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View Full Version : I don't know how you guys do it...



chiguire
02-12-2011, 02:11 PM
Today I have been consolidating my bottled brews into the back of a closet for aging and for the sake of putting them out-of-the-way.

I don't really brew that often (I normally have a batch of beer or mead in the fermenter, sometimes I have two batches going)

I am running out of space. I have a fair amount of mead that is going to be sitting for a year or so, and I have a good amount of beer that is reading to drink right now.

I have no idea how you guys with many batches going at a time keep up with your brew and find room to store the excess...

YogiBearMead726
02-12-2011, 02:20 PM
Honestly...I can't. Since starting my mead addiction, I have stumbled across many of my early attempts that I kind of forgot about (save for my brewlog). It's fun, but I'm in a similar position with well over 7 batches of beer bottles cluttering up the storage/aging closet. I'm thinking of sticking things up in the rafters of the garage until I forget about/stumble across them again.

It sure is taking up a lot of space though, and my liver can't keep pace. Thank goodness for garden parties where I can have friends help drain the "cellar reserve". :)

gray
02-12-2011, 02:25 PM
I definitely don't have space. I've got a tiny apartment... and a wife and child take up part of that space :). My mead is currently occupying nooks and crannies in the living-room, kitchen, bedroom, and the other room my wife uses as her art studio. I dream of luxury spaces like "garages" and "rafters" :D

icedmetal
02-12-2011, 03:31 PM
My wife and I have a spare bedroom dedicated to meadmaking and beekeeping, but with as much as we make, we still tend to spill out of the room. For instance, the 20 cases of cleaned bottles in the shed, the 14 cases cleaned and stacked against the wall in the home theater room, and the 15 or so cases of dirties piling up in the garage. Gotta bottle the stuff to share it, so I guess it's a necessary evil.

Note: you can use space vertically in a closet if you get one of those industrial racks ;) Like this, 'cept, in the closet...

http://hmnuza.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pSWAI6ioezngeH4BdXH7WzgM8-8ExMg-8XT_ex8qNYwJGExgXAQqxfwpmBua0ENqSAE6yYDdpjxDQaOCYX julJLtX_o1WrRlM/rack.jpg

LOL if you look closely, you can see strawberry chunks on the ceiling.

YogiBearMead726
02-12-2011, 04:00 PM
My wife and I have a spare bedroom dedicated to meadmaking and beekeeping, but with as much as we make, we still tend to spill out of the room. For instance, the 20 cases of cleaned bottles in the shed, the 14 cases cleaned and stacked against the wall in the home theater room, and the 15 or so cases of dirties piling up in the garage. Gotta bottle the stuff to share it, so I guess it's a necessary evil.

Note: you can use space vertically in a closet if you get one of those industrial racks ;) Like this, 'cept, in the closet...

http://hmnuza.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pSWAI6ioezngeH4BdXH7WzgM8-8ExMg-8XT_ex8qNYwJGExgXAQqxfwpmBua0ENqSAE6yYDdpjxDQaOCYX julJLtX_o1WrRlM/rack.jpg

LOL if you look closely, you can see strawberry chunks on the ceiling.

Wow, that is beautiful. ;D

mccann51
02-12-2011, 04:12 PM
Well, in the spirit of community, I am more than willing to accept any excess product you have.

chiguire
02-12-2011, 04:58 PM
My wife and I have a spare bedroom dedicated to meadmaking and beekeeping, but with as much as we make, we still tend to spill out of the room. For instance, the 20 cases of cleaned bottles in the shed, the 14 cases cleaned and stacked against the wall in the home theater room, and the 15 or so cases of dirties piling up in the garage. Gotta bottle the stuff to share it, so I guess it's a necessary evil.


Holy smokes, icedmetal. That's the insanity that I am talking about!
Beautiful set up! I don't know how you manage that much brew !?!

oldwhiskers
02-12-2011, 06:18 PM
WOW, I'm at a loss for words after looking at that stash. :o

icedmetal
02-13-2011, 02:12 AM
I don't know how you manage that much brew !?!

Well, we follow the the paradigm of not bottling until it tastes good. So, meads don't get bottled before they're over a year old typically, and in some cases, 2+ years old. Given that, they tend to sit around and age in bulk. Management-wise, we just rack when there's sediment. And I don't have another hobby at all during the winter, so they get their fair share of attention. During the summer I help my wife with the hive, but that's slow times for meadmaking anyway!

And to be fair, I think four or five of the carboys in that picture are cider, not mead. ;D

Chevette Girl
02-13-2011, 03:15 AM
I love your tethers, do you live in a quake zone?

Previously I've had over 60 gallons of wine on the go at once in the corner of my crappy little kitchen (it's long and narrow and the end was wasted anyway) but now I'm moving everything to the basement (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16153) where I'm doubling my shelf space... I also took inventory (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17254) recently and have some ridiculous number of bottles aging but I've got racks set up on more shelves (when we bought our house we found strong shelving on sale so we blew $500 so the whole basement is lined with 5' tall metal shelves, that was before I started making wine) and not all of them are convenient to get to (I have to move my whole wine processing station to get to the reds rack).

Imaginative consolidation... that's how I do it.

chiguire
02-13-2011, 11:35 AM
I love your tethers, do you live in a quake zone?

Previously I've had over 60 gallons of wine on the go at once in the corner of my crappy little kitchen (it's long and narrow and the end was wasted anyway) but now I'm moving everything to the basement (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16153) where I'm doubling my shelf space... I also took inventory (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17254) recently and have some ridiculous number of bottles aging but I've got racks set up on more shelves (when we bought our house we found strong shelving on sale so we blew $500 so the whole basement is lined with 5' tall metal shelves, that was before I started making wine) and not all of them are convenient to get to (I have to move my whole wine processing station to get to the reds rack).

Imaginative consolidation... that's how I do it.

Dedication indeed!

Golddiggie
02-13-2011, 12:26 PM
I plan on moving soon, so as I look at places, I'll be thinking of how my brewing/mead making will benefit from the new surroundings. I'll be looking for areas that I can allocate for aging, places that seem to be more thermally stable, and such. I hope that I can find a place with basement storage that I'll be able to get to after being there for a while (can't get to my space now thanks to the packrat/asshole LL)... I'll also be looking to get a place on the ground floor. That way, I can use a propane burner and not need to carry hot wort up a set of stairs... :eek:

Dan McFeeley
02-13-2011, 12:33 PM
The rectangular shaped furniture pieces with cubicles
spaced off inside make great storage spots for mead
and/or wine, and it'll go with the living room set up.
You can get these relatively cheap at places like
Target, Menards, ect.

--

icedmetal
02-13-2011, 03:17 PM
I love your tethers, do you live in a quake zone?


No quakes here to speak of, but I'd rather not experience one unprepared. With 100 gallons of liquid sitting around in glass containers, I'm guessing there'd be quite a mess if the sh!t hits the fan. So we strap them all down, and place a bit of foam in between each so they can't bounce into one another. The shelving itself is secured to the wall as well.

The scientists say we're overdue for a big one 'round these parts...

wildoates
02-13-2011, 05:18 PM
My wife and I have a spare bedroom dedicated to meadmaking and beekeeping, but with as much as we make, we still tend to spill out of the room. For instance, the 20 cases of cleaned bottles in the shed, the 14 cases cleaned and stacked against the wall in the home theater room, and the 15 or so cases of dirties piling up in the garage. Gotta bottle the stuff to share it, so I guess it's a necessary evil.

Note: you can use space vertically in a closet if you get one of those industrial racks ;) Like this, 'cept, in the closet...

http://hmnuza.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pSWAI6ioezngeH4BdXH7WzgM8-8ExMg-8XT_ex8qNYwJGExgXAQqxfwpmBua0ENqSAE6yYDdpjxDQaOCYX julJLtX_o1WrRlM/rack.jpg

LOL if you look closely, you can see strawberry chunks on the ceiling.
Awesome, but I could never get a full carboy up as high as the middle shelf, let alone the top. :)

Chevette Girl
02-13-2011, 05:55 PM
Awesome, but I could never get a full carboy up as high as the middle shelf, let alone the top. :)

Ugh, yeah, me either... the bottom shelf is for 5-gal and 3-gal carboys, the middle for jugs with proper airlocks and the top enclosed shelf is storage/jugs without proper airlocks, then the top of the whole unit will be for storage of other stuff, I think empty carboys will fit between the top of the shelf and the ceiling...

akueck
02-15-2011, 01:12 AM
I'm in a tiny apartment, so mostly I follow the "I can't start a batch unless I have a place to put it" rule. I've had the same number of bottles in the pool of "full or available to be filled" for about 4 years now (5 cases of 12 oz and 2 cases of 750 ml). For bulk aging I only have space for two 5+ gallon carboys and about five 1 gallon jugs, so that keeps that end of things down as well. Short beer fermentations I'll leave more out and in the way; I have two of those going right now. But, they'll fill all my empty bottle space in a few weeks and then I can't make more until I drink it or give it away.

You'll notice most of my batches are smaller, maybe 1.5-2.5 gallons. I could make more, but I'd rather make smaller batches and have room to do something else without waiting for the first batch to disappear.

However, we'll be moving to...somewhere else in another year or so and we already have plans for expanded brewing space. I have CAD files. ;)

Tannin Boy
02-15-2011, 08:44 AM
I can't make more until I drink it or give it away.

I have CAD files. ;)

Same here!
I do give a lot away until I hit the point that consumption will resolve the remainder. ;D

I also use a CAD program for business, However the old axiom applies to this!
I believe it says " Best laid plans of mice and men? :mad:

TB

Dan McFeeley
02-15-2011, 01:16 PM
Ditto on the give aways -- I live alone, just myself and my aging rescue hound, and give away most of what I make.

Not that space limitations would make much difference. Even if I had a huge temperature controlled wine cellar to sock away everything I make, I'd still be giving away bottles. I think a lot of folk who brew/vint/mead their own are like this, getting together with friends, sharing and swapping.

--

gray
02-15-2011, 02:23 PM
Yeah, I think give aways are the key. It frees up space, lets you share your passion, and you get feedback.

I've started giving away bottles to friends specifically to have them give to other people I don't even know so I can expand my feedback circle. It works great and nobody doesn't appreciate a free bottle of wine. Most are even kind enough to return the empty for reuse.

Chevette Girl
02-15-2011, 02:35 PM
I give a lot away but I don't give it away till I'm happy with it, which is why I've still got a bunch of wines that are still hopefully aging into something I'm proud to give away rather than giving away because I'm running out of room and my friends and family are nice and will drink it anyway.

icedmetal
02-15-2011, 03:23 PM
If I even thought of trying to drink everything we make, my liver would pack up shop and head for the hills.

Anytime we visit somebody's house, they get a bottle of something. Often times at the annual Christmas gathering, everybody gets a bottle. It gets fought over when we put it in with the white elephant gifts.

We probably only drink a bottle ourselves once or twice a month. I expect that'll become once a week when we have more of the good stuff around, but that'll probably be it.

Chevette Girl
02-15-2011, 04:45 PM
We probably only drink a bottle ourselves once or twice a month. I expect that'll become once a week when we have more of the good stuff around, but that'll probably be it.

I hear ya, I'm lucky to kill a bottle or two in a month myself...

wildoates
02-15-2011, 05:58 PM
Anytime we visit somebody's house, they get a bottle of something. Often times at the annual Christmas gathering, everybody gets a bottle. It gets fought over when we put it in with the white elephant gifts.

Same here. I don't really drink it but exceedingly rarely, but I sure love to make it. :)

kudapucat
02-15-2011, 07:39 PM
Please be advised that I live in Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia.
I recycle full bottles of mead. I can also clean and return the bottles to you should you wish to refill them.
PM me for my address.
Generally I charge for this service, but as a special offer to gotmead patrons only, I'm willing to accept any bottle of mead for free.
Tasting notes and brewlogs make it easier to recycle the bottles.
Regards,
Hamish.

gray
02-15-2011, 07:51 PM
Are the returned bottles accompanied by any sort of written statement concerning the quality of said recycled mead? Perhaps even just a rolled up scrap of paper saying "It was ok"?

skunkboy
02-15-2011, 08:50 PM
Half the fun is definitely sharing the stuff, and getting feedback.

kudapucat
02-15-2011, 08:54 PM
Are the returned bottles accompanied by any sort of written statement concerning the quality of said recycled mead? Perhaps even just a rolled up scrap of paper saying "It was ok"?

This is a service we've been looking into yes.
We expect the cost to be minimal, especially if a proforma sheet is send with the bottle for filling out during evaluation.
The EPA is a stickler for documentation on all waste produced when recycling. We wouldn't want to hurt the environment.

akueck
02-15-2011, 09:02 PM
The feedback thing is kind of odd. I feel like most folks are holding back since it's something I made, even when I flat out tell them "if you don't like it, just dump it, I don't care". Getting honest feedback (face-to-face) is like pulling teeth! If it sucks, I really really want to know; negative feedback is more instructive than "yeah it's good". It's like they don't want to hurt my feelings. Arrrgh. On the flip side, I kind of do that to friends as well. Though usually I do the honest thing once and then go with platitudes if it isn't something they want to hear.

gray
02-15-2011, 09:37 PM
I feel less comfortable about feedback from my family than I do my friends. My friends are pretty open with me about whether they like something or not... whereas my family loves it because i made it whether it tastes terrible or not. It's one of the reasons I've been trying to get mead out to people I don't know, I think there's less potential for soft criticism if they've never actually met the person making the product.

Chevette Girl
02-15-2011, 11:31 PM
My friends and family are pretty honest. I do get the occasional, "BLEAH!" or the doubtful "Well, we drank it..." with the silent "please don't bring that one again" attachment... But every time I hand over a bottle, I do specifically request a critique to potentially make an improvement next time...

I was exceptionally pleased when I shared some strawberry wine with my friend's mom (who has been known to spit wine across the room if it's not to her taste) and she said nothing bad about it AND finished her glass...

beeboy
02-19-2011, 05:51 PM
Most of the time when i give a bottle or two out to friends I get some type of review on how they like it. Most of the time positive but some times a little negitive. I really think a lot of the time people just don't have anything to compare a mead to except wine. Most wine drinkers I know have a preconcieved idea about meads and just don't seem very interested in expanding thier pallet. I don't know how many times I have heard "well it tastes ok but I don't know what a good mead is suposed to taste like". We are the redheaded stepchild of the wine drinking world. JMHO

YogiBearMead726
02-19-2011, 05:57 PM
We are the redheaded stepchild of the wine drinking world. JMHO

Sounds about right. ;)

I might add, most brewers have similar doubts and preconceptions towards mead. The ones I talk to regularly think it needs to be dessert mead status. I'm slowly changing that idea by bringing them some of my dry meads. Maybe one day, mead makers will be able to stand on a level playing field with the two giants, and this site is such a great tool/inspiration for aspiring "micro-meads". :)

AToE
02-19-2011, 06:36 PM
My problem getting people convinced that mead is excellent is producing a great (not just decent) dry traditional. Most people think (and I'm finding they're often right actually) that dry mead is bland, and frankly, it can be without fruit/etc. I've got some batches aging that I think will be amazing, but nothing I have bottled that's a totally dry traditional is "knock your socks off" yet.

That's my fault for not having the recipes/processes down though. As I get better and better I'm sure I'll win people over. Until then, everyone goes nuts for my blueberry mels! ;D

mmclean
02-19-2011, 07:46 PM
@ AToE,

I'm not a big fan of blueberries themselves, but in meads they seem to be the bomb.

I think a blueberry and black currant base can produce a mead on level with a high dollar red wine.

AToE
02-19-2011, 08:13 PM
I haven't played with black currants yet - I find that as I get higher and higher lbs per gallon with blueberries my meads seem to be starting to push how much acidity is decent in a dry mead. I totally agree though, there's potential here to hook serious red wine drinkers with dry red meads.

Tannin Boy
02-20-2011, 08:24 AM
I totally agree though, there's potential here to hook serious red wine drinkers with dry red meads.

Here I am!
My buddy hooked me after he made a cranberry Melomel !
I have been tinkering with it ever since and love the flavor profile.
Yet I drink and make big Red's I still find that a ( bit ) of sweetness
is needed for this style and berry for sure. Now let's discuss the benefit's
of health that mead brings to the table! :occasion14:

TB