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Old 01-16-2010, 09:09 AM   #1
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Default Cider Tastes and Smells of Sulphur

Hi All,

After the first tasting of my first real batch, I've found that the smell of sulphur is so off putting I'll probably have to bin the batch.

Before I do this a couple of questions:

1) Is there something I can add to take this smell and taste away?
2) Will bottling it and leaving it have any affect?
3) Where did I go wrong?

I used campden powder to clean all equipment and I added it to the original juice. I needed to add 1g and think I was more or less there in the quantity.

Thanks for any help.

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Old 01-16-2010, 02:27 PM   #2
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How long into fermentation are you? Cider yeasts typically give off a lot of sulpher smells. It'll go away with time.

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Old 01-16-2010, 02:39 PM   #3
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Unless it's H2S, you're fine. You can try "splash racking". That is, rack the cider to another sanitized container, but allow it to splash a bit down the sides so the sulfur smell can disipate. I'd try that, before tossing it out. If it's a mild H2S, you should fix it easily.

From Jack Keller's website:
Rotten-Egg Smell: Hydrogen-sulfide gas manifests itself as the smell of rotten eggs. Pour the must or wine from one container to another for a few minutes to aerate it. Refit the airlock and wait a few hours. If the smell persists, repeat the procedure. If the smell persists after four such procedures, destroy the batch.

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Old 01-16-2010, 02:42 PM   #4
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Rhino farts have been fairly common with my ciders. Time has always made the smell go away and the ciders came out just fine.

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Old 01-16-2010, 02:57 PM   #5
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I've never experienced the sulphur smell from cider but I have heard that using a yeast nutrient can help prevent it, which I always have done.

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Old 01-16-2010, 03:07 PM   #6
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I have never used the nutrient in my ciders but I should because I know that it would prevent the rhino farts.

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Old 01-16-2010, 03:23 PM   #7
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Yeast naturally produces sulphites, and campden is sodium metabisulphite It's normal and will go away with time.

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Old 01-18-2010, 11:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
How long into fermentation are you? Cider yeasts typically give off a lot of sulpher smells. It'll go away with time.
It was an odd batch. Didn't ferment at all for 2 months then in a couple of weeks fermented out to 7.5%.

I've decanted it to bottles now but the smell is so strong it's pretty much undrinkable.

Saying that, I drank a bottle, the next day I had a vague sulphur taste in my breath - not nice.
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Old 01-18-2010, 03:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Izzoard View Post
It was an odd batch. Didn't ferment at all for 2 months then in a couple of weeks fermented out to 7.5%.

I've decanted it to bottles now but the smell is so strong it's pretty much undrinkable.

Saying that, I drank a bottle, the next day I had a vague sulphur taste in my breath - not nice.
If it's bottled, there's not much you can do about it now. It definitely sounds like H2S, and should have been splash racked/aerated before bottling.
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:49 PM   #10
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I have the same problem. I just finished primary fermentation on a 5 gal batch made with Safale-S04 (blue packet) ale yeast. I went to rack it today and the smell/taste was overpowering with sulfur. I checked my notes and did use potassium metabisulfite on that batch, along with yeast energizer and pectic enzyme. The original pH was 3.5 and is now up to 3.8. I raised the original gravity of 1.004 by adding honey. Fermentation went just fine with no clues that anything was amiss. I think getting it off the lees can only help but I'm not hopeful that it can recover. I'm going to leave it be for now and see if it can age out somehow unless anyone has some other suggestions.

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