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Early Sulfur Smells in Must Fermentation

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Acast285

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Hi, I'm new to the forum and have read a lot of threads about my questions, but i think i just have too many to find all of the answers.

I am 3 days into my primary fermentation with muscadines and plums, everything seems to rolling pretty well, but since day 2 I am smelling a hint of sulfur coming from my fermentation bucket.

I have 6 gallons of must in a 7.5 Gal fermenting bucket
using 1 packet red star montrachet yeast

I have already added the appropriate amount of camden tablets and let sit covered with cheese cloth for 24 hours, then I added Pectic Enzyme and let sit for 12 hours before adding my yeast starter.

After the 2nd day of fermentation is whenever I first noticed the light hint of sulfur, I stirred well and let it continue.

Day 3 there a more pungent smell of Sulfur, I stirred again and added a half dose of yeast nutrient.

Do you think there is chance that I might need to add more more yeast? I don't think I have an infection, only overworked yeast.

Any advice would be very helpful, I just want to be able to take of the problem as quickly as possible.

Thanks in Advance!
 
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Johnd

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Hi, I'm new to the forum and have read a lot of threads about my questions, but i think i just have too many to find all of the answers.

I am 3 days into my primary fermentation with muscadines and plums, everything seems to rolling pretty well, but since day 2 I am smelling a hint of sulfur coming from my fermentation bucket.

I have 6 gallons of must in a 7.5 Gal fermenting bucket
using 1 packet red star montrachet yeast

I have already added the appropriate amount of camden tablets and let sit covered with cheese cloth for 24 hours, then I added Pectic Enzyme and let sit for 12 hours before adding my yeast starter.

After the 2nd day of fermentation is whenever I first noticed the light hint of sulfur, I stirred well it let it continue.

Day 3 there a more pungent smell of Sulfur, I stirred again and added a half dose of yeast nutrient.

Do you think there is chance that I might need to add more more yeast? I don't think I have an infection, only overworked yeast.

Any advice would be very helpful, I just want to be able to take of the problem as quickly as possible.

Thanks in Advance!
Sounds like you have things in the right order and well in hand. H2S is indicative of stressed yeast, although I believe a faint odor is present in many of my ferments even when things are on track.

The more pungent smell should be of concern, several common things can stress your yeast, too low of a pH, not enough nutrients, temperatures outside of the recommended ranges come to mind as common issues. If your temps are in the 70-75F range, that should be good. If your pH isn't much below 3.2 ish, that should be good too.

I doubt you need more yeast, but suspect that you may be a little nutrient deficient if other factors are in line. Have you hit the 1/3 sugar depletion mark and added your next half dose? You didn't say what nutrient you are using, but when I get a strong H2S smell, I hit it with 1/3 dose of DAP, which usually knocks it out very quickly, and continue on with my Fermaid K nutrient plan.
 

ceeaton

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+1 what @Johnd sez. Also stay away from the refried or baked beans for a while.

Oh, and welcome to WMT!
 

Acast285

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Haha! I have it staged in a closet, it's keeping a constant 72 deg temp, and as of this morning my girlfriend is referring to is as the fart closet. :eek:
 
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Acast285

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I will take another SG reading this evening and determine my sugar depletion. I ordered a digital ph scale, but it won't deliver until Friday. Do you think that if it's a PH issue, it might be too late by friday?
 

Johnd

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I will take another SG reading this evening and determine my sugar depletion. I ordered a digital ph scale, but it won't deliver until Friday. Do you think that if it's a PH issue, it might be too late by friday?
Unless you picked your muscadines and grapes too soon, not really thinking it's a pH problem, my money is on the nutrients, but it's still good to know what your pH is.
 

whackfol

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In addition to a nutrient addition, give it a good stir. A little air can help with the fermentation. It's very young so you should not have to worry about oxidation.
 

Acast285

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In addition to a nutrient addition, give it a good stir. A little air can help with the fermentation. It's very young so you should not have to worry about oxidation.
After a good stir this morning it actually smelled pretty nice. I was considering taking the lid off and securing cheese cloth on the top again. Do you think it's too late in progress to do so?
 

ceeaton

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Haha! I have it staged in a closet, it's keeping a constant 72 deg temp, and as of this morning my girlfriend is referring to is as the fart closet. :eek:
Well, I know how well a good fermentation "stinks" up the kitchen (and the rest of the house for that matter)("stinks" in my wife and kids opinions, not mine), so I can imagine it is pretty concentrated if it is in a small closet. Just don't go in there and close the door, you might pass out from too much CO2 and not enough O2 (though I'd suffocate with a smile on my face in that situation). :f
 

Acast285

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In addition to a nutrient addition, give it a good stir. A little air can help with the fermentation. It's very young so you should not have to worry about oxidation.
After a good stir this morning it actually smelled pretty nice. I was considering taking the lid off and securing cheese cloth on the top again. Do you think it's too late in progress to do so?
 

Acast285

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Got home from work and the must was bubbling and stinking like crazy, here is a pic of what it looked like as soon as I took off the lid as well as the yeast nutrients I am using. Any other insight?

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Johnd

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You should be punching that cap down several times per day, it'll help release all of the gases being generated, as well as improving extraction.

I'm not familiar with that nutrient, but looked it up, should be fine. Dosage is 1 gram for each 5 liters.
 

ceeaton

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Any idea what those light spots are?
Looks like CO2 and yeast forcing it's way through the cap. Like @Johnd said, you should be punching that thick cap down a couple of times a day to keep the skins moist (so the yeast can do their thing). Looks like your cap has cracks in it which leads me to think it is drying out a bit.
 

Acast285

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Unfortunately during the week I'm only able to punch the cap down at 7 am and 6 pm, hopefully that won't cause issues. My main concern is the increased sulphur smell and if I might have an infection. I took an SG reading after stirring and it read 1.04 two days in. Is that a concern or am I just worried too much about the smell? My temp has increased to 76 degs.
 
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whackfol

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Give your nutrient a look. I looked up what I think is the one you have and it does not have any DAP. If this is the case and you're not too far along, I'd hit it with some DAP. The products I know have the nutrients it appears are in yours plus some N. That's what you are missing.
 

Johnd

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Unfortunately during the week I'm only able to punch the cap down at 7 am and 6 pm, hopefully that won't cause issues. My main concern is the increased sulphur smell and if I might have an infection. I took an SG reading after stirring and it read 1.04 two days in. Is that a concern or am I just worried too much about the smell? My temp has increased to 76 degs.
Punch as frequently as you can. It's ok that you can't punch in the day, but add a few in between 6 pm and 7am.

Sulphur smell is not an infection, it's stressed yeast emitting H2S. At 1.040, you should have applied dose 2 of your nutrients, have you?
 

Acast285

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I applied a half dose of nutrients on day two, and I plan on picking up some DAP this evening. Will I be good to add DAP this evening? Is it possible to add too much nutrient?
 
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