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Thread: Carbon Dioxide Smell and Taste

  1. Default Carbon Dioxide Smell and Taste

    Can large amounts of CO2 have a particular smell or taste? I didn't think they did, but I was talking with someone at the LHBS about a yeast smell/flavor and they said that it wasn't common when using wine yeasts and that CO2 can have a similar smell/taste.

    It came up because I mentioned that I racked and tasted a mead that was a month old and my thought was there was a yeasty taste/smell. It had fermented completely in a glass jug. Another mead started at a similar time, but in a 2 gal bucket that doesn't seal well, didn't have the same taste or smell. Finally, I've got a batch in a 6 gal carboy that smells similar to the first batch I mentioned. I haven't tasted it yet because it hasn't finished fermenting. My thought is that my experience seems to correlate with what this person said, in a bucket that doesn't seal well and has more surface area, the gas should be able to come out much easier and quicker and thus be less noticeable than the others in the glass jug and carboy. Given the short amount of time that has passed of course.

  2. #2

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    You can definitely get a yeasty flavor/smell from wine yeast too. Not sure what that guy was talking about.

    CO2 is pungent. It will burn your nostrils and you'll start to tear up if you keep smelling it. Eventually you'll lose consciousness and pass out, but I'm pretty sure that's why it burns our nostrils (so we don't do that!). If that's not what you're getting, it not CO2.
    And I don't think CO2 adds any sort of taste, unless you mean carbonation itself.

    Has your mead that tastes yeasty clarified? If yeast is still in suspension it can lend that taste. Were all the batches fermented at the same temperature? Different temps drastically effect what flavors you get. Did you use the same yeast in all of your batches?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonVelos View Post
    Can large amounts of CO2 have a particular smell or taste? I didn't think they did, but I was talking with someone at the LHBS about a yeast smell/flavor and they said that it wasn't common when using wine yeasts and that CO2 can have a similar smell/taste.

    It came up because I mentioned that I racked and tasted a mead that was a month old and my thought was there was a yeasty taste/smell. It had fermented completely in a glass jug. Another mead started at a similar time, but in a 2 gal bucket that doesn't seal well, didn't have the same taste or smell. Finally, I've got a batch in a 6 gal carboy that smells similar to the first batch I mentioned. I haven't tasted it yet because it hasn't finished fermenting. My thought is that my experience seems to correlate with what this person said, in a bucket that doesn't seal well and has more surface area, the gas should be able to come out much easier and quicker and thus be less noticeable than the others in the glass jug and carboy. Given the short amount of time that has passed of course.
    Show us your log and we can better help. Also. Describe what you smell. CO2 is odorless.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  4. Default

    Thanks. Y'all have confirmed my thoughts about CO2 and yeast. I knew that sounded odd when I heard that CO2 had an odor. As far as the batches with the yeast smell, they were not clear, so that explains it. The batch that was in the bucket cleared quicker, possibly due to the fact that lemon and other citrus meads seem to clear faster, from what I've heard.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonVelos View Post
    Thanks. Y'all have confirmed my thoughts about CO2 and yeast. I knew that sounded odd when I heard that CO2 had an odor. As far as the batches with the yeast smell, they were not clear, so that explains it. The batch that was in the bucket cleared quicker, possibly due to the fact that lemon and other citrus meads seem to clear faster, from what I've heard.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    The speed at which a mead clears is mostly decided by the strain of yeast. At least as far as the actual yeast is concerned. You can speed that up by cold crashing. If a mead has a lot of CO2 in suspension it will have a hard time clearing while the gas is in suspension.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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