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Old 11-20-2007, 07:21 AM   #1
JeanLucD
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Default Skunked?

Hey there, the lager that I'm doing at the momment (though not really properly lagering, since its almost summer down here and I don't have the right equipment so its mainly at the lower ale temps) had this real weird funky smell when I put it into secondary, and even coming out of the airlock around the end of fermentation. Now I was a little silly and left it out in the corridor without covering it with a blanket whilst sitting in a plastic container filled with ice packs to try and cool it down - so I wonder whether I've allowed too much light to come into contact with it, thus reacting with the hops and causing skunkyness. At the same time though I noticed that the rubber seal at the top of my better bottle had a slight crack in it and when I squeezed it little stuff came out of it and it smelt quite plasticky. This smell was sorta what I was smelling in the beer but with almost sulphur tones to it - but the thing is: I don't have a fricken clue what the hell a skunk smells like!!! Since I've lived in the southern hemisphere all my life I wouldn't have a clue what skunkyness would smell like - would anyone be able to describe the smell or maybe suggest to me what smells very similar so that I can sorta gauge if this is the problem I'm having... Maybe I'll have to purposefully skunk some of my other beer to see if that's really the problem...

I might even just be a bit paranoid as this is my first lager, and maybe it's just the different smell of the yeast that I haven't gotten a chance to get used to and like.

Oh well, at the momment I'm trying to relax and not worry, and maybe I'll have another homebrew

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Old 11-20-2007, 07:26 AM   #2
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I'm betting you are just paranoid. Without stepping out on a limb and embarrassing myself, let me just say don't EVER give up on a beer too soon.

Skunk is very musky/musty. Dank and wet. Incidentally, it's also the smell they add to natural gas to give it an identifiable odor. I don't know if they do that where you are, but that's skunk oil.

Hope that helps.

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Old 11-20-2007, 09:12 AM   #3
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Ah thanks mate, I'm sure they use the same scent for gas here as well, I know exactly that smell then thanks to my chem lab experience - certainly dank and musky. That makes me feel a lot better about my brew cos it certainly doesn't smell like that, although there is still the chance that my rubber seal is somewhat compromised. I'm using that fermentor for a wit right now and I think it smells right, so maybe not. Lol I guess when I look back at what I write it sorta does sound like the ramblings of a paranoid person. Ah! I guess that's what I get for being on holiday and not having anything else to think about all day.
Oh and don't worry, I'm making this one for a mate so even if it was skunked I'd just shut my mouth and hope he doesn't notice it, haha - he drinks lion red anyway (don't really know what the equivalent would be in the US, it's real commercial and flavourless to me) and even if he does, we'll still drink it.

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Bottled:my Belgian-like Wit, Mac's Lager (nz kit), James Squire Amber Ale clone, Cheesefood's Vanilla Caramel Cream Ale, Munton's wheat and possibly some of my cider hidden somewhere - it seems to pop up somtimes, lol I guess I should have labelled them.

Last edited by JeanLucD; 11-20-2007 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 11-20-2007, 12:27 PM   #4
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It is very common for Lager yeasts to put off sulfur like, rotten egg kind of smells. It is most likely just the yeast. Give it some time.

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Old 11-20-2007, 02:30 PM   #5
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Pour a pint (or less) in a clear glass and place it in the sun for 60 minutes. Unless it was made with tetra extracts, it will skunk. This is a unique smell and not one you'll forget.

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Old 11-20-2007, 02:36 PM   #6
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These are some of my finest beers…

Course, I’m a big fan of St. Pauli Girl, Heineken, etc…

skunked_2.jpg

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