Originally Posted by sashurlow
So this is an extension from my moldy mess post.
I put 2 cambden tabs (crushed) in a starter for plum wine that was infected. Less than 24 hours later I look into it and its bubling away. Since this is now officially a "lessons learned" batch, I put in my brewers yeast (english cider).
So my question is what the heck is growing in there? I admit that my plums came off of the ground and the plums I did not take were covered in what appeared to be yeast. So I know there is natural growth in there. I did not put cambden in originally (lesson learned). So what is immune to cambden?
Its got an acetone scent to it. Is that just the natural yeasts being different than brewers yeast?
At least my first brew was a brew that I care less about than whats coming up this fall.
Campden doesn't kill every microbe. But adding it to the must at the very beginning (before the yeast) minimizes the microbes and allows the yeast to outcompete the other microbes so that you don't get an infection.
You may have wild yeast, bacteria, or fungi in there or all of the above. Adding the campden after the must is infected won't do very much, unless you used a LOT of campden. Normally, you use one campden tablet per gallon as an antioxidant and preservative. Once you have an infection, you'd probably have to boil the wine to kill the microbes or oversulfite quite a bit. Even if you kill the infection now, you won't change the flavor that has already taken on the character of the mold/mildew/yeast/bacteria or whatever it is.