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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > port must gone mouldy is that bad?
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:56 PM   #1
corkey
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Default port must gone mouldy is that bad?

Hi all, I am glad I found you lot!
Me and me Girlfreind have begun the first brew of our life's, and we chose elderberry port as a starting point. The berries are from our back yard so its going to be a sentimental brew rather than sedimental, we hope. sorry..
So far as I have said the must is a mash of fresh berries, and the recipe is from an old book that I found. I have since learned that there are loads of ways to produce port, but none of the instructions I have read warn about the must going mouldy.
The yeast doesn't seem to be very active, there are a few bubbles in there but i don't know whats what any way so it could be just air bubbles that i can see.
Although it has been getting pushed back under the surface now and again, there is this light pink kind of mould sat on top of the pulped fruit. can we still brew it, or might it send us mad, or worse even give us belly ache!
Please help.

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Old 09-05-2008, 08:58 PM   #2
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It sounds like you have a krausen layer built up (this is normal). Could you take a picture and post it. That would help a lot.

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Old 09-05-2008, 09:28 PM   #3
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Do you have a recipe you can post? There's a lot of unanswered questions that could help point to a potential problem. For instance - when did you start the wine, how large a batch are you making, how many pounds of elderberries, how much sugar did you use, what was the starting gravity, what's the current gravity, what type of yeast did you pitch, haveyou punched down the cap twice a day? - you get the idea. If you can answer these basic questions someone might be able to figure out what you've done and where you're going with it, and also if you do indeed have a mold problem.

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Old 09-06-2008, 01:16 AM   #4
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Hello,
The recipe is...
4 1/2lb (2kg) Elderberry
18oz (500g) black currants
2lb 4oz (1kg) blackberries
2lb 4oz (1kg) raisins
5 1/2lb (2.6kg) sugar for brewing and wine making
2 tsp super wine yeast compound
1 tsp pectonase
8 tsp yeast nutrient and energiser salts
12-13g (1/2oz) tartaric acid
I have been trying to upload pics but I think that may be on the back burner for now, i seem to have lost the ability to work a computer.. I am having to re-typing this message after trying to post whilst not being logged in.
Ok, the must is 7 days old, the berries are very fresh and the other fruits are dried, after 24 hours from pulping I activated the yeast in a sterile bottle on some of the strained must that i had boiled and added it to the must. It did say on the label to add directly to the must but it was more entertaining to activate it independently. The yeast growing in the must doesn't have the same vigour as what was in the bottle, bubbles are sparse and look alot like bits of berry. The whole thing has patches of a kind of slik of these little pink bits.. hmm.
We have been giving it a bit of a poke and a stir a couple of times a day making sure pulp gets submerged. I have checked out a few pictures of krausen, it has a similar pink colour to some of the examples, but no real bubble action.
Thanks for the support.

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Old 09-06-2008, 02:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corkey View Post
Hello,
The recipe is...
4 1/2lb (2kg) Elderberry
18oz (500g) black currants
2lb 4oz (1kg) blackberries
2lb 4oz (1kg) raisins
5 1/2lb (2.6kg) sugar for brewing and wine making
2 tsp super wine yeast compound
1 tsp pectonase
8 tsp yeast nutrient and energiser salts
12-13g (1/2oz) tartaric acid
I have been trying to upload pics but I think that may be on the back burner for now, i seem to have lost the ability to work a computer.. I am having to re-typing this message after trying to post whilst not being logged in.
Ok, the must is 7 days old, the berries are very fresh and the other fruits are dried, after 24 hours from pulping I activated the yeast in a sterile bottle on some of the strained must that i had boiled and added it to the must. It did say on the label to add directly to the must but it was more entertaining to activate it independently. The yeast growing in the must doesn't have the same vigour as what was in the bottle, bubbles are sparse and look alot like bits of berry. The whole thing has patches of a kind of slik of these little pink bits.. hmm.
We have been giving it a bit of a poke and a stir a couple of times a day making sure pulp gets submerged. I have checked out a few pictures of krausen, it has a similar pink colour to some of the examples, but no real bubble action.
Thanks for the support.
What size batch is this?

Do you have a hydrometer? If you do, take an SG measurement today and tomorrow. It should be dropping, which means fermentation is progressing. You don't typically get alot of bubbles with many wine musts.

Do you have this in an open fermenter, or in a carboy with an airlock?
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Old 09-06-2008, 04:00 AM   #6
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Aside from the slight language difference, I think I understand the basic recipe. From the procedure you've described, and the ingredients and proportions you've used, I think you're fine with what you've done so far. I don't see a problem with mold at this point. As long as you've punched the cap down (or at least kept it moist) I think what you're seeing is probably bubbles, bits of fruit, or some sort of yeast activity. As Yooper indicated, get a hydrometer - you'll find it's your best friend and an essential part of brewing and wine making.

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Old 09-06-2008, 04:57 PM   #7
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Hello,
How do those in the know measure the size of a batch? I noticed that there was a few litres of must extra from when I first started, I never imagined that there would be that much juice in the berries. I have ended up with about 3 gallons.

We will be getting a hydrometer later, the home brew shop was closed again today (probably hangover eh?)

We had let the must sit in a large bin for 7 days, but it is now strained with added sugar and tartaric acid. I have put the stained must into a couple of airlocked demijohns...

It smells a bit vinegary.. but lovely too, can i taste it?

I am intending on leaving this stuff shelved for three years (if it's good).. Can anyone recommend a quick home brew kit?

Thanks again for your speedy response, Its re-assuring. I spent all summer tending the berry bushes, and nearly killed myself climbing the elder tree for the juiciest bunch i could see, it would be saddening to have it all go wrong now.

I'll get the pics up soon (cant find my usb cable) took some good shots this morning and they depict the top layer of stuff quite accuratley.

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Old 09-06-2008, 08:22 PM   #8
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Taste early and taste often. Learn to know what things SHOULD taste like, and you'll know when they go bad. Just keep your saliva out of the vat- no premature drooling.

You've made no mention of the addition of Campden tabs to your must. Campden kills the wilde beasties, like molds. Good Idea, eh? Add one tab per gallon when making, and again each time you rack it.

You might have an excellent batch of Elderberry vinegar going.

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