getting rid of the smell in a smart way

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kriskkk

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I'll start from the beginning.
I have a conical tank and a brite tank.
Both have been sanitized to perfection.
Transferred unpasteurized apple juice to the conical tank, added around 80g of K-meta to my 800 liter juice, a few hours later added the required DAP.
Next day, pitched Safale S-04 yeast, bubbling started immediately.
Average temp 14-15 degrees Celsius connected to a Glycol tank system to monitor temp.
gravity started at 1.051, after 12 days is at 0.997 and as soon as bubbling stopped, dropped the temp to 1 degree Celsius, in order to crash cool and for the yeast to flocculate, so that I may remove the sediment for the next few days from the bottom of the conical.
It tasted dry, the exact way I want it and the taste is pretty good.
Getting ready to move it (cannot rack so using a pump) to brite tank and then force carbonate.
My only issue is that it SMELLS BAD, the smell of sulfur that won't go away and I have no idea how to get the smell out.
Everything has gone well except for that smell.
I don't want to transfer to the other tank before I figure out how to remove the smell because the step after that would be to bottle and then the smell would be trapped inside the bottle.
Would the wise and experience brewers give me some pointers on how to get that smell out of my conical tank?
I promise to send a batch of cider to the person who helps me solve this issue :D
 

Lefou

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Simple.
Use a prolonged soak of hydrogen peroxide/percarbonate mix and rinse. Suspend a small coil of copper wire in the solution but don't allow it to contact the stainless steel. Rinse and passivate your steel conical if needed.
 

RPh_Guy

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Simple.
Use a prolonged soak of hydrogen peroxide/percarbonate mix and rinse. Suspend a small coil of copper wire in the solution but don't allow it to contact the stainless steel. Rinse and passivate your steel conical if needed.
You're suggesting how to clean the conical?
I think he wants remove the smell from the cider.

1. Get it off the lees ASAP.
2. Bubbling CO2 through the cider can help remove the H2S.
3. Sulfite can help remove the H2S by direct chemical reaction.
4. Copper precipitates with the H2S and mercaptans to some extent. You can use copper pipping, wire, copper sulfate liquid, or Reduless from Lallemand/Scott labs. Bench trial recommended.
5. Aeration (e.g. splash racking) helps, but risks oxidation and/or necessitates greater sulfite usage.

For next time:
- Did you thoroughly aerate the cider right before pitching? Definitely do this to help prevent sulfide formation.
- Did you check the juice pH? Sulfite antimicrobial activity is not one-size-fits-all. The dosage depends on pH, so 57ppm sulfite may have been too much.

Cheers
 
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kriskkk

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Yes, I did aerate, since i transferred the juice via pump from the bottom of conical tank and gave it enough air in the beginning.
I gave dose of 80g k-meta in total because the PH was at 3.72 which required a higher dosage at this acidity level. (if I'm not mistaken I am at total of 100ppm). Is that too much?
 

RPh_Guy

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Quick Background:
A fraction of the free SO2 is in equilibrium with molecular SO2 based on pH.
Molecular SO2 is responsible for the antimicrobial activity.

How much sulfite is needed?
1ppm molecular SO2 is the generally accepted target for pre-fermentation sulfite.
Calculator:
http://fermcalc.com/FermCalcJS.html
114 grams.

How much did you add?
80g KMS in 800L gives 0.7ppm molecular SO2 at pH 3.72, so it's actually too low. (Free sulfite = 57ppm, ignoring the effects of binding)

Aeration
You aerated 24 hours after adding sulfite, right before pitching?
You need to aerate right before pitching because the sulfite removes all the O2, plus you need to help the sulfite off-gas before introducing your yeast.

Hope this makes sense. Cheers
 
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kriskkk

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so currently in assessment mode.

The way i transferred the cider to my tank (via pump) created a splash racking effect which gave the cider enough aeration in my opinion.
I spent the whole day pushing Co2 (via my CO2 tank) through the cider and let it degass through the arm and bubble in a water bucket...
Still a strong smell and yet a beautiful taste.

Wouldn't adding more K-metabisulfite increase the smell of sulfur since it would be the culprit in creating that smell since the beginning or am I mistaken?
I am starting to panic and would hate to throw out the batch over a bad smell.
PS: how would I go about using a copper pipe / wire without removing the lid and letting air in and risk oxidation?
 

madscientist451

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Sulfur odors can be caused by a variety of issues including the yeast that was used.
My one bad sulfur batch of cider occurred when using Nottingham yeast and I tried a variety of methods including splash racking and aging to get rid of the smell but ended up dumping it.
I've since learned of other methods (below) that I should have tried.
Andrew Lea in the book "Craft Cider Making" wrote: "the ultimate cause of such flavors is generally yeast related".
He recommends a simple bench trial, take a small sample of the sulphury cider and drop a brightened copper penny or a length of copper wire into the beverage. After about 10 minutes compare the aroma to a control untreated sample.
He also mentions that copper (cupric) sulphate at 1 ppm will help with the problem and provides details about how to perform a serial dilution to achieve that quantity.
He further mentioned a Bentonite product called Kupzit that contains 2% copper citrate.

https://morewinemaking.com/products/kupzit-hydrogen-sulfide-remover.html

My 2 cents: I'd probably do bench trials with the Kupzit and copper sulfate and see which works better and if any flavor problems occurred.
Note that excess copper can cause some oxidation issues.

Hope that helps, I'll consult some of my other books and see what else I can find.
 
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kriskkk

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Thank you for the recommendations.
I will definitely run some bench trials asap.
when I pour some cider in a cup through the test tap, I then aerate and swirl, the smell dissipates a bit as well.
btw, will diluting some K-meta in water and add it to the finished cider possibly reduce the smell if it's actually coming from the yeast?
 

madscientist451

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btw, will diluting some K-meta in water and add it to the finished cider possibly reduce the smell if it's actually coming from the yeast?
I doubt it, the hydrogen compounds are in your cider. Killing off the yeast won't change that. Using a product like Kupzit binds the hydrogen compounds together (this may not be the 100% correct explanation but its in the ballpark) and they then settle out.
 

RPh_Guy

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Wouldn't adding more K-metabisulfite increase the smell of sulfur since it would be the culprit in creating that smell since the beginning or am I mistaken?
I am starting to panic and would hate to throw out the batch over a bad smell.
No, sulfite won't make it worse at this point.
Theoretically it helps eliminate sulfide by reacting with it and causes it to break down. I think this reaction is pretty slow at room temperature and cider pH though.

This action has nothing to do with the yeast at this point. The H2S is already in the cider.
(Sulfite doesn't "kill" the yeast.)

The effects of aeration and copper are much more rapid. E.g. aeration works within 5-15 minutes.

The way i transferred the cider to my tank (via pump) created a splash racking effect which gave the cider enough aeration in my opinion.
When did you add sulfite? Before or after the splash transfer?
The timing is important.
 

MNfarmer

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Don't know if it is the same problem but I had a batch of unfermented juice that I sulfited and sorbated that developed an awful stench in the bottle. I had a pure copper pot scrubber that I boiled and put in a funnel. I poured from one bottle to the next through the scrubber and the sulfur smell was instantly and totally gone. Evidently the sulfur reacts with the copper and is removed.
 
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kriskkk

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i took a sample and filled it into a bottle.
I put a thin copper rod in the bottle (bottle length) for about 15 minutes, and the smell completely vanished.
So a copper wire/rod would definitely work.
The issue is inserting the wire/rod into the fermentation vessel without running the risk of oxidation.
i guess i could put a small dose of K-meta to prevent that from happening as soon as I open the upper valve of the fermentation tank and then insert a 2M rod into the tank for about 15-20 min.
I will keep you guys updated but the it looks promising due to the effects it had on the sample.
Or I could insert a copper wire in my transfer tubes and move the cider from fermenter to brite tank very slowly with the help of CO2, which would avoid air contact all together and allow me to transfer the cider at the desired speed to achieve the necessary chemical reaction.
all this is done at around 2-3 degrees Celsius so i hope that the cold temperature won't have a negative effect.
 

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At this point, 02 likely wouldn't be a bad thing- as I mentioned earlier, the quickest and easiest fix in early cases of H2S is splash racking, followed by an appropriate dose of sulfite. If using the copper is no trouble, then of course you could do that.
 

Lefou

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Don't know if it is the same problem but I had a batch of unfermented juice that I sulfited and sorbated that developed an awful stench in the bottle. I had a pure copper pot scrubber that I boiled and put in a funnel. I poured from one bottle to the next through the scrubber and the sulfur smell was instantly and totally gone. Evidently the sulfur reacts with the copper and is removed.
Sulfides will also react with silver coins but copper is a better alternative. I use a similar process to remove tarnish from coins in my collection by a reduction process that includes aluminum, table salt, hot water, and baking soda. It smells like rotten eggs and the aluminum acquires a blackish tint as the hydrogen sulfide is removed from solution.
Sometimes de-gassing wine or cider with a piece of copper tubing will achieve the same results.
http://www.enartis.com/us/library/prevention-and-treatment-of-reductive-aromas_5150.htm
 
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kriskkk

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The copper worked and the smell went away.
But since the batch was slightly carbonated, there is residual smell from the fizz when pouring which will be difficult to remove.
Aeration would be too difficult. ( I will send u picture of my set-up)
Tomorrow will be transferring the cider to the filling machine; I will insert a 3m copper tube insider the transfer hose so that the cider may pass slowly (and make contact) while being transferred to the filling machine.
hopefully this will remove the remaining hydrogen sulfides from the cider and get rid of the smell.
2 people definitely qualify and as soon as I have the sweet and dry batch ready, I will go into Phase 2 and get their details and send them a couple of bottles for expert degustation :p .
 
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kriskkk

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everything worked out fine and the smell went away completely.
Now for the more interesting part.
I am pasteurizing the sweet cider bottles in a 160F water bath, and after 2-3 minutes, this is what happened.
Is that normal?
any way to avoid all this or is it bound to keep happening every time I pasteurize.
Any negative effects theoretically ?
It settled back down after cooling down but still created a chunk of sediment.
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