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Funky Fermenter Smell

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spicks

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I usually lean over my fermenter and smell the gasses coming out of the airlock when it's bubbling away - mostly a kind of sweet, not too beery smell. I made this batch on the 5th of May, and until yesterday it exuded that same smell. Tonight, it is still bubbling pretty vibrantly, but the smell when I get right up near the airlock is not so good.

I'm not so sure as to how to describe it - it's more of a fume than a smell now. Fairly unpleasant, alchoholy perhaps, maybe a bit like bad red wine. I'm a new brewer with three batches to my name - all of them sadly undrinkable.

Is it likely that this batch is infected?
 

Kai

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Possible, but not guaranteed. Have a little taste and see if it's turned to vinegar, sewerage or anything else unsavoury, but more importantly sometimes unsavoury flavours to pop up during fermentation, but dissipate later on. Give it a bit of time to see.
 

kungy

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My first impression was no. As there is stacks of smells that don't smell right yet are normal eg hops, CO2 and Sulphar from the yeast.

But reading it again, with your bad run it could possibly be infected. But 3 undrinkable batches in a row, that is a real bad run. Give us the low down on your procedure, we should be able to figure out what your doing wrong. Don't be discouraged, perservere.

Will
 

spicks

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So far the replies are more positive than I expected. I'll keep this one going until bottling.

As for my brewing procedure,

I wash out the fermenter using a clean cloth and hot water. I use "Brewshield" sanitiser, it's a no rinse solution which you spray onto all items coming in contact with the beer - I use it pretty liberally. I leave that to dry, and with the fermenter I generally feel the need to rinse away the extra sanitising solution. I pour in a beer kit and any sugars with the prescribed amount of boiling/hot water written on the tin generally. I stir till sugars are disolved then fill to usually 23-21L and stir and add yeast.

With bottling I quarter fill (on average) each stubby with the diluted sanitizing solution, and swirl it around for about 1/2 an hour. I spray the solution on all other artifacts involved in bottling. I cap the bottles and keep them in old cases of beer out of sunlight.

I think the reason my beers have been terrible could be largely ingredient related. My first brew was using the Toohey's "Brewing Sugar" which I later found out sucrose. The next batch I made was the same deal - coopers brewing sugar from the supermarket. The third batch, and probably the two before as well, was just too hot. It was a good 25 degrees plus and fermentation lasted about two or three days. This batch I used only malt not even dextrose, I bought yeast from a homebrew store. I'll be very disappointed if this one is garbage too.

Thanks for the responses so far.
 

kungy

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Just a couple of points, when sanitising don't wait for it to dry. Spray, leave for the reccomended time, tip to get rid of excess then bottle etc.

Its also ok to use detergent in your fermenter, as long you rinse it well.

The rest of the procedure you seem to have down pat. If the problems you have encountered seem related to dodgy brew sugars, and temp, then hopefully you have solved your problem yourself.

Will
 

Weizguy

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Spicks,

Do U remove the tap from the fermentor and clean inside the tap and the tap threads, as well as the threads in the vessel?

I find that many brewers who have not had problems with this have, do not know that it needs to be claened.

That means it's just a matter of time til probs occur.

It's usually fixed by buying another fermentor (unnecessarily).

Seth :p
 

deebee

The Bludgeon Brewery
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Does brewshield have to be used within a short time of making up the solution? Is it one of those sanitisers that cannot be stored in solution? That might be part of the answer.
 

Gough

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G'day spicks,

Just a thought. Brewshield is meant to be used as a final 'no-rinse' sanitiser after everything is really clean to start with. It might be worth giving all your brew gear (including bottles) a good soak in PSR or bleach or napisan etc - something that will clean as well as sanitise. Then rinse well to remove the chemicals and use your brewshield as a final no rinse sanitiser. If you have some nasty in your setup maybe the brewshield on its own isn't enough to do the trick. 3 brews in a row is a sad loss :(

Good luck with it,

Shawn.
 

Gout

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i had the same brewshield and recall its only good for a short time once mixed up (added to water) so ensure its a fresh batch. also give some non sented bleach (concentration i am not sure of as i dont use it - wash out well) maybe the final spray with the brew shield
 
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