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Old 11-05-2010, 03:58 AM   #1
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Default About to make my first cider - worried about sulphur smells

I'm about to make my first cider. I have 3 gallons of apple cider (no preservatives) and a pack of Wyeast 4766. I'm thinking of adding either 1 lb of dextrose (like Ed Wort's famed apfelwein recipe) or 1 lb of brown sugar.

In looking around this forum, I've seen a lot of people mention a sulphur smell as the cider ferments. How bad can I expect this smell to be? I live in a small apartment and really don't want to bother my neighbors. Is there anything I can do to help minimize the smell?


Also, on an unrelated note, the yeast package says that there's enough to make 5 gallons. Since I'm only making 3 gallons, should I just use 3/5 of it and discard the rest, or are there any pros/cons to using the whole pack?

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Old 11-05-2010, 04:26 AM   #2
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The smell won't carry to another apartment, and you probably won't even be able to smell it across your apartment. The smell is strong when you get your nose right up to it, but it doesn't really carry much. At least, my ciders haven't.

Using the whole yeast pack will be fine.

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Old 11-05-2010, 12:22 PM   #3
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You can reduce, or even eliminate the sulphur smells by using yeast nutrient. Regards, GF.

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Old 11-05-2010, 02:21 PM   #4
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I started a 3 gal batch of Apfelwein and 5 gals of cider one week ago. I have them both in the kitchen and have never even noticed any smell unless I put my nose right up to the airlock, and I live in a small mobile home.

ETA: I forgot that I did add nutrient to the cider. But not to the Apfelwein.

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Old 11-05-2010, 02:47 PM   #5
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I have 4 individual gallon jugs of cider along with 5 1 gallon jugs of beer, all stuck in a small cool closet in a small bedroom in a small apartment. None of those places have a sulfury smell to them and even when I sniff the airlock, I don't get sulfur, just the scent of hops or cider.
I think the sulfur smell really depends on the type of yeast as some will give off a greater scent than others. Even the sticky posts seemed to have mentioned that some do, some don't. (For example from a neighbor who talked about 40 years ago, using a bread yeast would give off quite a sulfury smell.)
As for using partial yeast packets, there shouldn't be a problem using only partial amounts of the packet and sealing the remaining up. You'd just want to seal it in an airtight container and use the rest quickly, trying to avoid contamination. I've divvy'd up yeast packets among my several gallons (one type of yeast for the ciders, and currently another type of yeast for the beers), sometimes with days in between. I keep the single packet folded up and sealed in a sandwich bag.

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Old 11-05-2010, 04:50 PM   #6
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Thank you so much for your responses. It's a relief to know I probably won't have anyone complaining about this.

I'm really looking forward to getting started.

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Old 11-06-2010, 01:23 PM   #7
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I got a strong sulfur smell from a batch of cider/sugar/nottingham. Not wanting to add chemical or urine-derived yeast nutrients, I added some honey (contains trace minerals, etc) and TVP (textured vegetable protein; which is de-fatted soy flour) as yeast nutrients. The sulfur smell dissipated in 24 hours. I'm not sure if that is cause/effect or coincidence.

Other natural yeast nutrient options are bee pollen, spirulina (blue/green algae), and/or nutritional brewer's yeast (all health supplements).

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Old 11-06-2010, 03:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gratus fermentatio View Post
You can reduce, or even eliminate the sulphur smells by using yeast nutrient. Regards, GF.

I thought yeast nutrient was only to help them reproduce healthily, that the nutrient doesn't do much, or even be detrimental, when added during fermentation. How would the addition of nutrients reduce or eliminate the sulphur smell?

Where can I read more about this?

I tried the copper method, it did not work. Well, maybe it did work, because I didn't do a side-by-side, just copper-stirred the whole batch. The match-head is still in the nose... strongly.
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Old 11-06-2010, 03:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch78 View Post
Where can I read more about this?
I googled "yeast nutrient" and several results linked sulfur production to yeast malnutrition.

This is from http://www.yeastbank.com/features/servo.htm
describing Servomyces yeast nutrient:

"Users have also reported that Servomyces has resulted in the elimination of harsh sulphury notes and the reduction in the level of diacetyl in the end of primary fermentation."
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Old 11-06-2010, 03:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch78 View Post
I thought yeast nutrient was only to help them reproduce healthily, that the nutrient doesn't do much, or even be detrimental, when added during fermentation. How would the addition of nutrients reduce or eliminate the sulphur smell?

Where can I read more about this?

I tried the copper method, it did not work. Well, maybe it did work, because I didn't do a side-by-side, just copper-stirred the whole batch. The match-head is still in the nose... strongly.
DAP in yeast nutrient is only detrimental to yeast if added in large amounts before or very early in fermentation, the normally suggested doses won't do any harm.

Yeast nutrient helps the yeast reproduce, build stronger cell walls and aids in the digestion of sugars.

A lack of available nutrients, particularly nitrogen, can stress yeast and lead to them producing a sulphur smell.
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