Mold in airlock water

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HeruRaHa

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Hey guys,

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?
 

Yooper

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It'll be fine. The purpose of the airlock is to keep those things from reaching the wine. I've found dead fruitflies in my airlocks quite a few times, and it's been fine.
 

oogaboogachiefwalkingdeer

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Run a siphon hose from fermenter airlock hole to a bottle of water that has a hole in the lid to accept hose plus a few small ones to let bubbles escape. No mess that way untill it calms a bit. Mke
 
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I have had this problem too. I actually had a batch that I let bulk age for almost a year that had the same problem. Wine was completely fine. I too have since switched to using cheap vodka because it can't hurt.
 

FuzzeWuzze

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Use cheap vodka in the airlock from now on. It's good security.
Or starsan mixture, the problem with vodka and other spirits is they will evaporate, which would be bad if you forgot to check them on long age carboys you stick away somewhere.
 

bigbeergeek

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Everything evaporates. Use single piece airlocks and the issue becomes all but moot.
 

Honda88

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or dont bulk age, free up a carboy and make more wine:)
 

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