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First batch lost ... hoping to avoid the mistake in next batch

African Bronze Honey - 50% off for GotMead members


Registered Member
Nov 5, 2017
Hi all, below are the notes I kept from the batch:

  • Honey: 18 lbs Carrot Blossom from Flying Bee Ranch in Oregon
  • Bottled spring water to get to 5 gallons
  • Yeast:Red Star Cotes des Blanc (E491)

Yeast Starter:
  • 800 ml water
  • 1 TBSP malt extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp yeast nutrient
  • (1) mix in flask, loose-fitting tinfoil cap
  • (2) heat over low/med to boil, simmer 5 minutes
  • (3) allow to cool
  • (4) add 1 package yeast, put on stir plate for 24 hours

Date & notes
  • 10/08/2017 O.G. 1.122
  • 10/09/2017 Degassed, aerated, added 1 tsp Fermaid-K
  • 10/11/2017 Gravity 1.090. Degassed, aerated, added 1 tsp Fermaid-K
  • 10/14/2017 Fermentation stopped
  • 10/21/2017 Transferred to secondary. S.G. 1.022
  • 03/19/2018 (hey, life is busy) bottled

For the secondary I used a "Big Mouth Bubbler", link" https://www.northernbrewer.com/collections/big-mouth-bubbler/products/siphonless-big-mouth-bubbler-ported-5-gallon

I have linked two photos.
First photo is before I shake the bottle; the mead is basically clear but with a thick layer of something resting at the bottom.
Second photo is just after I inverted the bottle one time and all the junk is beginning to swirl around.

I think this is mold? It's definitely some kind of nastiness and it's in every bottle. The flavor is a chemical off-taste. (I tasted before I noticed the junk floating in the bottle. :-X ) Best way I can describe what's floating in there is a like a liquid form of smoke.

I was very disappointed losing this batch as the honey was quite expensive. Guess I should have used a cheap honey for the first try. :p

Some questions, if I may...
  • You figure the bacteria got in during secondary? I used star-san to disinfect everything (primary bucket, secondary fermenter, bottles, all equipment) but perhaps I did a poor job of it?
  • Next batch I'm going for a sack mead, syrupy sweet with high alcohol.
  • How much honey for a 5 gallon batch? 20-24 lbs?
  • Which yeast? I was thinking Lalvin DV10 ?

Thank you fellow mead-sters.
African Bronze Honey - 50% off for GotMead members