View Full Version : Yeast or something nefarious?

04-17-2017, 10:24 PM
I'm new to mead making; this is my second batch. My first batch went over well, beyond my slight lack of patience (not wanting to bulk age for as long as I could/should have). This time I wanted to try something more adventurous, but now I am worried I'm sitting on a few gallons of potential yuck. I made a basic mead that I pitched with Red Star Cote des Blancs, and let sit for 48 hours to start fermenting. Then I added a bunch of herbs and such (hibiscus, rose petal, vervain, marshmallow root, mugwort, raspberry leaf) in a little cheese cloth tube I made. I let that sit for a week and stew before taking it out. Then, after about 3 more weeks once the main fermentation activity was over I re-racked. At this point everything was looking good and normal as far as I could tell. Now it has been just over another week and there is a formation on the top. It looks really yeasty (like when making yeast active from packets for bread), but also looks kinda green colored compared to yeasty colors. I don't know if that is just because the color of the mead being pink (from the flowers) or what. So, can somebody with more experience than I confirm if this is normal yeast activity (this didn't happen before with the other yeast I used on my first batch), or if you think it is some nefarious growth I need to deal with? I wasn't sure if the yeast should be making formations like that since it isn't really fermenting anymore and most if it is dropping out. And yes I sanitized everything.


05-16-2017, 12:55 PM
I'm new to mead, but I'm a winemaker and it sounds to me like you have a contamination that came in on one of your additives.

In wine, just to be safe, we freeze or boil our additions because bacteria and wild yeast love to sneak in on fruits and flowers.

As far as how to handle it, I can tell you what I would do in wine, but mead is a different beast so I think someone else should advise on that.

Good luck!

05-16-2017, 02:21 PM
Post full batch recipe and take a hydrometer reading.
Its weird to have serious contaminations in mead, because of the alcohol content, but it does look like that. If you still have not solved it, scoop it out and stabilize with sulphites and sorbate.
Usually flowers and fruits and such should be sanitized via boiling (herbs, spices), freezing (fruit), rinsing in sulhpite solution or soak high proof alcohol

05-16-2017, 08:51 PM
You would have been much safer if you had waited until the ferment was close to over before adding these things. By that time you would have had a much higher ABV and a better established bio mass.