Author Topic: Sulfur from Wyeast 2124  (Read 2057 times)

Offline jlap

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Sulfur from Wyeast 2124
« on: January 17, 2012, 01:23:47 PM »
I'm trying to get serious about brewing lagers this winter.  The first was a G. Pils with the Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager.  I pitched 2 packs into a 2 L stirred starter for a 6 gallon batch.  The primary fermentation as at 51 F and was active within 24 hours.  Around day 6 I noticed that it was producing a fair amount of sulfur.  By day 8 it was basically done fermenting and I ramped the temperature slowly up to 60 for a diacetyl rest and to ensure complete fermentation.  I left it there for a week and moved to a keg to lager.  There is still some sulfur evident in the samples I've taken after another 2 weeks.

I'd love some input on the following:

1. What could I have do to prevent this level of sulfur production?  Nutrient?  More O2?  Is this common with this yeast strain?

2. Has anyone ever used CuSO4 to deal with sulfur in a beer?  I've used it in wine with great results but I can't find anything about using it in beer.  I was thinking of doing some bench trials to see what the effect is.

Offline HydraulicSammich

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Re: Sulfur from Wyeast 2124
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2012, 01:36:16 PM »
I have used that yeast on many occasions.  I pitch at 44 degrees, let it ramp up to 50-52 degrees and it sits on the yeast for 4 weeks then kegged and lagered. for a couple of months or whatever.  It always has sulfur at 1 to 3 weeks in the primary.  It cleans itself up quite nicely by the end of 4.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Sulfur from Wyeast 2124
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2012, 01:55:13 PM »
There were a couple posts recently touching on this issue. One, I think mentioned stirring gently with a piece of copper. The other advocated hooking your co2 to the beer out post and with the lid open, pushing co2 through the beer to scrub the sulfur out.
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Offline jlap

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Re: Sulfur from Wyeast 2124
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2012, 02:06:40 PM »
Copper sulfate is the modern way of achieving the same result as stirring with the copper pipe or using a racking cane made of copper.  Copper is highly toxic and in NY anyway the limit in wine is 4-5ppm.  This requires major dilution of the copper sulfate solution to get an accurate and small enough addition.  Typically you would dilute 1 ml of 1% CuSO4 with 99 ml of water and add only a few ml of that solution!  Stirring with a pipe or using a racking cane made of copper is imprecise and potentially dangerous (probably depending a lot on how you do it).  I plan to use copper sulfate but I'm surprised that there isn't information about commercial brewers doing this b/c it's so common in wine making.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Sulfur from Wyeast 2124
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2012, 02:30:01 PM »
Copper sulfate is the modern way of achieving the same result as stirring with the copper pipe or using a racking cane made of copper.  Copper is highly toxic and in NY anyway the limit in wine is 4-5ppm.  This requires major dilution of the copper sulfate solution to get an accurate and small enough addition.  Typically you would dilute 1 ml of 1% CuSO4 with 99 ml of water and add only a few ml of that solution!  Stirring with a pipe or using a racking cane made of copper is imprecise and potentially dangerous (probably depending a lot on how you do it).  I plan to use copper sulfate but I'm surprised that there isn't information about commercial brewers doing this b/c it's so common in wine making.

I think alot of commercial brewers actually just make sure there is a piece of copper somewhere in the system. After all alot of old school boil kettles were copper, hence 'coppers'. Also I think there is less sulfur produced normally in beer fermentation than in wine.
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Offline beerstache

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Re: Sulfur from Wyeast 2124
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2012, 03:32:06 PM »
I just recently brewed a BoPils using 2124 and it had the sulfur odor too.  I've brewed other lagers with different yeasts and sulfur
is a common by-product so I wouldnt sweat it.  It just needs time and conditioning to clean up!

Offline chumley

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Re: Sulfur from Wyeast 2124
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2012, 04:10:52 PM »
+1 to lagering and waiting.

The last thing I think I would ever do to my beer is add copper sulfate to it, no matter how little the amount.

Offline ukolowiczd

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Re: Sulfur from Wyeast 2124
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2012, 04:13:59 PM »
Yeh, I haven't used this yeast but I had major issues with the Kolsch yeast and sulfur. I know it's an ale yeast but after two weeks fermenting - wow - rotten eggs. After only 4 weeks lagering it was completely clear of the sulfur and dee-licious. I've made this beer 4 times since then! So I agree, give it time.