I made a Hydromel (beer-strength mead) around 5% using champagne yeast. After fermentation I split it into a few small batches... some I added ginger, some I added orange zest, some remained un-modified.

After leaving for a while, I then primed it all and bottled. But for some reason while the un-modified version carbonated very nicely, the orange-zested one has remained totally flat. I don't know if the orange could be to blame, or if it's more likely the way I bottled it could have killed the yeast?

What are some common/likely reasons that bottle-carbonation wouldn't work, given that the sugar levels were the same?

  • It's a shame because the orange one is delicious! – Mr. Boy Nov 6 '15 at 10:07
  • Where did you get your orange zest from – Mołot Nov 6 '15 at 10:25
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    An orange of course... will reply seriously to your answer – Mr. Boy Nov 6 '15 at 10:55
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    I was only joking, but that is useful to know - never seen it before. – Mr. Boy Nov 6 '15 at 11:05
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    here and here are some examples. I'm not affiliated with them and never use these particular brands, just for reference. – Mołot Nov 6 '15 at 11:07

There is a common factoid that oranges are usually sprayed with fungicides for transport. If you do not wash them enough, some of it may end up in your mead and kill your yeast. My friend, who happens to be catering technician, always washes them for good few minutes using brush, if she wants to use zest for anything. Even longer before we put it in my beer.

  • I think that could be it... as far as I recall I just zested it without washing at all (figuring alcohol would kill germs). I think this seems likely, re-priming sounds like a pointless exercise so I'll have to make some more! – Mr. Boy Nov 6 '15 at 10:56
  • @Mr.BoyAt least dose you may have is low enough to be quite safe for humans. – Mołot Nov 6 '15 at 11:03
  • Is washing the only solution? If for instance I made an "orange tea" would boiling water break down the chemicals? – Mr. Boy Nov 6 '15 at 11:05
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    @Mr.Boy Sorry, but warm water, brush and 5 to 15 minutes is the only way I know. These chemicals are designed to be quite persistent. And if they do break due to heat, how would you know resulting parts are not even more nasty? – Mołot Nov 6 '15 at 11:08
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    You might get fresh oranges from CA/Florida... ours are shipped across the ocean :) I assume buying organic oranges would solve the problem? – Mr. Boy Nov 13 '15 at 13:19

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