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CephalicMiasma
07-18-2012, 04:20 PM
I recently gave a shot at a couple of small batches of a melomel for the first time. Its not really a full melomel; I used really small amount of blackberries, but I have them growing myself so ifigured i'd toss a handful in.

Everything has been going fine up until now. Its been about 3 and half weeks and what was once a bit of froth is now a thicker, white substance that is
a bit flaky in nature. Also its not all at the top, some of it is floating around in the upper top half of the bottle. I'm just wondering, since this is my first try, is this mold/bacteria/fungi? Or is this just a normal residue that forms?

This may not be relevant, but I also used a little apple juice and a tiny bit lower amount of honey than I should have.

My gut is telling me its obviously gone bad, but I just want to confirm.

Chevette Girl
07-18-2012, 04:37 PM
Generally if it smells and tastes OK, it's not gonna kill you.

I've had a couple of batches do the flaky thing, when you jiggle the batch, the flakies fold up and start sinking... I usually treat it with a campden tablet per gallon and it usually goes away. Now and then (like my pumpkin hydromel) it's a little more tenacious and takes a few treatments.

If you give us your recipe details (like it says at the top of the page here, it's important to post your exact recipe, without that we can only give you general guidelines), we can tell you if there's anything there to be concerned with, what I'm wondering is how much honey you actually used in how much water. If it's really not enough honey, you may not have sufficient alcohol content to fend off other organisms and the batch should probably be stabilized and carefully aged, or drunk sooner than later. But without knowing more info than you've given, it's only a wild guess.

Edit: Oh, and welcome to the forum!!

CephalicMiasma
07-18-2012, 06:23 PM
These arent exact measurements but id say each batch was about 5 cups of water, 1 cup of apple juice, and only around 1 cup of honey. Also a handful of freshly picked and washed blackberries that had been cut in half once.

This was the first time i've tried this and it was a bit of a test so its not that big of deal if its not drinkable. And the portions are extremely small so its not like im losing much. Next time should I just try a regular mead without the juice and berries?

Chevette Girl
07-19-2012, 08:03 AM
If you think you'll like something sweet, I highly recommend starting with Joe's Ancient Orange Mead. I also do a variation on that recipe that works really well, I just substitute 12 oz (wt) of blackberries instead of the orange. But it's a good idea to try it according to the recipe at least once before you start messing with it ;D Oh, and mash the berries, you need to break each little cell to get the most out of them.

Or you could check out some recipes for traditional meads, you'll likely want to pick up some nutrients, energizer and a hydrometer at the very least, while you're picking up some campden tablets to try to fix this batch. It's not beyond hope.

If you take a look at the Mead Calculator and enter your info with 1 cup honey, 1 cup apple juice and 6 cups total volume, it gives a potential alcohol of around 11%, so it's not that.