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Problems in primary?

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Registered Member
Jul 6, 2005

I'm seeing some weirdness out of a batch i started last week, and thought I'd ask here...

On 7/16, I started a batch:

12 lbs "Virginia Brand" Clover Honey
2 tsp nutrient
1 tsp energizer
4 gal water
10 g Lalvin D-47

Followed the process from Schramm's book, for the first mead. Pitched the yeast at 68 deg F; the OG was 1.094.

I then poured off about 1 gal of the must, splitting it between two 1 gal jugs (I wanted to experiment with OJ and with black cherry juice, respectively), leaving the remaining ~4 gals in the fermentation bucket.

Now, everything seemed to be going ok with the bucket until yesterday. the smell of the airlock seemed a little yeasty (whereas it had had a nice honey aroma during the week). and, in the bottom of the airlock, whereas the bubbles had looked like condensation, they now looked like a spiral of soap bubbles (larger, and strung together). (Modified to add: Oh, yeah... yesterday, it almost seemed like the bubbling had gotten more aggressive, and continues to seem that way today!)

Today, I take a look, and I notice the following:
  • The vodka in the airlock now looks cloudy
  • The (faint) yeast smell remains
  • The large bubbles have moved to the top of the dome in the airlock.

I haven't done that many batches, but I've never seen this before. Is this a problem (and if so, what should I do)?

Here's a picture of the airlock...

(BTW -- new bucket; first batch of mead for it. the other two gallon jugs aren't exhibiting this problem...)



(Edited on 8/4 to take the photo out of the post, and just make it a URL link...)

David Baldwin

Registered Member
Jun 29, 2004
Grand Rapids, MI

Good picture - that really helps.

It looks like a picture of my own airlock during the primary on my batch of D47 mead.

I was changing out the air lock and cleaning it twice a day during the first few days of primary until I gave up and installed a blow-off tube.

My batch of D47 went through a wide range of odors through the stages of fermentation. From what you've noticed so far, I'd say that it's right on track.

Sounds to me like you're on your way to a nice mead.



Registered Member
Jan 9, 2004
I don’t think you have a problem, just a vigorous fermentation. Looks like you just got a little must bubbling into the airlock, just wash it out and pop it back in. Next time you may consider constructing a blow off tube for the first few days instead.
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