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rubber taste? whats going on?

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remarkable

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 2, 2014
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So I've been dabbling with some very small batches to see if I'm game for this whole mead thing. I recently racked 1 gallon made from 3/4 g spring water, 3 pounds of "ambrosia" lightly filtered honey, a peach, and some raisins, it fermented nicely for 5 weeks (but I didn't rack until 6 weeks), it tasted fine if only a little bland at this point, I put it into 2 half gallon glass jugs and stopped them with 2 shiny new (sanitized) rubber stoppers and airlocks. 1 week later my whole batch reeks of and tastes like the rubber stoppers. The mead was only 1/2 inch below the stopper and it never touched it. Is something else the matter here? Or isnit really just the smell of the stopper getting into the mead? As far as I can tell it is not oxidized (although I have no idea what sherry/port tastes like, and it Definitely doesn't taste like cardboard) nor infected, since other than the rubber taste it tastes fine.
 

Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
Moderator
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 27, 2010
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Ottawa, ON
Take a small amount of your mead and put it in a plastic bottle with lots of headspace... shake the ever-living #$!@#$ out of it and let it air (squish the plastic bottle to blow out old air and draw in new), do this a few times and then leave it to sit in a wineglass for an hour and see if that improves the taste... if it does, then a whole lot of agitation and vacuum might help, but it does risk oxidation if you don't pump the air back out (I've used a Vacuvin wine saver kit to do this with one stinky batch)

If it doesn't, then try leaving a small piece of copper in a small sample for an hour, swirling occasionally (a piece of copper piping or a clean copper penny that's older than I think it was 1982 when they stopped using real copper, or even a brand new copper pot scrubby), there are a few rubber-scented compounds that will be removed by this.

I have a few rubber stoppers that do that with small batches, so I use my old non-stinky rubber stoppers for small batches, or I don't bother with the airlock at all and just use a few layers of plastic wrap with an elastic band to keep the fruit flies and oxygen out... I also find running my new stoppers through the dishwasher a few times can help with the smell, but I haven't had a lot of luck myself in removing the rubber flavour from the one batch that got it really badly, although I don't believe it was actually the stopper in that particular case.

You may need to switch to silicone stoppers for small batches.

Welcome to the forum, and I hope you manage to solve this problem, it's always a shame to have a batch go off on you.
 
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