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Thread: Skunky Smell in Mead

  1. #1

    Default Skunky Smell in Mead

    Gentlemen and Ladies,
    I need some help in troubleshooting a sweet Mead I made recently.

    Used Raw - unfiltered honey from my friends dad. He is a beekeeper.
    KV 1116 Yeast - rehydrated with goferm. Pitched yeast after tempering.
    Spring Water
    Used TOSNA and degassed two or three times per day. The process was solid the end result was not.

    Starting gravity was 1.145 and finished at 1.027. Temperature at the beginning of ferment was 63 degrees. Started stong but then the ferment went SLOW, very very slow. At times it was dropping 1-2 or 3 points per day, with some spurts in activity here or there. because it was so slow I tried different things. I re pitched yeast, I warmed up the must to 66 degrees, added additional Fermaid O. Nothing seemed to work, it just was super slow. 27 days it fermented.
    I've made over 30 batches of Mead. Never had this problem but also never used KV-1116. Also this is a new honey to me, not sure if the honey was just not good... my friends dad lives in Bradford PA, bees are on his property. Wildflower/clover is most likely the source. Tasted good when I tried it.

    I cold crashed and racked. Then stabilized and cleared it. Had some friends over to try that and some other Mead. I knew it was OFF but man the reaction I got was...accurate....from the time they smelled it they gave the Mr. YUCK face.

    My wine drinking friend said it smelled like cabbage/bad cabbage, my drinking friends said urine.

    The smell is bad, cannot drink it with this smell.

    1. Anyway to remove the smell?
    2. Mask the smell with making it a spiced Mead?

    or do I just turn it into a vinegar and give it away for Christmas?

    Thanks,
    Rob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Brookline, NH
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    Default

    You know what they say, if you didn't like the taste, wait 6 to 12 months and taste it again :-)


    Time frame? When did you start, bottle and serve?

    Stabilization protocol?

    How did you clear it?

    Was this your first time using TOSNA? It's typically a slow and steady ferment.

    1116 is supposed to be a fairly aggressive yeast. Not as aggressive as ec-1118, but both have been described as killer yeasts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Spain, Europe
    Posts
    712

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    When did it start to taste bad?

    Maybe its the fermentation (sulfur) or poor conditions of the container/ bad sanitizing. Also that you left the yeast too long but thats weird

    Unless you identify the source its hard to do much.
    Options are aereating it for a while/racking with some spalshing a few times, or adding copper if its because sulfur. Spicing it wont do much probably since its already sweet, if that does not cover it, spicing wont do the trick alone. Also you can use fining agents, some remove off flavours. Did you stabilize the mead? if not, you should, it could be brett contamination or other yeast strains. Try measuring pH too. add some to a glass and add some lemon, to see if it changes.

    Tell us more about the recipe. ammount of fermaid O, ammount of honey and volume, dates, ammount of goferm...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Connecticut
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    369
    Dave from New Haven County

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Miami Beach, FL
    Posts
    4,084

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    Bad smells (like sulfur) are usually attributed to bad nutrition or some other stresses on the yeast. Cabbage is associated with DMS (dimethyl sulfide).

    There's a lot of information on how to get rid of that in beer brewing, not so much in mead. It's usually formed when a lackluster fermentation fails to blow out the gas. But I'm no expert on how to get rid of it. Agitation seems like a good way to do it, but if you're done fermenting, it might (probably will) oxidize the mead.

    Perhaps someone else knows how to get rid of DMS in mead?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mannye View Post
    Bad smells (like sulfur) are usually attributed to bad nutrition or some other stresses on the yeast. Cabbage is associated with DMS (dimethyl sulfide).

    There's a lot of information on how to get rid of that in beer brewing, not so much in mead. It's usually formed when a lackluster fermentation fails to blow out the gas. But I'm no expert on how to get rid of it. Agitation seems like a good way to do it, but if you're done fermenting, it might (probably will) oxidize the mead.

    Perhaps someone else knows how to get rid of DMS in mead?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Adding copper should take care of H2S and mercaptans. If it still smells off, you'll have to add some ascorbic acid(vitamin C) to help break down the more complex sulfides and disulfides to let the copper be effective. This can take a some time to work though.

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