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keepitlow
11-30-2009, 03:05 PM
Have you ever figured what a good bottle of sweet mead cost you when it is finished?

Interested in total cost for mead makers that have to buy the products. Not the guys that get their honey from their own hives.

Also assuming you know what your are doing. And the per bottle cost is not based on prorating the trial and error learning tuition we must spend while going to mead school

AToE
11-30-2009, 03:07 PM
1-2 dollars per 750ml bottle for ingredients. 3-4 dollars if you factor in all the carboys and equipment etc for your first batch.

EDIT: obviously this can vary for meads with many/expensive ingredients. What I list about is what it would cost me to make dry traditional mead at around 13-14% alcohol with my good honey.

akueck
11-30-2009, 04:57 PM
A lot depends on scale too. A 1-gallon batch will be more expensive per finished bottle than a 5-gallon batch (due to racking losses, discounts on bulk honey, etc).

The only 5-gal batch of mead I made was OG 1.125 and came out to be $3/750ml, just for ingredients (two kinds of honey, tannin, bottled water, yeast). I think my smaller batches run closer to $4-5, but the quart of honey cost almost as much as half a gallon for the large batch.

If you're looking to reduce cost, lower ABV is cheaper and buy your honey in large quantities.

Also, I've done beer as low as $0.15/12oz. ;) (Though most beers are 50-75 cents and the crazy ones run over a dollar.)

wildoates
11-30-2009, 05:02 PM
The ingredients for the braggot (that is now all bottled, Wayne!) I made for my son cost close to a c-note, and that's 48 12-0z bottles + 7 20 oz bottles.

The mel with all the berries cost substantially more, but I didn't keep track of how much. The honey alone usually costs at least $50!

It's fun, though.

Kee
11-30-2009, 05:03 PM
A lot also depends on where you buy your ingredients. When I started, my honey source was $50/gallon. I now have a local source for $20-25/gallon. It's a different variety, but if I do mels it doesn't matter so much as with traditionals.

My mead tends to run in the $4-6 dollars/bottle range, but I go heavy on an expensive sanitizer and heavy on fruit. I could easily drop that price by a dollar or two a bottle.

wayneb
11-30-2009, 05:04 PM
Occult Noir (one of my melomel recipes) costs rounded to nearest dollar:

Honey, wildflower - $44.00
Black Currants, frozen - $45.00
Shipping (3-day) for the currants - $55.00 (!!!)
Blueberries - $16.00
Blackberries - $ 4.00
Raspberries - $ 4.00
Cherry Cider - $ 6.00
Yeast - $ 4.00
Oak Cubes - $ 2.00

Total Ingredients Cost: $180.00 (not counting yeast nutrients, other misc. chemicals, bottles or corks))

Yield: 25 - 750 ml bottles

Per Bottle Ingredient bill: $7.20

Flavor and Aroma Sensation per Glass: PRICELESS! ;D

This is one of the most expensive melomels that I have ever made, and I'm detailing it precisely to show that with a modicum of skill, you can make meads which rival the best grape or fruit wines for complexity and pure "enjoyment," for a per bottle cost that is a small fraction of what it would cost you to buy a bottle of one of theirs.

Of course there's no accounting for meadmaker's experience, or time, in this assessment! ;)

BTW - I guess I'll have to get another batch of this going sometime soon. The last batch was so well received, that with the exception of the 4 bottles that I've cellared for long term aging, it is all gone!

Kee
11-30-2009, 05:07 PM
Wayne, no goferm?!

wildoates
11-30-2009, 05:12 PM
Oh, and I should say that I don't make mead to save money--I do it because a) I'm too cheap to pay for it at BevMo, and b) it's fun to make. ;D

wayneb
11-30-2009, 05:24 PM
Wayne, no goferm?!

... not counting yeast nutrients...
I bought a half kilo of the stuff (that I keep in a freezer until I need to take a dose) so the per dose cost is down in the noise! ;D

AToE
11-30-2009, 05:44 PM
Taking a closer look at my costs, traditionals cost me around $2.25 per bottle if I use the good honey that I bought in bulk, and as low as $1.40 using cheap honey, and if I use good honey not bought in bulk then the price starts getting above 3$ per bottle.

Looking at my melomels, they can get quite a bit more expensive. Easily double to triple the price of my traditionals, varying wildly depending on the ingredients and honey used.

Still way the heck cheaper than storebought grape wine by the bottle.

Prolific_Praxis
11-30-2009, 06:59 PM
Occult Noir (one of my melomel recipes) costs rounded to nearest dollar:

Honey, wildflower - $44.00
Black Currants, frozen - $45.00
Shipping (3-day) for the currants - $55.00 (!!!)
Blueberries - $16.00
Blackberries - $ 4.00
Raspberries - $ 4.00
Cherry Cider - $ 6.00
Yeast - $ 4.00
Oak Cubes - $ 2.00

Total Ingredients Cost: $180.00 (not counting yeast nutrients, other misc. chemicals, bottles or corks))

Yield: 25 - 750 ml bottles

Per Bottle Ingredient bill: $7.20

Flavor and Aroma Sensation per Glass: PRICELESS! ;D

This is one of the most expensive melomels that I have ever made, and I'm detailing it precisely to show that with a modicum of skill, you can make meads which rival the best grape or fruit wines for complexity and pure "enjoyment," for a per bottle cost that is a small fraction of what it would cost you to buy a bottle of one of theirs.

Of course there's no accounting for meadmaker's experience, or time, in this assessment! ;)

BTW - I guess I'll have to get another batch of this going sometime soon. The last batch was so well received, that with the exception of the 4 bottles that I've cellared for long term aging, it is all gone!

Wow Wayne, what a mead! I think its important to note that a mead of this sort would probably "sell" for upwards of $30 after aging for a year. It sounds absolutely delightful! Cherry cider....yum!

Prolific_Praxis
11-30-2009, 07:10 PM
On another note, when my friends have asked how much I would charge to make them a five gallon batch of mead including my time, I always tell them that I could never add my time onto costs for two reasons:
1. That would make it illegal. and 2. I have too much fun making mead. The reason I do it is just that. I am not ready to go commercial yet and don't know if I would enjoy it as much if I did.

wildoates
11-30-2009, 08:56 PM
Ask them to purchase the ingredients and you'll have the pleasure of making it without the cost!

JimSar
12-02-2009, 02:30 AM
Amazing how they can still make money on two buck Chuck, huh.

akueck
12-02-2009, 12:21 PM
Volume!

Charles Shaw gets cheap grapes from overflow/unused stock. Blend it all together, charge $2. I'm sure their margins are thin but if you sell a few million cases you still come out on top.

Medsen Fey
12-02-2009, 12:40 PM
Economies of scale give great price advantages where quality is no object. ;D

Kee
12-02-2009, 04:41 PM
... not counting yeast nutrients...
I bought a half kilo of the stuff (that I keep in a freezer until I need to take a dose) so the per dose cost is down in the noise! ;D

Funny! I thought you just left it out.

I tend to count EVERYTHING, broken hydrometers and all.