Author Topic: Removing sulfur compounds from finished beer with copper  (Read 685 times)

Offline ajk

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Removing sulfur compounds from finished beer with copper
« on: March 29, 2014, 10:24:11 AM »
I had a Hefeweizen with H2S and SO2 notes.  I was sure they would age out eventually, but I wanted to serve the beer next week.  Also, I didn't want to wait long given the style of beer.

Looking for ways to remove the sulfur, I came across this topic and decided to give it a try.  My approach was to dunk a piece of copper pipe into the keg about a dozen times.  It seems to have worked.  The H2S is completely gone.  I think I still detect a little SO2 in the aroma and the finish.

I had a feeling the lack of copper on the hot side of my brewery would bite me someday.  Looks like I need to toss that copper pipe in the boil from now on.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Removing sulfur compounds from finished beer with copper
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2014, 11:47:13 AM »
The Germans would say that a little sulfur is the sign of a good fresh beer.  Personally, I don't like H2S or SO2 in my beer either, but hey, it's true, ain't it.  The best thing you can do obviously is to let your beer age for a couple of weeks, after which the sulfur will be gone.  I have heard of the copper method before but never tried it myself.  I know people swear that it works.  My bet is that with the copper and another week of aging, the sulfur might very well be completely gone by then.  I wish you luck.
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Offline yso191

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Re: Removing sulfur compounds from finished beer with copper
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2014, 01:13:14 PM »
Very interesting.  Filed away for future reference.
Steve
All Hands Brewing

Offline erockrph

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Re: Removing sulfur compounds from finished beer with copper
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2014, 07:33:55 AM »
Anyone try this for garlic/onion hop notes (since they're sulfur compounds)? I've been wondering if a handful of bb's in a hop bag would make Summit usable...
Eric B.

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Removing sulfur compounds from finished beer with copper
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2014, 07:42:24 AM »
Anyone try this for garlic/onion hop notes (since they're sulfur compounds)? I've been wondering if a handful of bb's in a hop bag would make Summit usable...

I've always used a copper IC, and I still get that from Summit.
Jon H.

Offline brewsumore

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Re: Removing sulfur compounds from finished beer with copper
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2014, 07:25:00 PM »
Today is Monday.  Maybe 8 or 9 days ago I finished dry-hopping a 5-gal keg of IPA with an ounce of dried-on-the-bine whole cone summit hops + an ounce of pellet experimental lemon hops from Yakima Hops.  Following a week of dry-hopping I squeezed the hop bag pretty well into the keg, and when I squeezed a bit more from the bag into a glass and tasted that I thought i would choke from the overpowering dank, earthy, oniony flavor of course from the summits.  By this past Wednesday with the beer carbonated, the nasty hop flavor had permeated throughout the beer and I got a lot of that oniony/garlicky flavor and wondered if I had a dumper.  However, by this past Saturday (3 days later), a lot of that nastiness was gone and the beer tasted pretty good.  A friend who drinks plenty of IPAs came over this afternoon and we each drank a glass of it and it was very good, and we enjoyed it a lot and he said he got absolutely no onion or garlic flavor. 

So in my very recent experience, this nastiness that comes from sulphur in dry-hopped summits disappeared quickly and completely, just with the passage of time and no copper added.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 07:28:30 PM by brewsumore »

Offline erockrph

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Re: Removing sulfur compounds from finished beer with copper
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2014, 08:53:25 PM »
Today is Monday.  Maybe 8 or 9 days ago I finished dry-hopping a 5-gal keg of IPA with an ounce of dried-on-the-bine whole cone summit hops + an ounce of pellet experimental lemon hops from Yakima Hops.  Following a week of dry-hopping I squeezed the hop bag pretty well into the keg, and when I squeezed a bit more from the bag into a glass and tasted that I thought i would choke from the overpowering dank, earthy, oniony flavor of course from the summits.  By this past Wednesday with the beer carbonated, the nasty hop flavor had permeated throughout the beer and I got a lot of that oniony/garlicky flavor and wondered if I had a dumper.  However, by this past Saturday (3 days later), a lot of that nastiness was gone and the beer tasted pretty good.  A friend who drinks plenty of IPAs came over this afternoon and we each drank a glass of it and it was very good, and we enjoyed it a lot and he said he got absolutely no onion or garlic flavor. 

So in my very recent experience, this nastiness that comes from sulphur in dry-hopped summits disappeared quickly and completely, just with the passage of time and no copper added.

Did you use any Summit in the boil, or just as dry hops? Unfortunately, I have found that the Summit onion flavor is pretty stable with time when used in the boil.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline brewsumore

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Re: Removing sulfur compounds from finished beer with copper
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2014, 09:19:38 AM »
I don't have the recipe here at work, but for ten gallons I think I used 1.5 oz at 60 minutes, and a bit more for FWH.  It worked as a very clean bittering hop, for which I perceived no onion or garlic.  The beer pre-dryhop had a bit of English Ale hybrid flavor that would only make sense since the grist included maybe 40% Marris Otter, several pounds of wheat malt and 2 lbs of medium-toasted flaked oats.  These actually worked well with the 50% 2-row and then the juicy flavors from the citrus and tropical fruit attribute hops.