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I've searched far and wide and can't find a good answer. Seems to be a lot of talk about the sulphur smell I noticed during fermentation, but this is a bit different.

Brewed this masterpiece up and bottled a few weeks ago, my first witbeer but one of a few of Biermuncher recipes I've made. All have been good so far.

So I chilled and cracked one open last night, poured it and almost dropped the glass when it got close to my face. The smell. It was so rank, like someone farted on it - Seriously.

As any good brewer would, I held my breath and took a gulp. It tasted really really good. Added a slice of orange which covered up the smell a little, enjoyed the rest.

Question is: What's up with the stank odor? What did I do wrong?

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I had exactly the same problem with my last witbier! I thought it was from remaining sulphur in the campden tablets. –  mdma May 31 '13 at 0:04
    
Reminded me of something I saw on the Dogfish Head website about the beer Ta Henket they brewed. Not sure if it is helpful but near the end of this he talks about how the wild yeast put a lot of sulfur into the beer. So they ran the beer over a electrified copper which took the sulfur smell out. youtu.be/EcFF9ZDEjuI –  Chris Plaisier May 31 '13 at 15:31

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I believe you are detecting the sulfur produced by the yeast. Hefe or Wit yeast in wheat beers can absolutely produce this compound, so its not unusual to encounter.

I've had it appear a few times before, and I believe it fades out over time. I mostly keg, but I can recall getting strong sulfur production in a Hefe with WLP351, which was bottled and seemed fine after a few weeks of aging.

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Thanks Graham. I thought that might be the case, it stank like-you-read-about during fermentation. Hoping by July 4th they'll be smelling a little less "who died in here?". –  Michael Mus May 31 '13 at 18:39
    
You know whats funny? I had kind of forgotten that I posted a very similar question, which appears in the "Related" sidebar now: homebrew.stackexchange.com/questions/4829/… –  Graham May 31 '13 at 18:44
    
I saw that one too, wasn't clear if you were talking pre or post bottling though. Still, funny how apparently everyone comes across a stank beer every so often. –  Michael Mus May 31 '13 at 21:54

I assume you used other grains besides wheat to make that beer. Pilsner grains are often used in the recipe. Pilsner requires an extended boil time (usually 90 min) to help drive off DMS which will result in the sulfur smell.

I have purchased local brewery pilsners that exhibit this DMS odor as well as my own Pilsners and Wheat based beers that include pilsner in the grain bill.

To correct the issue, extend the boil time to 90 min to drive off more of the DMS creating compounds. If they are present in all ready bottled beer..time will eventually correct it.

My last Pilsner was boiled for the usual 60 minutes and had the sulfur smell. After several months it is totally gone and a great beer. Unfortunately I only have three left.

EDIT* Just looked at the recipe and noted that there is no pilsner malt. In that case I would suspect infection or procedure. Do you boil with the lid on? (should be off). Vigorous boil helps drive off DMS compunds. (too light a boil?)

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