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Visual signs of infection?


Registered Member
Aug 16, 2011
Very new to mead making. My first batch was as follows

3lbs cranberry blossom honey
1 gallon spring water
4 vanilla beans cut in half lengthwise
28g dried sweet orange peel
1/3 packet lavlin 71b-1122 yeast

I heated the vanilla beans and orange peels in small portion of the water to 160F for 15min. let it cool then added it to the 1 gallon carboy with the the rest of the water and the honey. I let it ferment for 2 weeks then racked it to secondary. it continued to slowly bubble for a little bit and some more yeast built up on the bottom so I racked it again. Both times I rinsed off the orange and vanilla beans and placed them back into the carboy. Now it is near crystal clear and deep burnt orange in color. The smell is lovely, very flowery. My concern over infection rises from the presence of small patches of white and black upon the surface. The black appears to be no more then granular pieces from inside the vanilla bean but they are surrounded by tiny air bubbles and a white foam. The whole surface isn't covered nor is there a ring or anything attached to the sides of the glass. Am I just being paranoid or is this an early sign of infection?



Premium Patron
Premium Patron
Well I'd say the nose knows and the eyes have it...if it smeels good and looks good it probably is. Assuming a good active fermintation in the begining you probably have plenty of alcohol (don't suppose you have gravity readings?) tp protect it. If you don't have a hydrometer, do yourself a big favour and buy one (buy two, they're cheap and you'll break one when you most need it!) It would be nice to KNOW that it hadn't stalled.
Have you tasted a tablespoon or two?


Certified Mead Mentor
Certified Mead Mentor
Jun 26, 2006
Ithaca, NY
The black flecks are probably vanilla seeds, and those are good places for bubbles and yeast to stick to. If it smells and tastes fine, it's fine.