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Old 11-08-2012, 03:21 AM   #1
Malthead
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Default Sweaty Sock Smell?

I've brewed the same Bitter and ESB recipes about 5 times each and have all turned out great. The last two batches of each have turned out with what can best be explained as a sweaty sock aroma. On a couple of occasions the smell has lessened after a couple of weeks of keg carbonation. Two batches refuse to let go of the smell.

I have temperature regulated fridges. I have always sanitized religiously. What could be the culprit?

I buy grain in bulk. Could this have aged? It's at most been open 3 months but has been stored in high a humidity environment. All my hops are vacuum sealed after use.

My last few brews needed excessive stirring to dough in. Would additional oxygen added during the stirring be a factor?

Last point, for giggles in my last few brews I drained wort from the MLT to gallon milk cartons to measure volume collected. I normally pump from MLT to BK. Any chance that this has had an effect?

Cheers

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Old 11-08-2012, 11:29 AM   #2
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I have no idea what your sweaty sock smell is coming from, but if you wish to eliminate the milk cartons as a possible source, and you don't have a sight glass, get an oak dowel and calibrate it to your kettle by drawing gallon markers on it with a permanent marker to measure your wort collected.

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Old 11-08-2012, 12:37 PM   #3
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Sounds to me like you could be dealing with some sulphur produced by the yeast. You mentioned that it went away after kegging. That would be from CO2 clearing it out. I have had this before. What yeast strain are you using?

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Old 11-08-2012, 01:42 PM   #4
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This also just happened to me using S-05. Not sure what's going on. It didn't taste too bad, but smelled awful. I threw 3 oz of citra in it hoping that would make the aroma a little better. I'd like to know how this turns out...
:subscribes:

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Old 11-09-2012, 12:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by william_shakes_beer View Post
I have no idea what your sweaty sock smell is coming from, but if you wish to eliminate the milk cartons as a possible source, and you don't have a sight glass, get an oak dowel and calibrate it to your kettle by drawing gallon markers on it with a permanent marker to measure your wort collected.
Yes, I'm making a test rod this w/e. Thx
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dok View Post
Sounds to me like you could be dealing with some sulphur produced by the yeast. You mentioned that it went away after kegging. That would be from CO2 clearing it out. I have had this before. What yeast strain are you using?
Good question. I actually used SO-4 on the ESB and White Labs #WLP002 on the bitter so I guess the yeast can be ruled out.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by theBFG View Post
This also just happened to me using S-05. Not sure what's going on. It didn't taste too bad, but smelled awful. I threw 3 oz of citra in it hoping that would make the aroma a little better. I'd like to know how this turns out...
:subscribes:
That's funny. If you can stand the smell on mine it actually tastes just fine too!
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:21 PM   #8
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I am glad this was posted. I had the same thing happen to me using the S-23 yeast. Smelled just like described and I attributed it to the hops and the long lagering time of 8 weeks being trapped in a carboy at 32 degrees. After sitting in the keg now for about 4 weeks, it is getting better but not gone. Beer is very good as long as you avoid smelling it. This is the first time I have experienced anything like this in 15 years.

Sounds like the yeast is ruled out for the OP, so I am curious to see if this gets narrowed down to a cause. I did use Briess Pilsner malt for the first time ever.

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Last edited by LansingX; 11-09-2012 at 04:23 PM. Reason: listed incorrect yeast
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by theBFG View Post
This also just happened to me using S-05. Not sure what's going on. It didn't taste too bad, but smelled awful. I threw 3 oz of citra in it hoping that would make the aroma a little better. I'd like to know how this turns out...
:subscribes:
**UPDATE**

After letting the beer sit on the citra for ~10 days in the secondary I racked to a keg and force carbed it. Then bottled with a blichmann beer gun. They were all consumed with the family for Thanksgiving, and tasted great! Must have just been a smelly fermentation.
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