Author Topic: acetone smell (ethyl acetate?) in my barrel  (Read 1401 times)

Offline breweite

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acetone smell (ethyl acetate?) in my barrel
« on: March 01, 2013, 09:11:01 AM »
My 15 gallon barrel just started smelling like acetone (nail polish remover).  I've only done 1 beer in it and it turned out great. My guess is I didn't clean it well enough afterward(?) Anyway, it smells like acetone now: did I just acquire some pricey firewood?  Or could I still use it as a souring barrel? Or even save it?

I don't really understand the ethyl acetate affect on homebrew.  I've searched and found mostly horror stories but I've also seen some good things associated with ethyl acetate.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers from Austin, Tejas!

Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: acetone smell (ethyl acetate?) in my barrel
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 09:22:43 AM »
Did you store your barrel dry, or let the airlock dry out? First, fill it with water, dump, rinse, and make sure any yeast spooge is out of it. If it still smells like acetone, then more is needed.
 
I would go through a deep clean cycle with a caustic, rinse with acid, then burn a sulfur stick in it (don't do this on a fresh bourbon barrel).

If you still have acetone smell, then it is time to recycle it as a planter or firewood.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline breweite

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Re: acetone smell (ethyl acetate?) in my barrel
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2013, 09:29:04 AM »
I rinsed and sanitized after I used it. But thats about it... I cant say it was 100% dry when i stored it again.  I put the original bung lightly on top too.  Any recommendations of cleaners I should use?  And if the smell does come back, when should I expect it? 1 week, 1 day later?
Cheers from Austin, Tejas!

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Re: acetone smell (ethyl acetate?) in my barrel
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2013, 10:11:02 AM »
Acetone smells often come from yeast (brewers and wild) that are exposed to O2. Barrels should be stored full of water so they don't dry out. That would also minimize the O2 that any yeast covering the wood, that didn't rinse out, would see. You may also have some Brett starting in the wood.

Use Barolkleen. It has some caustics in it.


Some say to use citric acid wash after to neutralize the caustics.

This says to burn the sulfur stick before. Search for cleaning wine barrels on the net to find more instructions.

Jeff Rankert
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: acetone smell (ethyl acetate?) in my barrel
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2013, 12:59:46 PM »
Pricey firewood indeed.... I'm not sure you're going to be able to clean the wild bugs out of that barrel anymore.  I've had the same issues in plastic buckets.  Absolutely cannot be sanitized once they catch that bug.  Never again, though.  I ferment exclusively in glass now.
Dave

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Offline denny

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Re: acetone smell (ethyl acetate?) in my barrel
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 02:13:29 PM »
Pricey firewood indeed.... I'm not sure you're going to be able to clean the wild bugs out of that barrel anymore.  I've had the same issues in plastic buckets.  Absolutely cannot be sanitized once they catch that bug.  Never again, though.  I ferment exclusively in glass now.

Last week, Matt Van Wyck, the head brewer at Oakshire here, gave a talk on barrels.  Oakshire makes some fantastic barrel beers.  He says that he doesn't do anything to clean barrels when he gets them because that can increase the risk of infection.  He also doesn't use them more than once for the same reason.
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Online kramerog

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Re: acetone smell (ethyl acetate?) in my barrel
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2013, 03:02:40 PM »
You got yourself a souring barrel.  Brett can produce lots of ethyl acetate and ethyl lactate, which both smell solventy like acetone. 
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: acetone smell (ethyl acetate?) in my barrel
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2013, 03:34:23 PM »
Oh, no no...its probably not an infection.  If I leave the yeast and trub in my conical for several weeks after I've transferred the beer (sorry, I get lazy sometimes), I can get a powerful acetone aroma when I pop the top!  Apparently, the autolysis process can create those sorts of compounds.  There may not be any sort of strange infection causing the aroma in the barrel.
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: acetone smell (ethyl acetate?) in my barrel
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2013, 06:38:09 PM »
Oh, no no...its probably not an infection.  If I leave the yeast and trub in my conical for several weeks after I've transferred the beer (sorry, I get lazy sometimes), I can get a powerful acetone aroma when I pop the top!  Apparently, the autolysis process can create those sorts of compounds.  There may not be any sort of strange infection causing the aroma in the barrel.

Guys, I am with Martin on this. I have racked of a batch using WLP-002 covered with foil as I thought I was brewing right after racking, and did not brew th day or the next day as planed. The yeast was not covered with much beer, so a week later it smelled like acetone.

Regular or wild, you don't want O2 in after fermentation.

I would go through the stuff to clean up the barrel, some time but little cost.

If you read enough about old English breweries they called some barrels "stinkers" and would clean them up..





 
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Offline tom

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Re: acetone smell (ethyl acetate?) in my barrel
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2013, 09:10:08 AM »
Just don't ask Gordon how to use a sulfur stick!
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