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shinino
06-11-2009, 03:10 PM
Okay, so I'm in the process of buying ingredients, starting with the Intermediate Kit with Better Bottles. What else do I need to buy before I start hunting for honey?

Also, with the pots being as expensive as they are, do I need one capable of cooking 18 pounds of honey at once (not sure how much that is, but hey), or can I boil it in batches?

Also, where's the best place to find honey, given the current price issues?

GeorgiaMead
06-11-2009, 04:00 PM
not sure what you will need, as you can get by without most of this, but i use...
*glass carboys
*plastic test tube
*racking cane and matching hose (cut to reach the bottom of your carboy for minimal splashing)
*mixing bucket with spout
*plastic mixing oar thing
*funnel
*corker
*carboy drying stand
*sanitizer (sanitation is #1 priority)

i think thats all. i have collected so much crap over this year that i can hardly keep up.

to be honest, SAMS has a great raw clover honey that they sell in 5 lb. bottles. it's nearly the same flavor every time and reasonably cheap at 12$
i use it for the flavored meads i make, and for the bulk batches for uniformity

shinino
06-11-2009, 04:12 PM
This is what I'll have:

Instructional Homebrewing Video or DVD
71 page instructional book
Two 5 Gallon Better Bottles
6.5 Gallon Plastic Fermenter
6.5 Gallon Bottling Bucket with Spigot
8 Oz. of Easy Clean No-Rinse Cleanser
two #10 Rubber Stoppers
2 Airlocks (Keeps air out of the fermenter)
8 Inch Funnel
Hydrometer (Determines alcohol content)
Bottle Brush
Twin Lever Red Baron Bottle Capper
Bottle Caps
2 Liquid Crystal Thermometers
Bottle Filler
Fermtech AutoSiphon
Siphon Tubing
shutoff clamp

BrewinNColorado
06-11-2009, 04:36 PM
Welcome to brewing. You will find that it is a very enjoyable hobby.

All you really need is as follows:
6.5 gal food grade fermenter
5 gallon carboy (either glass or a better bottle)
hydrometer
stir paddle
stoppers
airlocks for the fermentor and carboys
siphon
bottle capper (either cork or caps)

That is the basics

When you said the following...


Also, with the pots being as expensive as they are, do I need one capable of cooking 18 pounds of honey at once (not sure how much that is, but hey), or can I boil it in batches?

There is no need to boil the honey. When you do, you actually lose a lot of teh character. If you have not already done so, you should check out the newbee guide, which goes over the basic equipment and process.

Enjoy your journey on mead making!

Michael

afdoty
06-11-2009, 04:51 PM
Okay, so I'm in the process of buying ingredients, starting with the Intermediate Kit with Better Bottles. What else do I need to buy before I start hunting for honey?

If I had to do it all over again, here's what I'd buy first:

1) Buy Ken Schramm's "The Complete MeadMaker"
2) Spend $25.00 (minimum) and become a Patron on GotMead... the recipes
are worth 10 times that amount


Then I'd:

1) Read all the threads (or as many as you can find) by PBakulic, Medsen Fey,
Wayneb, Wildaho...not necessarily in that order. There's a library of knowledge and years experience built up in those threads.
2) Go to the Forum and Read the New Bees Stuff....


This will save you so much trouble, time and mistakes.

RichK
06-11-2009, 05:43 PM
Welcome, Shinino! You'll find a friendly bunch of people here, and a very useful search function.

I'd like to second what afdoty said. The first thing I bought before starting my mead making misadventures was a copy of Ken Schramm's "The Compleat Meadmaker (http://astore.amazon.com/gotmethelarge-20/detail/0937381802)".

As for patronage, I've gotten lots of useful information from not only the recipe section, but the Patron Brewlogs as well. As useful and detailed as the NewBee Guide (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=108&Itemid=14) is, it's very helpful to read the experiences of others who have a few batches under their belts - and in their cellars.

Probably the most important thing I've learned - after sanitation - is to keep the area where your mead is fermenting pretty cool. My first cyser got cranky when my kitchen reached 80 degrees for a few days, and I wound up with 5 gallons of foul. It tasted like varnish and rotgut, with just a hint of apple. Lesson learned. I have an air conditioner in the kitchen and try to keep the temps around 70.

I've started with basic ingredients purchased mostly from CostCo. I can get clover honey for about $10 per 5 lbs. When I'm confident that I know what I'm doing, then I'll get into the fancier and pricier honeys.

Wishing you amazing meads!


--Rich K

shinino
06-12-2009, 12:44 AM
Welcome to brewing. You will find that it is a very enjoyable hobby.

All you really need is as follows:
6.5 gal food grade fermenter
5 gallon carboy (either glass or a better bottle)
hydrometer
stir paddle
stoppers
airlocks for the fermentor and carboys
siphon
bottle capper (either cork or caps)

That is the basics

When you said the following...



There is no need to boil the honey. When you do, you actually lose a lot of teh character. If you have not already done so, you should check out the newbee guide, which goes over the basic equipment and process.

Enjoy your journey on mead making!

Michael
I thought you wanted to boil the raw honey to remove all the parts from it?

Yo momma
06-12-2009, 06:23 AM
If I could give you the best advice, read the newbee guide. Boiling your honey is antiquated and removes the flavors and smell profiles of your honey. This is what seperates the meads from the wines. You try to capture those 2 in every mead. It will not take long to read and the info is free. Why turn it down. Most of your answers will come from there. After you read it, if you still have questions by all means type em up and we will answer them for you. I am in total aggreeance with Afdoty, become a patron and sink your teeth into some amazing recipes as well as inumerable amounts of info.

akueck
06-12-2009, 11:29 AM
I thought you wanted to boil the raw honey to remove all the parts from it?

Parts? Like bee bits? Extra protein. ;)

You can boil your honey if you want to, but I would encourage you to do a second otherwise-identical batch which you do not boil. There are some benefits to boiling, like a tendency to clear faster. The downsides are many though, including reduced oxygen, protein, and mineral content (leading to poorer yeast health); diminished honey aroma and flavor; and the extra work of heating, handling, and cooling vats of sticky honey and scalding water. Try both methods if you like and pick the one that suits you. Most of the folks here prefer no-heat, some people like some-heat (140-150F), and we try to steer everybody away from boiling.

Modern meadmaking techniques are advancing quite rapidly, so by being here now you are at the fore of the wave. Instructions to boil your must might only be 10 years old, but we've come a long way since then. Check out the info here and hopefully we can convince you that we're not crazy (at least some of the time ;) ).

shinino
06-12-2009, 02:54 PM
Okay, so the question then becomes (and I am reading the Newbee thing), what other tools do I need?

akueck
06-12-2009, 03:10 PM
As far as equipment, I think you have more than enough to get started.

GeorgiaMead
06-12-2009, 03:31 PM
Okay, so the question then becomes (and I am reading the Newbee thing), what other tools do I need?


the only thing i see missing from your list is a test tube. makes thins way easier for testing gravity, and prevents you from having to test in your fermenter, which i would personally view as dangerous sanitation wise.

mead is very simple to just make, and rather complicated once you start chasing a specific flavor.

the two most important ingredients in mead are time and patience

**edit wrong quote** oops

huntfishtrap
06-12-2009, 04:21 PM
the only thing i see missing from your list is a test tube.

I usually use the tube the hydrometer comes in. It requires much less volume to float the hydrometer. I'm a little more willing to take readings on 1 gallon batches when I'm only loosing a few mouth fulls (not really loosing, since they "Get In My Belly!")

Paul

shinino
06-13-2009, 10:56 PM
I'm thinking I'm going to need a long-handled spoon or possibly whatever the other thing to mix is.

Now, is there any reason to use tap water instead of filtered? I'm thinking of just picking up a 5g thing of water from the store, but wanted to think. If this goes well, I'll be making this by the end of the month.