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View Full Version : After Two Weeks in Primary, Mead smells "off"



nwestby
10-21-2013, 10:48 PM
I made a 5 gallon batch of mead on 10/6. Recipe is as follows:

12lb Kallas Orange Blossom Honey
2 gallon distilled water
1 gallon bottled spring water
1.5 gallon water from my tap
Lavlin EC-1118 re-hydrated yeast

Here is where I'm concerned I really messed up. My attempt was SNA however, I missed the part about taking the entire measurement of nutrients and dividing that into equal parts to add at the proper points during primary ferment.

I used LD Carlson's Yeast Nutrient and Yeast Energizer and per the instructions on the bottle after pitching the yeast added the first addition of 1 tsp of yeast nutrient per gallon of must, so I added 5 teaspoons. Of the Yeast Energizer I added 1/2 tsp per gallon of must, so I added 2.5 teaspoons. The Energizer contains DAP, Springcell, Magnesium Sulphate.

The next day, 24 hours later, I added another complete addition of 5 teaspoons of nutrient and 2.5 teaspoons of energizer. When day 3 came around I became suspicious that adding another round of additions like that seemed excessive so I went back to some reference materials and then realized my mistake. That I had already, in two days, added enough nutrient and energizer for a 10 gallon batch into my 5 gallon batch.

Well, I just let it ride and ferment in my cool garage at between 62-66F for the next 15 days. I did ferment in a better bottle so all I could do to gas off the CO2 was vigorously shake/twirl the carboy twice a day. Today I took a gravity reading and i'm down to 1.008 from my OG of 1.090. So I racked to a secondary.

The smell is really hard to describe. Kinda paint thinnery. Maybe sulfery, but not rotten egg or anything. I lit a match to compare and its not exactly like the match smell. When I take a good couple of inhales, I can feel the slight burn in my nostrils from the alcohol. My wife was no help, she can't place it. I gave a wiff to my 2 year old daughter and she just said "pew." lol.

My question is, should I or can I do anything about this off smell? Does EC-1118 usually produce this awful order. If I let this sit for several months will this bad order go away?

Marshmallow Blue
10-22-2013, 12:07 PM
What temperature where you fermenting at. Higher fermentation temps lead to fussel (hot) alcohols. Since the batch was so young, that "burn" from smelling is more likely a CO2 burn http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2005-07/1122075240.Bc.r.html . It's pretty common for us home-brewers to burn our noses when sniffing carboys.

I'd let it sit. It'll probably get better.

loveofrose
10-22-2013, 12:24 PM
Couple of question so that I may help you:

1. How did you sanitize everything? Especially the tap water you used.

2. Are you degassing daily?

3. Have you checked the pH?

4. Has the temperature really been on the mid-60s or is it actually fluctuating more than you think?

No worries about front loading the nutrient. I tend to think its a pH or temperature problem. EC1118 is generally pretty clean if all conditions are met.

theEnvoy
10-22-2013, 01:09 PM
I know exactly what you smell. I had the same experience with a batch of Apple Cider and EC-1118 last year. The smell lingered in the cleaned out plastic fermenter for weeks. I suspect my problem was using some unpasteurized juiced apples in the mix....

nwestby
10-22-2013, 04:34 PM
Thank you for helping. My answers are below.



Couple of question so that I may help you:

1. How did you sanitize everything? Especially the tap water you used.

I sanitize equipment with Starsan. I did not sanitize the tap water. Just a cold start with the honey.

2. Are you degassing daily?

I twirled and shook the fermenter 2-3 times a day during the first 10 days. Lots of foam sprayed up and through the airlock so I had to keep replace Starsan water in the airlock.

3. Have you checked the pH?

I have not. I only have some oh strips in the 4.0 to 6.2 range.

4. Has the temperature really been on the mid-60s or is it actually fluctuating more than you think?

my garage stays pretty cool, but there has been some temp fluxes down to 60 and up to 68.

No worries about front loading the nutrient. I tend to think its a pH or temperature problem. EC1118 is generally pretty clean if all conditions are met.

Medsen Fey
10-22-2013, 07:24 PM
The smell is really hard to describe. Kinda paint thinnery. Maybe sulfery, but not rotten egg or anything.y?

Take a sample and swirl it with a shiny copper penny (pre-1982) or a piece of copper wire. If it is hydrogen sulfide or a mercaptan the copper will remove the odor.

If it is something else, give it time. You can get a lot of funky smells during fermentation that will clear with aging.

Chevette Girl
10-22-2013, 10:20 PM
I've had everything from fart to vomit smells during fermentation, and most of them turned out fine. The only lingering off smells I've had have been diesel and rubber...

loveofrose
10-22-2013, 11:11 PM
I think it's fine. Sounds like young mead fermented with wine yeast. It will be good at 6 months, great at one year, and phenomenal at two...assuming it makes it that long.