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Old 01-10-2007, 06:57 PM   #1
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Default Eggy smell coming from fermenter

My Lager I made 3 days ago is bubbling away in my bedroom closet. My girlfriend was yelling at me because she said it is making the room smell like eggs.

I shooed her away and went to check myself...Lo and behold, it DOES smell like eggs! I used a lager yeast, I imagine this type of smell is nothing to worry about?


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Old 01-10-2007, 06:59 PM   #2
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Nothing to worry about at all. Some yeasts, especially lager yeasts, emit a sulphury smell during fermentation. It'll get better - althogh if you have a different closet you could utilize in the meantime, that might not be a bad idea.


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Old 01-10-2007, 07:02 PM   #3
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It could be sulfur-y because of the temperature. Lager yeast need to be fermented cold to be ok. What lager yeast did you use and what's the recommended temp. range?

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Old 01-10-2007, 07:06 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. Yes Lorena thats what worries me. I used Saflager S-23, and have seen various temps. Most say best results at 45-52ish Fahrenheit. I have had it at like 64-70F.

I am really irritated the guy at the brew shop sold me this recipe with my brand new kit. Now that I read up on it, I would think an expert would have made sure I started out with an Ale, not one of the most difficult brews!
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Old 01-10-2007, 07:15 PM   #5
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You are exactly right! Go SIC 'EM!!!
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Old 01-10-2007, 07:20 PM   #6
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I am so out of it, I didn't even think about the lager-at-room temp issue
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Old 01-10-2007, 07:36 PM   #7
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Yes the most extreme temp I can find for Saflager S-23 is 68F. Mine was floating in between 70-72F this morning before I opened the window next to it to cool it down (32F outside).

Now I have the dilemma of should I just dump it and do an ale, or wait and see? The more I read about this strain of yeast on the net, the more I see brewers saying "stay away its very fickle", "bad experiences with it", etc.

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Old 01-10-2007, 07:41 PM   #8
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Don't dump; it may still be drinkable, but it will likely have some off-flavors.

One thing you can do to limit the damage, somewhat - get yourself a big container of some kind, like a big rubbermaid container, something that you can put the bucket in. Put the fermenter in the container and fill it with cold water to cool it. Get some 1-liter bottles or something similar, fill them with water and freeze them. Basically, you'll make an ice bath, and periodically swap out thawed ice bottles from the bath with new ones from the freezer. You should be able to get your temps down from the 70s (which is a bit high even for ales), ideally to the mid-50s. Not perfect, but better.

I don't know how much room you have to work with, and you'll have to change out the ice bottles a couple times a day - but if you can at least take the edge off the heat, the beer will be better for it.
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Old 01-10-2007, 08:06 PM   #9
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Right- I wouldn't even think of dumping it. Like bird said, though, cool it down. Do you have a cooler place? A basement, laundry sink, etc? The water/ frozen water bottle thing will really help and it'll be ok. It won't be a true lager, but it'll probably be a pretty good beer.

I'm doing my first lager in my basement. The fermentation temperature is ok (50 degrees) but for lagering, I'm using a homebuilt cooler set up. Similar principle and in my basement I can get it in the mid 30s.

The LHBS you dealt with should have told you that you were getting into a lager. They are not really more difficult if you have a cold (but not freezing) place, but not a good idea for a beginner.

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Old 01-10-2007, 09:21 PM   #10
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I say just put it outside immediately, if you have some enclosed space you can store it, like a backyard or patio. It'll cool down and the stench will be outside.


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