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Old 06-16-2009, 01:03 AM   #1
Azurescens
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Default Do I have an infection?

Today I noticed a thin, sticky-looking, white film on the surface of my mead. I've been reading threads and looking at pics trying to decide if I have a problem or not. I keep flip-flopping between "I think that's normal" and "oh crap I'm breeding bugs" so I thought I'd ask for some more experienced opinions

Its a straight up OB mead with no fruit or other additions and has been in secondary for 15 days. I have way more air space than I should have but it seemed to still be fermenting pretty vigorously when I racked it and I hoped it would produce enough CO2 to protect it. I'm planning on topping up at the next racking. Here's how it looks:



and more pics are at Flickr: pcazurescens' Photostream

What Yall think?

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Old 06-16-2009, 01:45 AM   #2
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I am no expert. How does it taste? I know a 1g batch is hard to keep taking samples of, but does it taste "off" in any way.

I'd probably do one of two things - rack from under it and see if it reforms on the next racking (also consider topping up a little to reduce that headspace) - or sulfite it and rack from under it (and consider topping up).

That said, I'm a mead n00b. All I know is when I got infected - I knew it because it was a big fuzzy white ball with tentacles hanging off it.

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Old 06-16-2009, 03:17 AM   #3
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I'm not sure how it tastes. I didn't want to open it anymore than I have to so I was gonna wait until the next racking to check for any odd odors/tastes. I should probably go ahead and do that soon in case it is infected.

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Old 06-16-2009, 03:34 AM   #4
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I don't know if you have an infection but your mead doesn't look like it does. If it was still fermenting when you racked it, you probably slowed the yeast down considerably and it took a couple weeks to build up enough yeast to finish up. How long did you let it ferment and what was the gravity when you racked?

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Old 06-16-2009, 02:38 PM   #5
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just taste it. sanitize a turkey baster and go for it.

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Old 06-16-2009, 04:02 PM   #6
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It looks very much like a normal yeast protein film from the photos, so unless you see whitish tendrils descending into the bulk of the must from those whitish areas floating on top, I think you have nothing to worry about. I would open the carboy one more time and sniff the contents. If it smells like mead (young mead, with yeast aromas still present) then all is probably well. One more quick exposure to the air for this sniff test won't hurt anything, as the mead is still likely outgassing CO2 at this point. You can even take a taste, as some others have suggested, if you have a wine thief (or a turkey baster) that you can sanitize and pull a sample with.

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Old 06-16-2009, 11:44 PM   #7
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The OG was 1.112 and it was down to 1.017 when I racked after 20 days. There aren't any tendrils or anything, just that really thin mat of white on the surface. I pulled the stopper and gave it a quick sniff. I've never brewed (or even tasted) mead before so I don't have a point of reference for how it should smell. It really doesn't have much of an odor at all but there's nothing I would describe as "bad" in what little it does have. I'm about to be late for an engagement this evening so tasting will have to wait until tomorrow when I have time to properly sanitize. At least I'm not nearly as worried after the feedback.

Thanks, guys!

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