Smelly Fermentor

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Beer Foundry, May 20, 2020.

?

Should I ditch it?

  1. Definitely - sure fire infection, get rid

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Hang on in there and taste it when it stops fermenting

    9 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. Beer Foundry

    Beer Foundry New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Shrewsbury UK
    I am on all grain brew #47 so no expert, but not a novice either.

    I brewed my first Kellerbier at the weekend and pitched a starter of White Labs - Old Bavarian Lager Yeast WLP920 (liquid yeast, in date, kept in the fridge).

    Fermentation took a day or so to get going and I can't keep the temperature down as sod's law we are having a warm spell of weather here in the UK, unusually! It's at roughly 16 deg C rather than 12 deg C.

    Anyway, as I get close to the FV, I get this distinct smell which I have not experienced before, and it is definitely coming from the airlock. It isn't quite like rotten eggs, but it certainly not pleasant.

    Is this what some yeasts smell like? Or is this a sure sign of an infection and I should dump the lot?

    Thanks for any helkp/advice.
     
  2. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    614
    Likes Received:
    903
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Controls & Instrumentation Engineer
    Location:
    Monroe, Louisiana
    Home Page:
    I'd let it finish fermenting and then sit for a few days. I've had a few unusual smells come from the fermenter, but the yeast cleaned it up with a bit of time.
     
    Beer Foundry likes this.
  3. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2017
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    741
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I say let it ride. The first time I brewed a lager (an oktoberfest) I was amazed at the sulfur smell generated during fermentation. If I hadn't read on the forums to expect this, I would seriously considered dumping it.
     
    Beer Foundry and Trialben like this.
  4. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2017
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    741
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Plus, the voting buttons were an awesome addition!
     
    Bubba Wade likes this.
  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,476
    Likes Received:
    2,694
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Lager yeast produces a lot of sulfur! Ignore it!
    Keep everything clean and avoid any outside air getting and you'll be fine.
    I've had sulfur in the beer right up to kegging but blowing off the CO2 a few times clears it out just fine. If you're planning to bottle, you need to lager (cold-store) sufficiently before bottling so that sulfur can dissipate naturally.
     
    Beer Foundry and Trialben like this.
  6. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,456
    Likes Received:
    9,534
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    +4 On taste once ferm is done. You'll be amazed that that smell dissipates over time.
     
    Beer Foundry likes this.
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,418
    Likes Received:
    6,673
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Let it ride. Likely sulfur, as already mentioned.
     
    Beer Foundry likes this.
  8. Beer Foundry

    Beer Foundry New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Shrewsbury UK
    Thanks @BarbarianBrewer - that's very reassuring. I had never heard this was a 'thing' before. They should warn you on the packet!! Maybe it's a warning to those who dare go near the dark side to brew a lager.
     
    BarbarianBrewer likes this.
  9. Beer Foundry

    Beer Foundry New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Shrewsbury UK
    What would the brewing world do without all of you guys! You are amazing. Thank you.
     
  10. Bulin's Milker Bucket Brews

    Bulin's Milker Bucket Brews Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,435
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Carpenter
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Let'er roll. Drinking one right now that smelled absolutely putrid when it was working....NOW it's delicious...
     
    Trialben likes this.

Share This Page

arrow_white