Water additions and possible unexpected advantages

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Credible Sauce, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. Credible Sauce

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    Hi All.

    I have had on my past beers some sulphur issues. All using us05. Temp of fermentation is +/- 0.3 from 20 degree C. Pitched correct amount of rehydrated Yeast according to pitch calculator. Oxygenated wort. The sulphur is towards the end of fermentation. It subsides after a few days but still pisses me off. Then I start imagining I can smell sulphur !

    On the last two I have used the same techniques but have adjusted water both with salts for better water profile and lactic acid to get pH of mash down to 5.4. No sulphur issues occurred.

    Malt bills have been similar. Mostly Crisp Maris O.

    Could this be down to the pH giving a better wort for the yeast. I would like this to be the case as it seems a problem solved. Alternatively is this something unconnected ?

    Any thoughts on this ?

    Cheers
    Matt
     
  2. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I get sulphur on lagers sometimes. It goes away. It happens from time to time. You’re not doing anything wrong except getting frustrated. RDWHAHB.
     
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  3. Credible Sauce

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    I understand that sulphur production occurs and is more prevalent in lagers. I only brew ale. From my reading it can be from stressed yeast. I just wondered if anyone had an opinion on its absence since adjusting water.

    As for RDWHAHB'ing.... Took slightly too far the other day.

    Brew day. Totally screwed mash by not having filter sitting flat at bottom of mash. Grain blocked all pipe work, pump and what didn't block ended up in kettle. Decided to cut losses dump wort, clean up and start again. Its now 2pm and brew just starting. All going well on second run and I have some just carbonated 6.5 % IPA to try. Stuff is great. Maybe another one... I drink like a typical British man which is quick. Anyhow next thing I know I'm staggering. Mrs comes home and takes one look at me and laughs. Long story short. I spent most of the rest of the brew in the toilet being sick with the Mrs getting me at timed intervals. She did the yeast and cleaned some of the mess I had made. including the nightclub sticky floor (inside brewing) Finished at 10pm. Now if that beer does not have an infection then this sanitisation thing is clearly nonsense. I don't remember reading anywhere about the sanitising properties of ones own vomit.

    Anyhow. A brewing milestone I guess. First time I was totally twatted off my own beer.

    Cheers

    Matt
     
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  4. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Great story Matt, sounds like you got a real keeper of a wife there
     
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  5. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member

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    Relax, don't worry, be careful you don't have too many. ;)
     
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  6. vthokiedsp

    vthokiedsp Member

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    I've had issues with maris otter completing conversion in the usual timeframe of 60 minutes (even at low pH levels) and have had to extend the mash to 90 minutes or longer. Maybe an incomplete conversion, combined with the higher pH levels, created a difficult environment for the yeast and as a result it stressed the yeast and/or precipitated a byproduct that resulted in a sulfur essence. At least it fades.

    If you're feeling frisky, see what happens when you reduce the % of MO at your previous pH levels and mash duration. Since the sulfur doesn't persist, there's really no downside.
     
  7. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Sulphur is almost always related to the yeast/ fermentation. I can't image the pH of the wort would cause a sulphur problem, but getting pH under control is pretty important overall anyway. Ales can and do produce sulphur, but at a much lower rate than lagers. There's something going on with the fermentation causing it, but nothing really seems to be outside the norm in your description. 20C fermentation temp can be a bit high if your using a plastic bucket to ferment, since it traps more heat from the exothermic effect from the yeast. Dropping the temp will improve the beer overall, but I don't think that would cause or solve a sulphur problem. Metabisulfite, maybe if you used to de-chlorinate?

    Huh, that is weird.
     
  8. Credible Sauce

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    #8 Credible Sauce , Feb 28, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
    20 c is temp of wort. Measured in thermowell of stainless jacketed fermenter. It cools by beer cooler through jacket and heats with aquarium heater. 20 is well below recommend max temp for US05 though. Its generally within 0.2 of set temp. max 0.3 difference. What would you recommend as temp, as that is easily adjustable ?

    No metabisulpahate as have chlorine removing filter on mains to house.

    I have done some research elsewhere and read that pH can influence sulphur production. Link below.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/stor...33&s=14e3b857f658bc2b8bc36cd51396c740ea4cd503

    Page 124 paragraph 9


    Cant find anything else to substantiate this.

    Will cary on with the adjusted water as its beneficial in other ways and maybe in this way too !! Beer, science and a restless mind makes for a busy browsing history that doesn't have to be hidden !!!!

    Matt
     
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  9. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    The correlation between the mash pH and sulfur is new to me, I'm assuming the higher the pH the more likely the compound would be found in beer. The link is "forbidden", so I couldn't read the page you referenced, but it may very well be the case. I guess that's another good reason to keep the mash pH in check. It makes for better beer anyway.

    As far as the fermentation temp of US05, when I do use it, I keep the temperature pretty low 15-17C or 60-63F. I have found this yeast and most yeast I use, make much better beer when fermented lower. US05 can go as low as 12-13C. I don't use that yeast much anymore because it's a fairly low acid producer and the pH in the finish beer is a little high, @4.5 or so. Other yeasts will drop the pH to 3.9-4.2 in the finished beer and makes for a crisper, smoother beer. One of my favorite subs for US05 (Chico strains) is Wyeast 1007 German Alt yeast. That yeast can go done to 52F (11C) and it's a great acid producer, but it can produce sulfur, although it's never been a problem.
     
  10. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I put my beer in my laundry room that maintains a pretty consistent 18-20C all the time and have never had a bad batch yet, I use BRY-97 a lot which the the Danstar version of US05 so I don't think that should be a problem.
     
  11. Credible Sauce

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    Interesting info, thanks. Another variable to try.
    Not sure why link doesn't work. It was a link of the off the following:

    https://homebrew.stackexchange.com/...-i-increase-the-sulphur-production-in-a-lager

    Obviously I'm not trying in increase though !!


    Will try a lower temp of a beer I've brewed before to investigate.

    Matt
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Haven't heard of a link between mash pH and sulfur.... Yeast strains, particularly lagers, yes, but not pH.
     
  13. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    You won't necessarily have a bad beer, it just a preference. I prefer the lower temp beers due to lower yeast character. I don't think fermenting at that temp will produce sulfur, there is something else going on with the yeast to produce that odor.
     

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