Seeking potential mead BOMM diagnosis for fermentation problem

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Gentle Jesus

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Hello,

I have recently started making mead because of the mead BOMM recipe due to the quick turn around time, however I was not successful in this endeavor and cannot figure out why. I have come here seeking the assistance on the issue in hopes of getting it resolved. Here is the link to the official mead BOMM recipe:

https://denardbrewing.com/blog/post/brays-one-month-mead/

I have followed this recipe using the 6a (Old Staggered Nutrient Protocol) path, and have been following it exactly.

Problem:

- After final gravity is attained ( just pushing 10 days ) there is a noticeable odor and taste of corn (potentially DMS). Taste and smell is fine up until final gravity is achieved.


Attempts to resolve the solution that have not been successful in eliminating, or even mitigating the corn smell/taste:

- Have been using Iodine solution to rinse and prepare carboys.
- Have used different varieties and brands of pasteurized honey.
- Have used different strains and brands of yeast.
- Have pitched enough healthy yeast into carboy.
- Have avoided higher temperatures ( >75F ).
- Sanitized all equipment that is used to pour nutrient additions into carboy.


Despite measures taken to ensure no contamination, the corn (maybe DMS) smell persists. As a result I have put mead making to a halt sadly. What do you think the problem is? Potential DAP off flavors?
 

bernardsmith

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Hi Gentle Jesus - and welcome. To the best of my limited knowledge DMS is a problem from which brewers might suffer but there are no precursors for DMS in honey. Honey is not malted and is not made from grains. I wonder if by DMS you mean H2S but that is caused by stressed yeast.
What variety of honey have you used? Perhaps what you call DMS is the particular aroma of the honey varietal you chose. IMO, east coast buckwheat honey tastes like the worse kind of barnyard - never in a good way, though but I wouldn't thnk of the smell or flavor of buckwheat being corn-like...

What different varieties of yeast did you pitch? Does that mean that you simply keep on adding a different yeast to the problem mead (some yeasts are killer strains so adding another yeast is like feeding a lion a rabbit and expecting the lions' den to become a rabbet warren. Ain't gonna happen.
 
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Gentle Jesus

Gentle Jesus

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Hi Gentle Jesus - and welcome. To the best of my limited knowledge DMS is a problem from which brewers might suffer but there are no precursors for DMS in honey. Honey is not malted and is not made from grains. I wonder if by DMS you mean H2S but that is caused by stressed yeast.
What variety of honey have you used? Perhaps what you call DMS is the particular aroma of the honey varietal you chose. IMO, east coast buckwheat honey tastes like the worse kind of barnyard - never in a good way, though but I wouldn't thnk of the smell or flavor of buckwheat being corn-like...

What different varieties of yeast did you pitch? Does that mean that you simply keep on adding a different yeast to the problem mead (some yeasts are killer strains so adding another yeast is like feeding a lion a rabbit and expecting the lions' den to become a rabbet warren. Ain't gonna happen.
Thanks for the reply. I have added pasteurized clover honey, orange blossom and wildflower honey. I think the only reason I said DMS is because that is what it reminds me of the most as I have no experience with H2S. Any time I have tried new yeast it was with a completely different batch (new honey, nutrients, water ). The yeast I have tried are WLP 570, WLP 575, Wyeast 1388, wyeast 3463.

Now that I am looking back at the recipe, there seems to be a new nutrient step that replaces DAP with Fermaid O I believe. Would DAP have anything to do with the off flavor or the H2S problem?
 

bernardsmith

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Never made BOMM because this really uses 1388 and my LHBS does not stock slap packs (too unreliable), but DAP can create off flavors and underloading the nutrients can result in stressed yeast. Stressed yeast can produce H2S (smells like rotten eggs or sewer gas - folk around this forum refer H2S as rhino farts). There is a second order problem that stressed yeast can produce and that is mercaptans (smells like burnt matches). H2S is relatively easy to remove (whipping air into the mead and /or ensuring a more active vigorous fermentation. Mercaptans are not so easy to remove (some say all but impossible to remove) but copper (or copper sulfate) is sometimes used. (copper sulfate can be toxic but copper scouring wool can be attached to the end tip of your siphon and you rack the mead through the copper wool.
 
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Gentle Jesus

Gentle Jesus

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It could be that the yeast is stressed, but the flavor is more reminiscent corn rather than eggs or sulfur.
 

loveofrose

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A few questions to try and diagnose the issue:
1. What is the temperature of your ferment?
2. Have you tried a different, non-iodine based sanitizer? I’ve never used that one. Maybe the yeast don’t like it.
3. Have you tried a new carboy? Perhaps yours is contaminated with a DMS producing bacteria. Try fermenting directly in the spring water jug. Plastic or glass?
4. Are your nutrients a fine powder or has moisture seeped in to make them clumpy? Moisture in nutrients leads to lots of bad things.
 
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Gentle Jesus

Gentle Jesus

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A few questions to try and diagnose the issue:
1. What is the temperature of your ferment?
2. Have you tried a different, non-iodine based sanitizer? I’ve never used that one. Maybe the yeast don’t like it.
3. Have you tried a new carboy? Perhaps yours is contaminated with a DMS producing bacteria. Try fermenting directly in the spring water jug. Plastic or glass?
4. Are your nutrients a fine powder or has moisture seeped in to make them clumpy? Moisture in nutrients leads to lots of bad things.

1. Ferment Temp is 70F
2. I have only been using iodine. Would Star San be ideal here?
3. I could try a new carboy, although I have made some beer in them since then and it was fine.
4. nutrients were fairly fresh and not clumpy.
 

bernardsmith

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Potassium Meta-Bi-Sulfite (K-meta) is more commonly used by wine makers , not least because at higher concentrations it can be used to sanitize (with SO2) and at lower doses it is used to inhibit oxidation and to eliminate indigenous yeasts. Iodine and/or iodine tends to be more commonly used by brewers...
 

Drewed

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1. Ferment Temp is 70F
2. I have only been using iodine. Would Star San be ideal here?
3. I could try a new carboy, although I have made some beer in them since then and it was fine.
4. nutrients were fairly fresh and not clumpy.
1. Yes, Star San would be ideal. This is all I use when making BOMM.
2. Just for grins, buy a gallon of DRINKING water ( not distilled or RO ) and use that along with the gallon jug that it came in for fermenting the next batch. That will eliminate both your water and fermenter
3. Use Wyeast 1388. It is known to work and not have off flavors. No starter is needed for this one gallon experiment
4. I like the Fermaid - O protocol, as I feel that I can taste the DAP.
Pasteurization of the honey is not needed. If you can find some "raw" honey cheaply, go with that. Better would be to find a local bee keeper and buy from them, but some bee keeps think their city gathered honey is worth its weight in gold, and they should be avoided - but most are good people.
 
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Gentle Jesus

Gentle Jesus

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1. Yes, Star San would be ideal. This is all I use when making BOMM.
2. Just for grins, buy a gallon of DRINKING water ( not distilled or RO ) and use that along with the gallon jug that it came in for fermenting the next batch. That will eliminate both your water and fermenter
3. Use Wyeast 1388. It is known to work and not have off flavors. No starter is needed for this one gallon experiment
4. I like the Fermaid - O protocol, as I feel that I can taste the DAP.
Pasteurization of the honey is not needed. If you can find some "raw" honey cheaply, go with that. Better would be to find a local bee keeper and buy from them, but some bee keeps think their city gathered honey is worth its weight in gold, and they should be avoided - but most are good people.
Ok thank you. The only reason I use the WLP 570 is because I live 20 mins away from an actual White Labs facility (Wyeast is hard to find here in San Diego). I have used the Wyeast 1388 and it was very similar to the 570. I will definitely pick up some star San and fermaid o.
 

Drewed

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Ok thank you. The only reason I use the WLP 570 is because I live 20 mins away from an actual White Labs facility (Wyeast is hard to find here in San Diego). I have used the Wyeast 1388 and it was very similar to the 570. I will definitely pick up some star San and fermaid o.
Hey if it works for you then go for it! I prefer White Labs over Wyeast, and Omega over both, but I live in WI and Omega is just over the boarder in IL.
 
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