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View Full Version : Is this spoilage?!



chiguire
03-01-2011, 02:09 AM
I am seeing something in my Traditional Dry (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17315) that I have not see previously in my other meads, and I am freaking out.

Here are some photos:

http://claytonpainter.org/otherpages/IMG_1406.JPG

http://claytonpainter.org/otherpages/IMG_1407.JPG

http://claytonpainter.org/otherpages/IMG_1408.JPG

The flash makes it whiter than it looks in real life. But I am going crazy here. Is this spoilage? If so, can it be treated with K-meta?

TDMooney
03-01-2011, 06:53 AM
are those bubbles or an actual white substance? What did you use to sanatize the carboy ?

chiguire
03-01-2011, 09:38 AM
That is a white substance, but again, the flash brightens it.

Iodophor solution was used to sanitize the carboy.

Chevette Girl
03-01-2011, 09:50 AM
I get something that looks like that occasionally, not sure what it is but it doesn't seem to harm anything and eventually goes away/gets reabsorbed/settles out. The tracks down the glass are just whatever it is making its way down to the bottom. Might just be yeast that's floated up for some reason.

Keep your nose on it, if it smells the least bit odd, hit it with k-meta...

chiguire
03-01-2011, 12:13 PM
I get something that looks like that occasionally, not sure what it is but it doesn't seem to harm anything and eventually goes away/gets reabsorbed/settles out. The tracks down the glass are just whatever it is making its way down to the bottom. Might just be yeast that's floated up for some reason.

Keep your nose on it, if it smells the least bit odd, hit it with k-meta...

Thanks, Chevette Girl, that makes me feel a bit calmer. I think I am going to give it a taste tonight, check the SG, and I may hit it with k-meta just as a precaution. Last time I checked the SG was 1.004, which is low enough for me...

It just is so unsettling when you put so much care into something for so long. You baby it, feed it, tuck it in at night and then BAM... something weird...

AToE
03-01-2011, 12:42 PM
You're all safe, I get this in every batch (freaked the hell out of me the first time though!). If it were just on the surface it might be spoilage, but you see those lines of it down the glass into the mead? That's more of it settling as it rose out of the mead.

It's just reverse sediment, some honeys give more than others, I think it has wax particles in it and yeast and gunk. It gets all bubbley on the top sometimes too, I think that's just CO2 coming out of the mead and creating bubbles in the gunk.

oldwhiskers
03-01-2011, 12:52 PM
Glad I saw this before it happened to me. :eek: I will be getting 5-gallons of honey that is not even heated for screening this summer and will have to keep an eye out.

chiguire
03-01-2011, 12:57 PM
You're all safe, I get this in every batch (freaked the hell out of me the first time though!).

Thanks for chiming in, AToE. I appreciate it.

icedmetal
03-01-2011, 06:17 PM
Hate to be contrary, but that looks positively alarming to me. I'd try and scoop some of it out, give it the sniff test, and if I were feeling really daring, the taste test. Maybe try culturing it?

I've used a lot of honey, including home-harvested cap honey that had lots of wax etc in it, and never had anything like that happen.

AToE
03-01-2011, 06:24 PM
;D Ok, let's take bets! I bet if he leaves it it'll stay about the same, not growing (look at how little headspace he has, there's going to be pretty much no O2 for spoilage organisms to breathe) and every time he racks he'll have a bit less of it.

If he dares the taste test (I'll bet it passes the sniff test smelling just like mead) it will probably taste just like wax, mead and lees.


5 bucks! (I've literally had this happen in 44 of my 44 batches ;))

chams
03-01-2011, 06:40 PM
I had a ring of whitish stuff like that around the top of a carboy. It was dead or stuck yeast. It didn't spoil the batch.
I'm falling into the "you're fine" camp :D

wayneb
03-01-2011, 06:58 PM
FWIW, I'm in the midst of aging a traditional raspberry blossom batch that was also fermented with D47. I had similar whitish scum on the surface of the mead early in secondary, although only slight hints of the streaks that chiguire is seeing.

I have seen this kind of behavior in D47 batches in the past, so I didn't worry about it too much although I gave it the "sniff test," looking for signs of VA, at intervals throughout the secondary fermentation. I eventually racked it to an aging carboy where it has been happily developing over the past year or so, and there are no signs of any deleterious effects.

My opinion - probably nothing at all to worry about. But still be vigilant - if you detect any whiff of something off, then rack out from under the scum layer and treat with metabisulphite. Otherwise, let it go - it will likely turn out fine.

chiguire
03-02-2011, 12:20 AM
Thanks, all!

It passes the sniff test, and I pulled a 1 oz sample from the top to taste. It tastes just like mead. No off flavors. I won't rack this for another few weeks (once it clears a bit more and also once I get my braggot out of my other carboy). Sorry, AToE, I was not brave enough to eat a spoonful of the white material!

Thanks, icedmetal, for chiming in too. I HEAR YOUR CONCERN! There are (at least in beer and I am assuming wine) anaerobic bacteria...
I will maintain a close eye on this, rack, and I will be sure to keep the K-meta at arms reach.

Thanks all for calming my nerves. You just put so much into something and you don't want things to run-amok

tweak'e
03-02-2011, 02:56 AM
it just looks like foam sticking to the imperfections on the inside of the carboy.