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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Primary Fermentation - is it supposed to stink?
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:20 PM   #1
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Default Primary Fermentation - is it supposed to stink?

I have read this forum for a long while now and because of that I would normally relax and let the brew run it's course. But if you followed my other thread about not refrigerating my yeast you will understand why I may over worry a bit.

Anyways both beers have been in the primary for a few days. One is barely active but seems to have a decent head on it.

The other one has a larger head and the air-lock is constantly bubbling like every 5 seconds.

I also notice a distinct smell coming from them in the room I have them setup in (the wife says it's a horrible smell - but that's just wife dramatics )

It smells real sweet - almost vinegar-y if I had to try to describe is. Is this normal or do I have a potential problem with infection? Are there any warning signs on stuff to look at in the case of infection?

thanks guys.

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Old 12-26-2007, 01:27 PM   #2
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Well, there are all kinds of smells that come as a by product of fermentation. I don't think I've ever noticed vinegar-y, but it's possible. It depends on the type of yeast used, the temperature, etc, and there is no way to gauge the final flavor just on the aroma of fermentation. Usually I think it smells pretty good, but I'm sure my family would disagree with me.

So, for now, don't worry! Wait until it's done and you'll know for sure.

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Old 12-26-2007, 01:52 PM   #3
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When I brewed with some honey last winter, the fermentation smelled extremelly sulferous. Think: the morning after bean burrito night.

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Old 12-26-2007, 02:38 PM   #4
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Don't worry about it unless it tastes bad after it has been bottled and carbed. I have noticed all different smells during fermentation, but I let my taste buds be the judge.

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Old 12-26-2007, 02:40 PM   #5
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Are you brewing a Lager? the Lagers I have made smell like Eggs or (Sulfer)

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Old 12-26-2007, 05:05 PM   #6
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On my first batch I noticed what I thought was a vinegary smell, and worried that I had an aceto infection. The batch turned out fine (a little boring, but that was my fault). Who knows what I was smelling - I've since learned not to come to any conclusions at all from fermenter sniffs.

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Old 12-26-2007, 05:14 PM   #7
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Put Scope in your blow off bucket and then it will smell minty clean

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Old 12-26-2007, 08:21 PM   #8
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I am brewing a Fat Tire (amber) clone and a Warrior Pale Ale.


I did put some vodka in the 3 piece air-lock - wonder if that might be contributing to it.

Me personally I don't care. But since the guest room is the only place I can put it that is temp stable between 65-75 and get little light - the wife is a little anxious to get the smelly stuff out of there - lol.

I expected a little smell - but this is pretty pungent. Just have to wait and see.

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Old 12-27-2007, 04:23 AM   #9
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You think that smells? Try fermenting some applejuice mixed with grape juice!!! That stuff F-ing stinks for the first week!!!

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Old 12-31-2007, 03:42 PM   #10
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Hey Kulprit

I tried PMing you today but your box is full. If you have a chance, empty it so I can send you a message.

Cheers,
Bill

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