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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > my meads stinking up the room
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:34 PM   #1
pujiman
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Default my meads stinking up the room

I just started my first batch of mead and there is a really strong yeasty/sulfer smell filling the room that I've never smelled with my beers. Any advice is this normal?


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Old 07-05-2013, 06:43 PM   #2
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I just started my first batch of mead and there is a really strong yeasty/sulfer smell filling the room that I've never smelled with my beers. Any advice is this normal?
No that's a sign of stressed yeast thats lacking nutrition.

Post a full recipe for a better diagnosis but give it a damn good stirring to get some O2/air into the batch and at least 1 tsp per gallon of nutrient like Fermaidk (fermax, superfood, tronozymol, or even wyeast beer nutrient) per gallon.......

It should settle down and its also not beer so it generally doesnt help to use beer making techniques. Honey isn't like a malt......


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Old 07-05-2013, 06:58 PM   #3
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Im doing a version of the waialeale chablis mead but with gewurztraminer instead of chablis. 5#honey, 26oz gewurztraminer concentrate, and white labs sweet mead yeast
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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I just started the batch yesterday and woke up to the smell when fermentation started
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:42 AM   #5
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Hence the concentrate isn't providing enough nutrition for the yeast. Combined with the honey, thats a lot of sugars.......

Aerate like hell and nutrition........
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:33 PM   #6
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Got some white labs yeast nutrient and added half a teaspoon and stirred the whole thing up with a big plastic spoon. It started fizzing and bubbling over the top does that usually happen when you add nutrients?
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:38 PM   #7
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Got some white labs yeast nutrient and added half a teaspoon and stirred the whole thing up with a big plastic spoon. It started fizzing and bubbling over the top does that usually happen when you add nutrients?
Yep. The nutrients will make the CO2 rush out if solution. Good thing you weren't using a carboy - I hear that's crazy (and hilarious if it's not your beer). Think mentos added to coca cola.

If you put some mead into the nutrient, mix it real well, then add it back, the foaming is significantly reduced.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:39 PM   #8
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Yes, its degassing. You should add nutrients again at 48 and 72 hours, stir to degass.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:49 AM   #9
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Thanks for the advice, it was like mentos and soda. Definitely don't want that to happen again
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:33 AM   #10
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Thanks for the advice, it was like mentos and soda. Definitely don't want that to happen again
It's one of the reasons that a bucket can be a better primary container, as you have a larger surface area to handle any foaming.

With a carboy, it's often better to make the target volume and then remove enough to bring the level down just below the shoulders, the removed must being kept in a bottle in the fridge until all the nutrients are added and the ferment has passed the 1/3rd break.

With the foaming thing, it's best to stir gently to start with, so if the foam looks like it's heading north rather rapidly, you can stop and let it settle, then start gently again, etc etc, then once the foaming has subsided, keep stirring until the only foaming is from the movement of the stirrer/paddle/spoon.

Only then add the nutrients. Even then, if you're concerned that you might not have encouraged the dissolved CO2 to come out of solution, you can dissolve the nutrients in some must before pouring in.

With a batch that goes stinky, you do need to stir like hell, to encourage the dissolved CO2 to come out as it also seems to take any H2S with it too. Once the foaming is gone, you can even use an air stone and either pumped air or even compressed O2 if you have access to it, along with the nutrients. Stink is usually gone in about 24 hours, but if it comes back (and it can) then the same treatment is usually needed.

I can't say for certain, I've only had one batch go stinky, but I understand that it's a problem of earlier stages of fermentation, and doesn't seem to happen later on in the process so much (it might do, but I don't recall reading of batches going stinky later on).....


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