I've been practicing home winemaking for about 6 months now, and I've got a few gallons of various things bulk-aging in the closet.
I've always used boiled distilled water in my airlocks, and have never had a problem, but today I went to peek at my bulk-aging carboys, and my first batch (a semi-sweet mead) appears to have some kind of mold growth in the airlock, on the surface of the water.
I gave the mead a quick sniff, and it doesn't smell off or anything... and I'm about due for another racking here anyways, but should I be concerned about a possible infection of my wine? The airlock water should have kept those nasties at bay, right? To my knowledge, there hasn't been any suck-back, and I don't see why there would be during bulk-aging.
Should I not be using airlocks during aging? After today, I've already decided to use vodka instead of water, but I'm worried about my first batch being ruined now
Is there any way to test it? At ~14% alcohol, having been sulfited a few months ago, should I just RDWHAHB?