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Thread: Foul/Rotten Egg Smell near the beginning.

  1. #1

    Default Foul/Rotten Egg Smell near the beginning.

    Ok, so this has been a fun one FULL of issues. I'm attempting to do a Blackberry Mead and a Blackberry Wine side by side. This is the intended recipe/procedure:

    4kg frozen blackberries
    Handful of raisins
    Top up to 8L with water
    1 tsp pectanese
    1 tsp Potassium metabisulfite

    24-48 hours later add
    2 tsp nutrient
    2 tsp Lalvin 71-B, rehydrated in water
    Ferment for 5 days

    Strain and split into two batches and add 1.2kg of raw sugar to one, 1.4kg honey to the other. Top both up to 5L.

    Unfortunately, at the beginning I used a closed container for my berries to sit with the potassium metabisulfite... which I suspect, didn't allow the gasses to dissipate. So when pitching the yeast the next day... nothing. After no activity for two days, I checked the acidity levels, raised the ph a little and I re-pitched.

    With still no sign of activity I then started looking for solutions (when I found about metabisulfite problem). The solution I used was violent aerate the must for a while, later then taking a cup of must, mixing it with a cup of water... boiling then cooling then re-pitching hydrated yeast into. A few hours later adding another cup of treated must. This worked and by the evening of day 5 I finally had some fermentation activity for around 3L of must. I kept this only covered with a cloth this time. At this point I decided to strain everything and re-fridgerate the rest.

    It's been bubbling now for 2 days, so I decided to continue the process, split them and add the sugars. This is the point I noticed the really awful egg smell coming from the demijohn. Assuming the yeast were just stressed, I've added more nutrient and half of the sugars to each and I'm hoping that since we're still technically at the beginning, this smell will all go away.

    I now have two, 5L demijohns with 3L of must in them each that smell really bad. I'm hoping that by adding extra nutrient, sugars... aerating them and keeping them only covered by cloth for the next week or so.... the smell will go away.

    Am I doing the right thing? Is there hope? Or should I stop now before I add the rest of the sugar and must in a week or so?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    Well the rotten egg/H2S smell is usually stressed yeast that need lots of aeration and extra nutrient/energiser (actually, from memory of a recent linking of a paper by Ken Schramm - energiser a.k.a. FermaidK/Fermax/Tronozymol or similar is what's needed)......

    The smell should dissipate after a day or so........
    here's me home brewing blog (if anyones interested....)
    and don't forget
    What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away! Tom Waits.....

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Ottawa, ON
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    If you don't have any energizer, try a few teaspoons of bread yeast microwaved in water, that can work too.

    And give it a very vigorous aeration to blow off the stink!
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  4. #4
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    What temp are you maintaining?
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  5. #5

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    That's a lot of metabisulfite. The usual dose is 1/4 to 1/2 tsp per 5 gallons (20 L) for 50-100 ppm SO2. 1 tsp in 8 L would produce around 500 ppm free SO2. That will dissipate with time, but it will also provide the yeast with an excess of sulfur which can be converted to H2S (hydrogen sulfide, i.e. rotten egg smell).

    I don't have much experience dealing with H2S removal so I'll leave the advice part to others. It is volatile (hence the smell), so most of it will eventually leave your mead though if present for too long it can react to form more persistent off-flavored sulfur compounds.

  6. #6

    Default

    Oh god, I tried doing some very vigorous aeration and splash racking... I had to leave the room at times to stop myself from throwing up. The smell is still definitely there... I'm not sure how many days I'll be able to repeat this before conceding defeat... but we'll see.

    As to temperature... it's been warm recently... around the 20˚C mark... just dropped down to around 15˚C today.

  7. #7
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    It should start receding, so maybe the next time you get violent with it, it won't quite make you want to charf...
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  8. #8

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    Sorry to say, but after a whole week of regular and extreme aeration... I gave up on this one. It's just not worth the effort and there's been no discernible improvement. So I turfed it and started another batch from new. I also should mention that I've gone and got some campden tablets now...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGiantGinger View Post
    Sorry to say, but after a whole week of regular and extreme aeration... I gave up on this one. It's just not worth the effort and there's been no discernible improvement. So I turfed it and started another batch from new. I also should mention that I've gone and got some campden tablets now...
    First, sorry you didn't have success with your first batch. Shouldn't have thrown it out... just leave it be next time. "A whole week" is really not a lot of time for a mead fermentation. I am still getting used to that as a "beer guy." A fermentation that goes on for 8 or more weeks is not typical for beer in general and even less so in my tropical climate.

    Wish you success the second time around!

  10. #10

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    keep using the powder, much easier to dissolve than camden, just put in the right amount, if you are making a small batch no harm in making a dilution, say 50 ml water, 1/4 tsp powder, then add just 10 ml of the dilution. Tables are a pain, you have to grind them up, get them to dissolve. Most people graduate from camcen to the powder. WVMJ

  11. #11

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    My brew store doesn't even bother to sell tablets anymore he just has packets of powder.

  12. #12

    Default

    if you are making a small batch no harm in making a dilution, say 50 ml water, 1/4 tsp powder, then add just 10 ml of the dilution.
    That's something I wanted to see in the newbie section. That part of how to stabilise appears to be assumed knowledge here and the instructions on the packet are for 100L batches or more... and I don't have a scale that works in milligrams.

    First, sorry you didn't have success with your first batch. Shouldn't have thrown it out... just leave it be next time. "A whole week" is really not a lot of time for a mead fermentation.
    Just to clarify, this was actually fermenting... it's speed was not my issue. The issue was that I, and my housemates, were feeling sick if we got too close to the laundry cupboard. All the violent aeration that I was doing (which had to be outside) was not showing an improvement in this problem. The $30 I've lost in ingredients is far less that what I could've continued to lose in time spent (my aerating procedure was taking about 20mins each night). This new batch is working fine.

  13. #13

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    It much better to buy KM by the pound, that way you are not hessitant about mixing up a couple of gallons when you are raking a couple of carboys to keep things clean, to rinse stuff real good, and to change it out if it gets a little messy. If you use tables then you have to grind them up, stir stir stir, PIA, so maybe you dont mix as much solution as you need, or dont change it out as often since its a PIA.

    So on the dilution thing, just think a second about what you are doing, you want to make a solution for one gallon, but its a PIA to measure for just one gallon, its easy to measure for 5 gallons, so just add KM to something easy to devide by 5, like 50 mls, 5 tsps, 5 of whatever and then just use a fifth of that.

    WVMJ

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