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BlackFriarsMonastery
10-08-2016, 07:14 PM
I made a gallon of cyser at the end of July and at the beginning of last month racked it to a secondary, which was a 2-1/2 gal. bucket. Because of the volume lost from the apples and lees, I added about another gallon of apple juice. My OG was 1.153 and I took a gravity reading prior to the addition (1.014) as well as after adding the juice it raised it up to 1.034.

I haven't opened the container since, but I did tonight and there was a very thin white haze on the surface of the must. There were some bubbles too. I decided to risk it and see what it tasted like, and while after the juice addition it was very apple-y, now that flavor was much more subdued. It also seemed very dry. I can't give you a gravity reading because I dropped my hydrometer just before opening the container and it broke.

So my question is, is this haze a problem? It was "crusty" in a way, almost waxy if you will. The taste didn't seem off or bad, but I figured I should turn to the experts for some insights. I would've loaded a picture, but each of my attempts failed. Thanks!

Rich

Squatchy
10-08-2016, 08:47 PM
More likely than not you should be fine if the taste was ok . If it bothers you take a turkey baster and suck it off the top

pdh
10-08-2016, 10:16 PM
I agree with squatchy -- you're probably fine. The added apple juice has been fermenting for a month, and that probably accounts for the layer of crud on top.

Based on your numbers you were probably around 18% ABV before adding the apple juice. You diluted that with the juice, but then the juice started fermenting as well... no wonder it's dry :-) By now the yeast has probably eaten most of the available sugar, which probably accounts for the loss of the apple flavoring.

BlackFriarsMonastery
10-09-2016, 09:07 AM
Thanks! Funny, although I did a search before I posted to see if anyone else had posted a similar question, I couldn't find one, but now there were several "similar threads" posted afterwards and the answers have been similar. That's a relief. Thanks again for your time and I'll get that stuff off the top.

Ah! I seem to have figured out the image posting...

http://i740.photobucket.com/albums/xx45/GhoulishCop/71149040-1d9c-440a-a1ab-86e833312be7_zpsrg2jfbjh.jpg

Squatchy
10-09-2016, 11:16 AM
As a side bar: I stir my batches tio keep the yeast suspended in solution rather than getting buried at the bottom. This does several things. Allows the yeast access to what ever sugar is left in the must. Helps them float around ad absorb left ober crap in the must from the work they did. If they're not buried they wont autolyse so soon. And it will keep stuff from forming on top.

This may seem counter intuitive, but it will actually cause your mead to clear faster when you are ready to rack and stop stirring.

BTW, Your pic tells me your ok as far as the film on top.

darigoni
10-09-2016, 11:45 AM
Squatchy,

When do you stop stirring? Right up until racking? A couple of days before hand? I've been following the advice of aerate/degas up to the first sugar (1/3?) break and stir/degas until the second (2/3?) sugar break, and then leave it alone at that point.

Thanks. dave

Squatchy
10-09-2016, 03:06 PM
I believe people rack usually too soon and too often. I'm not sure where people started racking before the fermentation is even finished. Then they complain that the process has slowed down. LOL

Even once fermentation has stopped, the yeast still work and will clean up some of the residual things left behind in fermentation. Sometimes, if one wants to try to lower the gravity just a bit more they can warm up the batch just a few degrees for a period of time to see if they get one last push forward.

I don't like things bone dry. SO I usually have to stabilize and then add other things on the back side. So generally I will let it go dry, and will stir up everything every couple days so the yeast won't sit on the bottom and rot. I might do this for a few weeks. Now I will add stabilizing chems and cold crash it for a couple weeks. I do this without stirring it so everything will drop out. This then is usually fairly clean when I rack it off of all the fallout. It's now fairly clean, clean enough to add what ever adjuncts I plan to use to make whatever style I am shooting for. If I plan to add fruit I will continue to keep it in the fridge so I can leave it in there for 3-4 weeks and not worry about getting vegetal notes from the fruit.

Same thing applies. Keep lightly stirring things up a little every few days. At some point stop stirring so things will drop out so you can rack again.

I believe it actually clears faster once the stirring stops than what it takes to do it how others do. Now, I have only racked twice before bulk ageing it. Because I have a filter, I fine it and filter it, one last time and bulk age until bottle time. So 2 racks and a fine/filter and I'm finished. This saves product due to less product loss at each racking.

Iv'e seen pics of a clear sided barrel with mead inside sitting on 71-b lees for many years and apparently it doesn't taste bad from the autolysation of the 71-B lees in sur lie. I tried to find the pics of the clear barrel head with a few inches of lees on the bottom of a semi full barrel but didn't have time to find it.

I think that beer guys and wine peps have carried over into the mead world things that are considered true by mazers and are passed off as "truth" without any personal experience. I don't think following those practices are a bad idea, but I also think it has caused undue concern for mead making.

I have only experienced oxidation twice. Both were with intention, and I probably couldn't have done it if I had added sulfites. I didn't sulfite it because I was trying to make a maderia style mead. I think wine practices (not stirring things much) don't necessarily hold true in mazing.

I think infections are not much to be concerned with. If we follow good sanitation practices, and because most things we make (other than hydromels) have high ABV% I think some of the concern people have (especially when new to mead) isn't near as relevant here as in the beer world.

At one time the world was flat. If we say things that are not true, enough times, people will eventually begin to think they are because it gets said enough. This is where many things become dogma that are really not the case.
ded

darigoni
10-09-2016, 04:01 PM
As usual, a great answer.

Thanks! dave

Stasis
10-09-2016, 06:48 PM
I'm not too sure I agree squatchy. The thing is, once there's a consensus on these forums that oxidation is not a real problem in mead I'm pretty sure newbees will start oxidizing mead. Sometimes I see practices which I can't figure out on these forums and I realize just how many mazers have no idea about making mead, haven't read the newbee guide, and have just read an outdated recipe or 2 and decided to follow it. Couple that with experienced mazers or a whole forum saying that they should not be concerned about oxidation and I bet someone will prove us wrong. Not to mention: up to which point does this hold true? Are melomels affected? Are jaoms affected? (the first mead recipe many are introduced to) how much fruit and which type before the mead is winelike enough to have oxidation concerns?
I don't want to be responsible for that so I'll say be wary about oxidation, especially in the newbees section of these forums.
Same goes for infections. I just can't be sure new mazers know exactly what good sanitation practices are and I don't know exactly at what point the abv is high enough for me to say don't worry about it.

For your next batch you might want to start off with more volume to compensate for racking losses. This would ensure that you can rack into a carboy rather than a bucket. The reduced headspace means less contamination and oxidation potential. Once you get into this habit it barely takes more effort over using buckets. On the plus side you'll get the hang on good practices which will help you once infections and oxidation really are a concern, even if they might not be for this particular batch

Squatchy
10-09-2016, 07:52 PM
Hi brother

Nice to hear from you. It's been a while. I totally agree with you. I might not have portrayed my message correctly. In no way did I intend to say we can become lax in good practices. What I thought I was saying is we have some people polarized in the extremes.

Recently, many times over I read where people are afraid to even open a vessel to take a gravity reading because of fear of contamination or oping to finish dry.

These are things, if/when we practice good hygiene skills should not draw alarm. Certainly, we shouldn't have any fear of stiring up our must to keep the lees in suspension.

I'm glad you pointed this out. It is good to keep things in Balance, and framed in it's proper perspective. Apparently failed at this and am lucky yo have good people like yourself to jump in and challenge my reply.

I know I have offended a time or two here. And I am still learning this thing called Mead, just like everyone else is in this community. But please rest assured my intentions are always for the good.

58limited
10-09-2016, 09:51 PM
Back in college I lived in a farm house. I learned to home brew beer while living there and after a year or so my brews started getting that powdery stuff on top. I sanitized everything with beach and/or heat but it still kept forming in the fermenter. I thought it was probably some wild microorganism in the air in the old farm house. No one could tell me what it was (I never took it to the microbiology lab) but the beers tasted fine so I didn't worry about it. I moved to my current house and it hasn't been a problem here.

zpeckler
10-11-2016, 08:08 PM
Thanks! Funny, although I did a search before I posted to see if anyone else had posted a similar question, I couldn't find one, but now there were several "similar threads" posted afterwards and the answers have been similar. That's a relief. Thanks again for your time and I'll get that stuff off the top.

Ah! I seem to have figured out the image posting...

http://i740.photobucket.com/albums/xx45/GhoulishCop/71149040-1d9c-440a-a1ab-86e833312be7_zpsrg2jfbjh.jpg
That looks an awful lot like a pellicle to me...

BlackFriarsMonastery
10-11-2016, 08:28 PM
That looks an awful lot like a pellicle to me...

Yikes! And what, pray tell, is that?!

zpeckler
10-11-2016, 08:44 PM
Yikes! And what, pray tell, is that?!

http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Pellicle

BlackFriarsMonastery
10-11-2016, 09:00 PM
Thanks. While the science hurt my brain, I think the takeaway was I'm not going to die because of it. Whew. Thanks again.

zpeckler
10-11-2016, 10:04 PM
True, but it's a sign of non-Saccharomyces organisms in this batch (Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, or Pediococcus). Whether or not this is a good or bad thing is a matter of personal taste.

I recommend letting this batch finish normally and seeing how it ends up. No need to stress as long as it tastes good! Going forward, however, I'd thoroughly scrub down and sanitize every nook and cranny of your bucket and any other pieces of equipment that came in contact with this batch to avoid carrying over the non-Saccharomyces organisms to the next batch. Scrub plastic items with a soft cloth or a sponge without the scrubby pads on them--the scrubby pads can leave scratches on plastic where microbes can hide.

Squatchy
10-11-2016, 11:24 PM
Thanks for the link Zac. I was shocked when I looked at the pictures that you could click on the link to view. Haven't ever seen that in any of my matches. But you may be correct in thinking that that's what it is. Kinda looks like it. I hope fryers batch turns out okay

I'm not sure but as much mead as I have sitting around the house I would be very afraid to keep that around. I would move it to a totally different part of the house or maybe just get rid of it. And also get rid of everything that ever touched it. I would hate for that to get in all that tons of gallons of things that have sitting around.

I used to brew kombucha, but I don't do that anymore for fear of cross contamination.

BlackFriarsMonastery
10-12-2016, 06:38 AM
Oh, so it's not good then (not that I thought it was necessarily to begin with). And it's because I introduced some contaminant too it. That's good to know. I was much too flippant earlier about something that is a serious issue. I've been very careful, or so I thought, with cleanliness and sanitation, but it would appear not and that bothers me. This has been the only batch that's happened to, but still it shows you can't be vigilant enough.

FWIW, it may be because of where I got the bucket. My local bakery has 5 gallon food grade plastic pails that it has frosting, eggs, and the like delivered. They gave me one with a lid. I had scrubbed it out with soap and water, then cleaned with a bleach solution that was thoroughly rinsed and dried. It was then sanitized with StarSan prior to making this batch. I'd say if there was any spot the organisms likely had a chance to grow was the lid because of the web of ridges and indentations on it. Although it was cleaned like the rest, I imagine I wasn't as thorough as I thought. Even though I've used other similar containers on occasion from them without incident, out of an abundance of caution perhaps I should just stick with glass carboys or buy only new plastic containers from my LHBS.

Thanks to everyone for their insights!

zpeckler
10-12-2016, 07:24 AM
Black Friar, don't do anything rash just yet. Certainly don't dump the batch! I was on call at my hospital last night, hence the short responses. I have a full day today, but I'll write about my thoughts on wild microbes, Brett, and sanitation when I get home.

Stasis
10-12-2016, 10:49 AM
I've had something looking exactly like that form on the top of my carboys. However these were large 54 liter carboys with narrow necks, so there was less proportion of mould to liquid. I *think* this is something rather common in wines and when this happens I used to remove it with a tissue paper and add a little metabisulphite so the top of the carboy is purged from air again. I rarely saw it return and even if it did there was no taste difference between those carboys and ones which never got any mold at all.
I was looking at mould to make sake (koji-kin) and stumbled upon these (http://https://www.brouwland.com/en/our-products/winemaking/taste-correction/other-additives/d/anti-mould-tablets-vinoferm-12-pieces?gaCategory=search#.V_5L0eV95dh) tablets which claim to sterilize the air above the wine in a carboy. This seems to suggest that this mould cannot be prevented in some environments just like 58limited thinks because the mould is in the air. Even though this mould might not have not been preventable and *maybe* it will not do any serious harm you should probably still take precautions. Even though I was confident my wines would be ok, such that I never even bought such tablets I still took measures to remove the stuff

Swordnut
10-12-2016, 11:25 AM
Just wait it out. You can't do anything about it right now anymore anyway. So just wait for it to complete its fermentation. Then do taste/smell tests and see how it came out. If it's agreeable but you're afraid of further contamination, stabilize with sulphites to make sure that batch will never ferment anything again. Perhaps over time and with racking the batch will become cleaner. I've had batches myself with funny stuff floating on the top (one time it was contaminated vegetable oil). But since it floats, every time you rack you're essentially separating it from the rest of the batch again.

HeidrunsGift
10-12-2016, 01:49 PM
Most pellicles takes a couple months to form, which would be in the right time frame if you pitched your yeast end of July. From what I have read on google searches and talking with guys at local brew store, the pellicle is what sour-beer brewers actually want. I believe the pellicle eats dead yeast cells and produces lactic acid which in high enough amounts creates that sour flavor. I don't know how long this takes to deveope that flavor, but if its truly a pellicle I suspect you should start detecting sour notes in the next couple months. Even if you don't like it, there are a lot of people who do! (I tried making one a couple years ago but failed, think I used too much hops that prevented the bacteria from growing)

Also, if its a pellicle, simply racking it wont make it go away, it will grow back (not sure how long it takes though). I suspect you'd have to rack and heavily sulfite it to kill it off, but if its going strong I don't know the ppm required, or if the required amount starts to surpass the sulfite taste threshold. Another question I was unable to figure out is how home brewers prevent it from growing once bottled. I imagine even those who love the sour taste wouldn't to look at/feel a layer of mold on top of their beer :(

As a side note, I've had some meads made from raw unfiltered honey that look like that when light is shined on it. Did you take that picture with a flash? The flash really lights up a lot of the proteins/yeast/residual foam/bees wax that can float to the top, making it look a bit scary--when in fact its just a sign of the high quality/unfiltered honey that was used..

Squatchy
10-12-2016, 02:46 PM
Your end description is what I thought we were looking at. I too have had a few batches as you describe and think it was honey byproducts.

zpeckler
10-12-2016, 07:04 PM
Ok, finally free of the hospital! Now to sit down and talk about wild microbes and sanitation...

As far as my personal tastes go, I love the funky characteristics that Brett makes. I also love sour beers, Belgian lambics in particular. To me--from a philosophical standpoint--I wouldn't see colonization of one of my meads with Brett or bacteria as an "infection," but rather an opportunity for the mead to develop some unexpected or unique flavors. Of course, depending on the batch these new flavors might not work, but I don't automatically view a little Brett-funk or sourness as a fault unless it clashes with the overall motif of the batch.

First off, a little microbiology background. Despite the common homebrewers' myth, Brettanomyces is a yeast, not a bacteria. It's actually a relatively close relative of Saccharomyces! It's a naturally-occurring, endemic throughout the environment, and especially common on fruit and grape skins. The reason Brett has a reputation for tenacity and resistance to sanitation is that it forms a biofilm (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biofilm)when it's been in contact with a surface for a while. What this means is that if Brett has colonized a surface and established a biofilm, the biofilm will shelter the organisms from the activity of the sanitizer and allow it to grow in the next batch. In order to ensure adequate sanitation the biofilm needs to be mechanically removed and disrupted (i.e. every surface scrubbed vigorously).

Fortunately for homebrewers, Brett does not form spores, which are incredibly tenacious and can sometimes survive even a trip through an autoclave! Brett is not airborne; Brett and Saccharomyces batches can sit next to each other without any worry of cross-contamination on the part of the meadmaker. Brett can live, form biofilms, and evade sanitizer in the pores of wood, and so barrels or oak chips are basically impossible to ever truly sanitize once exposed to Brett. It can survive a pH as low as 2, and can tolerate as much alcohol as winemaking yeasts like EC-1118 or K1-V1116. It is not sensitive to kill-factor. Standard winemaking levels of sulfite will kill or inhibit its growth in a must.

The bacteria that you see in polymicrobial fermentations are most commonly Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. Nether forms biofilms or spores, and are easily killed with standard sanitation practices. They are, of course, killed by the alpha-acids found in hops; although Pedio needs a higher IBU than Lacto to totally inhibit its growth. Both bacteria are endemic in the environment, and Lacto in particular grows on grains and in flour (as anyone who's made a sourdough starter can attest).

Acetobacter is the only microbe of the bunch that I would consider a true contaminant. It's the bacteria that makes acetic acid, the acid found in vinegar. Since this post is getting long already, I'll talk about Acetobacter upon request.

The film on the top of your cyser looks like a pellicle (http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Pellicle). A pellicle is a polysaccharide film--a type of biofilm--made by Brett and a few other microbes that protects the microbe from excessive oxygen levels. It in and of itself is harmless, and will vanish into your batch with some vigorous agitation. Of course, it will reform after disruption because the microbes that made it are still active.

So, what to do if you suspect colonization by Brett, Lacto, or Pedio? First off, don't panic. "Keep calm and milk the funk." ;) The batch might not be ruined, but whether or not you like the barnyard flavors made by Brett or the sourness made by the bacteria is a matter of personal taste.

The issue of cross-colonization is one that should be taken seriously, but as long as you follow logical, microbiologically-based practices the risk can be minimized. I've now made several batches of both mead and cider that have undergone polymicrobial fermentations with Brett and lactic acid bacteria, and used lots of my equipment between Brett and non-Brett batches with no cross-colonization so far. Because Brett forms the biofilm anything that has come in contact with it needs to be thoroughly scrubbed on every surface, inside and out, after every use. All pieces are disassembled and all nooks and crannies are scrubbed thoroughly. After that, my practice it to completely submerge the item in StarSan for 12-24hrs before I use it on a non-Brett batch.

One critical point here is that the items that I'm using between batches are all made of glass or steel, and thus are hard enough not to scratch even with vigorous scrubbing. I use my hydrometers, glass hydrometer test jar, glass carboys, and a long steel spoon I use for stirring between batches.

I have separate sets of Brett and non-Brett plastic items such as buckets, autosiphons, and tubing. This is because there's no way I can scrub the insides, or they have too many nooks and crannies for me to be confident that I'm scrubbing every possible surface. Also, because these items are made of soft plastic, they probably have multiple small scratches where Brett can hide. I've got a dedicated "Brett Bucket" fermentor for my larger polymicrobial batches that I don't even bother to scrub after use because I know that anyone going in it will be a Brett batch; I just clean out visible gunk and sanitize with StarSan like normal.

I hope this helps! What I would recommend for this batch is to put it somewhere out of the way and let it age into itself. Brett is slow-growing and slow-metabolizing, so most batches need a little time to really come into their own. When it starts to clear in a few weeks, rack it into a carboy like you would any other batch. In the meantime, try to avoid jostling it and disrupting the pellicle. That will keep the microbes happy and help them make their best flavors. If you don't like the barnyard flavors that Brett makes, and this batch isn't to your taste, I would pitch your fermentation bucket and any other plastic pieces of equipment that came in contact with this batch and get a new stuff.

Squatchy
10-17-2016, 07:46 PM
Ok, finally free of the hospital! Now to sit down and talk about wild microbes and sanitation...

As far as my personal tastes go, I love the funky characteristics that Brett makes. I also love sour beers, Belgian lambics in particular. To me--from a philosophical standpoint--I wouldn't see colonization of one of my meads with Brett or bacteria as an "infection," but rather an opportunity for the mead to develop some unexpected or unique flavors. Of course, depending on the batch these new flavors might not work, but I don't automatically view a little Brett-funk or sourness as a fault unless it clashes with the overall motif of the batch.

First off, a little microbiology background. Despite the common homebrewers' myth, Brettanomyces is a yeast, not a bacteria. It's actually a relatively close relative of Saccharomyces! It's a naturally-occurring, endemic throughout the environment, and especially common on fruit and grape skins. The reason Brett has a reputation for tenacity and resistance to sanitation is that it forms a biofilm (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biofilm)when it's been in contact with a surface for a while. What this means is that if Brett has colonized a surface and established a biofilm, the biofilm will shelter the organisms from the activity of the sanitizer and allow it to grow in the next batch. In order to ensure adequate sanitation the biofilm needs to be mechanically removed and disrupted (i.e. every surface scrubbed vigorously).

Fortunately for homebrewers, Brett does not form spores, which are incredibly tenacious and can sometimes survive even a trip through an autoclave! Brett is not airborne; Brett and Saccharomyces batches can sit next to each other without any worry of cross-contamination on the part of the meadmaker. Brett can live, form biofilms, and evade sanitizer in the pores of wood, and so barrels or oak chips are basically impossible to ever truly sanitize once exposed to Brett. It can survive a pH as low as 2, and can tolerate as much alcohol as winemaking yeasts like EC-1118 or K1-V1116. It is not sensitive to kill-factor. Standard winemaking levels of sulfite will kill or inhibit its growth in a must.

The bacteria that you see in polymicrobial fermentations are most commonly Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. Nether forms biofilms or spores, and are easily killed with standard sanitation practices. They are, of course, killed by the alpha-acids found in hops; although Pedio needs a higher IBU than Lacto to totally inhibit its growth. Both bacteria are endemic in the environment, and Lacto in particular grows on grains and in flour (as anyone who's made a sourdough starter can attest).

Acetobacter is the only microbe of the bunch that I would consider a true contaminant. It's the bacteria that makes acetic acid, the acid found in vinegar. Since this post is getting long already, I'll talk about Acetobacter upon request.

The film on the top of your cyser looks like a pellicle (http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Pellicle). A pellicle is a polysaccharide film--a type of biofilm--made by Brett and a few other microbes that protects the microbe from excessive oxygen levels. It in and of itself is harmless, and will vanish into your batch with some vigorous agitation. Of course, it will reform after disruption because the microbes that made it are still active.

So, what to do if you suspect colonization by Brett, Lacto, or Pedio? First off, don't panic. "Keep calm and milk the funk." ;) The batch might not be ruined, but whether or not you like the barnyard flavors made by Brett or the sourness made by the bacteria is a matter of personal taste.

The issue of cross-colonization is one that should be taken seriously, but as long as you follow logical, microbiologically-based practices the risk can be minimized. I've now made several batches of both mead and cider that have undergone polymicrobial fermentations with Brett and lactic acid bacteria, and used lots of my equipment between Brett and non-Brett batches with no cross-colonization so far. Because Brett forms the biofilm anything that has come in contact with it needs to be thoroughly scrubbed on every surface, inside and out, after every use. All pieces are disassembled and all nooks and crannies are scrubbed thoroughly. After that, my practice it to completely submerge the item in StarSan for 12-24hrs before I use it on a non-Brett batch.

One critical point here is that the items that I'm using between batches are all made of glass or steel, and thus are hard enough not to scratch even with vigorous scrubbing. I use my hydrometers, glass hydrometer test jar, glass carboys, and a long steel spoon I use for stirring between batches.

I have separate sets of Brett and non-Brett plastic items such as buckets, autosiphons, and tubing. This is because there's no way I can scrub the insides, or they have too many nooks and crannies for me to be confident that I'm scrubbing every possible surface. Also, because these items are made of soft plastic, they probably have multiple small scratches where Brett can hide. I've got a dedicated "Brett Bucket" fermentor for my larger polymicrobial batches that I don't even bother to scrub after use because I know that anyone going in it will be a Brett batch; I just clean out visible gunk and sanitize with StarSan like normal.

I hope this helps! What I would recommend for this batch is to put it somewhere out of the way and let it age into itself. Brett is slow-growing and slow-metabolizing, so most batches need a little time to really come into their own. When it starts to clear in a few weeks, rack it into a carboy like you would any other batch. In the meantime, try to avoid jostling it and disrupting the pellicle. That will keep the microbes happy and help them make their best flavors. If you don't like the barnyard flavors that Brett makes, and this batch isn't to your taste, I would pitch your fermentation bucket and any other plastic pieces of equipment that came in contact with this batch and get a new stuff.

Great job Zack. Thanks for the good info. Would you be as kind to start a new thread and educate us about Acetobacter please? :)

zpeckler
10-19-2016, 10:06 AM
Will do... My call schedule this week is pretty brutal, so I might not get to it until the weekend.

Squatchy
10-19-2016, 11:27 AM
Will do... My call schedule this week is pretty brutal, so I might not get to it until the weekend.

I totally understand. We're both passengers on the same boat at the time.

djsxxx
10-19-2016, 02:22 PM
Noticed a similar looking film on my Apple and pear cider. Only noticed after fermentation. Had a taste and luckily it's added some very nice flavors :)

Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

zpeckler
10-22-2016, 02:38 PM
Info on Acetobacter here! (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/26140-Wild-Microbes-and-Sanitation-Acetobacter)

I also included links to my bibliography on wild microbes and mixed fermentation.

WVMJack
10-24-2016, 03:32 AM
You could get some carboys and good airlocks and use some metabisulphites to help keep this from happening again and to possibly stop and save this batch for continuing to go down, you might want to drink this one early. Surface yeast is a common problem in cidermaking, especially for those who dont use metabisulphites. Keeping this in a bucket that is leaking air into your cyser is going to continue the problem. The bleach in meadmaking not the best, your starsan does the same job. Also brand new buckets with new lids are cheap at farming supply stores so you dont have to worry about what was in it before. WVMJ

zpeckler
10-24-2016, 12:30 PM
I agree with WVMJack. Get the cyser into glass and put it under and airlock. Plastic is slightly permeable to oxygen, kind of like a barrel. After that, toss the bucket if you're not looking to do wild-ferment batches in the future. After this batch is finished, clean or replace your other equipment as I described above. Don't toss the cyser, though! Give it between 6-12 months to age before bottling.

Unlike all my other meads (which are mostly traditionals or metheglins), I always sulfite my cysers and melomels when mixing up the must to suppress non-Saccharomyces organisms in my "clean" batches. Fruit brings over so many wild organisms.