PDA

View Full Version : Hello from CO



Tatan
09-09-2011, 04:53 PM
Hello everyone!

I've decided that it's probably for the better to join a forum on mead before attempting my first recipe. I'm going to the local homebrew store this weekend and will be picking up supplies for a first batch. Being my first try I'll keep it simple and read the NewBee stuff on this site like crazy. Thanks for having all that information!

Bugleman
09-09-2011, 05:05 PM
Welcome! I have only been on for a few weeks and have already started a few batches that are getting close to being ready to rack.

Here is a great place to start your research

http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=108&Itemid=14

Good luck on your first batch of mead. :D

JSquared
09-09-2011, 06:16 PM
Greetings! Good luck and there is so much great knowledge available here. Wellcome to the addiction...er Hobby. :D

wildoates
09-10-2011, 01:36 AM
You're totally doing it backwards...you're supposed to brew a batch from some antiquated Internet recipe, panic when you fear something's gone wrong, desperately google "mead," and finally end up here for reassurance and adivce. Coming here first seems profoundly unnatural. :)

Dan McFeeley
09-10-2011, 10:19 AM
Welcome to the forums!

If you have any previous brewing and/or vinting experience, that will be helpful.

If you're into books on the subject, the best one to pick up is The Compleat Meadmaker by Ken Schramm. Here's an Amazon link for the book:

http://www.amazon.com/Compleat-Meadmaker-Production-Award-winning-Variations/dp/0937381802

--

Tatan
09-10-2011, 11:39 AM
You're totally doing it backwards...you're supposed to brew a batch from some antiquated Internet recipe, panic when you fear something's gone wrong, desperately google "mead," and finally end up here for reassurance and adivce. Coming here first seems profoundly unnatural. :)

I knew I was already doing something wrong. ;)

I have zero personal experience but I know a few homebrewers of wine and beer. Craft brewing is huge in my city and some of the old craft breweries are too big to be called that anymore (New Belgium, Odells, etc.). There's a meadery just east of here but I never see any of their products. Boulder has some good stuff though, and Palisade's mead is wonderful.

I picked up "Making Wild Wines and Meads" by Vargas and Gulling before joining as I'm also a huge fan of herbs. Metheglin's will probably end up my area but as I said, I'm looking to keep my first batch very simple.

wildoates
09-10-2011, 08:07 PM
I didn't have any experience brewing either, but as a science teacher my first instinct was to do some research before beginning. I lurked for quite a while, made some JAO, and thanks to the good advice here, haven't screwed up a batch up yet, knock on McFeeley's wooden flute. What you can't find here isn't worth knowing, but I warn you that it's an expensive hobby, not unlike the two "free" turtles a former student recently "gave" to my classroom. $400 later...

At least with mead you'll have something to show for it in the end.

Soyala_Amaya
09-10-2011, 11:23 PM
It's expensive on the outward bound, but say even with buying a $30 dollar fermentor and 2 $30 dollar carboys, then put ~$100 of fermentables into your 5 gallon batch, I'll round it up to $200 for yeast and nutrients, and at ~ 25 wine bottle for 5 gal batch, that's STILL an initial invest of $8 bucks a bottle. After you buy your supplies and aren't figuring that in, cost can drop down to $4 bucks a bottle, and if you're using less costly ingredients (methelegins, my hard lemonade I'm working on) under $2 bucks a bottle!

Do you know how BAD $4 wine is? I'd have to spend almost $400 every 5 gallon batch to get to $15 a bottle which is you're average table wine, and probably still not have something I like as much as my own homebrew. You have to remember, when make booze in GALLONS, figure your final cost in BOTTLES, and it hurts a lot less.

Or at least that's what I keep telling myself. ;D

wildoates
09-10-2011, 11:36 PM
No, you're absolutely right, when you consider the value of what you get it's not so bad, especially since you--with a modicum of planning--can get exactly what you want to drink. I drink almost none of mine (I don't drink other than to taste, love making it, though!), but I give it away as gifts. Nobody has complained yet. :)

And I can't belive my iPhone allowed me to misspell "advice" in my first post.

kudapucat
09-11-2011, 08:14 AM
Misspell?
Also... I make mead for $2.50 per quart, which is less than $2.00 per wine bottle, or $1.00 per stubbie (11 Oz)
This is after initial outlay for hardware is removed.
This us also for a JAO which has the highest OG I've ever pitched, do most mead I make is in face cheaper. I get my honey for $3.50/lb (approx conversion) usually, but picked up a bucket the other day for $2/lb.

Matrix4b
09-12-2011, 11:56 AM
Greetings to another Colorado Mead Brewer.

I am not home to Boulder but out of Thornton but Meh same thing.

My first recipie was just a simple mead that I did with Alfalfa honey from Madhava's. Good honey there but they raised their prices reciently. I am now on the hunt for local Apieries or bee keepers for better supply.

I started out with having Ken's book of "Complet Meadmaker's Guide" Great book and just used his sweet mead recipie more or less. Turned out great and now I am into my 15th batch or so. Like 3-4 years later.

I would suggest that you do what you wish, I think that a basic honey mead recipie is good to start with. Find a honey you like, stay away from grocery store bought honey, go with something from Vitamin Cottage or Whole Foods (as my friends say Whole Paycheck" and enjoy. Also, Just as a note, many here will tell you that you don't need to heat the honey to oblivioun. I would only warm it up enough to integrate with the water well then let cool down. The trick of putting water in the fridge or using ice to cool it down quicker helps.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Matrix

wayneb
09-12-2011, 01:03 PM
Let me offer my somewhat belated welcome to the Gotmead community, too! I guess everything that needed to be said to a new meadmaker has already been covered by earlier posts, so when you're done with your research and ready to brew up your first recipe, let me encourage you to start a brewlog (we have a forum section for that!), and we can both follow along with your progress and answer any questions that you might have along the way.

Medsen Fey
09-12-2011, 01:20 PM
...it's an expensive hobby, not unlike the two "free" turtles a former student recently "gave" to my classroom. $400 later...

At least with mead you'll have something to show for it in the end.

And what, pray tell, is wrong with turtle soup?
Mmmm Mmm Good... ;D


Oh, and welcome Tatan!

wildoates
09-13-2011, 06:38 PM
That's some expensive turtle soup. :)

Tatan
09-15-2011, 02:40 AM
Greetings to another Colorado Mead Brewer.

I am not home to Boulder but out of Thornton but Meh same thing.

My first recipie was just a simple mead that I did with Alfalfa honey from Madhava's. Good honey there but they raised their prices reciently. I am now on the hunt for local Apieries or bee keepers for better supply.

I started out with having Ken's book of "Complet Meadmaker's Guide" Great book and just used his sweet mead recipie more or less. Turned out great and now I am into my 15th batch or so. Like 3-4 years later.

I would suggest that you do what you wish, I think that a basic honey mead recipie is good to start with. Find a honey you like, stay away from grocery store bought honey, go with something from Vitamin Cottage or Whole Foods (as my friends say Whole Paycheck" and enjoy. Also, Just as a note, many here will tell you that you don't need to heat the honey to oblivioun. I would only warm it up enough to integrate with the water well then let cool down. The trick of putting water in the fridge or using ice to cool it down quicker helps.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Matrix
Redstone Meadery in Boulder uses Madhava. I talk to the Madhava guys a lot being the grocery manager at the Vitamin Cottage up here in Fort Collins, which is how I'm going to attempt to keep costs down. After buying the startup equipment I'm now deciding what honey and what recipe to start off with. I may go with Madhava Alfalfa by your recommendation and use my discount to combat the price increase.

Although, we just got some Brazilian Killer Bee Honey (http://shop.onceagainnutbutter.com/product.sc?productId=84&categoryId=3) in that I may drop some money on once I get comfortable with making mead. Should be interesting.

wayneb
09-15-2011, 11:33 AM
Hey, Tatan! Since you're a "local," too, let me connect you with Kyle Byerly up near you (he's kc0dhb here on Gotmead). You might want to send him a PM to find out when he's planning to coordinate the next group bulk buy of honey from the Johnston family up there. Jeff Johnston is a commercial beekeeper and honey broker (Colorado Honey Company) up in the Ft. Collins area, and his sisters run their retail outlet: http://www.beeyondthehive.com/ Jeff supplies some pretty big accounts (notably Udi's Bakery, among others) with their honey, but he always seems to have several barrels left over of various different varietal honeys that he's willing to sell to us at near his cost. That beats any deal I've ever been able to get from Madhava, and since Jeff gets varietals from all over the country, you get more variety than Madhava's two or three variants of wildflower and clover/alfalfa.

Kyle's pretty active in the Liquid Poets brewclub up there, and since he lives so close to Jeff's main packing warehouse, he's our local honey négociant-éleveur, so to speak, for those of us who participate in the group buys.

kc0dhb
09-15-2011, 11:19 PM
I'm planning on getting a barrel each (55gal) of CA Orange Blossom, CA Buckwheat, and maybe some honey out of Trinidad CO (Thick sweet alfalfa/wildflower/clover blend) in the next month or so (want to wait until after I finish running the Muse Cup). Looking at around $2/lb and I'll be putting it in either 45 or 60 lb buckets. Little less for the Trinidad, little more for the orange blossom. This is, of course, unfiltered honey, and only heated enough for us to pour it.

I can also get some TX mesquite (13-15% moisture content), already packaged in 1gal jugs. Jeff said he wanted those gone...

Taylor and Jake at Hops & Berries have also made some good meads in their day, and last I looked they were carrying the essentials for a first batch (DAP, fermaid-K (maybe fermax?), goFerm, clover honey, and a limited selection of yeasts such as D47, K1V-1116, 71B-1122, and RC-212).

Kyle

PM me if you've some interest. Jeff would probably be happy for you to go down and pickup a case of that mesquite off his hands...

Matrix4b
09-16-2011, 11:48 AM
I'm planning on getting a barrel each (55gal) of CA Orange Blossom, CA Buckwheat, and maybe some honey out of Trinidad CO (Thick sweet alfalfa/wildflower/clover blend) in the next month or so (want to wait until after I finish running the Muse Cup). Looking at around $2/lb and I'll be putting it in either 45 or 60 lb buckets. Little less for the Trinidad, little more for the orange blossom. This is, of course, unfiltered honey, and only heated enough for us to pour it.

I can also get some TX mesquite (13-15% moisture content), already packaged in 1gal jugs. Jeff said he wanted those gone...
Kyle

PM me if you've some interest. Jeff would probably be happy for you to go down and pickup a case of that mesquite off his hands...

I have much interest in the Trinidad for Alfalfa. I have never tried Orange Blossom and Mesquite, they sound interesting. But would love to have a 60 pound bucket, you said around $2/lb or a little less than that?

This would be great. 60 pounds will let me get the Pumpkin Hazelnut, Mango, Strawberry Oat, and Peach (Basil) done. Once my Carboy space opens up from my blueberry lemon, 2 chocolate batches and my 3 toast test.

Also, in Summer, I plan on doing a Bamboo Jasmin and Blueberry.

Keeping costs down would be great.

Tatan
09-16-2011, 12:52 PM
Thanks for the info! I knew there had to be some seasoned meadmakers in FoCo. I already know a small group of amateurs.

Hops & Berries is where I got my basic kit from. I'm going shopping this weekend for the sanitizer, yeast, and honey.

Kyle I'd be willing to take some of that TX Mesquite for a reasonable price. I'll send you a PM.

Soyala_Amaya
09-16-2011, 12:57 PM
*sniff* I wish I lived somewhere there was better varietal honey. I've called every apiary I know of in the area, and they all tell me the same thing...wildflower, clover. MAYBE alfalfa, but anyone selling that would have to plant their own fields because there aren't any good farms like that within 100 miles. Lucky ducks.

wayneb
09-16-2011, 01:02 PM
A few years ago we coordinated shipment of 5 gallon buckets of some Raspberry Blossom honey to folks around this half of the country. Shipping costs aren't cheap, but if the per pound honey cost is low enough (and the varietal special enough), then it might be worth getting some special honeys that way.

Anyone interested in trying that again sometime soon? I doubt the interest would be there for OB or Buckwheat, but if there is enough general interest, then we could check with Jeff and see what "strange and unusual" honeys he might have taking up space in his warehouse this year.

Chevette Girl
09-16-2011, 02:18 PM
I could sell you a gallon of blackberry varietal honey produced in Oregon, the North Willamette Valley for 45 dollars and I think it would fit in a Medium flat rate shipping box at a cost of 10 bucks. If you like, I would include some cappings too for essence of the hive.


Anyone ever try to ship honey across the border? I would so take you up on this if it's not a horrendous pain in the arse.

kc0dhb
09-16-2011, 10:36 PM
@WayneB: Jeff said if there was some sort of interesting varietal honey that I wanted he'd source it for me, get it, heat it up to liquefy it (if necessary) and charge me a fair handling fee. I know he has a source for meadowfoam, don't remember the price.

Been too busy this summer to take him up on that.

Kyle

TheAlchemist
09-16-2011, 11:39 PM
Anyone ever try to ship honey across the border? I would so take you up on this if it's not a horrendous pain in the arse.

I got my wold blackberry from http://www.flyingbeeranch.net/
Don't know if they ship over the border, but they're friendly and will reply to an e-mail for sure.
RattleSnakeFarm is happy and dry.

wayneb
09-17-2011, 12:42 AM
@WayneB: Jeff said if there was some sort of interesting varietal honey that I wanted he'd source it for me, get it, heat it up to liquefy it (if necessary) and charge me a fair handling fee. I know he has a source for meadowfoam, don't remember the price.

Been too busy this summer to take him up on that.

Kyle

If he could get meadowfoam at a good price, I'd definitely be interested in a couple of 5 gallon buckets. I want to do a large batch of a very light, dry, sparkler, and meadowfoam honey would do nicely in that.

Matrix4b
09-19-2011, 12:39 PM
@WayneB: Jeff said if there was some sort of interesting varietal honey that I wanted he'd source it for me, get it, heat it up to liquefy it (if necessary) and charge me a fair handling fee. I know he has a source for meadowfoam, don't remember the price.

Been too busy this summer to take him up on that.

Kyle

I am out of Denver and it isn't too far for me to Ft Collins. If he is in Ft Collins, Yeah, Let me know what I can get. Primarily I have been sticking with the same honey type (alfalfa) while I experiment a bit with the adjuncts but it would be good to know the obptions.

I got a Pumpkin Hazelnut mead I want to put together in late October and over the winter a Mango, Peach (Basil), And Strawberry Oat.

So I am going to need the honey. Got your message and awaiting for when in mid oct.

Matrix

wildoates
09-20-2011, 12:11 AM
I'm up for it if it's something interesting and not too expensive. I was extremely happy with wayne's last shipment of raspberry!

TheAlchemist
09-20-2011, 05:30 PM
I'm watching this thread. Keep us posted. I'm always up for good honey at a nice price.