View Full Version : Making Enough for Home Use

10-12-2015, 07:52 AM
I'm pretty new to wine and mead making, but have some going. I'm curious how to produce enough to meet my needs. Let's say that I want to drink a bottle a week (we don't drink a lot and a bottle a week is way more than we drink now) how would I go about producing that? If I have to age for months, etc. it seems my vessels are tied up and production stops. Right now I only have 1 gallon carboys (6 of them). I'm not sure I want to spend a lot either.

Just curious how to figure out what my production needs would be.

10-12-2015, 08:30 AM
There's 52 weeks in a year. Two 6 gallon carboys would make 55-60 standard size bottles of wine. That would satisfy drinking 52 bottles a year, plus a little extra to stockpile.

So 12 gallons a year is your answer.

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10-12-2015, 08:35 AM
To add to my response though, you may consider doing double or even triple that the first year, so that you have enough to age properly. After that, you can scale down to 12 gallons a year to simply maintain your stock, always drinking from your oldest bottles.

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10-12-2015, 09:46 AM
I'd buy larger carboys. I've found that 2nd hand carboys are VERY cheap. Just make sure there are no chips or hairline cracks. Using larger carboys also cuts down on the work needed. You can still use the smaller carboys for test batches or store some mead for topping off the larger carboys

10-12-2015, 09:49 AM
And what brottman said. If you have some mead in bulk aging you might still want to make some more mead at intervals to keep the chain of aged meads going

10-12-2015, 10:04 AM
I don't want to wait a year to drink what I'm making now! :)

I guess I could make some of those 'quick meads/melomels' to hold me over.

What's a good source for used carboys?

10-12-2015, 10:19 AM
I guess I could make some of those 'quick meads/melomels' to hold me over

That's an option. You could also consider making some quick beers to tide you over. Even the short meads take a long time to get really good.

10-12-2015, 11:48 AM
This will probably get me hurt, but I hate beer.

10-12-2015, 12:12 PM
What's a good source for used carboys?
I'm from malta so I can't help you there. Alternatively you could try finding 1 gallon 'carboys' which are used to sell cheap wine in. Some restaurants or hotels might use them and you might get them to give them to you once they're empty rather than throwing them away. All my 1 gallon carboys were acquired like this and I have over 20 of them

10-12-2015, 08:00 PM
I would make a few BOMMs (Braye's One Month Mead - search this site for more info) so you can get to drinking the meads sooner, once you have a stock then you can start aging them longer. You get about five 750ml bottles per gallon of mead so you need to make about 10-12 gallons a year if you drink one bottle per week, but you will probably want to make more so that you have a variety on hand plus let them age for a year or longer to see how the taste changes over time - take good tasting notes each time you open a bottle.

For a 5-6 gallon batch: 7.9 gallon primary fermenting bucket with air lock is about $27.00. A 6.5 gallon secondary/aging bucket with air lock is about $16.00-$20.00. You will also need a bottling bucket - same as the aging bucket but with a spigot on the bottom, plus a length of hose and a bottling wand - say another $30.00; plus corks or bottle caps (depending on what bottles you decide to use) and a corker or capper. Empty buckets stack inside of each other for storage (except for the bottling bucket because of the spigot) thus taking up less space than carboys. I have never owned a carboy and I have made well over 250 batches of beer, wine, and mead with only buckets with no problems.

10-13-2015, 07:16 AM
Another thing to consider is: do you want to drink the same flavor for 25 weeks in a row (or even two or three flavors)? I like mixing up my beverages pretty regularly; but with a large batch ferment you'll have a limited flavor combination. You might consider 50% straight mead, then play with some spice infusions in others, just to have a variety on hand.

Fermented Fluid
10-17-2015, 01:39 AM
One gallon = 3.78 litres, one standard wine bottle is .75 litres. Five bottles per gallon. Depending how long your mead takes to finish, you might want a couple more jugs. 30 bottles is 7 months supply in your case. Making some hydromels might also help because they take less time and cost less money.