Author Topic: Sulphur question  (Read 1418 times)

Offline Cliffs

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Re: Sulphur question
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2020, 10:59:04 am »
Will do Denny, but I’ll wait until it’s a little later!

I’m also thinking it could be my water, I don’t treat it other than removing chlorine with campden tablets and adjusting the ph. Maybe that is why mine isn’t tasting as crisp. Maybe it isn’t sulphur at all I’m missing.

I’ll try a side by side batch of traditional and pressure and see if I notice a difference.

this very well may be it. Water chemistry is important for all beers, but it is especially critical for lagers

Offline majorvices

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Re: Sulphur question
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2020, 11:19:47 am »
A brewery I worked for fermented their lagers warmish and under pressure and while they were clean I never truly enjoyed them. Maybe try a more traditional fermentation temp. And, of course, water is definitely important so that is something to look at as well.

Offline Cliffs

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Re: Sulphur question
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2020, 11:29:13 am »
A brewery I worked for fermented their lagers warmish and under pressure and while they were clean I never truly enjoyed them. Maybe try a more traditional fermentation temp. And, of course, water is definitely important so that is something to look at as well.

I have yet to have a warm fermented lager that I thought highly of. Many folks in my homebrew club do them and I can always pick them out

Offline erockrph

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Re: Sulphur question
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2020, 11:34:32 am »
I've always found that 34/70 was missing that hint of sulfur, pressure or not. I do get it from most liquid yeasts. I also get it from S189, but I have yet to try that yeast under pressure.

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Offline Cliffs

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Re: Sulphur question
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2020, 11:36:01 am »
I've always found that 34/70 was missing that hint of sulfur, pressure or not. I do get it from most liquid yeasts. I also get it from S189, but I have yet to try that yeast under pressure.

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Same experience Ive had with 34/70. Less sulfur than most lager strains.

Offline denny

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Re: Sulphur question
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2020, 11:51:21 am »
Will do Denny, but I’ll wait until it’s a little later!

I’m also thinking it could be my water, I don’t treat it other than removing chlorine with campden tablets and adjusting the ph. Maybe that is why mine isn’t tasting as crisp. Maybe it isn’t sulphur at all I’m missing.

I’ll try a side by side batch of traditional and pressure and see if I notice a difference.

If you're not adjusting minerals, it could very well be the cause.  There's more to it than just pH.
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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Sulphur question
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2020, 12:01:23 pm »
I've always found that 34/70 was missing that hint of sulfur, pressure or not. I do get it from most liquid yeasts. I also get it from S189, but I have yet to try that yeast under pressure.

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Offline BrianBrews88

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Re: Sulphur question
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2020, 02:52:43 pm »
A brewery I worked for fermented their lagers warmish and under pressure and while they were clean I never truly enjoyed them. Maybe try a more traditional fermentation temp. And, of course, water is definitely important so that is something to look at as well.

I have yet to have a warm fermented lager that I thought highly of. Many folks in my homebrew club do them and I can always pick them out


I agree, there is something not quite right about my lagers. Really clean and neutral, but for me they are missing the crispness I’m looking for. I was thinking it was possibly a  lack of sulphur, and that could be, but I probably should do a side by side of traditional and pressure fermented warm to see.

I just ordered a book on water, it is something I’ve avoided getting into with brewing but think it’s time to delve into it more.

Thanks for all the replies and ideas. Happy holidays!


Offline majorvices

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Re: Sulphur question
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2020, 03:42:18 pm »
Attenuation also contributes to crispness - make sure your lagers are attenuating enough.

Offline denny

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Re: Sulphur question
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2020, 04:05:42 pm »
A brewery I worked for fermented their lagers warmish and under pressure and while they were clean I never truly enjoyed them. Maybe try a more traditional fermentation temp. And, of course, water is definitely important so that is something to look at as well.

I have yet to have a warm fermented lager that I thought highly of. Many folks in my homebrew club do them and I can always pick them out


I agree, there is something not quite right about my lagers. Really clean and neutral, but for me they are missing the crispness I’m looking for. I was thinking it was possibly a  lack of sulphur, and that could be, but I probably should do a side by side of traditional and pressure fermented warm to see.

I just ordered a book on water, it is something I’ve avoided getting into with brewing but think it’s time to delve into it more.

Thanks for all the replies and ideas. Happy holidays!

I'd skip the book and read the water knowledge page at Brunwater.com.
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Offline denny

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Re: Sulphur question
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2020, 04:07:56 pm »
Something I've been wondering..is it possible that what people are thinking of as an appropriate sulfur note in commercial beers actually is a sign of poor handling and being lightstruck?
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Offline BrianBrews88

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Re: Sulphur question
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2020, 04:28:11 pm »
It’s entirely possible. I could easily be mistaking this sulphur note for something else. I’ll check that website out, thanks!

My final gravity readings have been normal in these cases. I do notice the head retention is really sturdy on the pressure fermented beers. I wonder if this could be related to the beer not having that crisp character I’m looking for. These lagers are flabby, or almost creamier than I’d want. Maybe I shouldn’t expect the same results out of such a different process.

Offline santoch

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Re: Sulphur question
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2020, 03:38:43 pm »
I agree it's probably the water chemistry and pH by itself is not everything.
Lightstruck, though, is very different from sulphury.  But both can make a beer pretty much undrinkable to me.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Sulphur question
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2020, 07:33:30 pm »
Something I've been wondering..is it possible that what people are thinking of as an appropriate sulfur note in commercial beers actually is a sign of poor handling and being lightstruck?

You get a faint whiff of Sulfur (H2S) in many German beers, from the tap or barrel in Germany. I've had it from beer served inside and out side. I've had it in clear glass and in ceramic steins.

It is fleeting, after to the whiff the sensation goes down. After a couple of sips, gone.

It is viewed as a preservative, and a sign that the beer is fresh. Not lightssruck aroma by any means.
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Offline RC

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Re: Sulphur question
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2020, 08:14:42 pm »
Something I've been wondering..is it possible that what people are thinking of as an appropriate sulfur note in commercial beers actually is a sign of poor handling and being lightstruck?

Possibly but doubtful, IMO. Skunk is obviously very distinctive, and "lightstruck" is caused by the same molecule. If someone knows to describe a beer aroma/flavor as "sulfur", I assume they mean H2S sulfur, not skunk. Otherwise they probably would have described it as skunk, given how distinctive it is.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2020, 08:21:55 pm by RC »