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Rig the Walker
09-09-2011, 08:05 PM
I started making a Apricot Cinnamon Melomel the other day and it has been fermenting awesomely; SO awesomely that a mountain of curdled fermenting apricot puree rose to the top of the carboy and was clogging the fermentation lock. There was puree in the lock but gas was still bubbling and escaping. Here is where I think things went awry.

My girlfriend insisted we remove the lock, drape an unsanitized towel from the clean laundry over the top of the carboy and wash out without resanitizing the fermentation lock. I am freakishly OCD and paranoid about sanitation and I implored her not to do that but she went and did it anyway. I'm using the EC-1118 yeast. So is the batch done for? Anyone have any ideas?

Here is the recipe I used.

SECOND BATCH: Apricot Cinnamon Melomel

Start date: 6 September 2011
First Racking:

RECIPE

2 gal water
3 lbs Orange Honey
9 lbs Blackberry Honey
3 lbs Apricot Puree
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Yeast: 2.5g Lalvin EC-1118

GRAVITY

OG: 1.275
Racking ABV:
FG:
ABV:

AToE
09-09-2011, 08:22 PM
You're almost certainly fine. It's actually pretty difficult to contaminate mead, or at least to do so to the point where it causes a problem! If it turns into vinegar or something you'll know for sure in a few months, but whatever you do just don't dump it until it's a year old. Nothing means anything before it's had time to age!

I've dunked my whole unsanitized arm right into my mead (accident...).;D

AToE
09-09-2011, 08:24 PM
Also, was your OG really 1.275? Even if that 2 was supposed to be a 1 that's a very high gravity, if it's a two then frankly you're lucky it's fermenting at all! :o

Soyala_Amaya
09-09-2011, 10:14 PM
When I plug this into the calculator, I get an OG of 1.148. Maybe you should check again, because that seems really off. I would also just double check the hydrometer in some plain water and make sure it is coming out at 1.000.

As for the unsanitized airlock, the fermentation should kill off most things. Most meads are contaminated after fermentation, if it happens. And you're using EC 1118, a good killer yeast. Not much survives that beasty.

wildoates
09-10-2011, 01:03 AM
Heck, ATOE, I've stuck my whole arm into mead on purpose!

:)

Being really anal about sanitization is no bad thing, Rig. You'll never go wrong being extra careful, but the nice thing about mead is that is generally fairly forgiving. So don't stifle your instincts, they're good ones no matter how forgiving he mead is.

mccann51
09-10-2011, 03:03 AM
Never worry about contamination until it tastes like garbage, and then - as per AToE's recommendation - wait a year before you make any final decisions. It's good to be strict about sanitation, but if life happens there's very little reason to stress.


Heck, ATOE, I've stuck my whole arm into mead on purpose!



You made that too easy to follow up, WildOates, I'll just leave as is.

Dan McFeeley
09-10-2011, 10:11 AM
I would have sanitized also, but instead of a sanitized towel, would have used a blow off tube. If you're not familiar with this, they're easy to make. Clip or cut away the container portion of an airlock so you just have the plastic tube left. Insert one end of the tube in the stopper, push a length of food grade tubing onto the end portruding out of the stopper. Viola! You have a blow off tube. Sanitize everything, put the loose end of the tubing in a jar of water with sulfite solution.

They're handy when you have an active fermentation that is pushing stuff up through the airlock. Just wash the tubing out when it gets too gunky, resanitize and set it up again.

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Dan McFeeley
09-10-2011, 10:13 AM
Oh yeah, your original question. I wouldn't worry too much about contamination unless you see active signs, cloudiness or ropey stuff at the top, colonies of something that looks too suspiciously like bacterial stuff.

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Rig the Walker
09-10-2011, 01:52 PM
oh yeah. I checked several times to make sure. 1.275 lol. Well that's good to know about the contamination. I freak out about that. Ill have to check my hydrometer once my GF tells me what happened to it. Can't find it.

AToE
09-10-2011, 03:22 PM
oh yeah. I checked several times to make sure. 1.275 lol. Well that's good to know about the contamination. I freak out about that. Ill have to check my hydrometer once my GF tells me what happened to it. Can't find it.

Something is definitely weird with that SG! Even if your total volume is only say 3 gallons, it should still be over 100 points lower than that!

Medsen Fey
09-14-2011, 10:05 AM
The scale on most brewing hydrometers only goes up to about 1.170 - what are you using?

akueck
09-14-2011, 10:29 AM
Sure it's not 1.1275? Those things tend to leave off the leading 1 sometimes.