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HINCHY
06-22-2009, 11:47 PM
Hey guys i am brand new to the site and am about to start brewing my own mead.But before i do so i have no equipment to do so.So my quetion is what do i need and more importantly where do i get it. i have seen kits online but i am unsure of what it is that i need.

thank you.

huntfishtrap
06-23-2009, 09:50 AM
The first thing I recomend is to read the New Bee Guide. It's in the list on the left side of the screen. Section 4 is about equipment, but the whole Guide is good. It will probably bring up more questions, but they will probably be more specific once you've read that.

Welocme to Got Mead?!

Paul

TXBeowulf
06-23-2009, 10:35 AM
To answer your second question - "Where do I get equipment?"

I recommend entering the search strings "Home brewing supplies," or "Home wine making supplies," along with your city and state in your favorite search engine. I was pleasently surprised to find myself within a very short drive of no less than 4 shops that sold varying amounts of equipment (up to dedicated shops that sold nothing but brewing and wine-making gear for home brewers.)

Granted, I do live in a metropolitan area, and your mileage may vary, but even when I started making mead 15 years ago (just back after a long break) there were two shops in the small town I lived in that sold carboys, fermentation locks, and the other basics for home brewing. Failing that, there are myriad purveyors of the necessary gear on the internet, I just prefer the instant gratification of going and buying the stuff myself ;)

wayneb
06-23-2009, 10:41 AM
TXBeowulf, WELCOME TO "GOTMEAD?"!! BTW, I like to see someone new to the Gotmead community jump right in and start answering questions like that! ;)

So, if you were making mead in TX that many years ago, we might have been contemporaries. We should exchange war stories. PM me if you'd like to sometime.... ;D

TXBeowulf
06-23-2009, 10:49 AM
Actually, I was making it in Ohio. The move to Texas is what stopped the mead production. I moved from a house with a cellar in Ohio (constant 65 degrees, year round) to an apartment in Texas without, and was convinced that I would have neither the space nor proper temperature to produce a good mead, so I didn't even bother transporting my gear when I moved.

I have since learned that mead making happens in Texas as well, and so given up my earlier prejudices against warmer (75 degrees or so) fermented products, and now that I have a (very small) bit of room to ferment, and a wife who loves mead, I am in the process of getting back into my old hobby.

er.. sorry for getting off topic :p

wayneb
06-23-2009, 11:02 AM
Back to your regularly scheduled topic... ;D

(TXBeowulf, look for a PM from me.)

HINCHY
06-23-2009, 12:03 PM
the closest place to me is about 2 hrs away that carries any of the stuff i need so i was looking on the internet and have found the wine and beer making kits but just wasint sure if that has everything i need or not.

TXBeowulf
06-23-2009, 12:31 PM
Read the newbee guide.

It's a good afternoon's waste of your boss' time (if you work in an office), and has some really good information.

Personally, I would steer clear of kits only because I'm a cheap bastard. The kits often contain things that you don't really need to start making mead (bottles, for instance - you won't need them for at least a few months).

Aside from the ingredients, all you really need to get started is a vessel to ferment the mead in, some method of aeration, a sanitizing method, and a hydrometer. This is bare bones to get started, and you *will* need to get the rest of the gear within a few weeks, but if you are starting on a budget, this will do.

Just having gotten back into this hobby, I recently purchased:

-6.5 gallon primary fermentation bucket with lid/airlock hole
-Heavy duty plastic aeration paddle (long handled)
-Fermentation lock
-Hydrometer
-Floating Thermometer

I use a weak bleach solution for sanitation - make sure you rinse thouroughly if you do this.

Before racking, I will need

-racking cane with siphon hose
-5 gallon carboy with holed stopper. You may need more than one if you plan to rack multiple times.

Note on carboys -Glass is traditional, but recently prices have risen because one of the factories that manufactures has them stopped making them. Supply goes down, demand remains the same, price goes up. Welcome to Survey of Economics ;) Because of this, Food-grade clear plastic is starting to catch on (under the brand name Better Bottle). These are light weight, reportedly they do not attract smells or retain flavors - although I have heard that really deep reds will stain them - and about half the cost of a glass carboy. You have to be careful about scratching the inside of them, however, because any scratch is a place where bacteria or other microbes can hide out, and ruin your mead.

When it is time to bottle, I will want to purchase:

-Bottling cane (I prefer the spring loaded ones)
-Bottles
-Corks (or whatever you prefer to seal bottles with)
-Corker (or capper if you prefer)

Optional gear:
Labels/label printing software
Wax for wax capping bottles
Bottling bucket

Medsen Fey
06-23-2009, 01:05 PM
Actually, I take the other approach. You are going to need most of that equipment soon, and sometimes getting a bundle of goodies together can save you a bundle of cash compared to buying the separately (shipping cost too). They know once you start buying from them, you'll be back for more kits, corks, supplies and general whatnot, so you can get some good deals on kits.

Midwest supply (http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdBySubCat.aspx?SubCat=11177&fd=1) has some kits that include a floor corker (if you are going to use corks, you'll need to borrow one or own one - hand corkers are maddening). If you look around you may find even better deals. If you get a kit make sure it contains an auto-siphon (http://www.fermtech.ca/) - one of the best tools ever invented for home brewing; make sure they include one or are willing to substitute it in. That will save you some grief.

Enjoy!
Medsen

HINCHY
06-23-2009, 02:15 PM
So if i get this ill be pretty much set to go correct?
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=8176

Medsen Fey
06-23-2009, 03:22 PM
That has the basic stuff. Of course I would still ask them if they can substitute an auto-siphon for something else, but as you can see, I'm quite fond of them. Also a tube for the hydrometer - perhaps you can opt for those rather than the video or the hand corker.

You'll also be wanting to get some other basic supplies such as yeast, yeast nutrient (DAP -diammonium phosphate), Fermaid K (yeast energizer), and probably some Campden tablets. That will have you pretty much ready to roll.

huntfishtrap
06-23-2009, 03:26 PM
It's a good start.

Like Medson says, I highly recomend this the Auto-Siphon
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=7004

Everything else you see talked about can bee added to your christmas list, too bad Fathers day is past. I like a bottle dryer, more sanitizer. Grab a wall paper tray from the hardware store. It helps in sanitizing the long items. Start bugging all your friends and co-workers for empty wine bottles. By the way, when you get used bottles, dont procrastinate, rinse them out right away.

Have Fun!

Paul

HINCHY
06-23-2009, 03:26 PM
great thanks for the help guys!