View Full Version : moldy mead

08-25-2007, 08:37 PM
I am new to mead and I am only about 6 weeks into my first batch. A white frothy substance started to form on the surface of my mead and I was told by someone that works at my local brew store that it is mold and that I should rerack the mead asap leaving the mold behind. As soon as I bagan siphoning the mead out some of the mold started sinking. Not knowing what else to do I put some crushed campden tablets in the second carboy with the mead. Should this prevent future mold from growing?

08-25-2007, 10:39 PM
Well... a couple of things need to be said here. First, I don't think that anyone, even at the LHBS, can tell if the white frothy stuff is indeed mold just from your description. Meads often have a kind of white foamy stuff that forms on top as the fermentation finishes, and after a few weeks, that disappears. It isn't mold, and it isn't a problem.

That said, if the stuff stayed clumped together and actually sank to the bottom (not just dissolved back into the liquid), then the campden tablets should take care of it, for a while anyway.

Mold doesn't usually grow in meads, unless proper sanitation procedures aren't followed. It's actually kind of difficult to get mold to grow once most of the honey is fermented out, since there aren't any complex sugars or starches present in finished mead like can be found in beers, so there is very little for the mold to grow on.

Of course, it can happen, so you've done the right thing by sulfiting the must. How far along was the fermentation when this happened? Do you have any SG readings? It's hard to know just by the amount of time elapsed exactly where your mead is in the fermentation process.

08-26-2007, 01:36 AM
I fully back wayneb. I know theres always a foamy thing on anything I ferment. In the beer world they call it krausen and they actually use it to start new batches of beer!! Was this foam color odd mines often white with a tinge of what ever color my must is. Keeping that in mind Iíve never tried to rack Away the Krausen so I don't know how it would react. Although I donít think it would clump up and sink unless it was very dense. Also pleas post your whole recipes so everyone can get a better Idea of whatís happening.

08-26-2007, 02:25 AM
Yes. Please post your recipe in bullet format so we can give you a true evaluation. 6 Weeks is a long time for primary fermentation if you follow the NSA guidelines in the FAQs and forum posts.

There are a lot of experts here, Wayne is one of them. Tell him what you've done to get where you are and he can help you. And, on the off chance, maybe some of the others of us can give you some advice. If Wayne doesn't know, Oskaar will. But that's the beauty of this site. YOU WILL FIND AN ANSWER! Just be patient.

08-27-2007, 12:30 AM
Thank you for the quick replies everyone.

The recipe I used was very basic since this is my first atempt. It is a 5 gal batch and all I added was 15lbs of an orange blossom/clover honey mix and then yeast nutrient and energizer. The original sg was 1.10, I racked after one week with a sg of 1.057, then reracked 4 weeks later to get rid of what I was told was mold at an sg of 1.022. Although I am new to mead I have made beer and wine before and never had any problems due to sanitation. The white frothy stuff was clumped together and was about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch above the surface of the mead.


08-27-2007, 01:41 AM
Do you mean on the glass of the carboy or as a hill like clump??

08-27-2007, 02:12 AM
hill like clump floating on the surface of the mead

08-27-2007, 11:15 AM
hill like clump floating on the surface of the mead

Yeah - that is starting to sound more like mold, and less like the usual mead foam residue.

08-27-2007, 08:02 PM
Yup sounds like somthing that shouldnt be there. keep a close eye on this one both through fermentation and botteling. I wouldnt give this out as a gift.

08-29-2007, 08:02 PM
I seem to have the same problem! :confused2:

I am just starting my rhubarb-strawberry-ginger mead based on a recipe i found here http://www.rhubarbinfo.com/recipe-wine.html#index_wine_16 with a couple modifications, basically increasing the amount of fruit and corn sugar/honey. This is as far as I've gotten so far:

8 lbs frozen strawberries
9 lbs frozen rhubarb
3 lbs corn sugar
3 lbs honey

"Thaw frozen fruit and mix with corn sugar in the bottom of the fermenter and leave to sit for two days. (Don't worry about the fruit spoiling. The sugar acts as a humectant, preventing the growth of spoilage organisms. Also, if you buy or pick fresh fruit, freeze it before you begin.)"

actually I left it in for 3 days because of my work schedule but opened the lid today to finish the mead and there is a snow white mold growing on top of the fruit in little clusters where the peaks of the fruit pieces are sticking out of the juice/sugar mix. At first i hoped it was just crystallized corn sugar, but the must definitely has the smell of an active fermentation. :sad2:

So I'm off to the store to get more honey and my question is this: is there anything I can do to save this batch? I really dont want to waste the ingredients I've used so far so I'm thinking about trying to sulfite the must and then use a strong yeast such as K1-1116 or mb EC-1118 to kill off the wild yeasts in there. However, if there is absolutely no chance of getting a drinkable mead from this I guess I wouldnt want to waste the carboy space for the next several months either.

Any help is appreciated, I'm desperate!!! :help:

08-29-2007, 08:19 PM
Hey Beninak
I am nobody's expert, but were I in your position I would (after asking help here) sulfite, physically remove any visable mold and likely use k1v as you've already mentioned. I hate to throw out anything before giving it a chance. Keep in mind I have little real experience, but the aforemention ideas seem as though they wouldn't produce an unhealthy mead, perhaps not as tasty as possible but not likely toxic.

08-29-2007, 08:29 PM
when i had a beer goin that got some mold on it the LHBS told me that the worst that could happen was that somebody could get the squirts. it actually turned out well, i left it on the trub a bit to long, but that was the only flavor defect. ive been told that theres usually a bit of a sour taste from the mold, but i could barely taste it in mine. nobody that drank it complained about any health issues, and a few times i drank somewhere between 10 and 20 of them at once and i was fine so i dunno......

08-30-2007, 11:07 PM
You could just re pasteurize or even bring it to a full boil Gasp! :o of course youíll be killing your yeast off to and have to re start it but hey lesson learned right. The only reason I say boil is id be a little scared that the mold would still be living in the nooks and crannies of the strawberries. A long pasteurization might be another way of solving this same problem. boiling will definitely effect the flavor profile as will any heating of the fruit, so maybe throw some malt in there make it a Braggot if you chose to pasteurize, or hops for a Tej if you boil it and turn it into a style you havent tried yet. That way the fruits and veggies can play back court to some other flavors if you chose to use heat instead of sulfites.