View Full Version : Bigger bubbles with goo...

10-22-2012, 04:30 PM
I believe one of my meads are entering that last stages of it's fermentation, it appears to be clearing and slowing down considerable.

Up to this point I've been seeing only small bubbles, nuch like what you see coming up from the bottom of a glass of pop. Recently however I'm seeing a mix of these smaller bubbles and then occasionally a bubble that is larger, probably 10X or more larger. It rises to the top with a bit of the goo from the bottom, pops, and the goo falls back down.

I'm just wondering if this is the same process as the other fermentation but since it's happening slower it's making bigger bubbles and carrying the goo or is this a different "End stage" process?


10-22-2012, 04:49 PM
Depending on the site of nucleation, the bubble may or may not have lees attached to it's surface... If the bubble forms under the lees, the that could account for the larger appearance, the bubble would require more positive buoyancy to escape the weight of the sediment. From the info that you have given, everything seems normal.

Have you smelled or tasted it at this point? Hydrometer Reading? It's next to impossible to go by the bubbles to tell the stage of fermentation. Is it clear? How long has it been going? Recipe please? The more info that you give, the better it is for people to help.

10-22-2012, 06:05 PM
The one that has the larger bubble has been going for three weeks.

Full description from another post here.

Mead two is even more of an experiment and is a melon mead I had 3-4 yellow watermelons in the Garden and I had been eating them all year long and was pretty much sick of them. Didn't want them to go to waste so here we are.

Started with ~1.5 gals of watermelon juice. All yellow except for one small red I had. 2quarts of mashed strawberries and 3 small limes. Total juices was again ~1.5 gals.

All of the juice was strained thru a #200 screen.

SG of the juice itself was 1.005. I added ~1.5 gals of water. I then added a little over 12#'s of the same honey which brought the SG up to 1.117 with a total volume of ~4gals.

I then added a http://www.gotmead.com/forum/images/misc/vbglossarlink.gif (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/vbglossar.php?do=showentry&item=Campden+tablet) Campden tablet,, let it sit for 24 hours.

I then pitched Red Star Montrachet yeast according to package and added 1/2 tsp nutrients as I did the other recipe. I chose the Montrachet because I had read you wanted a bit faster fermentation with the melon types to get the ABV up to prevent bacteria growth on the left overs.

Fermentation took place pretty quickly starting less than 12 hours later and going pretty strongly by the next day.

I added 1 tsp nutrients at 48 hours.

This mead was pitched 9/29. SG on 10/7 was 1.069 and is still fermenting, by bubble anyway, more strongly than the other mead.

I did not check PH on this one as I had forgotten to.

Last time I tasted it was the last SQ check, about two weeks ago, and it seemed very nice to my uneducated taste buds. Honey with a hint of melon...which is what I was going for. The alcohol was present but not overwhelming at the time. I suspect it is probably stronger now. I wasn't going to check SG until there was no visible bubbling and it had cleared, which it has not. I was going to use SG over a period of days to make sure fermentation had ceased.

It all does seem normal, just was wondering about the goo coming up and if that was normal and or if I should be doing something, taking off the lees, stopping fermentation etc.

My other mead, started a week earlier and is a traditional mead, is not doing this. I suspect it might be because it has a smaller bed at the bottom and that it is still fermenting at a slightly higher rate than the other one.


10-22-2012, 07:04 PM
What I would do: Give it a quick SG Reading and steal a taste from your thief, that shouldn't really hurt anything that is going on now. If you are comfortable with the results, then rack it to another carboy, stabilise, wait a day, and remove headroom.

I wouldn't worry too much about the sediment on the bubbles, they are probably just a result of the surface tension that is surrounding the gas. It's OK to rack this, it should continue to ferment until finished. it sounds like you have some active yeast that has settled and is still doing it's think. giving a gentile swirl with a stick should re-suspend the active yeast and get rid of those large bubbles.

Someone please correct me if I'm off-base here.

Chevette Girl
10-22-2012, 08:17 PM
My suspicion? The yeast settled at the bottom are still doing something, and you're getting CO2 trapped under the layer of lees, then eventually the surface tension of the goo layer breaks and some of it comes up with the bubble. If you take Khan's advice and swirl it regularly, it might dislodge the bubbles before they drag sediment up with them.

...sort of sounds similar to how my bottle-carbonated ginger hydromel clouds up when opened, the bubbles start at the bottom and bring the sediment up with them.

10-23-2012, 02:12 PM
Well just did a SG and taste test.

The mead that is bringing up the big bubbles is at 1.040 and I calculate it to be at ~10.4% ABV. It's got quite a different taste then it did at last check, ~1.07SG. Much stronger alcohol flavor, less sweetness but you still have that melon follow up. I'm not liking the "Mediciny" Taste and I'm hoping that will mellow out a bit. I'm also surprised it's as "Non sweet" tasting as it is at 1.040.

The other mead is still only at 1.062SG and 8.72% ABV. That one was started a week earlier, different yeast though. Has a much more mellow flavor and more sweat as well. Interesting that only a 1.5% ABV can make such a difference.

I think at this point I'm just going to let them keep on going for another week and check again. I like my meads sweet, again, I'm suprised the one at 1.04 is as non sweet as it is. Does this come back with age? I was aiming for a 1.012-1.020 for the melon mead, but as strong as it is now I'm probably ok racking it and stopping ferment at any time if I'm going by pure taste. The other one is still sweet, but I really don't want that one getting too much stronger either, unless of course after aging the sweetness comes back very strong.

Thanks for your help.


10-23-2012, 02:24 PM
The honey character should come back with age, and the alcohol heat should mellow out as well. I've never brewed with melon, but I know that when cooking with it; there is a delicate balance of flavors that comes out as the dish cools... Maybe that will happen when the mead ages for a bit and everything has a chance to settle and balance. Be patient with it.

10-23-2012, 05:50 PM
there is a delicate balance of flavors that comes out as the dish cools... Maybe that will happen when the mead ages for a bit and everything has a chance to settle and balance.

I hope you're right because at the high SG and lower ABV it was very pleasant to drink. Right now it kind of numbs the tongue, is a bit harsh and the melon and honey seems like an after thought to cover some cough medicine :-)


10-24-2012, 04:37 PM
You could also stabilise, rack over some fresh fruit, and back-sweeten a little. I'm confident that, at least, your honey will come back with age, the melon might be a bit more subtle.

Chevette Girl
10-24-2012, 10:07 PM
If I recall correctly it took about a year for the watermelon mead I made to start tasting and smelling like watermelon again. So there's hope, there's always hope :)