View Full Version : Acetobacter in Pyment?!

07-23-2010, 08:05 PM
I made two separate 1 gallon batches of Joe's Quick Pyment. I followed the directions just like he said except I did not use the same brand of concord grape juice. When it came time to transfer and stabilize with K-meta and K-sorbate I tasted some of each batch. They tasted so good already that I decided to follow joe's backsweetening procedures on only one gallon and to bottle the other gallon as it was.

Now, I know that as soon as you change one of Joe's fast, easy, and reliable recipes all guarantees are forfeited, and you shouldn't try to tweak something that is already proven, etc. However, these pyments were so delicious and subtle after primary that I could not bring myself to backsweeten both of them.

So today, 23 days after bottling the unsweetened batch, I shined my flashlight through some of the bottles and noticed a hazy and filmy substance floating on the surface in the neck of the bottle. It looked a lot like what "mother of vinegar" looks like when it is first developing! :eek: I opened the bottle to do a sensory test and it smelled and tasted like pyment not vinegar.

That was a relief, but I am still concerned. The batch I stabilized, backsweetened, then bottled per Joe's recipe does not exhibit anything similar in any of the bottles...It is important to note: I made the mistake of bottling the unsweetened batch without sulfiting at all, which I now regret.:(

Anyone have experience with acetobacter infections? Do I need to worry about the floating hazy, kinda filmy stuff that I am seeing? Would it already taste like vinegar if it really were an infection?

Thanks for the help!

07-24-2010, 12:16 AM
If it doesn't smell like vinegar (you should notice the aroma of acetic acid long before you note a vinegary taste), or anything else "off," then it could simply be yeast proteins or fruit polysaccharides that have risen to the surface.

If you are still concerned, acetobacter can be killed off with sulphite, so racking out the pyment from under the scum layer, followed by a treatment with K-META should bring it under control. That is true of most infections, although this would be a pretty difficult treatment method to use on a mead that has already been bottled.

I personally wouldn't worry about it too much unless you detected an off aroma or taste. You could have simply bottled the batch too early.

07-24-2010, 08:02 PM
Yay! :)
Thanks for the response Wayneb! I think I am just going to bring all the bottles to a dinner party at a friends house tomorrow and see if they don't magically disappear. The pyment is in quite a drinkable state right now (and I am usually pretty fussy about green mead flavors) so I reckon people will drink it right up. There are no noticeable acetic aromas or flavors.

I would not feel confident aging it though....However, I will age some of the backsweetened and stabilized bottles.

Medsen Fey
07-26-2010, 11:17 AM
Yes, if it still smells good, it isn't acetic acid bacteria. They would have it smelling like nail polish already. Having sealed it in a bottle, there won't be enough oxygen exposure to support acetic acid bacteria either. Enjoy the dry pyment.