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Is it safe to develop mold on purpose for wine?

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ringmany

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Hi everyone,

I've been following a recipe for making Sloe berry wine via BrewBitz. One of the suggestions is to basically add several lbs of sloe berries, boiling water, then leave it in a warm room for around 2 months.

A thick, green mold forms on the top of the fermenter, which you then scoop out in one go, then rack the wine and continue with the fermentation process as normal. Apparently this adds extra spices and flavours.

Link to the video here:


Do you think that this is safe to drink afterwards? Most forums I've read, you want to avoid mold at all costs and usually throw away batches. What do you think of this? Will adding the campden tablets and the high alcohol content kill off the bacteria afterwards?

Cheers.
 

GreginND

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I would worry about anything that is green or blue colored molds. They can be unsafe.
 

dralarms

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Have to agree.
 

Rice_Guy

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Hi everyone,

I've been following a recipe for making Sloe berry wine via BrewBitz. One of the suggestions is to basically add several lbs of sloe berries, boiling water, then leave it in a warm room for around 2 months.

A thick, green mold forms on the top of the fermenter, which you then scoop out in one go, then rack the wine and continue with the fermentation process as normal. Apparently this adds extra spices and flavours.

Link to the video here:


Do you think that this is safe to drink afterwards? Most forums I've read, you want to avoid mold at all costs and usually throw away batches. What do you think of this? Will adding the campden tablets and the high alcohol content kill off the bacteria afterwards?

Cheers.
There are many traditional foods which are fermented, lutefisk will show up at the Christmas party, , yuck have you tasted it? , , other fermented foods are biggies as coffee, cheese, pickles, wild rice, kombucha, and even the silage the cousins feed their cows. From a cultural point of view, if others do it you should be able to produce a safe food. Ex. If you won’t eat mold don’t eat blue cheese.

There are rules we use: some basics on being smart:
* pH 4 is a break point, Most (maybe all) food poisoning organisms will not grow at a pH below this, what is your pH?
* keep the mold culture aerobic/ don’t snap the lid tight, botulism will only grow in an anaerobic environment above pH 4, botulism is flavorless and extremely toxic and will not degrade with time. Industry worry’s about this one but it wasn’t much of a concern before canned food were invented.
* alcohol above 11% inhibits most microbes and alcohol above 18% is toxic
* bacteria in the natural environment (as well as yeast) grow in waves. They will starve off as the food source is used up and a new species with a different metabolism will replace them. Refrigerated foods/ periodic sugar addition fermenters, are ideal places to find many organisms since they don’t use up the sugars, then starve and get replaced by another population.
* dosage, when we look for it, we will find insect parts, mold, heavy metals, herbicides, and/or fungicides, micro plastics, etc in ALL foods. , , at low levels

I have been in Europe and Asia and eaten “culturally interesting” foods & would taste this one.
 

ringmany

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Cheers for the replies everyone,

I contacted the original creator of the video and their response was:

"Molds have been used in foods for 000's of years to keep bacteria at bay. Remember penicillin is a mold. Ever eat blue cheese? That's mold!
If you find the mold is black, then do not use it. "

I am looking to create more interesting and unique wines, which is why this peaked my interest. After around 2 months, then I remove the mold and continue with the yeast and fermentation. Do you think that once I continue, I can then check the ABV and also check the PH to determine if it's safe?
 

Scooter68

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Many mushrooms are safe to eat. But alas I can't tell the good from the bad. So I don't go picking mushrooms, I buy them.

Unless you KNOW what type of mold is growing in that 'soup' is it worth the risk? Not such fun to have the doctor tell you later "Yeah all those blue molds are ok EXCEPT for the one you grew.

Oh and remember bacteria can mutate - change and adapt and resist conditions that killed earlier varieties.

Sorry if this sounds all doom and gloomy.
 

NorCal

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I had a roommate in college that would make a huge batch of tomatoe sauce and then keep it in the fridge until he was done with it. Mold on the surface did not deter him from consuming what was beneath it. Suffice it to say, I never shared a dinner with him, however it was a common practice of his, so I assume he wasn’t getting sick from it.
 

Rice_Guy

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Cheers for the replies everyone,

I contacted the original creator of the video and their response was:

"Molds have been used in foods for 000's of years to keep bacteria at bay. Remember penicillin is a mold. Ever eat blue cheese? That's mold!
If you find the mold is black, then do not use it. "

I am looking to create more interesting and unique wines, which is why this peaked my interest. After around 2 months, then I remove the mold and continue with the yeast and fermentation. Do you think that once I continue, I can then check the ABV and also check the PH to determine if it's safe?
* The few references I can find concentrate on milk derived flavors. The sequence for them is to first develop lactic culture with lactic acid notes and some diacetil, next comes fruity notes which you probably have smelled or eaten, from memory that is acid tolerant molds and shortly after that the protelytic organisms take off which develop bitter flavors which most consumers would spit out.
* I do not seem to have saved any food microbiology textbooks (for the grandkid's bedtime stories). All the major state universities have a microbiology department with a text book requirement/ bookstore. The 2 I checked the shelf for were titled "Food Microbiology" published by AVI. , , , For some sense of safety the part you are looking for is which set of conditions (pH/ sugar/ temperature) select for what type of organism.
* Many most counties have a health department (for inspecting restaurants and food plants) and many microbiology majors get hired by the health department so you probably have someone local who has a few text books. I hate to say it but a lot of health department folks are not "creative" and focus on spotless stainless steel and a steam table has to be over 160F.
* :)Most of us like food which has had a wild fermentation, , did you know coco beans (ie chocolate) are another wild fermentation food? For the ketchup roommate,, There is a specification for the maximum amount of dead mold we can find when it is packaged. The roommate's ketchup is a low pH environment (about 3.4) and the mold is aerobic/ only on the surface.
* I don't know what pH sloe fruit is so that was the first question. Funny, , , food courses concentrated on products that have a large sales value.
 
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