View Full Version : white substance on inside of carboy

01-22-2009, 04:34 AM
hi everyone, put down a batch of mead 3rd of december,

Batch M80312

1 x 3 bee's clover blend 500gm
1 x Aoraki clover blend 500gm
1 x airbourne manuka blend 500gm
1 x 4lt bottle spring water
1 pack Sparkling yeast
2 tsp yeast nutrient
1 campden tablet

thats the recipe, not quite sure what i doing, i racked it 3 weeks later, now there is a white powdery looking substance on the inside of the glass, mainly noticable above the main part of the carboy, it is still bubbling slowly (2 bubbles a minute) I tasted it a few times in the last few weeks, first time it tasted 'similar' to what i expect mead to taste like, but second time around it was quite sour, and there is now a little bit of a film on the top where it sits in the neck, and ideas? i do not have gravity readings, just kinda chucked everything in.

I'm gonna try the ancient mead recipe if this stuff cant be fixed,

01-22-2009, 01:09 PM
Hello, thaner!

Welcome to the "GotMead?" community!!

Thank you for posting your recipe outline. That kind of information in advance helps us to get to the root of your question more easily. Actually, a bit more detail about your process during the mixing and the ferment would help us out even more.

From your description of the film on the surface and the sour taste of your mead, lacking any additional detail about your fermentation management, I would speculate that you might have one of two things going on in there.

First, it is possible that the film and the whitish spots are nothing more than some yeast proteins that rise to the surface from some yeast strains and can form a lacy film for a time during fermentation. That one is nothing to worry about. The sour taste may simply be no more than the characteristic of a dry mead made from the honeys that you used -- we can't tell for sure that it has gone dry since you have no gravity measurements.

The other thing that you may be observing is far more onerous. You could possibly have developed an acetobacter infection, which is in the process of turning the ethanol in your mead to vinegar. Give the batch a sniff -- if you smell the characteristic odor of vinegar, then acetobacter is the culprit, and it is very unlikely that you can do much to save the batch at this point.

Please let us know, one way or the other, and also take time to read the Newbee's Guide, as well as the section of the forum dedicated to answering new meadmaker's questions. That will show you the kind of information that we'd like to have from you whenever you have a question about any particular batch.

01-22-2009, 07:05 PM
well as far as mixing it up went, heated the water till it was just under a boil, let it cool a bit, added the honey, stirred with the stirring rod, everything had been soaking in a bimetasulphate solution for an hour beforehand, scrubbed n good to go, wore gloves etc, the carboys were cleaned out well.

added the yeast to a water solution first for 20 mins to get it going, then dumped into the carboy with the must, aerated the buggery out of it, and popped aair lock on it, left it to it.

just had a wee taste now, it doesn't smell bad, smells like mead should, tastes a little smoother than what the other time did

From memory when I foolishly made some lavender and coffee wine (undrinkable due to it tasting like you were chewing on lavender flowers) it was rather sour tasting for at least a year before hand, other wines I have made were never bitter or sour..

as for the description of the white stuff being lacy, that's a pretty good description.

after the rack off the first time i added another campden tablet, dunno why just tried it anyway ha.

we shall see, i reckon it will settle down no worries and i'll have drinkable stuff

01-22-2009, 07:58 PM
Well based on the additional info, I believe you have no worries! Your process appears to be sound. If there is no obvious vinegar presence in the aroma, and if the whitish layer on top is just a thin lacy coating rather than a thicker layer of scum (which would be an acetobacter surface colony -- they're usually a couple of mm thick, or more), all you've got is some yeast residue.

And yes, meads take time to age for their flavors to balance. The initial tang that you tasted may well mellow more with time.

01-23-2009, 04:34 AM
Mind you, I am an amateur, but my latest batch is a mango melomel with a campaign yeast. After the first racking the gas release in the must was enough to pull up pieces of lees from the bottom and collect them at the top. After a bit they would lose their buoyancy and re sink. The whole thing was like a lava lamp with a great lees brain at the top of my carboy. Fascinating to say the least. In time it all sank away as the fermentation slowed and all is good.