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Ferretlady
03-15-2005, 05:09 PM
Hello all!
I was just testing two different batches of mead, and as I was removing the airlock, I took a good sniff at the mouth of the carboy. The first one, a concord pyment, had a very definite soapy smell to it. That particular must did not get pasteurized, just warmed up to dissolve the honey better (the juice was pasteurised in the bottle). The second one, a maple-honey cyser, had less of the soapy smell, but it was definitely present. That must I pasteurized before pitching the yeast.
Of all the mead experiments I made, those are the first one with that smell. They are also the first and only two made with Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast. What does that soapy smell means?
Thanks for any help!

Jmattioli
03-15-2005, 05:20 PM
Well, excessive levels of free sulfur dioxide add a pungent aroma, a sharpness in the nose, and a "soapy" smell.

Did you use Sulfites, Campden tablets, etc... and how much.

Good news is time will diminish.

Joe

Ferretlady
03-15-2005, 05:30 PM
I did not use Campden or sulfites. Both recipes are still in the carboys, it's been 3 weeks since I pitched the yeast. Fermentation is slowing down in the pyment (IG 1140, now 1040, but is still very active in the cyser (IG 1135, now 1060).

Jmattioli
03-15-2005, 05:43 PM
Is it then posible that you didn't rinse the carboys out good after washing in soapy water?
Joe

PS Soapy is basically a chemical smell. What chemicals if any did u use?
Glass or Plastic Carboys?

Oskaar
03-15-2005, 05:48 PM
Another possibility is that yeasts that are sensitive to low levels of nitrogen will produce H2S and SO2 which could also contribute to that smell. Many yeasts will produce these two compounds if they are nutrient starved according to yeast manufacturers.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Jmattioli
03-15-2005, 06:00 PM
Small amounts of natural SO2 (sulfer dioxide) are produced during fermention. Maybe you have a sensitive nose and are able to detect a faint soapy smell as a result. If so, it will go away in a month.
Joe

Ferretlady
03-15-2005, 06:06 PM
Is it then posible that you didn't rinse the carboys out good after washing in soapy water?

I use a pink chemical to cleanse my equipment, it's a chlorine derivative, and I rinse 5-6 times (until my nose tells me it's really all gone)



Another possibility is that yeasts that are sensitive to low levels of nitrogen will produce H2S and SO2 which could also contribute to that smell.

That makes a lot of sense... The pyment was just the concord grape juice, the honey, and 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrients. It has the stronger soapy smell.
The cyser was apple cider, maple syrup and honey, but I've read somewhere that apple cider had lots of nutrients for the yeast. How could I correct the situation? I was getting ready to transfer the pyment to a clean carboy, as the fermentation is just about finished. Besides, the yeast was supposed to only go to 12-14%, and it's now sitting at 14%. Stressed yeast maybe?

Oskaar
03-15-2005, 06:37 PM
I misread that one of the meads was a pyment. I think this is probably just a combination of the yeast and the grape juice which will produce of S02 and H2S as well. Sounds like it should just age out.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Ferretlady
03-15-2005, 06:46 PM
Thank you very much for your help! ;)
I'll keep you posted on how this ages.