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Thread: Biofine A Lager That's Still Sulfury

  1. #1
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    Biofine A Lager That's Still Sulfury

    Have a lager thats been sitting at 34f for the last 4 weeks and still has slight sulfur on the nose. Under the gun for an event release in a little over a week. Still needs biofine, carb, and keg. I'd rather not leave it up to chance, so I'm going to start bubbling CO2 through the racking arm at a low PSI while bleeding the head pressure in hopes this will facilitate driving of the sulfur. I've heard it does, but first time trying it so fingers crossed. It's a light lager so I'm not super concerned about stripping aroma, but anything off will definitely shine through.

    I'm just curious what impacts biofine might have, if any, on the process of ridding sulfur from beer. Should I wait until it's free and clean of fart before dosing and recirc-ing (using unitanks), or does it not make a difference. Might the recirc with a centrifugal pump help with sulfur?

    Experience, theories, speculation are welcome!
    Last edited by Peters; 06-13-2019 at 03:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    Portland, OR
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    Try some copper

    Copper will remove that sulfur fast and easy.

    I found this thread with some homebrewers discussing it:
    https://gotmead.com/forum/showthread...use-too-much-)

    Either transfer through a copper pipe or use these:
    https://www.choreboyscrubbers.com/ch...-scouring-pads

  3. #3
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    Jul 2018
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    Petaluma, CA, USA
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    I'd be very hesitant to use copper on the cold side with a light lager, especially those copper scrubbies. That just seems like a horrible idea.

    Bubbling co2 either from a carb stone or the bottom of the tank has worked for me in the past but your results may vary. I'd just stick with trying that rather than introducing copper to a finished beer like that.

  4. #4
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    I've done some light reading on the effectiveness of copper, however this is not something I have experimented with and would rather not on a full (10bbl) batch thats seen almost 6 weeks of tank time. I agree that it'd be worth developing a procedure for the hot side in the future though

  5. #5
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    Calmar Iowa U.S.A.
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    Sulfur volatilizes quite easily with co2 scrubbing. And depending on batch size shouldn't take that long at all. It is important to thoroughly "flush" the head space after scrubbing with clean/ non sulfur-y co2 prior to re pressurizing and carbing otherwise some of the sulfur that is in the head space will just be re absorbed.
    I have co2 scrubbed sulfur from beers both before and after finning and have not noticed any real difference. But your results may vary.

  6. #6
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    Massachusetts
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    You mention "bleeding off the head pressure," so am I correct in assuming that the tank is now under some pressure?

    If so, the first thing *I* would do is (slowly) release that head pressure (over 10-20 min or so) to atmospheric and leave it there for a day or so. That will allow a lot of the sulfur to dissipate. Do it gently, you don't want to make a bunch of foam in there, you just want the CO2 to slowly bubble out of solution, taking a bunch of the fart smell with it...

    Then I would add the Biofine, and **gently** use some CO2 to agitate the beer to mix in the Biofine like you would when "rousing" dry hops (except in this case still at atmospheric with the CIP/blow-off arm open.) Let it chill for another few hours (overnight?) after that, then try it. If the sulfur is down to an acceptable level (a bit is expected in many light lagers, in my experience) button it up, add some head pressure if you want and carb as usual. If not, repeat the **gentle** CO2 agitation until the sulfur gets low enough for your liking.

    Biofine (in my experience) will not affect sulfur: if it's there, BF won't remove it, if it's not, it won't add it...

    I, personally, would not recirc it with a pump.

    Good luck!

    -Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Chesterfield, UK
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    1,930
    I don't know if you ca get this stuff easily, but try Zetolite 63. This is coper and zinc containing

    In the UK, it is sold by Murphy & Sons. I really don't know if you can get it in the states, or if someone locally makes a similar product. Otherwise, go for throwing in some pieces of clean, sterile copper - domestic piping works well.
    dick

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    4

    Copper pipe works well....

    Quote Originally Posted by Peters View Post
    Have a lager thats been sitting at 34f for the last 4 weeks and still has slight sulfur on the nose. Under the gun for an event release in a little over a week. Still needs biofine, carb, and keg. I'd rather not leave it up to chance, so I'm going to start bubbling CO2 through the racking arm at a low PSI while bleeding the head pressure in hopes this will facilitate driving of the sulfur. I've heard it does, but first time trying it so fingers crossed. It's a light lager so I'm not super concerned about stripping aroma, but anything off will definitely shine through.

    I'm just curious what impacts biofine might have, if any, on the process of ridding sulfur from beer. Should I wait until it's free and clean of fart before dosing and recirc-ing (using unitanks), or does it not make a difference. Might the recirc with a centrifugal pump help with sulfur?

    Experience, theories, speculation are welcome!
    In my past experience a good 3 to 4 foot length of copper pipe with 1.5" TC adapters on either side does wonders for the removal of sulfur from your lager and is a great tool in your arsenal. Sulfur sometimes can be cleaned up with time by the yeast during conditioning other times it is just associated with that yeast strain. When in a pinch for time, the pipe in your sanitary transfer can make a huge impact. I would drop yeast and biofine a day or two before, drop yeast again just prior and transfer/recirculation to insure the clearest beer.

    Cheers,

    Don Marcil
    503-207-5650
    Brewery Design Consultant
    Stout Tanks and Kettles LLC
    support@stouttanks.com
    www.stouttanks.com

  9. #9
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    Jun 2019
    Location
    East Coast
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    Result

    Thanks for the replies, all very helpful. Just to tie this off for anyone searching for answers to this problem in the future...

    Originally I tried scrubbing by pushing CO2 through the carb stone with a little bit of positive pressure that got vented off during the process, and left it with a couple psi. There wasn't much improvement doing it this way.

    I ended up trying the method MikeS suggested and believe I got about 95-98% of the sulfur aroma out. There's still a hint that I and some others can pick up on, but when asking people who don't know to look for it the beer passed the test.

    I slowly vented the tank to atmospheric and left overnight. Next day I added biofine through the dry hop port (~100ml/bbl) and bubbled CO2 around 3-4psi through the racking arm for 25 minutes or so with the blowoff arm open to vent. Buttoned it up and left it overnight with no pressure. Next day the sulfur aroma is within an acceptable threshold! However the biofine didn't take (which has been my experience doing it this way, but worth a shot).

    Biofined it again yesterday using what is essentially a yeast keg - added biofine to keg, backflushed with beer, pushed through racking arm upward using CO2, repeated this 3 times and began carbing immediately after. Today I have nice clear beer (not crystal, but clear enough) and minimal sulfur aroma. Kegged tomorrow for the weekends events.

    Thanks for the help guys, cheers

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