Author Topic: Weirdest thing: Sulfur Removal tip  (Read 5874 times)

Offline majorvices

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Weirdest thing: Sulfur Removal tip
« on: October 10, 2011, 12:51:59 PM »
I have a beer that I racked too early and it was just full of sulfur. Smelled absolutely fetid. I looked up some solutions and found a tip on a wine making forum that suggested pouring a small glass and stirring the wine with copper. And that if it works to try racking the wine through copper tubing.

Tried the stirring thing and side by side the difference is simply friggin' amazing! The beer stirred with copper tastes and smells exactly as it should. The other smells a little like ass.

I'm blown away, had never heard of this technique. The beer stirred with copper is delicious and completely drinkable, the other I couldn't finish an entire glass. Has anyone else heard of this?
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Offline denny

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Re: Weirdest thing: Sulfur Removal tip
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2011, 12:55:24 PM »
Wow....alchemy!  Never heard of that.
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Weirdest thing: Sulfur Removal tip
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2011, 12:57:55 PM »
Works with mead too. Sometimes just a "copper" penny in the secondary will fix the rotten farts, 'er Sulfur.  Cheers!!!
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Weirdest thing: Sulfur Removal tip
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2011, 01:03:43 PM »
Good trick to know!  Got one for Acetaldehyde?
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Weirdest thing: Sulfur Removal tip
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2011, 01:07:44 PM »
Good trick to know!  Got one for Acetaldehyde?

Leave it in the primary longer to avoid but It may go away as it conditions.  Cheers!!!
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 01:10:04 PM by hamiltont »
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Offline punatic

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Re: Weirdest thing: Sulfur Removal tip
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2011, 01:08:18 PM »
That's why stills are made of copper.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Weirdest thing: Sulfur Removal tip
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2011, 01:10:23 PM »
My memory was jogged.  This is said to be what happens on the hot side, must happen on the cold side too.
Was it the rotten egg smell of H2S?

Copper ions react with the hydrogen sulfide produced during fermentation and reduce it to insoluble copper sulfide, which is left behind with the trub and yeast cake

From this, in the metals and liquids section.
http://www.byo.com/stories/projects-and-equipment/article/indices/20-build-it-yourself/1149-metallurgy-for-homebrewers
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Weirdest thing: Sulfur Removal tip
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2011, 02:47:17 PM »
Yes, Jeff, that is essentially what the post said - that the copper reacts with the hydrogen sulfide. I'm just amazed at how well it works. It really is like magic.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Weirdest thing: Sulfur Removal tip
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2011, 02:57:33 PM »
Copper can be bad on the cold side as it can ppromote staling.  If the contact time is low, this may be good to get the H2S out. Not the first time I have seen a brewing rule go both ways. 

Do you have any copper on the hot side in your system?  Might help reduce it, but the yeast may still produce more.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Weirdest thing: Sulfur Removal tip
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2011, 03:14:37 PM »

Do you have any copper on the hot side in your system?  Might help reduce it, but the yeast may still produce more.

Used to, but now, no, not really. I am going to start adding a couple pieces to the boil now. I seem to have been having a problem with sulfur in beers lately, especially with dark beers. Hoping this will help eliminate the problem.
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Offline James Lorden

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Re: Weirdest thing: Sulfur Removal tip
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2011, 03:55:19 PM »
I wonder how much contact time you need.  Coul adding a piece of copper to the racking cane work.

Also, aren't pennies made mostly of zinc now a days?
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Weirdest thing: Sulfur Removal tip
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2011, 04:04:42 PM »
You can look it up to find the exact amount, but pennies are about 98% zinc.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Weirdest thing: Sulfur Removal tip
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2011, 05:49:44 PM »
I wonder how much contact time you need.  Coul adding a piece of copper to the racking cane work.

Also, aren't pennies made mostly of zinc now a days?

For a 12 oz glass of beer it took about 3-5 seconds of stirring for the aroma and flavor to be completely gone. I'm going to just add a couple lengths of copper to the BT and let sit for an hour or so and sample it. Hopefully that will do the trick.

But, yeah, copper on the racking cane might very well be all that you would need.
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Offline James Lorden

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Re: Weirdest thing: Sulfur Removal tip
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2011, 06:00:56 PM »
Just thinking, when copper turns green that generally means its formed copper sulfate. I'd guess that the sulfer pulled out of the beer might be bonding to form copper sulfate. I'm pretty sure that stuff is toxic - I know it will kill fungus!

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Weirdest thing: Sulfur Removal tip
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2011, 06:02:31 PM »
Interesting results Keith!

Copper can be bad on the cold side as it can ppromote staling.  If the contact time is low, this may be good to get the H2S out.

I think this Brewing Network episode with Jamil and Palmer sheds some more light on brewing with metals. It's a good one. Check it out.

http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/Brew-Strong/Brew-Strong-09-29-08-Metals-that-Affect-Your-Beer
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