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Acetic Smell in fermenter

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  • Acetic Smell in fermenter

    Hey all,

    Interesting development. We have 3 yr old plastic fermenters (please don't pull me into that discussion, not my choice) and during the initial rinse out I've noticed there is a distinct acetone smell. This was not an issue in the last year that I've been here. It has occurred with the last two batches after transfer. Thankfully, there doesn't seem to be an acetic bacterial infection, the beers themselves seem fine, and I'm lucky enough to have a couple Beer judges at my disposal to affirm this. The only change in our processes is recently we started adding potassium metabisulfite to our HLT prior to brew day, and these two recent batches are the beneficiaries of that.

    As we don't seem to actually have an infection in the finished product, I'm less alarmed than curious if these HLT additions could be contributing to what I smell in the fermenter. We do have low levels of phenols from the plastic but they are relatively un-noticeable to the untrained palet. Just wondering what could be causing this smell to occur, or if these fermenters just on their way out.


  • #2
    Are you disassembling all your fittings and cleaning them after each use? The plastic fermenters that I have worked with have plenty of places for critters to collect if you don't tear them down each cleaning.


    • #3
      Are you smelling acetone or acetic acid (vinegar)?