New Giveaway - Wort Monster Conical Fermeneter!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Off smell in pale ale




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-25-2011, 02:10 AM   #1
gurrback
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 78
Default Off smell in pale ale

Hi everyone,

After making a really stupid mistake I was forced to throw out around 50 Litres of beer. It was pretty demoralizing to say the least. I've since licked my wounds and decided to brew two very simple batches of beer. No more cart before the horse, as they say. I've got a new problem though.

**Both batches are 2.5 gallon extract+grains. I used White Labs liquid yeast and yeast nutrient. My Aerator broke so I resorted to the "shake the carboy" method of aeration. Both batches fermented at an ambient temp of 63f. Both showed signs of fermentation and bubbled for 6-7 days.**

Beer #1 is a simple dry stout and Beer #2 is a pale ale. Both brews went very well. I hit my targets and thought my sanitzation was great. I pitched and let ferment away until today when I decided to take a sample today (12 days in).

Beer #1 is great. Tastes/smells delicious. 2-1 points away from FG.

Beer #2 is a different story. It smells quite strongly of sulpher/rotten something. I can drink it and it tastes fine (obv. green though) but the smell is off. Normally I would just RAHAHB but I'm worried because it's a milder version of the scent that drove me throw out the 50 Litres last month. It's basically the exact same smell but toned down.

Am I paranoid? Is this suspended yeast or something else that will decrease with time? What exactly is this smell? Again, it's almost the exact same as an awful smell/taste that forced me to dump the last batch. Is this an infection that has spread, possibly from carboys or tools?



__________________
gurrback is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-25-2011, 02:16 AM   #2
wailingguitar
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Florence, Alabama
Posts: 1,575
Liked 92 Times on 80 Posts
Likes Given: 405

Default

Tough to say, there are infections that can make that happen... but it could be a natural byproduct. Some yeast strains are prone to it. When that happens, it does tend to dissipate on it's own.

Is this beer bottled or kegged? Still in ferm?



__________________

"Why did you.... what was the point of... how drunk were you when you decided this was a good idea?" - DMartin

wailingguitar is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-25-2011, 02:24 AM   #3
gurrback
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 78
Default

It's still in the primary. It has only been 12 days. The smell is a distinct sulpher/rotten smell (as my GF says, doesn't smell like beer) but the taste is relatively fine.

I noticed the smell coming from the carboy 2-3 days in to fern but assumed it was the yeast.

__________________
gurrback is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-25-2011, 02:32 AM   #4
jonmohno
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Corn, High Fructose Corn Fortress, IA
Posts: 5,777
Liked 402 Times on 356 Posts
Likes Given: 1155

Default

Nothing to worry about untill after they are carbed in the bottle in like 6 weeks.Some yeasts do that. It shouldnt be in your beer. What yeast for #2?
I am too,also concerned if you really needed to dump the beer you thought you made a stupid mistake,care to explain?

__________________
jonmohno is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-25-2011, 02:35 AM   #5
Whippy
Honour thine beer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Whippy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Irmo, South Carolina, USA
Posts: 600
Liked 29 Times on 26 Posts
Likes Given: 96

Default

I'd say to just not touch it for a couple weeks. I have had some meads and a cider and a beer that smelled really bad of rotten sulpher and they ended up clearing out and being nice.

I am sure there are just some yeast strains that tend to do this...That Red Star Champagne yeast has given me that smell all three times I used it (two meads and a cider.) I don't remember what beer yeast I used that time I got that stink, but it seems like it was the Wyeast Kölsch.

The stink is enough to make you want to pour out the batch, I know!! ....but as long as you don't have any mold growing on it or anything weird like that, I vote to wait it out.

Think of it this way...the smells are coming OUT of your beer. Be glad they are not staying in there

__________________

Two weeks to ferment, two more in the kegs
but in just one night it was drained to the dregs

Whippy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-25-2011, 02:36 AM   #6
gurrback
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 78
Default

California Ale V, which I know produces a strong scent like the one I'm describing. It's just so similar to the previous infection that I'm a little paranoid.

__________________
gurrback is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-25-2011, 04:07 AM   #7
hbtstu
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Posts: 9
Default

Either it's an infection or it'll be fine in a few weeks. All you can do now is wait and see.

__________________

Last edited by hbtstu; 11-25-2011 at 04:10 AM.
hbtstu is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-25-2011, 02:05 PM   #8
unionrdr
Gotta home brew jones
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
unionrdr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Sheffield, Ohio
Posts: 26,547
Liked 1656 Times on 1462 Posts
Likes Given: 1132

Default

I'm sure it isn't an infection,you'd be able to see it more often as not on top. But several Euro yeasts I've read about on sites like Midwest that produce sulpher compounds as part of the fermentation. They dissipate over time.
__________________
Everything works if ya let it-Roady(meatloaf)
unionrdr is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-25-2011, 02:14 PM   #9
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,782
Liked 2657 Times on 1602 Posts
Likes Given: 3445

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gurrback View Post
It's still in the primary. It has only been 12 days. The smell is a distinct sulpher/rotten smell (as my GF says, doesn't smell like beer) but the taste is relatively fine.

I noticed the smell coming from the carboy 2-3 days in to fern but assumed it was the yeast.
Don't smell you're fermenters then....that way you won't panic....fermentation is ugly and stinky, even when it's perfectly normal...which sulphur smells are..

Sulphur, rotten egg smell is a common byproduct of fermentation of some yeasts. It usually fades after a few days (or in the case of lagers after a few weeks in the cold.)

I'm really curios about the beer you dumped...I have a sense that you perhaps worry too much and declare a beer bad and dump worthy BEFORE you really know if it is actually bad, or just going through the normal growth pains of any beer.

You can't really judge a beer until it's been in the bottle at least 3 weeks. It's not even carbed yet, and that, along with conditioning goes a long way to giving you a true picture of what the beer will be like. Which more than likely will be fine.

It doesn't really matter what a beer tastes like halfway through fermentation, most of mine taste like ****...so I don't bother tasting them at that point. And I suggest to new brewers to do likewise, or else they start threads like this...because it's not halfway through fermentation that is a representation of the finished product....it's after the beer has been carbed and conditioned for about 6 weeks, that is an accurate representation of what a beer tastes like.

Carbonation and conditioning go a long way in a beer's final taste, including hoppiness, taste, aroma, etc. The CO2 lifts the flavors...And bitterness mellows with time.

Read this;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Singljohn hit the nail on the head...The only problem is that you aren't seeing the beer through it's complete process BEFORE calling what is probably just green beer, an off flavor.

It sounds like you are tasting it in the fermenter? If that is the case, do nothing. Because nothing is wrong.

It really is hard to judge a beer until it's been about 6 weeks in the bottle. Just because you taste (or smell) something in primary or secondary DOESN'T mean it will be there when the beer is fully conditioned (that's also the case with kegging too.)

The thing to remember though is that if you are smelling or tasting this during fermentation not to worry. During fermentation all manner of stinky stuff is given off (ask lager brewers about rotten egg/sulphur smells, or Apfelwein makers about "rhino farts,") like we often say, fermentation is often ugly AND stinky and PERFECTLY NORMAL.

It's really only down the line, AFTER the beer has been fermented (and often after it has bottle conditioned even,) that you concern yourself with any flavor issues if they are still there.

I think too many new brewers focus to much on this stuff too early in the beer's journey. And they panic unnecessarily.

A lot of the stuff you smell/taste initially more than likely ends up disappearing either during a long primary/primary & secondary combo, Diacetyl rests and even during bottle conditioning.

If I find a flavor/smell, I usually wait til it's been in the bottle 6 weeks before I try to "diagnose" what went wrong, that way I am sure the beer has passed any window of greenness.

Lagering is a prime example of this. Lager yeast are prone to the production of a lot of byproducts, the most familiar one is sulphur compounds (rhino farts) but in the dark cold of the lagering process, which is at the minimum of a month (I think many homebrewers don't lager long enough) the yeast slowly consumes all those compounds which results in extremely clean tasting beers if done skillfully.

Ales have their own version of this, but it's all the same. Time is your friend.

If you are sampling your beer before you have passed a 'window of greeness" which my experience is about 3-6 weeks in the bottle, then you are more than likely just experiencing an "off flavor" due to the presence of those byproducts (that's what we mean when we say the beer is "green" it's still young and unconditioned.) but once the process is done, over 90% of the time the flavors/smells are gone.

Of the remaining 10%, half of those may still be salvageable through the long time storage that I mention in the Never dump your beer!!! Patience IS a virtue!!! Time heals all things, even beer:

And the remaining 50% of the last 10% are where these tables and lists come into play. To understand what you did wrong, so you can avoid it in the future.

Long story short....I betcha that smell/flavor will be long gone when the beer is carbed and conditioned.

In other words, relax, your beer will be just fine, like 99.5%.

You can find more info on that in here;

Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning.

Just remember it will not be the same beer it is now, and you shouldn't stress what you are tasting right now.

Our beer is more resilient then most new brewers realize, and time can be a big healer. Just read the stories in this thread of mine, and see how many times a beer that someone thought was bad, turned out to be fine weeks later.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/never-dump-your-beer-patience-virtue-time-heals-all-things-even-beer-73254/
__________________

Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

Revvy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-25-2011, 02:23 PM   #10
unionrdr
Gotta home brew jones
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
unionrdr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Sheffield, Ohio
Posts: 26,547
Liked 1656 Times on 1462 Posts
Likes Given: 1132

Default

I'm finding that this is all true of the normal life cycle of beer myself. It seems to me this was posted when I first arrived here. Funny how things jog your memory. And you def have to wait a few weeks to get a true picture of what the beer will wind up being. To me,for average gravity beers,is 3-5 weeks. Some longer,like my whiskely ale. I'm curious if my Burton ale will take as long. That one had a higher OG than the whiskely did.
So,like Einstein's theory,time is relative to the beer's density compounded by the priming sugar used & temps.


__________________
Everything works if ya let it-Roady(meatloaf)
unionrdr is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
WOW... what a smell... Firebat138 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 03-20-2011 06:13 PM
Sour smell of two AG pale ale brews? ReeseAllen Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 09-29-2009 04:48 AM
DH doesn't like the smell LaurieGator Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 23 03-13-2009 08:26 PM
odd smell bigbrohog Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 08-07-2006 01:47 AM
bad smell dangermouse Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 03-31-2006 03:16 PM