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Old 07-01-2013, 05:40 PM   #1
Methose
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Default Fermentation smells like Sulphur

Ok, so I'm new -meaning I'm prone to the: oh noes, uh ohs, and in general have not yet adapted to the RDWHAHB philosophy (though I'm trying).

I brewed a Wheat based IPA with Honey as thus:

Recipe specifics:

Style: Imperial IPA
Batch size: 5.0 gal
Boil volume: 6.0 gal
OG: 1.074
FG: 1.019
Bitterness (IBU): 142.0
Color (SRM): 6.9
ABV: 7.3%

Grain/Sugars:

8.00 lb Wheat LME, 74.4%
2.00 lb Honey, 18.6%, boil for 5 min
0.50 lb Crystal 20L, 4.7%
0.25 lb Crystal 40L, 2.3%

Hops:

1.00 oz Warrior (AA 15.0%, Pellet) 60 min, 51.6 IBU
2.00 oz Simcoe (AA 13.2%, Pellet) 30 min, 70.0 IBU
1.00 oz Simcoe (AA 13.2%, Pellet) 10 min, 16.5 IBU
1.00 oz Simcoe (AA 13.2%, Pellet) 2 min, 3.9 IBU


The story comes from the yeast. I originally grew up some PacMan from the dreggs of some Shakespear Stout, then pitched into another IPA (5 gal batch). I then salvaged the yeast using the method of pouring de-oxygenated water from boiled down (then cooled) mason jars, then poured the yeast back into these jars. I washed the yeast a few times, being as sanitary as an insanely OCD person. I then built up a 1 liter starter from one of the mason jars 2 days prior to brew day.
I thought I started to catch a whiff of some off smell in the starter only on the last few hours before brewing, but thought it was something else and pitched anyway.

The next day I went down there and had to add a blowoff tube because it was starting to come up into the airlock. Later that day, it was blowing like mad and the entire room smelled like my sewer pipe busted.

I read a great deal on this forum and others, and even consulted my LHBS.
There was a great range from either:
Infection to It's normal wait it out.
The decision I came to being the root cause was from Sulphur.

I tried just stirring with a cleaned and sanitized new piece of copper pipe, but it didn't remove the smell. So the next day (after advice from my LHBS), I just re-sanitized the copper pipe and dripped it in the bucket to stay for the rest of the primary fermentation period. They've been in there since 6-27-13.

What's the thoughts?
RDWHAHB?
Pitch the batch out?
Take out the copper pipe because I'm poisoning myself even further?
Splash rack to secondary?

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Old 07-01-2013, 05:50 PM   #2
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If it smells like sewer gas it is hydrogen sulfide (rotting eggs). The good news is that this can be removed by exposure to copper. The bad news is that it is most likely the result of an infection and the beer is going to be a dumper.

If it smells a bit like rotten eggs but more like burnt matches the gas is sulfur dioxide. The bad news is that it does not react with copper. The good news is that it is very volatile and will pass out of the beer. This is also true for a modest amount of hydrogen sulfide (jungbuket).

In any event, waiting for some time to see if the smell dissipates seems a good idea.

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Old 07-01-2013, 06:18 PM   #3
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does a picture help?

This is what it looked like when I added the copper pipe.

20130628_011338.jpg  
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:22 PM   #4
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Are the lighter spots in the picture clear bubbles coming through the krausen, or fuzzy mold. Too blurry on my phone.

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Old 07-01-2013, 06:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
If it smells like sewer gas it is hydrogen sulfide (rotting eggs). The good news is that this can be removed by exposure to copper. The bad news is that it is most likely the result of an infection and the beer is going to be a dumper.

If it smells a bit like rotten eggs but more like burnt matches the gas is sulfur dioxide. The bad news is that it does not react with copper. The good news is that it is very volatile and will pass out of the beer. This is also true for a modest amount of hydrogen sulfide (jungbuket).

In any event, waiting for some time to see if the smell dissipates seems a good idea.
So if it can be removed with copper, what's the point if it's due to infection and I should dump the batch?

It's gone from it's OG down to 1.012, which I guess means that it's done fermenting, but still smells (though certainly not as bad as at the initial 2-3 days).
Brewed on Sunday, 6-23-13
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freisste View Post
Are the lighter spots in the picture clear bubbles coming through the krausen, or fuzzy mold. Too blurry on my phone.
They appear to be clear bubbles coming through the krausen.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:38 PM   #7
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WLP051 smells like sulfur but makes great beer. I have a porter going right now. It could just be the yeast.

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Old 07-01-2013, 09:30 PM   #8
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So is there a concern for the copper pipe sitting in my fermenter for multiple days?

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Old 07-01-2013, 10:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
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So if it can be removed with copper, what's the point if it's due to infection and I should dump the batch?
If the batch is indeed infected hydrogen sulfide isn't going to be the only problem.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:46 PM   #10
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Your process and your picture looks fine. What was your fermentation temp? Pacman can throw off some sulfur, I would just RDWHAHB.

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