View Full Version : Mold in Airlock?

11-21-2007, 11:31 PM
I had this great plan to make my first post tomorrow asking for some feedback on my next recipe and going over my limited mead making experience; However, it seems my airlock had other plans for me. So I am just going to jump right into my question, and make a proper introduction later.

After I finished bottling a one gallon batch of straight mead today I noticed that there was some mold hiding in the back of the airlock. This mead has been in the secondary for several months now, with Potassium Metabisulfite and Potassium Sorbate added soon after. I was going to fill the airlock with vodka at the time, but I was out, so I used a strong Gin instead. I thought the Gin would work just as well, I guess I was wrong.

Here is a picture of the mold itself. I would say that it is about 3/16" at it's widest point, it is maybe 1/8" thick and very smooth. It would apear to be about three-fourths black and one-fourth white in color.

Here is a (bad) picture of a bottle of the mead itself. It is fairly clear, smells fairly strong of alcohol, and tastes okay to me.

So what do the experets out there think, is it okay to drink, or am I going to be serving poison for Thanksgiving?

11-22-2007, 12:01 AM
Well, due to the airlock's design, although that's not the best place for a spot of mold to develop if the lock never dried out, or if you never had significant negative pressure (as in liquid sucked down into the carboy by the pressure differential), you should have no problems.

Your mead looks delightfully clear, BTW. Congrats on a job well done!

Also, most molds add a "moldy" flavor to the product when they infect a batch. If your mead tastes good (and not "musty") you are almost certainly fine.

11-22-2007, 12:11 AM
I've had the same experience with a spot of mold developing in the airlock after a couple months. So far, no lasting problems--just be sure to clean the airlock really well!

Yo momma
11-22-2007, 12:03 PM
I have had the same experience with the mold. Most experienced meaders use cheap vodka in the air locks. I have yet to do so. I just cannot bring myself to wasting good alchohol for this but if I keep having this problem......

11-22-2007, 12:19 PM
If you're reasonably sure that you won't get negative pressure (vacuum) in the carboy, then you can use a K-META solution or a sanitizer like Star-San in the airlock. The worst that will happen in the event that the pressure goes negative is a little sulfite or some organic phosphate acids get sucked into the brew, :icon_puke_r: but you won't have any mold in there! :toothy10:

11-22-2007, 02:34 PM
I agree, if it tastes fine it is probably okay.

Another tip, put StarSan mixture in airlock. It wont evaporate as fast as alcohol and is sterile. It is also food grade friendly so you dont have to worry about it if a drop or two gets into your mead when tranporting the carboy around.

Happy Thanksgiving.


11-23-2007, 05:06 AM
You may want to switch to double buble style. Ive always used those and never hand any mold. I got the glass ones online and i boil them for sanitation befor use. No sanitizer, chemicals, or vodka just water and thats always worked well for me!

11-24-2007, 07:58 PM
Thanks for all the replies. Since everyone pretty much agrees that it should be okay, I have been drinking the mead from that batch; and I have yet to get sick :icon_thumleft: I went ahead and bleached that airlock and put it back in service. I am going to start keeping a closer eye on these things so that it doesnít happen again.

On another note, I finally made what I had intended to be my first post (http://www.gotmead.com/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,412/topic,6110.0) over in the brew log. Iím taking every possible precaution not to get mold in this one!

11-24-2007, 10:53 PM
It's not a matter of whether you get sick, but whether it tastes good. If it tastes fine, then it's all good.