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Thread: Sulphur smell and taste

  1. Default Sulphur smell and taste

    I made a 6 gallon batch of mead in late december. Fermentation was steady, and all was well until I filtered and stabilized. Recipe to follow.

    Coriander mead w/ white peppercorns, & kefir lime leaves.
    4.5 gallons water
    1.5 gallons wildflower honey
    1 oz. crushed coriander seed
    10 gr. white peppercorns
    11 kefir lime leaves (torn)
    Coriander, peppercorns, lime leaves were simmered for 30 min. in 1.5 gal. water.
    At 135 deg. added honey, and made starter of 2.5 tsp. each of yeast energizer, and yeast nutrient, with 3 pkg. D-47 yeast.
    Added the remainder of water to adjust temp., and pitched the yeast and starter at 105 deg.
    O.G. was 1.100. Initial feeding after 12 hrs. 4 gr. fermaid k, 5gr. DAP. Then daily feedings & stir of 1gr. fk, and 1gr. DAP.
    Stopped feeding at 1.062. After 18 days total gravity was 1.002, ph 3.8. Tastes great. Racked and stabilized with 5 campden tabs, and 2.5 tsp. pot. sorbate.
    3 weeks later I filtered the batch using the buon vino super jet with # 2 pads. The color beautiful and clear.
    After 3 weeks I popped the airlock and could smell sulphur, a taste confirmed it.
    I had heard that splash racking could help with this, so I tried it. I did help, but only a bit.

    Any ideas why this sulfur issue occurred? I have since had other batches with similar problems, even without So2. Is there any salvaging, once this has happened?
    I want to be confident in a stable product, so I am looking for suggestions. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    148

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    Besides excess sulfites, a sulfur smell can also come from a stressed yeast. D47 is extremely sensitive to temperature, and maxes out around 68F. It throws out some weird smells/flavors when this is exceeded. Also, since you said you've had this issue with other meads, did these all use the same yeast strain? What kind of water source are you using? Just simple tap water, or bottled spring water (not distilled)?

    I think you can also try racking through a bit of copper to soften up that smell (I can't remember the exact science behind this, but I'm sure someone else will chime in).

  3. #3

    Default

    You can also add some penneys in your batch for a while. once Iput some penneys in a batch foe a few days and most of it went away. The rest went away while it was ageing
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  4. Default

    Thanks! I have not heard that one. Worth a try. Thanks again!

  5. Default

    Do feel that I over sulphited? Temp. was very controlled, between 62 - 65 deg. Water is well water, and this is not a chronic problem, it just seems to occur randomly. The copper idea is interesting and I will look into it. Thank you so much for your response. Cheers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    148

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    I asked about the water source because the BJCP notes that a sulfury smell/taste can occur if your water is high in sulfates. Here's the "official" (i.e., judge's) list of mead faults and potential causes: http://www.bjcp.org/meadfaults.php

    If course, I just use that more as a quick reference for troubleshooting off-flavors. I'm sure there are more causes than what is listed in there.

    As for pennies, I've definitely heard of putting copper directly in your mead for a few days, but I would avoid pennies. For one, they aren't anywhere near 100% copper (just plated). Whether that is enough copper or not, though, money is absolutely filthy. No amount of StarSan, soap, or bleach could convince me to go anywhere near a mead with it.

    This post actually talks a bit about putting copper directly in your mead:

    http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthr...5904#post95904

    If you search "mead sulfur smell" on Google, you'll actually find a lot of GotMead threads on the subject.
    Last edited by valverij; 04-21-2015 at 07:55 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Chicago, Land of Corruption
    Posts
    585

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    I had horrible sulphur in a cider I made last year. Reduless cleared it right up.

    http://morewinemaking.com/products/reduless.html

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    UK - South Coast.
    Posts
    3,630

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    Quote Originally Posted by valverij View Post
    -snip-

    As for pennies, I've definitely heard of putting copper directly in your mead for a few days, but I would avoid pennies. For one, they aren't anywhere near 100% copper (just plated). Whether that is enough copper or not, though, money is absolutely filthy. No amount of StarSan, soap, or bleach could convince me to go anywhere near a mead with it.
    -snip-
    Yes, you are entirely correct, but a soak in a proprietary disinfectant (even vodka) will kill off any nasty bugs, followed by an overnight soak in cola will restore then to pristine cleanliness.

    Your point about plated coins is good. So either check the date they started that and coins minted prior to that date will be pure copper - or WTF, talk to your local plumber and scrounge a piece of scrap pipe (half inch/15mm sort of size) and saw it into little rings (about 3 or 4mm thick). Treat it as per the coins method above and bingo...........
    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.....

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