View Full Version : powdery substance in bottled mead

08-16-2014, 09:19 PM
Hi everyone. I bottled my first mead about a month ago. It was a very simple recipe with Ocean Spray Cherry juice and store bought clover honey. I think my mistake may have come from when I added sulfites before bottling. I added Potassium Metabisulfite and let it sit for 24 hours before I bottled. I'm thinking now I should have bottled immediately after adding it. Anyway, I looked in one of the bottles after a few weeks and noticed a strange white powder floating in the mead. It seems to me like it might be contaminated. I opened one bottle and tried it a couple days after bottling and it tasted strange but not bad. It's only about 6 months old so I expected it to not taste great yet. I didn't notice any powder when I first bottled it. Is it possible this could be protein from the honey, or maybe sediment, or does it seem like it's ruined? I will probably just open one and check it out but I wanted to ask my question first to see if anyone might have had a similar experience. Thanks.

Chevette Girl
08-17-2014, 01:34 AM
It would really help us if we had your exact recipe including dates, specific gravities if you had a hydrometer at the time, and maybe a photo of what you're describing?

Is it in all the bottles? If not, it might be worth comparing smell and taste between one that has it and one that doesn't.

Is it flaky-looking and floating on the surface, is it more clump-like and sinks if you swirl it but floats back up again and makes a ring around the outside...? (those are the two weirdnesses I'm most familiar with, I think the clumpier one's proteins or wax and the other is brettanomyces but I carboy-age my stuff for a lot longer than 6 months before bottling and I've rarely had it show up in a bottle, and I don't think it impacted the taste when it did).

I don't think waiting 24 hours between sulphiting and bottling is the culprit... my line of thinking being, I don't sulphite all my wines, and I rarely do it immediately before bottling, and they still don't usually show anything weird in the bottle.

08-17-2014, 04:35 AM
various types of "wine" (in brackets to be a generalised term), you can have what seems to be a crystal clear batch, but over time, a sediment will drop.

The best example is a heavy red, that seems like it's clear, but after a time, you find some sedimentary material - especially in the bottom of the glass that's the last one poured from the bottle. It's usually dark red/purple coloured in this example and is generally just tannins and pigmentation.

It's often like that, but can be small amounts of residual yeast cells etc too.

Not forgetting that we don't just clear batches for aesthetic reasons, but taste/flavour reasons too. Hence if there are no obvious off flavour issues, then just let the batch age, and see what it's like periodically.

As CG suggests, full info would have helped as there are certain points that can suggest possible problems with method/technique etc........

Medsen Fey
08-17-2014, 08:49 AM
Full details will help, but if you don't take special precautions to prevent sediment, you will often see it develop. It is typically a combination if proteins and yeast particles that have agglomerated into large enough clumps to drop out of suspension and be visible.

08-17-2014, 01:29 PM
Thanks everyone. I will just taste one and see if it tastes bad. This was my first batch and it was kind of an experiment. I have more faith in my other batches! :)

Chevette Girl
08-18-2014, 02:43 AM
If it tastes good, it's probably fine. There's not much that can live in the alcohol that can hurt you more than the alcohol can.