Banana wine in primary smells like sulphur

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Erik the Awful

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I started a batch of banana wine on the evening of Nov 27th with 1 campden tablet per gallon in two buckets with 3 gallons each. I added pectic enzyme on the evening of the 28th and added the yeast (Lalvin EC-1118) on the morning of the 29th. I've been stirring the cap back down every evening. This morning (Dec 1st) one of the buckets smelled of sulphur, and the other not so much. I stirred them this morning, then again this evening, and the smell is stronger. From what I can tell, this isn't abnormal, nor necessarily even a bad thing, but I want to keep it from being a bad thing.

When I mashed the bananas and simmered them, I didn't add any sugar, because last time I attempted banana wine the primary turned to syrup and went bad. However, I'm reading that the sulphur might be caused by a lack of nutrients for the yeast. I was planning on racking both three-gallon batches into a single 5 gallon carboy for secondary fermentation on Dec 9th and topping it off with 8 cups/gallon sugar water. Do I need to go ahead and add the sugar water now?

Right now I'm seriously considering moving the buckets from the kitchen counter to the garage. The downside is I might forget to stir them, and I feel the need to stir them more frequently.
 

slayer021175666

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Not to "up" on my wine skills but, if one smells bad and the other doesn't, I would NOT! mix them together. Could be bad sanitation on one vessle. Others will chime in on this.
 
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Erik the Awful

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Both batches smell strongly of sulphur now. I don't have any yeast nutrient or energizer. In my limited experience, I've considered sugar to be the best yeast nutrient, so I'll go ahead and add the sugar water.
 

Raptor99

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Yeast eat sugar as their food, but they need other nutrients as well. A shortage of yeast nutrients is a common cause of sulfur smells.
 

malter

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Boil a teaspoon of bakers yeast in 1/4 cup of water for a few minutes to sanitize. Then mix the (now dead but able to provide yummy yeast nutrients) slurry with your must.
 
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Erik the Awful

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I wasn't able to get to it until last night, but I boiled two packets of regular bread yeast and 8 cups of sugar in a gallon of water. I let it cool and added half to each bucket. Already the sulphur smell is calming and I can smell a bit of banana through it. Thanks! Later this week I'll rack it to secondary and see how it goes.
 

jkuhl

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Both batches smell strongly of sulphur now. I don't have any yeast nutrient or energizer. In my limited experience, I've considered sugar to be the best yeast nutrient, so I'll go ahead and add the sugar water.
Yeast get stressed if they don't get the appropriate nutrients, like we need vitamins and minerals and not just straight up calories. Fermaid K and other nutrients provide this for them.

Yeast with nutrient don't produce as much hydrogen sulfide. But if you don't have nutrient, it's not the end of the world, you'll likely have a slower ferment and you'll have to wait out the gross footy smell. But it does go away over time.
 
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Erik the Awful

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Thanks! Fermentation is still going strong, but I'll probably rack it tomorrow before my weekend gets busy. I'll age it in secondary as long as it takes to get rid of the sulphur smell.
 
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