My Primary Stinks!

Homebrewing with extract? Share your thoughts here!
Serratus
Posts: 18
Joined: 4 years ago
Favourite Beer: Little Scrapper IPA
Location: Winnipeg

My Primary Stinks!

Post #1 by Serratus » 3 years ago

Hi Everyone,

As you can see from the subject line, the gases that are escaping my air lock stink. It smells like rotten egg.
This was an extract with specialty grain (munich, chocolate, crystal, and biscuit) recipe. I used Williamette hops for bittering and Tettnang for 20 min and then again at flame out (both in hop bags). The yeast was American Ale yeast (1056) Wyeast.
Temp of wort at yeast pitch 24C. Temp of my yeast starter 22C. Ambient temp of room where primary is located is 18C.

Possible issues:
Lag time: 30 hrs (which is significant, I think, given the starter).
Yeast: seems obvious given the lag time. The yeast I used was in the fridge for a while (1 month) as a starter. I had planned to use it on a batch back then but something came up. I could dormant the yeast cells in the fridge.

Two days before brew day I took the starter out of the fridge and carefully poured off the top liquid into another vessel, and left it in a dark room to warm to room temperature.
The day before brew day, I fed the little guys some light DME and then again on Brew Day. The starter 'looked' active enough.

Now. I've read about poor yeast health, petite mutants and all that – I don’t fully comprehend – but I'm almost certain that my yeast handling is the culprit (probably in fridge too long).

My question:
Is this beer ruined? (the smell is… well… difficult to miss).
Does anyone have experience with this?
Do you think extended conditioning in the secondary will save the beer?

The primary is still pretty active at this point. I’m waiting for it to settle before evaluating on its way to the secondary.

Sorry about the long winded post – I just wanted you to have all the information.
Goulaigan
Posts: 456
Joined: 4 years ago
Favourite Beer: Mine
Location: Goulais River, ON

Re: My Primary Stinks!

Post #2 by Goulaigan » 3 years ago

I've gotten sulfur smells from my primary on a few different batches, usually still smells like beer too but with a noticeable sulfur odour. Beer has always turned out just fine, and I don't secondary. Does it still smell at least somewhat beery? I'd be willing to bet your beer will be just fine...
User avatar
Warthaug
Posts: 792
Joined: 7 years ago
Favourite Beer: The wet kind
Location: SW Ontario
Contact:

Re: My Primary Stinks!

Post #3 by Warthaug » 3 years ago

Sulphur odours are a common part of brewing. People usually notice them more with lagers, as the less-vigorous fermentation lets the stink stick around longer, but ale yeasts produce sulphur gasses as well and if you catch them at the right time you'll smell it. I suspect that is all you are smelling - let the ferment complete, by the time its done all the sulphur odours should be driven off.

Bryan
Visit my blog at suigenerisbrewing.com. Homebrewing, yeast wrangling, wild yeast and more!
Serratus
Posts: 18
Joined: 4 years ago
Favourite Beer: Little Scrapper IPA
Location: Winnipeg

Re: My Primary Stinks!

Post #4 by Serratus » 3 years ago

Thanks Goulaigan and Warthaug, this is good news to me.
Serratus
Posts: 18
Joined: 4 years ago
Favourite Beer: Little Scrapper IPA
Location: Winnipeg

Re: My Primary Stinks!

Post #5 by Serratus » 3 years ago

Just an update on the stinky beer (or as my wife calls it: "pooh-tire"). After 11 days in the bottle, I tried it. It has turned out! Clearly, it needs some time in the bottle, but I liked it. I think I will call it Wart-Goul, after the two members that responded. Thanks again. All the best.
Goulaigan
Posts: 456
Joined: 4 years ago
Favourite Beer: Mine
Location: Goulais River, ON

Re: My Primary Stinks!

Post #6 by Goulaigan » 3 years ago

LOL, it will definitely get better with a little bit of aging, glad it turned out!
Chicco
Posts: 56
Joined: 3 years ago
Favourite Beer: amber ale
Location: Winnipeg, MB

Re: My Primary Stinks!

Post #7 by Chicco » 3 years ago

Goulaigan wrote:I've gotten sulfur smells from my primary on a few different batches, usually still smells like beer too but with a noticeable sulfur odour. Beer has always turned out just fine, and I don't secondary. Does it still smell at least somewhat beery? I'd be willing to bet your beer will be just fine...



Hi Goulaigan, what do you mean you don"t secondary? you go direct from primary to bottling? what does it do to beer? what does secondary really do to your beer? sorry, Newbie questions. =)
User avatar
Reignman
Posts: 1672
Joined: 7 years ago
Favourite Beer: Steam Beer
Location: Cavan, Ont.

Re: My Primary Stinks!

Post #8 by Reignman » 3 years ago

Using a secondary fermenter will help clear your beer for bottling. Most people just ferment around 14 days and bottle from there. Less risk of infection because you won't be transferring your beer into another vessel.
kombat
Member
Posts: 385
Joined: 6 years ago
Favourite Beer: Broadhead Wildcard

Re: My Primary Stinks!

Post #9 by kombat » 3 years ago

Reignman wrote:Using a secondary fermenter will help clear your beer for bottling.


I believe this has been debunked. Leaving your beer undisturbed in a single vessel for an equal length of time as a combined primary/secondary protocol should actually result in clearer beer, in addition to decreasing the risks of oxidation and infection.

Return to “Extract Brewing”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 4 guests