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How long before sulfur dissipates?


My batch of cider fermented well in about 10 days, dropping to 1.000, or slightly less, using Redstar Pasteur Champagne yeast. It put off a lot of SO2 but I know that is okay.

Racked to secondary and left it another week to clarify. The sulfur smell was pretty much gone after that time, so I racked it to a keg to clarify and carbonate. One week after kegging, when I purge the keg by pulling the poppet there is still a light sulfur smell.

I wanted to bottle now but am concerned about the sulfur smell. Will regular purging of the keg eventually get rid of the sulfur? Should I have left the cider in the secondary longer?

I degass my ciders to get rid of the sulphur smell. I’d suggest you do that to yours, then recarbonate in the keg. I go at least 2 months in the carboy for ciders, but there are certainly people who keg them much sooner.

In my experience (bottling, not kegging), sulfur dioxide usually disappears in 3 to 4 weeks. Occasionally/rarely, it takes a lot longer. But in time, it always disappears, always. I once had a beer that took over a year before the sulfur was gone, but after that, it was just delicious with zero trace of sulfur.

Thanks for the information, guys. I plan on delaying bottling a little longer for my peace of mind.

But, which would be best; transfer the cider back to a carboy with an airlock and leave it there to condition/degas a few more weeks or leave it in the keg and purge occasionally?

Leave it where it’s at. The sulfur will disappear regardless of whether it is moved or degassed.

I’m definitely glad you chimed in. I’ll always defer to you when it comes to cider. :cheers:

I’m leaving it in the keg and giving it some more time. I’m filling a growler for the group to try as we prepare our next 5 gal of cider tomorrow. The first batch was from NC apples and the next batch will be OH apples.

Cider making has been fun and educational, and a nice change of pace from our regular brewing. We look forward to doing it again next cider season. Thanks for all the advice.


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