Hydrogen sulphide

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guypettigrew
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Hydrogen sulphide

Post by guypettigrew » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:07 am

This is a new one for me. My latest brew is stinking the garage out with hydrogen sulphide. Never had this before.

It's Maris Otter, Vienna and crystal malt. Nothing special. Whitelabs 023 yeast, third use.

It was pitched on Monday at about 2.00pm and by yesterday morning the garage smelled pretty horrid! Not so bad today, but still noticeable.

Is the brew doomed?

Guy

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Kev888
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Re: Hydrogen sulphide

Post by Kev888 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:53 am

Probably a lot will depend on 'why' it is so pronounced. I understand it can (sometimes) result from infection, in which case it may just be a side-effect of an underlying problem. Can you think of any other reason why it may be so much worse on this occasion?

There is some hope if there isn't an infection, as in itself it can clear up reasonably well; its pretty volatile. So IMO don't bin it until/unless you're certain. If a little of it lingers then usually it will at least mellow with time, you could even semi-lager it if you've a cold keggerator.

Though I wouldn't leave the beer sat on the yeast for ages after FG, in case this is a sign that they aren't happy - in which case there could be more chance of autolysis-related flavours.
Kev

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Re: Hydrogen sulphide

Post by guypettigrew » Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:26 pm

Thanks Kev888

There's definitely something odd going on. The beer has dropped from 1.046 to 1.004 in 48 hours. There has been no sign of vigorous fermentation, just steady (once every few seconds) bubbles through the blow off tube.

The beer I've run off to take the gravity doesn't taste vile, which surprises me. Slightly bitter, slightly dry and very yeasty!

It'll be a week or so until I can make anymore. Seems like it might as well be left in the FV for another few days to see what happens.

Guy

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Re: Hydrogen sulphide

Post by IPA » Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:25 pm

guypettigrew wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:07 am
This is a new one for me. My latest brew is stinking the garage out with hydrogen sulphide. Never had this before.

It's Maris Otter, Vienna and crystal malt. Nothing special. Whitelabs 023 yeast, third use.

It was pitched on Monday at about 2.00pm and by yesterday morning the garage smelled pretty horrid! Not so bad today, but still noticeable.

Is the brew doomed?

Guy
Lift the lid and let it breathe
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Re: Hydrogen sulphide

Post by Robwalkeragain » Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:36 pm

IPA wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:25 pm
guypettigrew wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:07 am
This is a new one for me. My latest brew is stinking the garage out with hydrogen sulphide. Never had this before.

It's Maris Otter, Vienna and crystal malt. Nothing special. Whitelabs 023 yeast, third use.

It was pitched on Monday at about 2.00pm and by yesterday morning the garage smelled pretty horrid! Not so bad today, but still noticeable.

Is the brew doomed?

Guy
Lift the lid and let it breathe
Yeah, this. Don't keg it until it's dissipated, which it should do given enough time. Sulfur is a natural by product of fermentation, some produce more than others. If you struggle, Murphy's might sell you a dab of zetolite 63 which will clear it up in the keg.

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Re: Hydrogen sulphide

Post by guypettigrew » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:28 pm

Update;

The beer was kept at 21°c in the FV for far longer than usual, about 10 days. The lid was left slightly open for the last 4 days. At the end of this time the hydrogen sulphide smell had gone.

The beer was then cooled to 9°C . The gravity was 1.005, very low, probably because of the extended time at fermentation temperature. Original gravity was 1.046.

For many years I haven't primed my beers in the keg. There's usually enough residual sugar to condition it. This time, as there was no sign of any gassing up after two days, I primed with 4oz of sugar.

A few days later and the beer has become just what I hoped for. A standard, drinkable, British type ofbitter.

So, thanks to those of you who encouraged me to carry on, despite the horrid smell. I'm very grateful.

Guy

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Re: Hydrogen sulphide

Post by HTH1975 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:43 pm

Glad to hear it turned out good. I think it’s always worth seeing it through - worst outcome is you dump it. Better than potentially dumping good beer.

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Re: Hydrogen sulphide

Post by Jocky » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:09 pm

It's rare when it stays in a beer forever.

For example this evening I'm tasting a beer for the first time that was bottled two weeks ago with a reasonable degree of sulphur still in it. Now there's no trace from the bottle.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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Re: Hydrogen sulphide

Post by guypettigrew » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:23 pm

Jocky wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:09 pm
It's rare when it stays in a beer forever.

For example this evening I'm tasting a beer for the first time that was bottled two weeks ago with a reasonable degree of sulphur still in it. Now there's no trace from the bottle.
Wow! How do you reckon it escaped from the bottle? My reasoning was to leave it in the FV with the lid off a bit to let it out.

Guy

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Re: Hydrogen sulphide

Post by Jocky » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:54 pm

No idea.

I can only say that it was noticeable when bottled. Maybe it breaks down, maybe it gets knocked out by the CO2 when I poured the beer.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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Re: Hydrogen sulphide

Post by Jocky » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:55 pm

guypettigrew wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:23 pm
Jocky wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:09 pm
It's rare when it stays in a beer forever.

For example this evening I'm tasting a beer for the first time that was bottled two weeks ago with a reasonable degree of sulphur still in it. Now there's no trace from the bottle.
Wow! How do you reckon it escaped from the bottle? My reasoning was to leave it in the FV with the lid off a bit to let it out.

Guy
And don't leave your fv lid cracked for 2 weeks. That's a great way to have massively oxidised beer.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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Re: Hydrogen sulphide

Post by guypettigrew » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:43 pm

Ah, a misunderstanding. The lid was left cracked slightly open only for the last 4 days. Nice CO2 blanket and krausen to protect it.

Mind you, I was a bit worried. I'm usually fanatical about keeping the lid clamped down. This time, though, the hydrogen sulphide needed to be driven off before kegging. Either that or chuck the beer!

Guy

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Re: Hydrogen sulphide

Post by Jocky » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:16 pm

CO2 blanket is a myth. If there's the ability for hydrogen sulfide to escape, so can all the CO2.
A solid krausen from ongoing fermention is really the only protection.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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Re: Hydrogen sulphide

Post by IPA » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:54 am

Jocky wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:55 pm
guypettigrew wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:23 pm
Jocky wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:09 pm
It's rare when it stays in a beer forever.

For example this evening I'm tasting a beer for the first time that was bottled two weeks ago with a reasonable degree of sulphur still in it. Now there's no trace from the bottle.
Wow! How do you reckon it escaped from the bottle? My reasoning was to leave it in the FV with the lid off a bit to let it out.

Guy
And don't leave your fv lid cracked for 2 weeks. That's a great way to have massively oxidised beer.
I haven't used an airlock in almost five years. Instead I use breathable foam bungs on both erlenmeyer and fermenting vessel. Never had an oxidised beer.
"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." Dean Martin

1. Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming... "f*ck, what a trip!"

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Re: Hydrogen sulphide

Post by Jocky » Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:12 pm

You leave a foam bung on your fermenter for 2 weeks?
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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