How to fix mold in wine, mead and beer?

People online will tell you a number of different things you can do to fix mold in your homebrew. Including dosing it with Campden tablets and then racking it, or pasteurizing it and then racking it, or just scooping it out. None of these are good ideas.

If you are looking for a simple cider recipe check out our How to Brew Apple Pie Hard Cider.

What is mold?

A fermenter with moldy beer.
Credit: https://homebrew.stackexchange.com/questions/2644/what-kind-of-infection-is-this-and-is-the-beer-ruined

Mold is a fungus that grows in multicellular filaments. Contrast that against yeast which is also a fungus. But it’s a single-cell organism. In home-brewed alcoholic products, mold is treated as an infection. And should always be treated as something that gets dumped out and not consumed.

There are some forms of infections that will result in a product that while maybe not tasty will be drinkable. It all depends on what was in your initial recipe. Those types of infections are

  • Lactobacillus
  • Pediococcus
  • Bretanomyces

These are relatively simple to identify. The reason they are drinkable forms of infection is that they don’t create toxins in the way that some molds do.

Mycotoxins

A computer image of effect of mycotoxins in cereals.
Credit: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/science-update/challenges-simultaneous-analysis-masked-trichothecene-mycotoxins-cereals-0

Some molds produce toxins called mycotoxins and they should not be consumed. There are molds with strains that are cultured for producing some kinds of cheesers. But just because it’s ok to eat some molds that don’t mean that all molds are safe for human consumption.

In modern conditions of food storage and safety precautions getting mycotoxins into the food supply line is fairly rare. The more consumption of mycotoxins you have the more likely you are to have negative health ramifications.

Some mycotoxins can build up just like microplastics or heavy metals. And it can become a compounding issue for your body dealing with them over time. Others can poison you or kill you depending on the type and the concentration. Even others can be cancerogenic.

there are at least 50 000 different types of molds in the world. And of those only about 200 can create mycotoxins which sound fairly comforting. The majority of 200 that can create mycotoxins live indoors. If it’s a mold and not identifiable the risk of consuming it is not worth it. Mold is not normal in any homebrew no matter what people will tell you online.

You May Also Like