Is my wild fermented mead moody? New brewer..

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blakebluh

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I just started brewing mead, and Im not sure if my mead is moldy. It's just basically honey and water with some organic raisins to help the fermentation (I'm trying to do a wild fermentation in the same way Vikings used to). Let me know what you guys think?
 

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bernardsmith

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Don't know if it's moldy but the raisins - organic or not are unlikely to do diddly squat for your fermentation. They do not possess useful nutrients in enough quantities and they may have been washed in sorbates so they will kill any indigenous yeast that your honey may possess. Of course if your honey ain't raw it won't have any viable yeast cells but that goes without saying, doesn't it?
 

S-Met

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I would wait for someone more experienced to provide input before throwing out, but definitely looks like the beginning of mold/infection. It may be the pic, but looks like tiny spiculated bacterial formation. May be good or bad bacteria though.
 

wildmazer

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Yep, that's mold.

I don't know about the vikings, but I've been doing all-wild meadmaking for a few years and I've found that it's almost always better to work up an active yeast culture to pitch - that way you're not gambling all your honey on catching something before you get an infection.
 

MarshmallowBlue

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Yep, that's mold.

I don't know about the vikings, but I've been doing all-wild meadmaking for a few years and I've found that it's almost always better to work up an active yeast culture to pitch - that way you're not gambling all your honey on catching something before you get an infection.
This is the way to do it. Get a starter going either by using ingredients that likely contain wild yeast, or totally raw honey diluted to a typical starter's gravity. Make sure what grows is kosher, then add to a full size batch.

Also +1, it's mold.

Edit: Also yeah, as Rph Guy says below, time to dump. Try to build a wild starter first before adding to a full must.
 
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bernardsmith

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:off:Apologies for appearing to hijack this thread but what's all the focus on Vikings and mead? Mead is found in every continent and was possibly the first deliberately made alcoholic drink. And PS most of what most people know about the Vikings is arrant nonsense. They were more like the Amish who left their families and farms for a few months in the year and went sailing. They terrified the monks and priests because of their pagan ways and who then invented all kinds of ideas about them (Horned helmets? Rape and pillage? - sigh) that spoke more to their fears than the actions of those kids who stepped ashore on foreign lands.
 
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RPh_Guy

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:off:Apologies for appearing to hijack this thread but what's all the focus on Vikings and mead? Mead is found in every continent and was possibly the first deliberately made alcoholic drink. And PS most of what most people know about the Vikings is arrant nonsense. They were more like the Amish who left their families and farms for a few months in the year and went sailing. They terrified the monks and priests because of their pagan ways and who invented all kinds of ideas about them (Horned helmets? Rape and pillage? - sigh) that spoke more to their fears than the actions of those kids who stepped ashore on foreign lands.
I've been looking for a good Amish mead recipe, any ideas?
 

bernardsmith

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Sorry.:no: But I can give you a good Ethiopian recipe for their indigenous mead- T'ej. But for that you need to get some gesho (twigs (inchet) or leaves (kitel)) :yes:- or you could make an American variation on that mead using hops in place of gesho.
 

Ryue

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:off:Apologies for appearing to hijack this thread but what's all the focus on Vikings and mead? Mead is found in every continent and was possibly the first deliberately made alcoholic drink. And PS most of what most people know about the Vikings is arrant nonsense. They were more like the Amish who left their families and farms for a few months in the year and went sailing. They terrified the monks and priests because of their pagan ways and who invented all kinds of ideas about them (Horned helmets? Rape and pillage? - sigh) that spoke more to their fears than the actions of those kids who stepped ashore on foreign lands.
Recent years have seen a intense raise in Viking interest in popculture with the tv show Vikings on history channel and various other shows. This on top of the fact that mead is also on the rise, its a easy connection.

On the note of Vikings, I am far from a historian, but do have strong Scandinavian blood in me and a avid Viking and Norse Mythology enthusiast.
Yes, there are a lot of common misconceptions about Vikings (like the horn helmets, as you said) but they were indeed a raiding cilture and one can only imagine what went on durring those raids (same as every other culture or war in history...) If you look into their mythology, they have quite a handful of war or battle gods as well as the majority of the epics that have been recovered from Scandinavia talk of epic battle heroes. Or take Ragnarok for example: the epic war/battle betwern the gods and giants/gods/beasts in which everyone dies and the world comes to an end.

Sorry, rant over, this is a topic I can talk about all day.. ask anyone I work with. Lol
 

bernardsmith

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No argument from me but it would be good if mead makers acknowledged more, the fact that meads are found throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia (Australia, I don't know.-Antartica - I don't know either) rather than focusing on a tiny piece of land in Northern Europe which by all accounts its inhabitants were far more pastoral than warlike. If people need to look to warrior myths from a fictitious past to give their lives some meaning that's their business. I prefer to learn from all peoples how they made their wines (fruits) , meads (honeys) and beers (grains), and what meanings they understood from those drinks (Compare Buhner's work)
 

Ryue

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I agree that there is something to be learned from every culture and what mead meant to them and you shouldnt count out the others just because one civilization is popular at the moment.

While there is no denying that the vast majority of Vikings were farmers, they were also some of the most feared and skilled warriors. They concured the majority of England, france, down into the mediterranian and were know as the scourge of England for a long time. I think saying they were mostly just farmers isn't giving them enough credit. Their land was also very rugged and not that great for growing food, so raiding to the east (and eventual England and so-on) was a necessary part of survival.
 

bernardsmith

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As an expat-Scot (not a celt) I have no argument with what you say but the Vikings were more than warriors and their artistry with metal was incredible. Healthier for all of us to focus -these days - on gentler and more humane aspects of our mammalian character than on our supposed love of aggression and passion for violence....
 

Ryue

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I don't know if I entirely agree with that. I know I will probably get a lot of flack for this, but I think - to a degree - we need to get back to our roots, be that as a single person, country or world. Not that you should grab some axes and swords and go rape, pillage and plunder, but all this "be nice, dont say anything that might offend someone, just walk away" is a load of crap. No. People need to learn to stand up for themselves again and not take any crap. Maybe it's because I work and grew up in an environment where having thick skin was/is a necessary part of life, but I think we (particularly us Americans) have gone soft. IMHO
 

Ryue

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But I do agree that some of the stuff the Vikings made are extremely well made and beautifully crafted. I have my eyes on a set of replicated "silverware" from the late Viking era. Unfortunately its an expensive hobby when it comes to collecting..
 

bernardsmith

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:off: I don't know that being more open to other cultures and their ways of knowing has anything to do with your
"be nice, dont say anything that might offend someone, just walk away". Trying to understand and make sense of other people is not "being soft". It's being open and welcoming and it's understanding that every one can learn something from others and that no one culture or civilization has the monopoly on being human. That is a basic principle of anthropology: how do I make good sense of your good sense when your good sense is very different from mine.
The opposite stance - treating such attempts of understanding as being "soft" typically ends in a struggle to get the other to accept "my" good sense as their "good sense" - even if that means we need to wrestle them down until they cry "uncle"...
 
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Ryue

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I don't mean to say that you shouldn't try to understand other cultures, simply that in recent years (or so it seems to me.. ) we have taken the position of doing whatever it takes to make everyone else happy while not taking care of our own, and in doing so let others walk all over us doing whatever they want.
In short, I mean to say that we need to learn to say "enough is enough" and put the foot down.
 

bernardsmith

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hard to see anyone walking all over this country and harder not see how many we walk all over as we stamp our feet hard on them.... but I guess there are folk in this country who call up, down, day , night, left, right and insight, stupidity... I am, however, not one of them. But let's leave this thread to a discussion on mead...
 
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