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Old 09-16-2012, 07:11 AM   #1
mrwentura
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Sep 2012
Ramona, CA
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I am unexperienced in the brewing realm. Here is my story/questions:

This is day one of brewing. My wort is within its first 24 hours of fermentation. As the air lock bubbles, and foam gathers on the top of the wort- visually everything looks good. My concern is Smell. I put my nose over the air lock and took a big whiff. Banana, cider characteristics, and a hint of a sprakling/ alcoholic pungency . I am brewing a German style Wheat beer. The aromas are present and aren't unpleasant. It smells like a good sign.. i hope. Is this a good thing?
[*]can the smells coming off the air lock be a good judge on the quality of fermenting process?[*]What should i know about smells and fermentation? what should i Look for/Smell for good and bad in relationship to the wort as in matures in fermentation?


let me know what you think

thanks

 
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:18 AM   #2
Obliviousbrew
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Feb 2012
Benidorm, Alicante/Spain
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I had beers smelling like a dirty wet dog, some that plainly smell like farts, some fruity and bubble gum donīt judge your proccess for the smell of fermentation. The hardest part when you start homebrewing itīs patience RDWHAHB.

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Old 09-16-2012, 08:43 AM   #3
Erroneous
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Jan 2011
Tallahassee, Florida
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It's possible that the smell could tell you how the yeast is faring, but with so many variables you won't really be able to tell if anything is different unless you constantly brew the same beer with the same yeast, pitching rate, temperature, water, smell at the same times in fermentation...and so on. Smell is smell and highly unreliable. Less reliable than airlock activity which is highly unreliable.

 
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:45 PM   #4
Slainte-brew
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Feb 2012
Cincinnati, Ohio
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With a wheat I would expect bananas, assuming your using a wheat yeast. Everything else sounds normal, fermentation is ugly and stinky, all will be fine in the end.

 
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:17 PM   #5
Soup4you2
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Sep 2012
Manassas, VA
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I love the smell of an active fermentation, especially when a nice hoppy IPA is in the carboy, sometimes it takes a struggle for me to leave the room.

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Old 09-16-2012, 01:21 PM   #6
nymtber
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Mar 2011
NO, New York
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The only one that so far was "stinky" was the kolsch. Strong Sulfur smell!

But it made one fantastic beer

 
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:34 PM   #7
JesperX
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Dec 2009
Kirkland, WA
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Don't worry about it. Generally every yeast will throw its own set of smells. I've had Hefeweizens smell like bananas and sulfur and turn out just fine. With American ale yeasts you'll probably just smell hops coming out of the airlock , Belgian yeasts can throw off lots of fruity smells or some funk if it's a Saison yeast, etc.
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:03 PM   #8
Ryush806
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A lot of the beers I brew seem to go through a progression of smells. First malty and sometimes fruity, then slightly sulfury, then apple when the fermentation slows down. I assume the apple is from the acetaldehyde present in the green beer that the yeast haven't cleaned up yet. Then after that the smells unfortunately stop. :-( This progression changes with different brews and yeasts of course.
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:13 PM   #9
beaksnbeer
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Welcome to Airlock Sniffers Club!
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:35 PM   #10
DerCribben
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soup4you2
I love the smell of an active fermentation, especially when a nice hoppy IPA is in the carboy, sometimes it takes a struggle for me to leave the room.
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaksnbeer
Welcome to Airlock Sniffers Club!
Same here, there's usually so much lapulin in my beer that little bubbler just shoots out citrusy piney goodness. I am definitely an airlock sniffer! It's actually kinda sad 5 days or so later when I just hover over it waiting the 30 seconds or so between each bubble

That being said, I've always read that yeast make a bunch of off favors and smells that they clean up themselves as fermentation progresses. A wheat beer without a bunch of hops to mask it would probably be a perfect candidate to get a whiff of those off of early on in primary.

 
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