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White powdery film on the surface

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sawallun

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Its been 9 days since I started fermenting the grape mixture. On the 7th day I saw some white powdery film appearing on the surface. I removed the white film , cleaned the container and added some more activated yeast. Today it's the 9th day and I still see the white film on the surface.

Could the mix be infected by bacteria?
Posted few pics.

The mix tastes almost like wine :). Not sure if I should treat it with metasulphite or leave just there for the remaining time or bottle it .

IMG_20170413_081201.jpg

IMG_20170413_081154.jpg
 

pip

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Hi Sawallun, what exactly is in that bucket of yours, as in, what do you mean by 'grape mixture'?
 

pip

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Did you take any Specific Gravity readings with a hydrometer? If not, does it taste overly sweet? Has it stopped bubbling and fizzing?

I have no idea about the white powdery issue, i'd suspect its just froth from the ferment, but i'm sure more experienced folk than me will have a better idea on that.

Also, what yeast did you use?
 

sawallun

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Did not take any readings.
No it doesnt taste sweet at all.
No bubbling and fizzing anymore.
 

pip

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Well, maybe its finished fermenting. I'd consider adding metabisulfite, and maybe sodium sorbate, and straining it into a secondary fermenting vessel, like a small demijohn with an airlock, for maybe a week or so? Let it settle and clear a bit. Without knowing the alcohol level of the wine you'd probably be wise to drink it soonish, rather than bottle and age...in my opinion.

Having said all that, i'm a novice compared to some on this forum so take that advice with a grain of salt.

Of course, you could always just drink it and see how it goes?
 

Noontime

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It's really tough to say what might be going on without knowing anything about the fermentation... what the SG was before and what it is now. Assuming your taste buds are correct and there isn't any sugar left, the fermentation is complete, and the wine should be racked off into an appropriate container (no headspace). I'd siphon rack from the bottom to stay away from the white stuff and give a good dose of kmeta. It definitely looks like some kind of infection, but I have no idea what it is or the effect on the wine will be. Did you have the bucket covered?
 

3274mike

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Not a definite answer for you but did you use kmeta before starting your ferment? This kills the things you don't want in there. Second did you stir this everyday while it was fermenting. If it was stirred daily, I stir twice a day during ferment, fruit and juices Wil get that film on it,I can't tell exactly what it is, but if your fermintation is done be sure to add kmeta to it and then rack it to yyur secondary. Also was your primary clean when you used it? Have fun others will comment I'm sure spend the $5-10 dollars for a hydrometer so you know where your at in the fermintation stage it jus makes it easier especially when asking for help on here
 

Scooter68

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Unfortunately without initial readings it's difficult to tell if your fermentation process achieved an adequate level of alcohol OR if it has sufficient acidity to avoid spoilage. Films, foam and a variety of things appear on the surface of a wine fermentation that don't necessarily mean there is a problem.

If you take a SG and an acid reading now you can find out if there is any more sugar available for fermentation but no way to know where you are at in terms of alcohol level or acidity. There are actually a host of questions that can influence answers to what is happening with your efforts. Total volume is another one, even knowing the amount of sugar added it's very difficult to understand whether or not the end result will have enough alcohol in the finished fermentation to keep it from spoiling because we don't know how much sugar the grapes contained.
If you have a hydrometer and a way to test the acidity of the must that would the first step to solving the mystery but again there's a lot of missing information the makes a good answer to your question difficult.


And only 1 kg (2.2lbs) of grapes ? That's not much. You have about 2.5 liters of liquid I would but still that's a very small amount of grapes with that much water.
 
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Johny99

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I'd rack it off to a carboy or other closed container. Even if it isn't done fermenting, that will keep it safe. Put an air lock, balloon or something on it and see if it comes back. As others say, without much data it is hard to say.
 

Johnd

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@sawallun : it's hard to see in the pics, but I noticed that the top edge of the fermenting vessel is shiny, like it's metal. Is it metal, and if so what kind of metal is it?
 

sawallun

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Thanks guys for all your response. Will rack it and let you know the results.
Definitely buying a hydrometer now.
 

Scooter68

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@sawallun : it's hard to see in the pics, but I noticed that the top edge of the fermenting vessel is shiny, like it's metal. Is it metal, and if so what kind of metal is it?
I noticed that too. Hopefully it's not aluminum but it looks a lot like that.
 

Johnd

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I noticed that too. Hopefully it's not aluminum but it looks a lot like that.
That's what I'm thinking, either aluminum or shiny galvanized steel. In either case the chems that may have been leached out due to fermentation and acidity could make a dangerous combo. Hopefully he'll read this before moving on.
 

Scooter68

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Well I don't know where he's at but we are talking about a little over 2 pounds of grapes, and 1/2 pound of sugar so this is not a big batch. No idea what sort of yeast or if any other additives were used like acid blend, K-meta before starting etc.

But totally agree, all too likely that the mix has picked up some very undesirable elements by now. The best thing would be to declare this a learning experience and find some better containers before trying again.
 

cgallamo

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What kind of material is the fermentation container? Looks like metal - and looks like there may be a reaction occurring, or maybe that is just the white powder residue.

Acid can react with certain metals - I think aluminum especially - and create salt as a by-product. Though it is more likely mold or bacteria. I second the suggestions to get it out of that container try to avoid the powder, and sulfite to 50ppm.
 

NCWC

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Might be a surface mold. Use a 75/25 Everclear to water in a spray bottle and spray the top. If it is a mold it will go away immediately.
 

Scooter68

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Really hard to tell what's going on with this one. Only about a 2.5 liter volume based on the listed ingredients. One KG of grapes (2.2 lbs) for that amount is really low as well as the sugar added at 1/4 pound. Since there were no readings taken and the list of ingredients is so sparse, there's not a lot of help we can provide. And as John D mentioned if that container is aluminum or galvanized steel, the entire batch is liable to be pretty loaded with leached out materials. The latter issue concerns me more as the mix got lean toward the toxic side since it was in there 9 days when the first post was written.
 
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