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Thread: Tiny white worms in Mead

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    upstate ny
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    Default Tiny white worms in Mead

    So....... my 15-gallon batch of mead that has been fermenting since late May finally stopped bubbling in the air lock. Used 44-lbs of honey and 11-gallons of purified water. Poured some into a glass from the bottom spigot to test before I was going to gravity transfer into the secondary for aging. My daughter saw a few very tiny white worms floating in the glass... I needed to put on my glasses to see them. The primary and everything else was properly sanitized. I did not bring the must to boil as recommended. Could these have come from the honey. Taste was fine, still a bit cloudy. I tried googling and found nothing. Any help/ideas would be appreciated. 15-gallons down the drain since my family is now traumatized and will not drink it even if it is correctable.

    Thanks Again,
    Bill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Brookline, NH
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    What was your ABV and final gravity?

    Did you use unfiltered honey? I'm wondering if it could be bee larva?

    http://team214.weebly.com/uploads/6/...62021_orig.jpg

    Not uncommon to find bees and parts in unfiltered honey. Did you already throw it out? I would think (hope) that it would have all settled to the bottom, so you could use a siphon and rack off the top 75%, rather than tossing it. For your own personal consumption. :-)
    Last edited by darigoni; 08-13-2017 at 01:10 PM.

  3. Default

    Did you harvest the honey? If so, was a queen excluder used. Or was there a wax moth, or hive beetle problem?

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  4. #4
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    upstate ny
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    Hi - I looked at bee larvae pictures - didn't look like that. These were skinny white with a dark head. I did not bother to test it after seeing the worms. I poured out 1/2-gallon into a 1-gallon jug and we don't see any worms. I poured some more into a glass and nothing. I'm wondering now if the worms are fruit fly larvae that were in the valve's barbed hose connection from previous sampling - residual mead in the fitting. The more I think about it the more convinced I am that is what happened. So I'm going to transfer into the secondary.

  5. #5
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    upstate ny
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    Hi - store/stand purchased honey from several different regional sources.

  6. #6

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    Could it be larvae that might have been laid in the spicket before you mixed up your must? Or the same only laid after you mixed it up? Look up Varroa mites and see if they look like that.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  7. #7
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    upstate ny
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    Hi - spigot and fittings were all sanitized. Different looking than mites, look like fruit fly maggots. I think/hope they were just in the ball lock spigot fitting's outlet side and the worms got washed out when I opened it to test. I have tested the batch three times prior and suspect the residual mead attracted fruit flies.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Brookline, NH
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualab View Post
    Hi - spigot and fittings were all sanitized. Different looking than mites, look like fruit fly maggots. I think/hope they were just in the ball lock spigot fitting's outlet side and the worms got washed out when I opened it to test. I have tested the batch three times prior and suspect the residual mead attracted fruit flies.
    Sounds like a plausible explanation. :-)

  9. #9

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    Gross. Thanks for the cautionary tale. We should be putting jimmy hats on our spigots from now on.


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  10. #10
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    Jun 2012
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    upstate ny
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    Yeah... This is the first time I have used this type of setup for mead. I used to use glass carboys so I never experienced this problem before. Now I use 6-gallon and 15-gallon poly tanks made by Catalyst that have a bottom bulkhead that I attach a ball valve to. I have been using these for wine making for a couple of years now and like them a lot. It's my own fault - never considered residual in the fitting attracting flies. From here on out I will not attach a sanitary to barb fitting on the downside of the ball valve until I am ready to transfer contents. I just removed the sanitary to barb fittings that I had on my other Catalyst tanks that I am presently aging wine in.

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