PDA

View Full Version : Bacteria in my mead?



OrionMead
07-13-2011, 12:49 AM
I've got 5x 1 gallon jugs of mead: 3 lbs honey, packet of L-D47, and spring water. That's it. Each and every one of them has this yellow/white scum floating on top. It looks like the impurities that rise up to the top of honey when warmed. If I kind of swirl the mead around a tiny bit, it leaves a milky floaty trace inside, exactly like the lees/yeast sediment does at the bottom.

Could this be bacteria? Or could it just be sediment that was stuck to the side of the jugs (they're spring water jugs, look very similar to milk jugs, so sometimes yeast "settles" inside the handles, etc).

I was advised to drop some Campden Tablets (potassium metabisulphite) in there to kill off the bacteria, wait 24 hours, then rack off of it (this coming from the folks at Strange Brew). My question is, should I combine all 5 individual jugs into a larger carboy and do this (if it is indeed bacteria)?

My goal, when it was time to just let these jugs bulk age, was to rack them all into a large carboy together. I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not (i mean, I did it to lessen the chance of a larger batch going bad, similer to the issues I've had with another giant batch of mead that I asked about in another post).

I can take pictures if needed...not sure if the flash will reflect back off the top of the mead and inside the container...but I can try if you think it's fine.

I have not tasted any of these (wary of getting all upset in the gut, y'know?), but I find it odd that ALL FIVE of them have the same issue, and want to make sure it's not anything bad.

I have a medicine cabinet of stuff I've picked up online just in case something happens, so hopefully if I DO need to mediate the mead, I'll have what I need (sorbate, metabisulphite, acid, tannin, etc - got it!).

Cheers all,

OM.

kudapucat
07-13-2011, 01:08 AM
I've seen something like you describe on 25% of my meads.
I have racked and bottled them all, (not racking the floaty stuff) and haven't had a problem so far.
In about half of my brews, the stuff has disappeared by the time I rack, so I've never worried. I think I asked a question and posted pics, and was told not to worry... not sure, it's was so long ago..

kudapucat
07-13-2011, 01:19 AM
Always try to use the search engine if you can.
Here's a thread including photos from two sources (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17446) (one being yours truly) that show something like you describe.

AToE
07-13-2011, 01:33 PM
Don''t worry about it unless it smells really off, I get white gunk on the top of all my batches, it's usually just wax/stuff from the honey combined with yeast.

Chevette Girl
07-14-2011, 02:10 PM
My JAO's always throw some interesting gunk that even climbs up the side of the jar, and a lot of my creations (mostly meads but sometimes wines too) have a bit of fine white something near the surface that dissipates when agitated and then reforms later, usually it goes away on its own.

+1 to AToE about smell, if it doesn't smell/taste off, it likely isn't.

And if you do suspect a spoiled batch, it's probably best NOT to mix it all together, it's probably better to treat everything separately and sanitize your tools between batches just in case something IS infected, you don't want to pass it along to everything else.

And the safe way to taste something is just let a few drops fall on your tongue (or on your hand then taste it from there), that way you don't have to swallow if you think there's something wrong and can rinse out your mouth without actually ingesting anything.

Medsen Fey
07-15-2011, 02:40 PM
I have not tasted any of these (wary of getting all upset in the gut, y'know?),


And the safe way to taste something is just let a few drops fall on your tongue (or on your hand then taste it from there), that way you don't have to swallow if you think there's something wrong and can rinse out your mouth without actually ingesting anything.

You don't have to worry about tasting spoiled batches. There is nothing toxic to humans that will grow in an acidic, alcohol solution. It won't make you sick, it will just taste like GHACK!