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Yeast, sulfur and fruit beers-Experience with Apricot blonde


I have the Paragon Apricot blonde AG kit beer fermenting in the primary right now. All went as planned with the brewing. The airlock smell and samples drawn have a surprising amount of sulfur smell for Wyeast 1056 American Ale, similar to what you get with hefeweizen yeasts or apple cider. I’ve used this yeast before on pale ales and IPAs and don’t remember sulfur like this.

Does the wort composition (like added fruit) affect the production of sulfur compounds by a given yeast strain?

The smell is slowly dissipating. I’m thinking about delaying kegging and racking to a secondary instead, thinking to give it more time to off-gas. Does this sound reasonable?

Background info - brewing went well, the wort was chilled and oxygenated, and started fermenting vigorously in less than 24 hours and remained very active. Fruit puree was added 3 days later, after fermentation slowed somewhat. Fermentation started again, and now, 2 weeks later, FG at 1.010, down from OG of 1.055.

I think peaches and apricots have a bit of sulfur smell to them anyway. Certainly the presence of additional fermentables can affect the need for available nitrogen and other nutrients.

Giving it more time might help, and/or when you keg pull the pressure valve several times and this will also purge some of the gas.

Apricots are full of sulfur. Who knows… sulfur compounds might even give them their yellow color. And I know the dried apricots are purposely treated with sulfur dioxide as a preservative and coloring agent. But naturally I am sure they have a lot of sulfur as well.

The good news about sulfur is, even if after you bottle or keg the beer, sulfur ALWAYS disappears with age. About 90% of the time it will be 100% gone within 3-4 weeks. Occasionally it takes a little longer. But rest easy – your beer will not taste like sulfur, maybe right away, and if not, then certainly after proper aging.

Good to know as this kit is on it’s way to my house now. Thanks for asking this question.

Be sure to use a blow offf tube instead of an airlock because fermentation was massive. I gave it 3 days before adding the puree, giving it time to calm before letting it take off again.

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