View Full Version : "Swirl" at the top of the mead?

03-31-2009, 08:53 AM
Got 1 gallon that I made on 7-22-08,was racked on 9-9-08.I made it with 3lb's honey,1tsp nutrient,1/2tsp enegizer and Lalvin 71B-1122.It is still hazy,and has kind of a cloudy swirl at the top.Some debris can be seen,and some are stuck to the glass at the top.I tasted it,and it tasted good,but was sweeter that I thought it should be for the yeast used.Is this normal?Is the fermentation stuck or is it just not done?

Medsen Fey
03-31-2009, 10:57 AM
High nsl,

It is fairly common to have some yeast trapped on the surface and stuck to the sides of the carboy during (and immediately after) fermentation, but after it has been racked they are usually gone. I cannot say for certain what the swirl is, perhaps a picture or some further description can help. What color is it? Any tendrils extending down into the mead? How much headspace do you have? Any aroma of vinegar when you give it a sniff?

If something is growing on top of a sweet mead, there is a strong chance that it is a spoilage organism, and when in doubt I would rack it and sulfite it well.

We can tell you more if you give us all the details of the mead and recipe in a fashion like the brewlogs of Pbakulic. We need to know what was the starting gravity? What is the gravity now? Is the gravity still dropping? How did you rehydrate the yeast? What was the temperature? Have you checked the pH? Did you aerate? and so forth...

With that information, folks can give you better answers.


03-31-2009, 10:50 PM
I have this same kind of issue, It is a traditional mead used 71b yeast also. SG 30, ended at 1-2 brix
It has been racked to glass and fined(sparkalode).
There is a cloud at the top now, it seems to be growing with tendrils coming down.:o

In the back of my mind I think I have heard what this was but don't remeber.

Any help would be great...

03-31-2009, 11:06 PM
Tendrils coming down is not typically a characteristic of yeast-related scum. You may have the beginnings of a bacterial or fungus infection. I would suggest racking out from under that stuff, and perhaps treating the clear result with metabisulfite, just to be safe. If you detect any off-odor from the carboy, then by all means rack it ASAP, taking care to not get any of that stuff along with the racking, and certainly sulfite it then.

04-01-2009, 11:08 PM
Once you've racked (be sure to leave a wide margin between what you rack and the questionable stuff) pour the remaining liquid into a bowl and check to see if it is gelatinous, vinegary, etc. and let us know.

Cheers, Oskaar