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Questions from our patrons:
Q: There is scum floating on the top of my beer/wine/mead/cider. Does that mean there is something wrong?
A: If this scum is floating on the top of your secondary fermenter, there could very well be something wrong. The first questions I would ask is how much airspace do you have in the top of your fermenter? If this answer is there is quite a bit of airspace, you could very well have an infection. If this is beer, taste it and smell it. If the beer smells bad and tastes bad, it is bad. The only alternative is to dump it. It would be a good idea to read up on the importance of sanitation and keeping your secondary fermenter topped up. If you are dealing with wine, cider or mead, you can use Potassium Metabisulphite or Campden Tablets to kill the bacteria and then you need to top up your fermenter with wine or rack into a smaller fermenter so that you are topped up.
We have some great books in the shop that will help tremendously with trouble shooting fermentation issues. We recommend that you have at least one good book that you can refer to when needed.
Q: Can I make my beer or wine better than the store bought stuff?
A: From day one, yes you can! First off, you have complete control over ingredients, so if there's something you're craving (say, a hoppier IPA), you can make it happen! The proper techniques are easy to learn and will have you making award-winning beer and wine in no time!