View Full Version : First time Mazer -rookie question

02-24-2016, 01:51 AM
To get SG while in the carboy, do I drop the hydrometer in or pull a sample. And if I pull a sample, what's the process to do that?
I'm worried about infection as I'm seeing what may be a film, it's not clearing after 2 1/2 months, and the smell seems off. I don't have enough info to give you though as I only have starting SG, racking SG (at 2 weeks), and recipe. Let me know how to get the info and I'll post it.

02-24-2016, 02:27 AM
You should have a tube that you can fill with your mead. You can use a turkey baster to get some out of your carboy into the tube. Float your hydrometer in it to get a reading.
Post every last bit of info about your recipe and all the steps you did to make everything. Every last detail.
Pics if you can. Taste it and tell us what it taste like. Have you racked it off the lees? I see you racked one time. How much gunk is on the bottom now. I would think a lot???

The more you can tell us the better we can help!

02-24-2016, 01:03 PM
I have had slight hazy film develop on a mead in long term bulk aging a time or three. Not sure what it is exactly. Never really caused any issues, though. Always assumed it was just part of the clearing process. Occasionally when I see that, I'll jostle the carboy around a little to disturb the film, and over time it precipitates out.

02-24-2016, 03:34 PM
Some of the more noticeable films might be an infection of some kind. Lactic acid bacterium gets mentioned frequently. Here's an excerpt from Jack Keller about it:
Oiliness or Ropiness: The wine develops an oily look with rope- like treads or strings appearing within it. It pours slowly and thickly with a consistency similar to egg whites, but neither its smell nor taste are effected. The culprit is a lactic acid bacterium and is only fatal to the wine if left untreated. Pour the wine into an open container with greater volume than required. Use an egg whip to beat the wine into a frothiness. Add two crushed Campden tablets per gallon of wine and stir these in with the egg whip. Cover with a sterile cloth and stir the wine every hour or so for about four hours. Return it to a sterile secondary and fit the airlock. After two days, run the wine through a wine filter and return it to another sterile secondary. Again, this problem, like most, can be prevented by pre- treating the must with Campden and sterilizing your equipment scrupulously.

I'd certainly be worried if it smelled funny. Lactic acid bacteria come from human saliva, among other sources. Lots of folks that mouth-siphon their stuff wind up with these type infections from time to time. Not saying that's what happened in your case, but it might be a possibility at some point that your mead got contaminated somehow.

I wouldn't take the visual description verbatim. Some infections can look completely different at different stages.

It could also be nothing, of course. Do you have any pics of it? Have you tried to get a sample of it and examine it more closely? Smell just that part? feel it between your fingers to see if it feels slimy or oily? If it's not just foamy then I'd start thinking contamination of some kind.