Sulfur after bottling...what can be done?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Velnerj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2017
Messages
221
Reaction score
316
Hi Y'all,

Like an impatient idiot I went ahead a bottled a Belgian golden strong despite the fact that there was a distinct sulfur smell coming from the fermenter. To my defense it was much less than during peak fermentation.

After bottle conditioning the bottles reek like rotten eggs when they are opened and the beer carries the smell for some time after as well. Truth be told if you can get over the smell the beer actually tastes pretty good to style, it's just very unappetizing.

I am gong to try to treat one of the bottles with copper (probably just drop an oldish [1967], but clean penny in a glass) to see if that can drive off the sulfur. However, I have heard that this reaction can be toxic. Is that true, would my beer then be unsafe to drink if this little trick works?

If so, or if this trick doesn't work, will this sulfur every go away in the bottle? Are there any suggestions (other than next time wait longer in the fermenter)?

Thanks!
 

RPh_Guy

Bringing Sour Back
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
9,137
Reaction score
7,455
Location
Cleveland
High levels of copper can be toxic, and there's no way to know how much of the penny is dissolved in the beer. Plus it will probably taste bad.

With a long aging period, it is very likely that the hydrogen sulfide will subside. Oxygen leaks into the bottles and will react with it.

Check out my article about sulfide:
https://modernbrewhouse.com/wiki/Hydrogen_sulfide
It should help in the future. Sulfide should be prevented.
 
Last edited:

VikeMan

It ain't all burritos and strippers, my friend.
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
1,338
Reaction score
753
If so, or if this trick doesn't work, will this sulfur every go away in the bottle? Are there any suggestions (other than next time wait longer in the fermenter)?
It won't hurt to try copper at serving time. I'd recommend straightening a piece (longer than your bottle or serving glass) of 3/8” OD copper refrigeration coil, clean it, and rinse well. Then slowly stir the beer with the copper for about 30 seconds and smell, repeating if needed. Your wrist will cramp up long before enough copper dissolves to be dangerous.
 
Top