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tom5head
09-25-2009, 07:09 PM
Okay so my mead batches I have going seem to have accumulated a slight white layer (not thick) on the surface and a little up the sides of the edges of the carboy, only the part exposed to air. I only have about 1 inch of air between the surface of mead and the airlock. The white film doesn't look like mold it almost looks like sediment residue, but that doesn't make sense because it's at the top of the carbot. If I tilt the carboy it washes away but then seems to come back after a day or two...any idea what this is? It's not furry like mold....

I take the airlock out once in awhile to smell the changes going on but that's about it...and of course the racking process.

tom5head
09-25-2009, 07:11 PM
And when I say it washes away it just dissolves and then comes back. So it's not like a chunk of stuff that just drops to the bottom and comes back.

afdoty
09-25-2009, 07:34 PM
And when I say it washes away it just dissolves and then comes back. So it's not like a chunk of stuff that just drops to the bottom and comes back.

Would you post your recipe and brewing details, Tom?

tom5head
09-25-2009, 07:49 PM
I knew you you were going to ask that haha...which one you want to hear I have six of them going and most of them have the film. The added ingredients are any of the following...blueberries, strawberries, plums, oranges, raisins, black grapes, green grapes and cherries. Everything I have done has at least some fruit in it. Even my one that is mostly honey water had about 100 raisins because stupid me forgot to buy nutrient so I threw them in last minute so the yeast would have something to eat. I can go into more detail if after hearing this you think the individual recipes may have something to do with it. The most obvious connection I can think of is that everyone of them has some fruit in them...you still interested in all the ingredients? I do appreciate the help.

wayneb
09-25-2009, 10:34 PM
Many yeasts will toss a few assorted proteins into your must, especially if they are working with plant-based materials (rather than only with honey). What you are describing sounds like a fairly common protein scum that often shows up near the end of fermentation. If it does not get thick, does not grow tendrils down into the body of the mead, and does not smell bad, then you have nothing to worry about.

In general in order to be of the maximum possible help, we do like to see the details of your recipes, though! ;) So next time, pick one and tell us more about it! ;D

tom5head
09-26-2009, 11:54 AM
Okay you asked for it, cut and pasted from my journal......this is everything I have done on the 6 different batches I have going...feedback would be great...by the way if legs began to grow down the sides of the carboys what would that indicate?

STRAWBERRY/BLUEBERRY MEAD
Recipe: 7-12-09
5 Gallon bottled Monadnock spring water
13.5 Lbs Honey Spring Mix (BC Brand)
12 Strawberries
2.5 Cup blueberries
1 Plum (split in s)
4 Tsp Nutrient
D-47 Yeast
Notes: Stirred by hand, shook bucket 1 time, 1st three days. Kind of watery tasting.

1st Rack 7-31-09
Note: Added 2.5 lb honey/1.5 lb tap water (BC brand), has sour smell.

2nd Rack 8-23-09
Note: Add lb honey & water to fill loss (BC brand), has sour smell.

3rd Rack 9-13-09
Note: Topped 50/50 Honey Water Mix (MA Brand), sour smell is mellowing.

Note 9-18-09: no white residue on surface like others.


BLACK CHERRY MEAD
Recipe: 7-4-09
5 Gallon bottled Monadnock spring water
10 Lbs Honey Spring Mix (BC Brand)
4.5 Cups Black Cherries (in cheese cloth)
D47 Yeast
Note: stirred by hand, shook bucket 1 time first 3 days, kind of watery tasting. Slight irony taste.

1st Rack 7-31-09
Note: Added 2.5 lb honey/1.5 lb tap water (BC Brand)
Note: Sour smell

2nd Rack 8-23-09
Note: Add lb honey & water to fill loss (BC Brand)
Note: Sour smell

3rd Rack 9-13-09
Note: Topped 50/50 Honey Water Mix (MA Brand)
Note: Sour smell mellowing out

Note: 9-18-09 White stuff on surface, almost looks like sediment layer. Goes away when mead is swirled.


HONEY RAISIN MEAD
Recipe: 6-27-09
5 Gallon bottled Monadnock spring water
13 Lbs Honey Spring Mix (BC Brand)
200 Raisins
D47 Yeast
Notes: Very slow fermentation. Least bubbling in airlock.

1st Rack 7-18-09
Note: watery, sour smell. Noticeably the lowest alcohol content.

2nd Rack 7-31-09
Notes: 2lb honey/2lb water to fill loss/sweeten
Notes: Sour Smell.

3rd Rack 8-23-09
Notes: Lb honey & water to fill loss
Notes: Sour smell mellowing out.

Note 9-18-09: White layer on surface.


ORANGE MEAD
Recipe: 6-27-09
10 Lb Spring Honey Mix (BC Brand)
4.5 Oranges (left skin on/split into s)
125 Raisins
D47 Yeast

1st Rack 7-18-09
Notes: Sour smell and watery tasting (no legs). Orange smell & taste overpowering. I would think at this point not a wine bottle mead more of a beer bottle mead.

2nd Rack 7-31-09
Notes: 2lb Honey/2Lb tap water mix to fill loss
Notes: Sour smell, orange smell & taste overpowering

3rd Rack 8-23-09
Notes: lb honey and water mix to fill loss
Notes: Sour smell mellowing out, same with orange smell.

9-18-09 white layer on surface


BLACK GRAPE MEAD
Recipe: 9-6-09
18.5 Lb Spring Wildflower Mix (MA Brand) (No Boil)
3 Qts Welches Grape Juice
2Lb Black Seedless Grapes (smashed and in cloth)
5 Gallon Tapwater
Redstar Cote de Blanc Yeast
Notes: Had stirring attachment for powerdrill, have tried to shake first few days to much blow off when I agitate. Very strong bubbling in airlock.

Notes: 9-10-09 Very sweet smelling.

1st Rack 9-20-09 (into 6.5 gallon glass carboy), sweet smell much more balanced with the sour smell. Still a very nice smell.

Note: 9-22-09 white layer on surface

GREEN GRAPE MEAD
Recipe: 9-13-09
20 Lb Wildflower Mix (MA Brand) (No Boil)
5 lb Green Grapes (smashed no cloth)
5 Tsp Nutrient
5 Tsp Energizer
5 Gallon Tap Water
Lalvin EC-1118 Yeast
Note: Had stirring attachment for power drill, have tried to shake first few days, too much blow off when I agitate. Very Strong bubbling in airlock. Stirring every few days to break up grapes on surface. A lot of phizzing noises when I stir.

Note: 9-20-09, did a tasting, good flavor appears it will be very dry.

Note: 9-26-09 bubbling slowing to about every 20 seconds.

wayneb
09-26-2009, 06:55 PM
Tendrils coming down from a floating cap are usually indicative of a fungus (other than the yeast) growing in there. It would smell bad, too.

Vino
09-26-2009, 09:19 PM
I have at least 5 batches almost a year old that have the same thing...no smell, and doesn't seem to affect the taste.

Has me thinking of investing in a filter for bottling.

akueck
09-26-2009, 09:28 PM
I often see a layer of stuff stuck to the top of the mead. So far, no harm has come of it.

tom5head
09-27-2009, 01:40 PM
Yeah no bad smell at all...actually quite the opposite. I am sooooo happy with this new apiary I found. Their Spring Mix/Wildflower is cheaper than the one I used originally and I think far superior.

wayneb
09-27-2009, 01:42 PM
I like supporting local beekeepers, too! Good find!!

MagicNinja
09-28-2009, 12:05 AM
If it breaks up its just yeast and/or proteins, happens with brewing beer a lot. Most ale yeasts are top fermenting and will form a head. Molds tend to form microscopic rough meshings and will usually form chunks and noticeable bits when flushed back into the liquid. Think, cleaning moldy dishes.

You aren't using any ale yeast, but if you or anyone else reading this does. Don't be surprized to see a big yeasty head on top of your mead during primary fermentation.

And if you read around the forum and the newbies guide, you read that with fruit it can form a crust if not stirred every so often. So if your fruit is floating on the top, stir it(with sanitized impliment) everyday, or a couple times a day to prevent any bad things from happening.

akueck
09-28-2009, 12:36 AM
If it breaks up its just yeast and/or proteins, happens with brewing beer a lot. Most ale yeasts are top fermenting and will form a head.

FYI, "top" and "bottom" fermenting is a result and not a cause. Lager yeast used at higher temperatures will "hang out at the top", ale yeast in the cold will "stay on the bottom". Really there is yeast all throughout the liquid, thus the cloudiness of a fermenting fluid, so the top and bottom monikers are nomenclature from back before folks realized what was going on. True, there is some difference between strains as to how much yeast will be on the top/bottom, but you should not think of all the yeast as being only in one location.

wildaho
09-28-2009, 03:20 AM
FYI, "top" and "bottom" fermenting is a result and not a cause. Lager yeast used at higher temperatures will "hang out at the top", ale yeast in the cold will "stay on the bottom". Really there is yeast all throughout the liquid, thus the cloudiness of a fermenting fluid, so the top and bottom monikers are nomenclature from back before folks realized what was going on. True, there is some difference between strains as to how much yeast will be on the top/bottom, but you should not think of all the yeast as being only in one location.
Agreed 100%. It's sometimes hard to separate cause from effect...

tom5head
09-29-2009, 07:11 PM
The layer I see is in the batches I have already racked three times not the primary. There was quite a bit in the primary which I stirred every few days so that it wouldn't get dry and nasty. From your feedback it seems a though I should be ok.