View Full Version : First Time Making Mead. Worried About Infection!

09-14-2014, 01:21 PM
So I'm 48 hours into my first batch of mead and fermentation seems to be going really strong. My only concern is that sometime during the second night the color changed to a cloudier, slightly greener hue and the smell has gone from "cloves and nutmeg" to "unappetizingly fruity". I'm also worried about a build up of brownish gunk in the headspace of my carboy.

Here's the recipe I'm using:

1 gallon of Spring Water
Yeast: K1-V1116 Wine Yeast
Yeast Nutrient
1 Cinnamon stick
1 whole orange, sliced and peels included
1 pinch of allspice
1 pinch of nutmeg
3 1/2 pounds of clover honey
1 whole clove

No cooking, just mix and pitch.

Here are some photos to help with diagnosis. Thanks in advance for any guidance you can offer me!

09-14-2014, 03:22 PM
That actually looks pretty normal. Although with the K1V yeast instead of bread yeast (and no it will NOT make your mead tase bread like) will make this ferment completely dry, leaving no sugars to balance out the bitterness of the orange pith, or the spices. Maybe stabilise and backsweeten. I have my own batch of JAOM going as well, and ~20 test and full batches of different meads and melomels, with ~6 1/2 gallons aging, oaking, etc... But I am still learning more and more as I go along (gonna take YEARS longer to feel proficient at it though!). Following the JAOM recipe exactly for the first time at least is necessary to get the exact same product everyone else gets. Changing things like yeast is pretty major change.

For example the bread yeast poop out at ~12-13% ABV. The K1V will merrily go to 18% and even 20% ABV. So unless you have plans to step feed the thing to 18-20% then age it for a year and a half or longer...

My personal experiences and what I have read here and other places. YMMV

Good luck and WELCOME TO GOT MEAD!!!

We're friendly, don't bite, and have had our shots (well some of us any way ;D) Ask questions and they will be answered without harshing on you...

09-14-2014, 10:49 PM
It looks okay to me. You have to remember that yeast is in the mold family. It wont go 'colors' on you, but it is an active, living thing. "Bad" molds tend to form colonies that float in clumps or settle to the bottom and look 'angry', while yeast tends to stay suspended during active fermentation and eventually settle fairly evenly on the bottom as it slows.

09-15-2014, 02:26 AM
Take the orange peels out now if they have any pith in them its going to get bitter. K1V had a killer factor, it is pretty good at competing with other yeasts. WVMJ

09-15-2014, 03:40 PM
Take the orange peels out now if they have any pith in them its going to get bitter. K1V had a killer factor, it is pretty good at competing with other yeasts. WVMJ

When whole Orange is used in a JAO recipe, the bread yeast poops out at about 12% ABV, so there's enough residual sweetness to mask the pithy bitterness.

Whereas you've used K1V, which is a bit of a beast (a very good yeast for traditional recipe meads), and can easily take it dry, which would focus the taste on any bitterness - hence Jacks excellent suggestion of removing the peel if there's any pith left on.

If you find further down the line that there is a bitter hint, then you can just stabilise and back sweeten. Not like it's a disaster or anything. Just a bit of a mismatch........

09-16-2014, 02:52 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone! I'll get those piths out ASAP. I had no idea my yeast were that hardcore.