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Thread: Is this an infection?

  1. #1

    Default Is this an infection?

    I've brewed probably ten batches and I've never had an infection. I know what some infections look like, but I don't know if what I'm seeing in this batch is normal or the beginnings of an infection.

    It's a 1 gallon BOMM that has just finished fermenting. I racked it to secondary last night and noticed a bunch of white dust-looking particles on the surface of the mead. The must smells yeasty and boozy, more or less like a normal freshly fermented mead. It has a very slight astringent, sour note to it. It tastes yeasty and beery with a very, very slight sour note, which might just be it's dryness, to be honest. It's so faint that I think it might just be how this honey tastes dry.

    Anyway, the gravity last night was .999, original gravity was 1.093, so it's pretty well done fermenting, based in typical BOMM behavior.

    Here are a couple pics:


  2. #2
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    I expect that's just some residual yeast trapped by surface tension, However, it wouldn't hurt to dose it with KMeta (unless you are making a sparkling mead), and I would eliminate that headspace.
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  3. #3
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    Yes, yeast or other stray solids from the honey....
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  4. #4

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    Awesome. That's what I was hoping, since it wasn't really behaving like an infection.

    Re: headspace, taken care of now - got some rose hips soaking in it now. Wanted to take a clear picture of the problem before I added the rose hips. Thanks again!

    I'll probably hit it with some K-meta just to be safe but I'm pretty sure it's just yeast floaters.

  5. #5
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    I don't like to generalize, but usually bacterial infections cluster into large, discrete colonies, I think. Some of the more accommodating ones also add color to announce their presence. Chevette Girl's axiom also holds true most of the time: If it tastes good and smells good, it probably IS good.
    Intelligence Is Knowing That A Tomato Is A Fruit
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  6. #6
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    Not to hijack but I've got an infection question myself

    my ob yeast test all had a thin layer that was slightly translucent in the upper half inch or so. I assumed it was infection, I can not tell if it had any negative effects in flavor or aroma, nothing significant for certain. I wish I'd photographed it before I racked but my phone sucks and the camera had already been packed.

    Anyone know?
    Go On, Take The Honey and Run

  7. #7
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    Wolfie, did it look like a skin that wrinkled and went flaky when you jiggled things, or did it just disperse and then collect near the surface again? If it's the first, it might be an infection, if it's the second, I don't know what it is but I get that sometimes too, doesn't seem to hurt anything.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
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    If it was exposed to air it might have been a pellicle ... https://www.google.com/search?q=beer...w&ved=0CB0QsAQ but you would get definite off flavors from that...
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  9. #9
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    I've had a few of those, if you catch it early enough it doesn't seem to affect the taste.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  10. #10
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    Hey! uh... I'm back

    Thanks for the reply Skunkboy and Chevette

    I hit them with sulfite and sorbate and there is no sign of recurrence so I think I'm basically out of the woods with that one. Is there a good resource with pictures and descriptors of common infections? I searched high and low, but maybe my google foo is just not up to snuff.

    Pellicle, I did not know that word. No it didn't have a skin, that pellicle is something I've definitely seen before in brews that were neglected and I've racked under it and hit with sulfites / sorbate with good results. This was different, the skin wasn't there, it was just sort of a translucent layer in the top 1/4 - 1/2 inch (rather than strictly on the surface)

    /Z
    Go On, Take The Honey and Run

  11. #11
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    ok so once I'd posted I found this on homebrewtalk which is a pretty good and very long thread of contamination and and things people thought was contamination. I recommend to anyone curious or worried about infection/contamination on your brew.
    Go On, Take The Honey and Run

  12. #12
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    Yeah, that thread has some "nice" pictures. Nobody has posted definitive pictures of what a pellicle or other issues look, like. Guess because they all very by size, and infection rate?
    Bees stole my signature file!

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