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Old 11-18-2012, 11:43 PM   #1
brewchick3
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Default Rotten Eggs

I am brewing a Winter Warmer Strong Ale. I pitched the yeast a bit cold, so after 12 hours at 62, I raised the temp to 68 and in no time the krausen started to form and the air lock was bubbling away. It's Day 2 and I'm noticing a slight sulfur scent coming from the airlock. Infection or is it from raising the temp?

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Old 11-19-2012, 12:17 AM   #2
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What yeast did you use? Some produce gas that smells like death itself. I had an Apfelwein that stunk up the whole house. My guess is that it's all perfectly normal.

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Old 11-19-2012, 12:21 AM   #3
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It's a White Labs California Ale. It's not awful. It's slight. I just noticed the odor when I walked into the kitchen and thought it was coming from the garbage and then realized it was the fermenter. Lol. I peeked in and it looks like a nice normal thick krausen.

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Old 11-19-2012, 12:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by brewchick3 View Post
It's a White Labs California Ale. It's not awful. It's slight. I just noticed the odor when I walked into the kitchen and thought it was coming from the garbage and then realized it was the fermenter. Lol. I peeked in and it looks like a nice normal thick krausen.
You pitched far too cold for this yeast. White Labs recommends a temp of 68-73F. Since you pitched it too cold, the yeast had a sluggish fermentation which did not liberate the stank compounds. A vigorous fermentation will drive off the stank, mask the stank, and prevent its appearance in the beginning anway. Apparently yeast do this when "stressed" as well. But I don't think "stressed" properly describes it. It's more like conditions that don't meet the ideal.

Raise the temp and just relax. It will disappear. I used Wyeast 3068 and it smelled like a dumpster full of decomposing skunks. It will fade. It's a product of some yeast strains, too.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:49 PM   #5
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I hope this batch is gonna be ok. I came in the house from work and the rotten egg smell is everywhere. It's still fermenting and the airlock is bubbling away on Day 3. At what point do you know a beer is contaminated? Just curious what I should look for.

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Old 11-19-2012, 08:05 PM   #6
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Relax. It's only been three days - your brew is fine. Even if it is contaminated (which is unlikely) it's still worth letting it finish and tasting it. Infections won't kill you, and can be a valuable teaching tool for the future.

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Old 11-19-2012, 08:59 PM   #7
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Relax. It's only been three days - your brew is fine. Even if it is contaminated (which is unlikely) it's still worth letting it finish and tasting it. Infections won't kill you, and can be a valuable teaching tool for the future.
+1 Hydrogen sulfide is produced by yeast and smells like rotten eggs. CO2 gas can "scrub" it out of the beer, so you could wait to see if you can even smell it still after the fermentation is complete. If you do still smell it, then you can probably just let the beer condition longer for it to fade away.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:34 PM   #8
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Ok, thanks for the advice. I've brewed a lot of batches and this is the first time I ever smelled this odor. It's still doing its thing so hopefully it will fade.

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