Micoderma issue - what next?

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citadelphil

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Hi all,

I am an entheusiastic (beginner) amateur winemaker who has just progressed from wine making kits to picking the fruit and fermenting myself (all very exciting!).

I have run into a minor disaster with blackberry wine and am humbly looking for some advice!

I am following this recipe here https://homefarmer.co.uk/how-to-make-blackberry-wine/ . I seem to have fallen down at the first stage - I have added the blackberrys to the fermenting bucket, added the water, yeast, yeast nutrient, and pectolase and sealed the fermenting bucket - ready to strain and add the sugar at day 3.

I have been venting the fermenting bucket to stop it exploding (covering the kitchen with fermenting blackberries would not go down well with my wife!) but on opening it today (day 3) i seem to have a white film covering the surface. I've done some research and I'm pretty sure I can diagnose this as mycoderma. I suspect this has happened because I have been peering in the bucked periodically to admire my new wine making skills in action. YES - I (now) know I shouldnt have done this and that's probably what has invited the rogue bacteria in. Everything was sterilised within an inch of its life beforehand so I'm relatively happy it's not a cleanliness issue from the outset.

I've syphoned the fluid into a sterilised demi-john (about 4 litres) leaving behind as much of the mash and white skim as possible and added (on advice) 4 campden (sodium metabisulphate) tablets to kill the bacteria. It's currently in a 5 litre sterilised demi-john with an airlock fitted.

I have done some online research but there doesnt seem to be any definitive answer to my next move. I am assuming the campden tablets will also have killed the yeast I added so I now just 4 litres of very pleasant smelling syrup (the micoderma definitely hasn't affected the smell but I've not been brave enough to taste it).

Can anyone please advise me of my next best move - do I start again and just treat the syrup I have left as the first step and re-add the yeast, nutrient and pectolose. Or do I add the sugar as the yeast will still be going (the fermentation stopped at the start of the second morning so I'm guessing not). Or do I just cut my losses and start over with a new batch of blackberries?

Most of the online advice talks about the presence of microderma at the latter stages of fermentation, so adding the campden tablets and racking is the advice - but as I've not got through the fermentation stages yet I'm not sure that's a viable option for me.

Thanks in advance

Phil
 

ibglowin

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Not Mycoderma. That takes weeks and or months to appear and happens from a handy and constant source of 0xygen and not enough Sulfite. Mycoderma is not really white more a pinkish purple film on top.
 

Ajmassa

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3 days in sounds like the "white film" is simply the fermentation fizzing away. Exposing to air would not have hurt anything at all.
Add the sugar now and then more yeast. Hopefully the sugar will allow the yeast to overcome the Camden tablets you added. 4 is a lot. Definitely should have posted your question before deciding it was mycoderma. Likely just foamy fizz from the yeast doing what it does best.
 

citadelphil

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Hi all, thank you for the reply - I have added the sugar and more yeast and things seem to have kicked off again now! Fingers crossed :)
 

AkTom

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Being a rookie winemaker myself, I take the advice to not snap the lid on tight. I just set it on the top of cover with a towel. I generally stir just once a day.
 

Scooter68

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Being a rookie winemaker myself, I take the advice to not snap the lid on tight. I just set it on the top of cover with a towel. I generally stir just once a day.
Just personal preference but I don't even use the lid AT ALL. I put a cloth over the top and tie it with a string. I'd rather be sure no fruit flies or other critters get in there. The lid sitting on top of the cloth or vice versa doesn't do that. I've found a few little dead fruit flies in my airlocks - so if they can crawl in there. I want to make sure the bucket is covered against that possibility.
 

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