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shaunebersole
12-22-2015, 01:23 PM
All -

I need help from you wizards out there that have experience with Wyeast 1010. We're getting a lot of sulfur dioxide during fermentation. Sometimes this dissipates by keeping the beer at fermentation temps post terminal. Other times we scrub the smell out with CO2 when it hangs around. This is really messing with our ability to turn the beer around in a reasonable time frame because of the inconsistencies.

We ferment at the same temp 68* every time with fresh yeast from Wyeast. We reach terminal in 4-5 days and rest at 68* for an additional 2-3 days before crashing. The recipe has been consistent each time with different levels of SO2. We don't add any nutrients and knock out at 66-68*.
The recipe consists of 85% Pilsen, 10% Wheat, 5% Honey. We have ~9-10% head space in the fermenter.

Do any of you have any tips or tricks for this yeast strain? My next brewday I planned on starting with a lower fermentation temp to see if that helps but wanted to get input from those who may have already solved this issue.

Thank you for your time!

soia1138
12-22-2015, 01:45 PM
I haven't used this strain specifically but I have had similar issues with others. This would only be a guess but I suspect a good one. Let it ferment open with no blow off in a bucket. It's a top cropping strain that would do well to be in an open top fermentor. We use this method with some belgian strains. The blow off, no matter how big a hose, still puts restriction on the ferment. The so2 is retained in the beer instead of being scrubbed out into the atmosphere during fermentation. Any trace remaining can be scrubbed our rather quickly while carbing.

BemidjiBrewing
12-22-2015, 01:47 PM
A couple questions:


- Are you sure it's sulfur dioxide you are picking up? SO2 tends to smell like a struck match, whereas hydrogen sulfide is more along the lines of rotten/cooked eggs or farts. Also, it could be sulfur components related to DMS - is your boil nice and vigorous with all that lightly kilned pils malt?
- Do you use a fresh pitch every single ferment? Or do you treat each fresh pitch the same but harvest your yeast and only get the sulfur on the first generation? Even with cool fermented 1056 we see a bit more sulfur production on the first generation vs subsequent generations.
- Yeast stress in general can kick off sulfur in different strains, I would explore a nutrient addition if you aren't adding it.
- CO2 evolution of sulfur can happen through a couple stages of the beer's fermentation and maturation - have you tried ramping the temp up near the end of fermentation to drive off some more dissolved CO2 from the ferment and in turn hopefully drive out some of the sulfur as well? A few degrees warmer near the end of the ferment will usually do very little to affect the ester profile at that stage. In my experience, a lower initial fermentation temp could exacerbate the problem unless you can ramp up the temp later on to aide in driving out some CO2 and the sulfur that will go with it. Otherwise you may be stuck waiting for it to age out or trying to evolve it out with CO2 in your brite tank.
- What is your oxygenation/aeration regimen?

So, many more questions than answers but hopefully it leads you in a helpful direction!

Cheers,
Tom

shaunebersole
12-22-2015, 03:23 PM
Thank you both for your feedback! I posted responses inline:

A couple questions:

- Are you sure it's sulfur dioxide you are picking up? SO2 tends to smell like a struck match, whereas hydrogen sulfide is more along the lines of rotten/cooked eggs or farts. Also, it could be sulfur components related to DMS - is your boil nice and vigorous with all that lightly kilned pils malt?
It has a hint of H2S but more like SO2. Our boil is quite strong/rolling/vigorous and I'm not picking up on DMS.

- Do you use a fresh pitch every single ferment? Or do you treat each fresh pitch the same but harvest your yeast and only get the sulfur on the first generation? Even with cool fermented 1056 we see a bit more sulfur production on the first generation vs subsequent generations.
We just started brewing this beer and our schedule hasn't permitted us to harvest until recently (once). I did notice less sulfur in this last batch but it's still there.

- Yeast stress in general can kick off sulfur in different strains, I would explore a nutrient addition if you aren't adding it.
We are not adding any nutrients so we can try this. Zinc?

- CO2 evolution of sulfur can happen through a couple stages of the beer's fermentation and maturation - have you tried ramping the temp up near the end of fermentation to drive off some more dissolved CO2 from the ferment and in turn hopefully drive out some of the sulfur as well? A few degrees warmer near the end of the ferment will usually do very little to affect the ester profile at that stage. In my experience, a lower initial fermentation temp could exacerbate the problem unless you can ramp up the temp later on to aide in driving out some CO2 and the sulfur that will go with it. Otherwise you may be stuck waiting for it to age out or trying to evolve it out with CO2 in your brite tank.
I haven't ramped the temp but definitely willing to give it a try.

- What is your oxygenation/aeration regimen?
We aerate at 3 l/min for 45 minutes inline via carb stone on a 20bbl batch with 1.047 wort

So, many more questions than answers but hopefully it leads you in a helpful direction!

Cheers,
Tom

BemidjiBrewing
01-14-2016, 07:27 AM
Just checking in to see if you had experienced any positive change in the SO2 situation?

As per your above points - we have settled upon WYeast's nutrient being we can just ship it along with our pitches. There are many options out there, some more affordable than others. As you mentioned, Zinc should be in there somewhere. Any major yeast supplier should be able to offer more insight on this. I'd be interested to see if generations 2, 3 and beyond produce much less sulfur than the initial lab pitch, especially with a low ferment temp.

shaunebersole
01-22-2016, 10:41 AM
Yes, this last time we removed the blowoff hose as soon as we started seeing activity and left it off throughout fermentation. We also found out we were oxygenating too much so we backed this down as well. We ordered zinc but did not have it in time for our last brew. There is definitely less SO2 in the nose this time around and well within an acceptable level (we're quite sensitive to it). Hopefully the addition of zinc will improve this further in subsequent brews. We had to order fresh yeast as we're not brewing this beer enough to consistently repitch at this point but we have observed less SO2 in 2nd and 3rd gens when our schedule permitted.