation thereof) and getting fantastic results -- it is an award-winning recipe. A result of the yeast/must combination is smell for 48-72 hours before it dissipates.

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Old 01-19-2011, 02:43 AM   #4
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It has been 36 hours since placing the filter on the fermentation lock. The activated carbon filter continues to absorb all sulfur smell exiting the fermentation lock. I temporarily removed the fermentation lock to check the sulfide smell from the fermenter. The odor production is beginning to subside, but it is still producing some H2S. The filter is absorbing 100% of the odor.

If you decide to try brewing Edwort's Apfelwein and can only ferment it in a living space, then this filter (link in original post) will absorb the sulfur smell and keep SWMBO happy.

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Old 01-22-2011, 08:40 PM   #5
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My apfelwein has started to slow in fermentation and is past the sulfur smell phase. My homemade filter has done the job, filtering out all the sulfur smell since putting it on. I was originally thinking a larger container would be needed to house enough activated carbon for then entire duration but I guess not.

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Old 01-23-2011, 08:21 AM   #6
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very creative, looks awesome...!

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Old 01-25-2011, 12:56 AM   #7
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Thanks, Plate. I'm not so sure about the looks, but it works great. I've been thinking that the tall container probably does a better job than a shorter container since it creates a deeper filter bed.

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Old 01-26-2011, 08:22 PM   #8
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I'll be trying this out tonight when I make my first Apfelwine batch!

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Old 01-28-2011, 12:03 AM   #9
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Let us know how it goes and post a pic if you can. I'm new to apfelwein but if I'm remembering correctly, the sulfur gas started around the 24-36 hour mark of fermentation when I used cote des blanc yeast pitched at room temp.

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Old 02-06-2011, 07:58 PM   #10
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cant w8 to try this i see no reason it wont work for my lagers as well so the wife will stop yelling how bad they smell for the 1st week

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