View Full Version : I got mouldy mead would you throw it?

11-29-2014, 06:42 PM
Please tell me if you have had any success keeping a batch like this. I wanted to make a really strong mead that is drinkable. So I sterylised a 5 gallon bucket, knife, chopping board and a muslin cloth and hydrometer. I added 8 KG honey to just under 5 gallons of boiling water. I put in the juice of a shed load of lemons, oranges and limes. I then quartered up the fruit and chucked it in thinking whats the harm it might add some flavour. I grated the zest of the before mentioned fruit to the surface and added one chopped up mango and lots of cinamon sticks,cloves and raisens. I gave it all a really good shake checked the specific gravity (1.070). Then added still spirits classic turboyeast and turbocarbon. I didn't have a water trap attachment for a bucket so I put a muslin cloth over the bucket and put the lid on but not tight. It ferment fast over the following week pissing out gas in the corner of the room. It has been a week the fizzing has slowed but can still be heard if you are within 50cm, the barrel is basically green the mango and oranges have the most mould attached and I tried a bit of the mead and it tastes like the devils anus. Should I throw it out or put it through a muslin cloth (strain it), have some carbon filters which I could put it through, basically I want to know has anybody been able to make a batch like this drinkable or seen it come out fine after a few months. If so what did you do? cheers for reading, good luck brewing. Dan. I Would like to attach photos but they exceed the data quota by 22 Kb anyone know how to get around this data limit?

11-29-2014, 07:43 PM
You say the barrel is basically green. I think you meant the bucket? And are you referring to mould on top of the floating fruit?
So fruit floating on top of your must could create mould, This is why it is best to push down the fruit during fermentation or keep them in a bag. However, while mould is bad it doesn't automatically mean you should throw it away.
Things which I see potentially wrong with this brew are:
- I have heard some bad stuff about turbo yeast. Don't know where by heart but I personally avoid it. Don't take my word for this, but maybe you can do some research or other members can chime in on this
- Your mead is possibly very dry and very acidic from all that citrus which for many people is not that palatable. Unfortunately, I don't know your final gravity and ph, nor do I know how much citrus you actually used
- Your mead is very young. One week is hardly any time at all. I don't even hazard a try on many batches before AT LEAST a month
- If your mead fermented dry you should have something in excess of 16% alcohol which is rather high. This means that it might need more aging than usual

Since I didn't actually taste your mead I'll refrain from advising you to chuck it no matter what you tell me. If I had serious doubts I'd probably give it at least 3 months chance before deciding what to do with it, although maybe some day I'll make something horrible enough to break this rule.
P.S: A hydrometer reading of your FG can be useful

11-29-2014, 09:14 PM
Cheers for the response...I did mean bucket and yes I was referring to the mould on top of the floating fruit (its speckled on the surface of the mead too but it is concentrated on the fruit, there was a little on the water line inside the barrel and a bit more just floating on the surface. I threw the mouldy fruit away about an hour ago but have kept the bucket. I added 4 cinnamon sticks, 25 raisens around 10 cloves, grated the zest from I think 4 lemons and definately 4 large oranges and zest also added 1 lime (not the zest) then I got all the juice out of all fruit and chopped them up and put them in the mix, I added 1 mango without skin the mould was concentrated on the flesh of the mangoes and lemons. Current SG = 0.990 but it hasn't stopped fermenting yet but it is going slow. (10.5% abv) online it says a potential of 18%.

11-29-2014, 09:54 PM
This is the most British post I've ever read on gotmead.
So the fruit was moldy and you pulled it out? I'm super new but I would just let it go. Maybe I'd rack it out of the moldy bucket but I'm too new to throw anything out. Cheers friend

11-29-2014, 10:36 PM
That's actually less citrus than I imagined. As long as it fermented all the way I guess PH wasn't a problem, although this still affects the taste and perceived dryness. One of the potential problems from turbo yeast seems to be fusel production. If your mead tasted bad partially because of a hot/ rocket fuel taste this would be because of fusels. I read that charcoal filtering could help with that. Anyway, wait and hope for the best ;)

Chevette Girl
11-30-2014, 01:08 AM
I'd pull the fruit bag out and skim out any fuzz I can, and then I'd hit the batch with campden tablets, stir it thoroughly, give it a couple days to settle out, and rack anything out from between floaty ick and sunken ick.

THEN I'd taste it, and if it still resembles the devil's anus, try sweetening it up with a little honey and see if that improves things.

Many young meads, especially dry ones, taste like ass for the first year or so. And you used a turbo yeast with a starting gravity of 1.070 (which will give you around 8%) so it wouldn't be surprising if it's gone dry as a popcorn fart and tastes just as appealing :) You

Or pull the fruit bag, skim off whatever you can get out, and add more honey and hope it kicks back up again, few things can survive long in an active ferment and yours is probably out of honey to eat.

For future batches, we "punch down the cap" or punch down the fruit bag to keep just this very thing from happening. Floating fruit is prone to spoiling even in an active ferment so it's best to make sure it gets pushed under at least once a day. And I'd suggest getting an airlock for your bucket :)

11-30-2014, 09:14 AM
You mentioned you used 8kgs in 5 gallons which should give an SG way higher than 1.070. This is why I calculated the batch to be above 16% alcohol. In the case of 8kgs honey in 5 gallons there shouldn't be a need for more honey. In the case I somehow got it wrong and it had a starting gravity of 1.070, then add honey. But if it was 1.070 it either means you used much less than 8kgs of honey, or that you had a batch larger than 5 gallons.. which seems impossible since you mentioned you used lss than 5 gallons of water and fermented in a 5 gallon bucket

EDIT: Ok, maybe 8lbs of honey were used, not kgs

11-30-2014, 04:21 PM
got all the honey pots in the recycling = 7.7 kg honey two types 6.8 kg tescos value clear + 900g of bradburys clear natural, it was definately on 5 gallon line on the barrel with all the fruit in. Not 100% sure about the starting specific gravity, I wrote on a bit of scrap paper with the other stuff which I have lost but I think it was 1.070 but that might be incorrect. Need a better hydrometer mine is a bit crap to the extent that the scales either side are out of sync by 0.002 units. There is now 4.7 gallons, when I removed the mouldy fruit from the surface and scooped up some of the surface mould the water line has dropped about 0.3 gallons also I have spilt a very small amount dragging the mead up the stairs. I have got still spirits carbon cartridges pack of 10 but would have very little idea how to use them - was worried if I used that that it might kill all flavours and in a few months this mead may turn out to be ok and then i would be gutted if I had used the cartridges. Wondering now whether to buy more fruit and add it or to just leave it be. There was no fruit bag I just sterylised a chopping board a sharp knife and my hands and then cut fruit and squished all the juices out into the barrel then got the house grater and greated the zest from the fruit used then put the juicless fruit segments into the mead as I though it might add flavour and give it extra sugars to ferment. Hadn't seen any limes in recipes but it was in the fridge and needed using. It appears to have stopped fermenting/fizzing, 0.990 is still the current gravity. Got sugar in the cupboard but no more honey, can obviously go out and buy some. I do need to get a water trap lid or something of that nature for next time. Will definately just keep it in the corner of the room and see what happens. Will probably buy some youngs campden tablets as they are so cheap and add those. Thanks for the advice.

11-30-2014, 06:20 PM
I too calculated an ABV of ~15.77% ABV. That will need at least 1 month per ABV point to mellow out. FYI .990 on a hydrometer is BONE dry. I've got one sitting at ~17.06% ABV and a FG of .990 that is going to take 18 months or more to mellow out from the alcohol. One of the problems with using that turbo yeast is that it will go dry in an instant (stuff is good between 18% and 23% ABV), and leave fusels (rocket fuel burn). The turbo yeast is usually used on thing like grain, potatoes, or somesuch that will be distilled to vodka and have no need of a nice clean flavor profile. Distillation takes care of anything other than pure alcohol by not condensing them back into the final product.

The yeast you have are more than likely to handle more sugars, but the final product may end up at that 23% ABV requiring 2 or more years of aging to BEGIN to see a change for the better. If you ad carbon to your ferment it will end up looking like squid ink instead of mead. And will stirp all kinds of flavor, aroma, and bouquet compounds rendering what you have "neutral spirits" instead of mead.

This in my opinion and independent research so YMMV...

Chevette Girl
11-30-2014, 08:36 PM
Sorry, I completely missed that part. If you used 8 kg honey in 5 gallons and got a SG of 1.070 then I'm betting it wasn't well mixed... or you meant 1.170...

No fruit bag, huh... I bet that's messy enough to make you consider using one next time... :)

Either way, if it's 0.990, it's dry, if it's still fermenting it may be gradually eating the yeast off the bottom of the carboy, and if WAS well-mixed and it's dry, then yeah, it's gonna taste pretty bad if it's at 17%, dry AND this young. The big question I guess is does it taste moldy?

Have you got anything you can stir with that'll reach the bottom of your bucket to see if there's still some honey down there to stir up? If not I'd recommend getting some more honey next time you go shopping, I've got a pretty good feeling that unless you REALLY like dry wines, this is going to need to be backsweetened anyway if you want it to be remotely palatable within the next year...

Oh, and for posting photos? Toss them on photobucket or facebook or some other hosting site and put a link, I've never been able to get past that data limit thing even with a thumbnail well under 22 kB.

11-30-2014, 08:43 PM
Cheers for all of the advice. I think I need much more patience so I will wait for my beer in my barrel to finish (about 4 weeks time) keep the mead in the bucket till after I have drunk all the beer (about 8 weeks time) transfer the mead to the barrel. Then be patient I shall leave it for 18 months then see how it is. I would like a few opinions as to whether you would buy and use the campden tablets and at what point to add them if it is worth the cash/success rate. Also when transfering to the barrel shall I transfer all except for the very surface and bottom or just transfer it all. Shall I pass it through a muslin cloth or just barrel it as it is. Apologies for all the questions 1st time making mead, before I have made red wine, lager from sugar, ales from both sugar and honey and 33L of alcoholic ginger beer. Red wine came out like rose was 14% abv, ales and lager have been in the 5-5.4% range, ginger beer was around 4.5%. All have been a success apart from the fact I was trying to brew a full bodied red and it came out like rose. Everyone else was a fan, I think it was ok but I personally much prefer red. Never had mould in any of the brews before this one, thought it was more of a catastrophy completely ruining a brew. Will buy a barrel airlock for general brewing in future. May use turbo yeast in the future to brew spirits but would have to get a personal license first which I hear isn't that difficult to get but you are heavily restricted on how much you can brew. However I am a chemistry graduate and so will do some distillation/apply for the license if I get a well paid job at some point. I appreciate all the help.

11-30-2014, 09:23 PM
chavette I have a flatmate with OCD as well. Luckily cleared the place up after me before she got in. No way I could have kept the place both tidy and sterile. I was a bit gutted at how expensive mangoes were recipe wanted more than one but I thought I can't afford to spend loads on mangoes. Currently it is in a plastic bucket and was going to transfer it over to a plastic barrel but if peoples experience is much better with glass then I will collect winebottles. Will add photos somewhere for you to look at but you currently can't see the bottom of the barrel it is a pale green colour. Is it ok to disturb the yeast? didn't taste mouldy very difficult to describe like if someone had mixed champagne with SOUR a bit like those fizzy sweets that are sour with sugar on mixed with champagne with a few drops of vinegar for good measure. very acidic smells like champagne too. Small amouts of mould around the mead line. I have got nothing that will reach but it is all dissolved I added many kettles of hot water and mixed very thoroughly. My hydrometer only goes up to 1.120 don't know whats normal range. Need to sleep will post the pictures in a couple of days. Nos da (goodnight in welsh).

Chevette Girl
11-30-2014, 10:12 PM
Well, if yours only goes up to 1.120 (I have one like that too), then you likely did not read something way higher and omit a digit, so it is more than likely your honey wasn't completely dissolved before you took your initial SG.

Once you're sure the yeast has eaten all the honey, personally I'd hit it hard with campden tablets, 1.5 per gallon (here they're a couple bucks for a hundred tablets, I always keep some on hand for just such emergencies even if I'm not going to use it, the usual recommended dose is 1 tab per gallon but when you _know_ there's something in there that you don't want, I figure a bit extra shouldn't hurt anything) just to make sure whatever's in there doesn't come back, stir it up real well, give it a day or two to settle out, and then I'd rack the middle part out from between the settled lees and any floating mouldy bits. I wouldn't worry too much about straining it through muslin unless you can see clumps of ick that won't make up their minds to settle out or float. Otherwise you're just exposing your mead to a lot of oxygen for not a lot of benefit. And leaving an open bucket/barrel with just muslin over it may be OK while it's in active fermentation, but once the SG is below 1.000, it's time to keep air away from it, a few layers of plastic wrap tied on would do the trick if you can't rack it into a carboy right away.

If you fermented this in a wooden barrel and your barrel is green and fuzzy from this, I would highly suggest not leaving green fuzzy mead in it any longer than absolutely necessary and then getting some advice from people who use barrels on how to proceed, I know what I'd probably do with it (thorough scrubdown before sanitizing the bejeebus out of it) but others probably know better. If it's a plastic bucket then I'd suggest a good cleanser as well as a thorough sanitizing.

Plastic vs glass carboy? I own both. I prefer to age in glass because I can see what's going on, most of the time I only use the plastic one as a holding tank while I get something else bottled to clear out another glass carboy, or sometimes for the first racking when I know a lot is going to settle out of it and I'm going to have to rack it again soon anyway. But glass is heavy and far more dangerous if it gets banged around. So you weigh the pros and cons and go with whatever works for you.

But if it doesn't taste mouldy, it's probably fine, just young and high-potency.

Hehe, my neighbour's Welsh, I adore her accent :)

12-01-2014, 01:24 PM
For pictures, load into MSPaint and use the resize function.... 35% for most of my pics.

You also really, really need to read the Newbee Guide....

12-01-2014, 10:26 PM
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12-02-2014, 01:41 AM
Ok. I skim read the last few posts. tl;dr sorry.
Hoping I'm not making a point already made.

Somebody mentioned it being a Brittish post.
Are they UK Gallons?
If so it's about 6 US gal, not 5...

That being the case, assuming a specific gravity of the honey to be 1.4, and the honey added to 5 gal, I make the following calculations:

6 UK gal = 22.73 litres.
22.73 litres weighs 22.73 kg
8kg honey /1.4 = 5.715 litres.

22.73 + 8 = 30.73 kg
22.73 + 5.71 = 28.44 litres

30.73/28.44 = 1.080 starting gravity.

Methinks the hydrometer lieth not.

Sorry I can't give more time to this thread for now.

12-02-2014, 08:57 AM
yes it is uk gallons. Numbers are slightly off but still comes out with roughly the same result if this works. 5 uk gal = 22.73 liters. 7.7kg/1.4 = 5.5 L. 22.73L + 5.5L = 28.23L, 22.73 Kg + 7.7 Kg = 30.43 kg. 30.43/28.23 = 1.077. If these conversions are how to find the specific gravity.

12-02-2014, 09:06 AM
does that mean 11.42 abv and 11 months minimum?, I would like a few opinions as to whether you would buy and use the campden tablets and at what point to add them if it is worth the cash/success rate. Also when transfering to the barrel shall I transfer all except for the very surface and bottom or just transfer it all. Shall I pass it through a muslin cloth or just barrel it as it is. Step dad has my 1 gallon glass demijon and so will probably age in barrel after I have comsumed the 5 gallons of beer in it.

12-02-2014, 09:08 AM
also would most of yo add more honey? Like someone mentioned earlier the photos were always over the data limit for some reason even when resized to thumbnail sized thats why I put the link, not sure if the link works.

12-02-2014, 09:41 AM
Gravity is kg/litre
Or gram/ml
So yeah. That sounds ok. The 1.4 is approximated, it depends on the water content of your honey.
80 point drop (1.080-1.000) will give approx 0.080x135 =10.8%
This is not all that strong, if you want 'alcohol protection'
The reason grapes took hold of the wine industry, is they're cheaper than honey, and the only fruit with high enough sugar to produce alcohol of over 13%, which acts as a preservative.

Mind you, if you only have a few gallon, it may not last long enough to matter.

Add more honey, or don't. It's your call.
Personally I wouldn't. Just sulphite it and see how you go.

12-11-2014, 11:49 AM
I couldn't get any Campden tablets from the brewing shop but they had the powder, brought the powder and stirred in the recommended amount for 5 gallons. The mead looked a lot clearer before stirring but this was because the vast majority of the mould had sunk to the bottom, I found this out upon stirring. Currently sterilising 5 1 gallon demijohns will leave it for two days before I do anything. I plan to make sure I don't get any of the surface or bottom of the mead and transfer the rest into sterylised demijohns, I think through some fine straining bags to avoid transfering any mould. I have got some wine sweetener that contains glycerol, propylene glycol and aspartame which it says to add one teaspoon per bottle of wine but foolishly only got 57 ml so will probably add the lot plus some more honey if the mead still isn't sweet enough. I also have 114ml of glycerine which "smooths off wine or spirits" was wondering whether to add this. Thanks, I appreciate all the advice.

12-13-2014, 02:09 PM
If your mead is .990 and no more bubbles yes I would sulfite it hard and stabilize it at the same time. I have a book and it's the best out of several that recommends double the sulfite dose when initially sterilizing the must before pitching yeast when using wild berries and fruits. I have a peach melomel going right now and I did that.

Since you had so much mold Id recommend that double dose. It will fade overtime so don't worry about high levels. Plus the industry standard for commercial wines is a hell of a Lot higher than anything we do to our wines. Also I would recommend the normal dose every two rackings since your batch is high risk imo. I have a book that states this btw and I follow this practice as well.

Next I've learned never to back sweeten a young mead (unless of course you know exactly what s.g to hit because you've done the recipe before). I age mine 6 months min in the Carboy before deciding what it needs. As the mead mellows out it would require Much less sugar than a young mead and you may end up with a sweeter than preferable mead. I have done this before.

Good luck.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

12-15-2014, 10:44 AM
The transfer from the bucket to the demijohns is one racking, yes? why would I do more? I am going to need more demijohns. Won't add the wine sweetener or glycerine then. Has anyone ever added glycerine for smoothing off wines to their meads. Should I bother at any point.

12-16-2014, 05:51 AM
If you're stuck for vessels, you can rack into your bucket, and then back into the demijohn. It won't hurt if its only for a few minutes.
Major PITA though.

12-16-2014, 09:28 AM
why would you do this? What the benefit?

12-16-2014, 09:30 AM
It allows you to rack off any lees, when you don't have a spare carboy.

12-17-2014, 06:32 PM
I am limited on my supplies as well and will rack to a temporary container, clean my just emptied one, and rack back to it. This gets me off the gross lees and any other adjuncts and into a clean and ready secondary/tertiary carboy without needing to have so many extras sitting around (I know I should have them and fill them, but I'm poor :(). If you have a small area, small budget, etc then this method works fairly well.

05-05-2016, 12:41 PM
I had the first bottle with a friend yesterday...Tastes like a cross between white wine and a smooth whisky. It is enough to have half a bottle after two beers and that is enough to be fked for both of us. By no means heavy drinkers or light weights. After having a glass, added a few drops of glycerine to sweeten it. Pretty leathal stuff that doesn't taste strong.