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Old 11-03-2008, 10:07 PM   #1
brewdragon
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Default First Cider - Smells Like rotten Eggs!!! HELP!

Okay I am starting my first hard cider and am having a slight problem...

I got 5 gal of apple cider (no preservatives no pasteurization) from my local cider mill and put it in a 6.5 gal carboy (no campden tabs). I started a culture of Danstar Windsor 11g dry yeast in 1 qt of the same cider and after 24 hours pitched it into the carboy. I pitched last night and when I got home from work today the whole basement smelled like rotten eggs!!!

I am guessing this is hydrogrn sulfide.

1. Is this a property of the yeast or did I do something very very wrong?
2. Will it go away?
3. Dear god when?
4. and is it safe or should I remove it from the basement?

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Old 11-03-2008, 10:11 PM   #2
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And I present to you the 'rhino fart'. Some yeasts produce a fair amount of sulphur during the early phases of fermentation. I noticed that your cider isn't pasteurized- did you add K-meta (potassium metabisulfide) to kill any wild yeasts?

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Old 11-03-2008, 10:13 PM   #3
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You have the famous Rhino farts! Don't worry, it's fine and they will go away in a few days. Some yeasts produce that smell but it won't hurt you or the cider. I have not tried it but yeast nutrient supposedly lessens the smell considerably.

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Old 11-03-2008, 10:17 PM   #4
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Every Thing should be fine

I usually get some sulphur smalls during primary fermentation
Usually goes away within a week or so

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Old 11-03-2008, 10:21 PM   #5
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Some yeast strains do have some funny smells (and apple wines and ciders often do that) but if it's extreme, it might very well be H2S. H2S doesn't come until later in the fermentation, though. What I would do now is get down there and stir it up well to aerate and maybe dissipate some of that smell. If it persists after a week, though, I would treat it.

From Jack Keller's site, I found some suggestions to get rid of H2S:
How to Treat Hydrogen-Sulphide

Hydrogen sulfide does much more than impart off-smells and flavors to wine. Hydrogen sulfide can be detected by smell in quantities as low as 2 parts per billion. It can usually be dissipated during the first 2-3 weeks after its production begins by racking and aerating the wine. After several weeks, it tends to react with other components in the wine to form less volatile mercaptans, which themselves can be further oxidized to disulfides. These latter compounds are almost impossible to remove from wine by stripping methods, and their presence in the wine makes it undrinkable. Both mercaptans and disulfides have a notable skunk-like smell.

Hydrogen sulfide is usually formed after fermentation has concluded and detected when the wine is racked. If the hydrogen sulfide has not sat in the wine too long, it can be treated with a maximum measure of 0.5 ppm of copper, the amount contained in 0.75 ml of a 1% solution of copper sulfate pentahydrate added to a gallon of wine. The hydrogen sulfide should be gone within two days and the wine can be treated normally. However, it will take about 3 rackings, 20-30 days apart, to remove all excess copper from the wine. If not removed, the copper itself can taint the wine.

The amounts of copper sulfate pentahydrate used are so small, and the risks to fatally damaging the wine by adding too much are so real, that it is impractical to treat small amounts (less than 5 gallons) of wine. The preferred treatment is still to add sulfur dioxide in the form of potassium metabisulfite solution (see Measuring Additives in Winemaking) and then rack the wine with plenty of aeration to drive off the H2S.

A proprietary compound called Sulfex can also be used to treat hydrogen sulfide formation. It comes as a 10% slurry in water and is added to wine at the rate of 0.5-5 grams per gallon. It is insoluble and settles out without leaving any traces in the wine if subsequently racked properly at least twice. I have never used it but have heard it works well.


I'd skip the steps with copper, and go right to adding k-meta (campden) and splash racking if it's persistent after fermentation finishes.

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Old 11-03-2008, 11:06 PM   #6
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It is normal, I always get rhino farts when making cider.

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Old 11-04-2008, 12:02 AM   #7
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I just had to laugh when I read the original post. I made a 3 gallon batch of EdWort's Apfelwein several weeks ago and within a few days the whole basement smelled like ass. At first I thought it was the dog (always, always blame the dog) but then when I sniffed the airlock (big mistake) I realized that was the apfelwein. The basement smell subsided within a week but the smell in the bucket lasted near to a whole month. At 6 weeks, I opened the fermenter, smelled inside and took a taste.... no more fart smell. The wine tasted great too.

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Old 11-04-2008, 12:40 AM   #8
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Thanks guys! I will check it again in a few days and see if it has lessened...mean time, no video games in the basement i guess LOL!!!

(Nice mibrewer...I don't have a dog, but my first reaction was to blame my husband though!! :P

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Old 11-04-2008, 12:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewdragon View Post
Thanks guys! I will check it again in a few days and see if it has lessened...mean time, no video games in the basement i guess LOL!!!

(Nice mibrewer...I don't have a dog, but my first reaction was to blame my husband though!! :P
That's funny you should say that, I think womens' noses don't work so well.... they always let one go and then "Oh, that didn't smell!"
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Old 11-04-2008, 06:54 AM   #10
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After a long time you get used to it. But then again it kind of rough on visitors.
The good news is its normal, enjoy the cider in a few to many months.

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