Author Topic: Process/Yeast change to reduce sulfur in finished beer  (Read 2340 times)

Offline wingnut

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Process/Yeast change to reduce sulfur in finished beer
« on: December 10, 2010, 09:03:37 PM »
So I am sipping my last batch of Vienna lager… pondering what to do different as I compare it to a number of commercial examples.   

I like the malt flavor, and I like the hop balance, but the Sulfur characteristic I am getting from the Whitelabs 833 yeast is a bit higher than I would like compared to the samples I am comparing it to. 

So with that in mind, is anyone aware of mashing processes for reducing sulfur or different yeasts that give off a great malty flavor, but with less sulfur?   I am brewing the next batch in a couple weeks, so any advice to ponder now while I formulate the next recipe would be much appreciated!
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Offline tom

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Re: Process/Yeast change to reduce sulfur in finished beer
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2010, 10:29:48 PM »
Weird, I haven't had sulfur with that yeast. What gravity, oxygenation, starter size, and fermentation temperature did you use?
What kind of sulfur? rotten egg? burnt match?
Occasionally releasing the carbonation may release enough.
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Offline tygo

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Re: Process/Yeast change to reduce sulfur in finished beer
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2010, 10:53:09 PM »
I'm currently drinking a BoPils fermented with 833 and I've noted some sulfur as well.  It's just barely noticeable and really not unpleasant at all.  Actually adds some character to the beer.  More the burnt match than the rotten egg variety :)
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Process/Yeast change to reduce sulfur in finished beer
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2010, 05:28:45 AM »
How old are these beers.

Sulfur goes away with age.

Kai

Offline tygo

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Re: Process/Yeast change to reduce sulfur in finished beer
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2010, 06:06:56 AM »
Mine was brewed on 10/3.  Two weeks (or so) primary, four (or so) weeks of lagering, and about 3.5 weeks in the bottle so far. 
Clint
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Process/Yeast change to reduce sulfur in finished beer
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2010, 06:59:14 AM »
I use 833 all the time and think it's actually fairly low in sulfur.  Compare it to 820, for instance.

Mashing doesn't really affect sulfur.  It's something yeast produce, and lager yeast produce more.  Certain strains are known to be higher producers than others.

How do you lager?  It does tend to come out a bit then, so if you are blowing off the sulfur during lagering, it will help.  Some people perceive yeast itself as sulfury, so you can also try fining with gelatin towards the end of your lagering period before packaging.  It does tend to reduce over time, as Kai said.  But it's better to keep it down if you can.  Choose low sulfur producers, let it blow off, age it out.
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Offline wingnut

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Re: Process/Yeast change to reduce sulfur in finished beer
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2010, 08:08:18 AM »
I should probably clarify a bit...

To start, the beer I am brewing, I have been brewing for about four years now and I have somewhere around 15 to 20 batches of it under my belt.  It is the beer that I change one thing at a time on and compare the results to help learn how to dial in beers.  I am placing in competitions with it, so the sulfur I am talking about is not a “knock you over” sulfur... but in doing triangle tests with some commercial examples, I find that I am preferring those commercial examples and I am picking out an elevated sulfur odor in my version that I not present in the commercial examples.  It is not bad, just different.  So in the next batch or two I thought I would work on dialing in that aspect. 

Process is one vial of 833, into a 2L starter, put on stir plate for three days at 70F.  Then either pitch into wort or store flask in fridge for up to two days before pitching into wort.  (sometimes life changes my brew day on me!)

Sometimes I pitch the whole starter, other times I pitch just the sediment...into 5.5 gallons of wort at 1.056 to 1.060

Ferment at 50F to 55F for two to three weeks, rack into corney keg, and lager for 4 to 8 weeks at 35 to 38F. 

I do not fine the beer, and it usually drops clear in that time. 

I do not off gas the corney during lagering, so that may be a start... is the proper process to push in some CO2 and then let it out, just to purge the head space?

Any other procedures for keeping the sulfur low during fermentation/mashing/etc would be appreciated!

-- Wingnut - Cheers!

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Process/Yeast change to reduce sulfur in finished beer
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2010, 08:35:16 PM »
Sulfur, and th time it takes to remove it, bothers me too, It is like you said not something that hits you in the face but something subtle that is best noticed in side-by-side taste comparisons. Do far I have not done anything special to reduce the sulfur. Just waiting has worked for me but I'm keeping my eyes open for ways to reduce or speed up the sulfur reduction. Gordan's tip with gas washing the beer is something I have come across before but it also means that I have to attend the beer more than I would normally do.

Kai

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Process/Yeast change to reduce sulfur in finished beer
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2010, 06:01:59 AM »
Sulfur has always disappeared with age for me.  Usually it is totally gone after about 3 or 4 weeks.  However, one time I had a light lager where the sulfur was still there for months.  So I sort of gave up on it, let it age for over a year, then went back to it.  Sulfur was completely gone after that extent of time, and it ended up being a pretty tasty beer despite its age.

Patience.
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Process/Yeast change to reduce sulfur in finished beer
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2010, 09:03:27 AM »
Excuse the noob..... but would it help to put a piece of copper in the secondary?
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Offline denny

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Re: Process/Yeast change to reduce sulfur in finished beer
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2010, 12:05:43 PM »
Excuse the noob..... but would it help to put a piece of copper in the secondary?

I don't know the correlation between copper and sulfur, but I wouldn't do it.  The low pH of the beer will cause problems with copper.
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Process/Yeast change to reduce sulfur in finished beer
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2010, 12:26:22 PM »
Excuse the noob..... but would it help to put a piece of copper in the secondary?

I came across the correaltion between copper and lower sulfur when I was reading up on the subject last night. However I agree with Denny that you may get more issues than you solve. There is also the possible formation of toxic copper sulfate.

Kai

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Process/Yeast change to reduce sulfur in finished beer
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2010, 04:44:15 PM »
Would different fermentation schedule help with elimination sulfur in the first place?
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Offline James Lorden

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Re: Process/Yeast change to reduce sulfur in finished beer
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2010, 07:40:43 AM »
Does yeast stress cause more sulfer to be produced?  I was under the impression that underpitching a lager could lead to more sulfer.  Is that a true statement... I can try to identify my source, working off memory here.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Process/Yeast change to reduce sulfur in finished beer
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2010, 07:56:19 AM »
Does yeast stress cause more sulfer to be produced?

That is my understanding that stressed yeast is producing sulphur.
What would be the stress factors?
Underpitching is one of them.
How about fermenting too cold?
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