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Old 01-12-2012, 02:59 AM   #1
idover
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Default Second AG fear

Hi All, I finished my second AG batch Sunday evening. Aside from having poor extraction, the only new/different item was that I'd made a starter that was pitched at almost exactly 24 hours. The yeast strain was White Labs California Ale (WLP001) with 3/4 pound of pale DME to make about a 2/3 gallon starter. This was the suggested amount from MrMalty.com for the OG of the recipe (though I didn't come anywhere near the recipe OG). I sanitized, very much so, a plastic gallon jug that had contained nothing but water. I didn't use foil on the lid, instead I sanitized a small stainless steel sauce cup and place over it. At 24 hours, the yeast were going REALLY strong. I pitched the entire starter and within 4 hours the airlock showed a great deal of activity.

The issue now is that the closet in which I'm keeping the fermenter smells of sulfur (somewhat - that's the closest I can tell). I've never had this smell from any batches, which is why it has me a bit worried. The recipe is an IPA with OG of something around 1.042 which was supposed to have been upwards of 1.060 (yeah I know, terrible efficiency, that's something else to work on).

Would the starter I used be considered a "large" starter that might simply produce more odor due to more activity, or a higher pitching rate? Is it possible that because I'd made the starter for a much higher OG that I'd actually pitched too much? I see the reason for making real starters now, but I certainly want to learn the "best" way of doing it. I've never brewed with anyone more experienced, so the smells are something I have to learn as I go along.

Thanks!
Isaac



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Old 01-12-2012, 03:09 AM   #2
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1 of the bi-products of fermentation is sulfur, so since you moved it into a closet, it's contained and concentrated. no worries; it's gonna smell like sulfur



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Old 01-12-2012, 03:09 AM   #3
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What are your temperatures like? What temp did you pitch at, and what temp is it sitting at? I normally wouldn't be worried about stinky fermentations, but I also have an IPA going, and it smells like pure heaven in my fermentation chamber. It's probably nothing, but i'd guess if it's too warm, it could be the reason for stinky fermentation.

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Old 01-12-2012, 03:17 AM   #4
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Thanks lumper, mikey,

I've used this same closet many times and have never noticed this smell. Could it simply be due to more activity than I've had in the past, a result of a higher pitching rate? I do notice the strong smells when it's ready to bottle and keg, but this one is just happening far sooner than with any of the other batches.

The fermenter temperature has been stable at 70 F. I pitched the yeast at the same temperature. The starter was made at around 78-80 F, but I didn't take the temperature of the starter when pitched. My understanding was that the starter should be low gravity ~1.040 and at a slightly warmer temperature.

Hopefully lumpher is right and my fear is due to ignorance, soon to be replaced by drunkeness

Thanks,
Isaac

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Old 01-12-2012, 03:20 AM   #5
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I pitched the yeast at the same temperature. The starter was made at around 78-80 F, but I didn't take the temperature of the starter when pitched.

This really means that I assumed the starter temperature to be the same as the wort.

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Isaac
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:24 AM   #6
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It should be fine. May need to let it condition for a bit, but no worries. I've had some absolutely unbearable smells come out of my fermenters, and the beer/cider comes out fine



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