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MedievalForester
10-19-2008, 06:18 PM
I am new here, and very interested in making mead. I was just wondering how much it costs to get a batch up and running. Looking at the american brewmaster site, it doesn't look like too terribly much, but I'm sure there's more to it. How much did it cost you all to start up your first batch? And how long does it usually take before it becomes drinkable? a few months?

Kee
10-19-2008, 07:24 PM
First, though, if you haven't tried mead, try it. It takes so long to brew, it'd be a shame to wait a year or two for something only to discover you don't it!

For a gallon of traditional mead, you need:

Reusable gallon container (up to about $5 - 10. Or free if you buy juice in a glass container.)
Reusable Stopper for airlock (less than $1)
Reusable Airlock (less than $2)
Cleaner (varies by cleaner but you probably have bleach at home to start with)
2 to 3.5 pounds of honey (about $5 - 10, depending on quality)
Yeast (less than $1)
Nutrient (probably less than $2)
Possibly water if the quality is poor or harsh


I think Joe's Ancient Orange cost me less than $10 in ingredients and $10 in reusable equipment.

For a larger 5 - 6 gallon batch, it gets a bit more expensive.

Reusable carboy (The price is going up. I think new they're now around $60 but you can buy used)
Primary bucket or something to rack to and from (A bucket is around $20 new)
Reusable Stopper for airlock (less than $1)
Reusable Airlock (less than $2)
Cleaner (varies by cleaner)
Reusable Hydrometer (less than $10) - I would recommend Test Jar ($4) for testing the hydrometer and thermometer
Reusable Thermometer (less than $10)
Reusable Bottle Brush
Reusable Siphoning Equipment (about $10- 20 or more, depending on what you actually buy)
12 to 24 pounds of honey (about $25 - 50+, depending on quality and where you buy)
Yeast (less than $2)
Nutrient (probably less than $5)
Possibly water if the quality is poor or harsh
Any fruit, herbs and spices you want to add. If you get into mels, you could easily add 10# of fruit to a 5 or 6 gallon batch


Since these take so long to make, you will want to have a couple of batches going. That's where it REALLY gets expensive!

I'd also recommend Ken Schramm's The Complete Meadmaker. It answers all newby questions (under $20). And the patron's membership here is $25. These people will answer ANY other questions you have.

Wolfie
10-19-2008, 08:37 PM
Welcome MedievalForester!

Once you've got equipment the average price of a 4-6 gallon batch ranges between 40-60, but keep in mind that at 5 bottles/gallon thats quite cheap in many regards. My most expensive batch ever cost about $6 per bottle, and I've got cases of the stuff to last me for quite a while.

Mead can be "drinkable" within a few months, notably the simple cyser & Joes Ancient Orange age fairly quickly. In my experience however once you've let one stand for a year the difference will knock your socks off. Mead definitely improves tremendously with age.

Odinsson
10-19-2008, 08:50 PM
Don't try Chausers (sp), it's not very good.

Check your local brew shop, most sell kits for first time brewers, as do most websites. TBH I wish I had found one when I made my first batch, I did the math and it would have been cheaper for the kit even if I didn't need all the parts that it came with at first.

sandman
10-19-2008, 10:35 PM
JAO, definitely JAO for a first batch $20 give or take out of pocket 2-3 months of patient waiting, and then you're hooke... err... all is well.

MedievalForester
10-20-2008, 03:16 PM
Thanks for all the advice. I really am thinking about doing this for a long time so I might just go ahead and make the big investments (the 5 gal. gear). Adding it all up seems to come up to around 80$ just off using website information, which is way cheaper than what I thought. Any suggestions for first time making a big batch?

valhallaorbust
10-20-2008, 07:09 PM
Joe's ancient orange is always the best place to start
the recipe for a 1 gallon batch can be found here:
http://www.gotmead.com/smf/index.php?topic=600.0

also here's what i did (seemed to work well but i am a newbie myself)
if you can get your hands on a 5 gallon or bigger(or maybe 2 smaller like 3 gallon buckets) you can mix the honey and water in them and what i did was use a paint mixer i got from the store with my drill and mixed it that way(sanitizing the paint mixer of course) they have aeration adapters for drills but the metal one was around $25 and i got a really nice all metal paint mixer for like $10, just a little thing i thought was a good idea, because in my one gallon batch we really shook the crap outta the jug and it still stratified(maybe a case of bad luck) the we used the paint mixer for my 3 gallon batch and it aerated it amazingly and then we poured it straight into our 3 gallon carboy from the bucket using a funnel.
just figured i would let you know because i can't imagine shaking that 5 gallon carboy.

hope i helped

MedievalForester
10-20-2008, 09:09 PM
Thanks valhalla for the tip on JAO. I think I'm going to try to make this either tomorrow or on wednesday as soon as I can get down to the brew store and get a carboy (or two). Now if I want to make a 3 gallon batch of this would I just scale up the ingredients 3 times?

valhallaorbust
10-21-2008, 12:26 AM
that what i did, and added a large pinch of nutmeg but im not totally sure if that's correct. mines chugging along fine as far as i can tell

Wolfie
10-21-2008, 06:04 AM
for the record nutmeg can be a potent spice--best to use whole nutmegs lightly crushed than powder whch can be hard to remove.

Let us know how it turns out. :)

Oskaar
10-21-2008, 10:20 AM
I usually chunk my nutmegs with a knife into quarters then hit them with a rolling pin (with the nutmeg in a ziplog bag) until they're coarsely crushed. They infuse well that way and are easier to manage when racking.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

wayneb
10-21-2008, 10:52 AM
I double bag mine in ziplocks, and then give em a whack or two with the flat side of my meat tenderizer. That's enough to get them to crack, and a few more lighter whacks will break up those bigger chunks into smaller bits (1/8 to 1/4 inch on a side) that are then perfect for the mead.