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brentG
09-12-2014, 04:31 PM
Hello all!

Last Christmas I made my first batch of mead. I went with JAOM, only I used D47 instead of bread yeast.
Long story short: I made it at my wife's mother's house. We mixed the ingredients in the fermentation bucket, then put it in the crawlspace for a month and a half. I then drove back there and racked it into a carboy. Then, three or four months later I racked it again.
At the time, I didn't have a hydrometer or know anything about making mead (at least now I have a hydrometer). The crawlspace was too cold (upper 50s), so I put it in a closet about 3 months ago.
I just checked it for the first time in a long time, and noticed there is a white film around the edges. On the surface, there are patches that look like a type of mold, but after closer inspection it could be air bubbles; but, the stuff along the edge is definitely a white film.

How bad is this? Is there anything I can do? Is it ruined? I'm kind of panicking here...
I tried taking a picture, but dropshots changed and I can't seem to figure it out, and the uploader on this site said I maxed my limit.

As always, thanks for the help.
Brent

loveofrose
09-12-2014, 05:41 PM
I see this all the time. It's likely beeswax or yeast. Don't worry if it smells good and tastes fine. Only worry if it smells like nail polish or has a giant green/black/red mold colony on top.


Better brewing through science!

brentG
09-13-2014, 07:34 PM
Thanks.
I tried a sample today. It smells fine and tastes pretty good. A little too sweet though. I didn't take an OG, but it's at 1.010 now. Seeing as it's been about 9 months, did it stall because of the cold?
Also, the vodka in the airlock evaporated. I filled it back up, but I was concerned that bacteria could have gotten in.
One thing I learned from all this is that I can't just mix up a batch and leave it without checking for months at a time. Now I know.

EJM3
09-14-2014, 03:39 PM
One thing I have learned about airlocks is that you fill them, turn around to put the vodka down, and when you turn back the airlock is dry. Well maybe not that fast, but it can go fast! And remember that using vodka only 40% is alcohol, so just adding more dribbles of vodka will eventually lead you to pretty much no vodka, and pure water in your airlocks. BAD for pesky infections getting in by accidentally pulling the airlock to fast, or no breaking the vacuum before pulling out the airlock. I am trying some Propylene Glycol as a replacement as it does not evaporate. But it is only experimental at this point...

Also be sure that you keep the head space as small as possible. The less air you have the less you have to worry about oxidization as well.

Overall it sounds like you are getting the hang of things. There is a bit of a learning curve, but the great people on this board can help you out quite a bit, and they don't bite (much)...

skunkboy
09-15-2014, 11:35 PM
I use about 50% water and 50% vodka in my airlocks to try and stop them from drying out so quickly, and so that they don't grow anything funny in them...

Think white film on the edges is usually yeast, wax, and stuff...

mannye
09-16-2014, 08:41 AM
I just got a gallon of food grade glycol and saved a tiny little bit for using in my airlocks 50/50 with water.

EJM3
09-17-2014, 03:56 PM
GREAT Another pioneer in finding out if PG is as useful as claimed by many and tested by none (No way am I gonna try that, you try it first, no you, no you, no.....)

mannye
09-18-2014, 01:26 PM
It's in all my airlocks right now.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.