View Full Version : strong sulfur odor

01-29-2007, 08:54 PM
I've I pitched my first Bavarian hefeweizen, and there's an evil sulfur smell emanating from the bubbler. My roommates are not amused. Here are my ingredients:

6lbs wheat malt extract
1 gal. strained grain wash (wheat malt & Munich malt)
1oz. Hallertau hopps
purified water to 5 gal.
White Labs WLP300 Hefeweizen Ale Yeast (liquid)

I prepped the yeast in 1/2cup of warm 70o wort before pitching (no energizer / nutrient additions). I didnt notice much happening for about 12 hrs, so I gave it a good shake, and by 24 hrs had a lively fermentation (about 40 blips/min). The bubbler gas smelled like sweet wort, but there was a hint of something "toxic". At 36 hrs I noticed a strong sulfur odor coming from the bubbler. SO2 maybe? Its still fermenting like crazy, so whatever is in there is very much alive. Should I be concerned about this smell / how do I reverse it?

Please advise!

01-29-2007, 10:09 PM
I've never used that yeast before, but I've heard it can make some interesting smells. Belgian yeasts can smell weird too (that I know firsthand). Chances are good that you are fine, and the smell will go away in a day or two.

To minimize the smell, I keep my fermenters in a closet. Short of that, go hang out at a buddy's place tonight and hope it's ok tomorrow.

For next time, you can step up the yeast before pitching. Make a small starter (1L should do for a beer of similar gravity) a day or two ahead of brew day. Pitching more yeast (but not too much!) cuts down on the lag time and speeds up the overall fermentation timeline by a day or two. It will smell bad for less time, but it will probably still smell bad.

Don't worry, it should be fine.

01-29-2007, 10:17 PM
The smell is coming out of the wort. Its all part of the process.

01-29-2007, 11:00 PM
Keep an eye on that Hef. I've seen a number of Hef's go ballistic and blow the airlock right off the top. I just cover the top on my Hefs and a few others (fruit beers and stouts with additional secret ingredients) because they tend to go ballistic. Once they're over the foaming volcano state I airlock them and let them go.