Author Topic: Avoid eggs-like smell in a beer.  (Read 666 times)

Offline daretsuki

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Avoid eggs-like smell in a beer.
« on: September 11, 2022, 12:14:46 pm »
Hello! I make wines and meads with a success, but trying to make some drinkable pilsner beers now and struggling a bit.

I am no expert and my logic is simple here - if the process works for wines, then it should work for anything - including beers.
I sanitize bucket and tools with potassium pyrosulfite solution.

- I use universal wine yeast (with killer factor), which can ferment in 15-35 celsius degrees (59-95 fahrenheit) - I used this because I can't control temperature in almost any way (I suspect this as one of the reasons of bad taste - bad still... wines are good)
- wort and hops boiled for an hour as normal, tasting good, cooled down immediately to about 25C deegres (77F), trying not spoil it, I use termometer constantly, but sanitize it anytime I sink it down to the wort of course
- flushed the chilled wort it into sanitized bucket, added yeast (amount was lower limit of suggested per volume)

The bucket I use have a bubbler and a tap.
For first few days smelled nice from the bubbler, though later the smell went to less pleasant.
Since I have a tap I taste it regularly (as I do with my wines) to check if it's ok.
I stopped noticing bubbling after about one week, about this time it tasted like raw waffles.. really, but it was fine- not unpleasant.. fine.
I waited another week as generally adviced.
After two weeks of fermentation I tasted it - it was not as good, just a little drinkable, can't really finish small glass of it.. sure it still needs at least two weeks of carbonation, but it has this bad smell and taste to it - it's not as bad like in really spoiled bevereges, bit still I can't drink it. Not sour, but ugh...
However, when I opened the bucket's lid the smell was really nice - like in a normal good craft beer, one good thing in all of this... strange,
maybe the good acumulated in air and the bad in beer, I don't know.

From all of beer odors I found when searching the most fitting is the rotten eggs or turtle-baby-farts odor (who invented this name... don't ask me)

From many articles I found on beer odors, I found a section telling
Quote
If your homebrew smells like eggs, it’s likely because of hydrogen sulfide gas. Hydrogen sulfide is a byproduct from active fermentation, often produced during the process of yeast processing the sulf from kilned malts and hops. This gas is often described as having the scent of rotten eggs or sulfur.
https://hopstersbrew.com/identify-prevent-off-flavors-smells-in-homebrew-beer/

So I believe the challenge lies in fermenting malts and/with hops itself, and you have to be more rigourous than for other alcohol types,
so you don't produce hydrogen sulfide in your beers in huge amounts.

From what I've read here and everywhere else mistakes I made could be, from my perspective:
- Not using a proper brewing yeast for beers - but I can't believe you can't make drinkable thing out of any yeast, come on...
- Not enough yeast used initially - next time I'll use the upper limit of suggested amount per volume
- Not added any additional yeast nutrients - although the yeast package already contained nutrients itself, does it make sense to add even more?
- Too high temperature of fermentation.. - well.. Kveiks can ferment in 25C-40C range(77F-104F) - will it make it worse? I'll try them next time, since it's only thing I have left besides the wine yeast.

So next time I'll try to add more and Kveik yeast.. more nutrient, and chill the wort properly - although kveiks needs at least 25C(77F) - so probably not much of a change here.

Well, is there even more advise you could give me here, beyond the one I gave to myself?
How does it look like in your case?

Also, I've seen this topic on the forum suggesting using for instance some copper wire plus flushing beer to get rid of this smell...
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=9514.0

Seems like too much hassle, I would love to prevent it in the first place...
maybe fermenting with the wire inside and shaking it often... will it harm the beer?
Or maybe too much or not enough time in the bucket (2 weeks is like average time, isn't it)?

Greets!

Offline denny

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Re: Avoid eggs-like smell in a beer.
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2022, 12:25:46 pm »
You have several misconceptions, the first being that what works for wine will work for beer. For one, sanitizers you use for wine don't work for beer because wine pH is lower. A large part of beer flavors comes from yeast, so using wine yeast for beer is a poor idea. Sure, most any yeast will ferment it, but that doesn't mean you'll end up with a good product. I would recommend you try making beer like beer and see what happens.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2022, 01:20:59 pm by denny »
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Avoid eggs-like smell in a beer.
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2022, 12:35:09 pm »
You have several misconceptions, the first being that what works for wine will work for beer. For one, sanitizer you use for wine don't work for beer because wine pH is lower. A large part of beer flavors comes from yeast, so using wine yeast for beer is a poor idea. Sure, most any yeast will ferment it, but that doesn't mean you'll end up with a good product. I would recommend you try making beer like beer and see what happens.

+1!

Don't use wine yeast to make lager.  Don't even use kveik yeast.  Use lager yeast, and ferment cooler.  You will still get sulfur (eggy, farty) but it will fade away by itself after a few weeks of aging -- copper not required.  Patience should be very familiar to you in wine-making -- you need patience with fermenting lagers as well.
Dave

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Offline daretsuki

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Re: Avoid eggs-like smell in a beer.
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2022, 01:12:08 pm »
And these are some good answers I have finally got, thanks. I'll buy some beer related sanitizer and yeast and find out how to ferment cooler. Thanks.

Offline denny

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Re: Avoid eggs-like smell in a beer.
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2022, 01:20:26 pm »
And these are some good answers I have finally got, thanks. I'll buy some beer related sanitizer and yeast and find out how to ferment cooler. Thanks.

I would also recommend you get a copy of the excellent book How to Brew by John Palmer. There is an online version but the 4th edition in print is far superior.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline HighVoltageMan!

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Re: Avoid eggs-like smell in a beer.
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2022, 06:00:10 am »
1. Keeping lager yeasts from producing sulfur is like eating several bowls of chili followed by a couple of bean burritos and washing it down with Miller High Life and expecting not to get a serious case of the farts. Your popularity will drop precipitously soon after such meal.
2. Lager yeast produce more sulfur the lower the temperature. As mentioned above, the beer will degas with time. Sulfur compounds are fairly volatile and come out of solution easily. A vigorous fermentation can help to remove these compounds. They also are reduced by lagering.
3. Do what most homebrewers do when they want a "lager like" beer and ferment with 34/70 in the low to mid 60's. 2124 will also work well at elevated temperatures. Kolsch and German Alt yeasts are also a good choice.
4. Wine yeast should be used in beer only when the alternative is bread yeast. Even with that choice, you may not what to use wine yeast.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2022, 06:01:51 am by HighVoltageMan! »

Offline lupulus

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Re: Avoid eggs-like smell in a beer.
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2022, 07:57:21 am »
A few concepts above are incorrect.
This is my last post on the topic to avoid an argument.
1. Rotten egg is hydrogen sulfide.
2. Good German lager aroma is sulfur dioxide.
3. Low sulfur dioxide is normal, sulfide is not normal.
4. Low fermentation temperature does not necezsaeily produce more sulfur dioxide, but needs more yeast.
5. Sulfur is a stress marker; high sulfur is from stressed yeast.
6. All german lagers are fermented at low temperatures, except those under high pressure. 60s fermentation lead to high esters and fusels ( which you may like )
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« Last Edit: September 16, 2022, 08:00:32 am by lupulus »
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Offline BrewBama

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Avoid eggs-like smell in a beer.
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2022, 09:55:05 am »
I don’t like any hint of sulfur, regardless of source, in my beer. Not sure if I am hypersensitive to it or not, I just know it’s a huge turn off for me. Given a choice, I’d rather drink water.

I have fermented W34/70 and S-189 in the 60°(s) F several times and didn’t notice any esters (or sulfur). The beers produced were very good IMO.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2022, 10:10:50 am by BrewBama »

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Avoid eggs-like smell in a beer.
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2022, 10:36:06 am »
I think S-189 is just about the cleanest lager yeast I have tried.  It needs a few weeks of aging to clean up after itself but after that, it totally stays out of the way of the malt and hops.
Dave

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Avoid eggs-like smell in a beer.
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2022, 11:12:06 am »
I don’t like any hint of sulfur, regardless of source, in my beer. Not sure if I am hypersensitive to it or not, I just know it’s a huge turn off for me. Given a choice, I’d rather drink water.

I have fermented W34/70 and S-189 in the 60°(s) F several times and didn’t notice any esters (or sulfur). The beers produced were very good IMO.

I haven't gotten sulfur from either of those strains myself either. Every once in a while I do get a craving for a lager with a hint of SO2. I'm sure there are plenty of strains that can generate this, but I personally like the results I get with WY2633.
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Offline BrewBama

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Avoid eggs-like smell in a beer.
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2022, 07:47:10 pm »
..
6. All german lagers are fermented at low temperatures, except those under high pressure.


Not trying to start an argument, but I did some looking around and came to the conclusion that, evidently, there’s room for a warm ferment in Germany: Classic Warm Fermentation . Weizenberg (Nico) says, “Although cold Fermentation is deemed better for the quality of the beer, warm fermentation was often used in the production of dark lagers such as the infamous Bavarian Dunkel.”

In his ‘Low oxygen baseline recipes for German Lagers’  post on the German Brewing Forum, which includes Helles and Pils, TechBrau said, ”You can ferment any of these with the classic cold or the traditional warm ferment, but ultimately you need to find a fermentation schedule that works for you…”. I find the use of the term “traditional“ very interesting. http://forum.germanbrewing.net/viewtopic.php?p=2586

On his braukaiser website, Kia Troester found a presentation about beer production on the web server of the Technical University of Vienna [TU Vienna] that depicts warm, pressureless fermentation (I know Vienna is not German but it’s interesting none the less). https://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Fermenting_Lagers
« Last Edit: September 18, 2022, 08:55:45 pm by BrewBama »

Offline lupulus

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Re: Avoid eggs-like smell in a beer.
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2022, 04:35:05 am »
Sorry.
Should have clarified.
When I said low temp, I meant NOT Brulosophy warm .
Nonetheless, warm fermentation, as per Narziss book, is rare and requires pro yeast management.


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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Avoid eggs-like smell in a beer.
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2022, 04:47:00 am »
..
6. All german lagers are fermented at low temperatures, except those under high pressure.


Not trying to start an argument, but I did some looking around and came to the conclusion that, evidently, there’s room for a warm ferment in Germany: Classic Warm Fermentation . Weizenberg (Nico) says, “Although cold Fermentation is deemed better for the quality of the beer, warm fermentation was often used in the production of dark lagers such as the infamous Bavarian Dunkel.”

In his ‘Low oxygen baseline recipes for German Lagers’  post on the German Brewing Forum, which includes Helles and Pils, TechBrau said, ”You can ferment any of these with the classic cold or the traditional warm ferment, but ultimately you need to find a fermentation schedule that works for you…”. I find the use of the term “traditional“ very interesting. http://forum.germanbrewing.net/viewtopic.php?p=2586

On his braukaiser website, Kia Troester found a presentation about beer production on the web server of the Technical University of Vienna [TU Vienna] that depicts warm, pressureless fermentation (I know Vienna is not German but it’s interesting none the less). https://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Fermenting_Lagers

I looked at your links... interestingly, the "warm fermentation" goes to a maximum of 11 C (52 F).

Most people would not consider that to be "warm".

Not looking for an argument, just pointing out facts.  I have no horse in this race.
Dave

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Offline BrewBama

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Avoid eggs-like smell in a beer.
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2022, 05:53:05 am »
I agree, it’s not ‘Brulosophy warm’, but it does depart from the standard ‘cold ferment’ that we (I) often associate with lager brewing.

I simply found it interesting that there is a ‘warm’ pressureless ferment documented in German lager brewing so I added it as a point  for consideration.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2022, 05:58:18 am by BrewBama »

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Avoid eggs-like smell in a beer.
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2022, 02:01:23 pm »
I will get sulfur from some strains more than others.  I make A LOT of lagers and getting a whiff of sulfur late in the fermentation seems normal to me.  If you warm up the fermenter towards the end of fermentation I feel like you have a better chance at driving off the characteristics of things like sulfur and also diacetyl.  Allowing the beer to sit warm (room temp warm) at the end of fermentation and for a little while after should clean that up.  I generally do not have beers on tap that bowl you over with sulfur aroma or flavor.  Yes, there is some which I consider common in German-inspired lagers made with German Lager yeast.  I also use 940 quite a bit and there is less sulfur but still some. 
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