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Old 02-23-2011, 06:55 AM   #1
LVBen
 
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So... I made my 1st lager and I screwed up quite a few things. I was aiming for an american lager...but it is obvious now that I was nowhere near that.

Here is the recipe:
3 lbs of flaked corn.
4 lbs of pilsner malt.
1 oz of Saaz (3.2%AA) at 60 minutes

My screwups:
1. I used too much corn. 43% of the grain bill, and the color is WAY too light. It is almost the color of a white wine.
2. I used pilsner malt, but I shouldn't have with so much corn.
3. I left the bittering hops in for the primary fermentation instead of using a hop bag.
4. I only lagered it for 5 days, because I wanted to get it bottled and carbonated in time for a competition.
5. My mash temps were probably too high (157F), and I ended up with an SG of 1.04 and an FG of 1.011, which is closer to a lite american lager.


I tasted the lager 9 days after bottling, which was one day before the competition entry deadline and... decided not to enter it since it was so bad. At that time, it had a rotten hops smell and it tasted like watered down ethanol with no flavor.

I just opened one tonight. It has been bottled for 21 days and when I get a whiff of the aroma, it is like someone just farted in my face, but it doesn't taste too bad. It tastes something like watered down Heineken, which actually seems somewhat acceptable since it is almost 4% alcohol, so I'm actually considering drinking it instead of pouring it down the drain. I just need to plug my nose or try to ignore the rancid smell.

I know I should've lagered it longer and used a better recipe, but it is too late for any of that...

So, my questions are these:
1. What the f is that sulfury fart smell?
2. Is it safe to smell and drink?

 
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:13 AM   #2
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The sulfur smell is from the lager yeast. My last one was terrible, it was like sticking my head up a rhino's ass when I checked in my ferment freezer but after 2 months of lagering it disappeared completely. Hopefully your bottles clear. If they are carbed try throwing them in the fridge for 4 weeks to see if you can lager them in the bottle.

I have also noticed all lager yeast don't create the same amount. Wyeast Octoberfest Blend was a major fart bomb (rhino ass comment above) and the one I have going now Wyeast American Lager has the smell but it's not nearly pronounced, maybe not even 1/50th as strong.
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:06 PM   #3
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I guess the big difference is that my lager is already bottled... the sulfur has no where to escape to like it does when lagering. I looked around quite a bit and found out that it might be sulfur dioxide, which is used as a food preservative, but can be quite toxic in large amounts.

 
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:12 PM   #4
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I would guess you are stuck with the sulfur. You really need to allow fermentation to finish completely and lager before packaging. Maybe use them for radlerma▀ (half beer half lemon soda)?

 
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LVBen View Post
I guess the big difference is that my lager is already bottled... the sulfur has no where to escape to like it does when lagering. I looked around quite a bit and found out that it might be sulfur dioxide, which is used as a food preservative, but can be quite toxic in large amounts.
Pop some in the fridge for a few weeks and leave it. See if it changes anything vs the ones in warm storage. Everything is worth saving to see if it improves in a month or a few. Worse comes to worse call it the Heineken clone.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:16 PM   #6
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Lagering takes a long time, you can't really rush it. The sulfur smell seems to be pretty common but goes away with time when you lager. I'm not sure if there is much that you can' t do about it now that it's bottled. Also, using American 6-row barley will help offset the corn. 43% corn is a bit but not too much (many american lagers use more).
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:37 PM   #7
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Yeah... I learned my lesson about lagering... I'll leave it two months next time. I guess for this batch, I will just leave them bottle conditioning for several weeks and then try again.

 
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LVBen View Post
when I get a whiff of the aroma, it is like someone just farted in my face,
Sorry your lager sucks but this literally made me lol at work!
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:49 PM   #9
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Two months later now, and the sulfur smell and taste is completely gone.

It needs more malt flavor, but other than that, it is a clean beer.

 
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:22 PM   #10
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I didn't realzie this was an old thread until your last post! I was going to tell you that you can continue the lagering process in the bottle, but it looks like you already learned that. Glad to see it worked out!
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