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erik2003
09-23-2004, 05:12 AM
Hello:

i just started my interest in making mead. I started looking into wine and learned of mead also. I am thinking of trying to brew mead first, so I found a website selling the basic kits. I am considering purchasing the leeners.com, 3 gallon meadery kit. Has anyone reviewed this kit, and what were the reviews.

Any advise you could provide as to a meadery kit are appreciated.

Thanks.

dogglebe
09-23-2004, 06:04 AM
Once you include postage, the kit is fairly expensive, especially considering that you'll be making one gallon batches. Find your local homebrew supply store and see what prices you can get to have a kit put together for you.


Phil

ScottS
09-23-2004, 06:16 PM
I agree, go to your local homebrew store. They should be able to set you up with everything you need to make 5 gallon batches for $70 or so. At least, that's what my start kit costed.

Talon
09-23-2004, 07:38 PM
I really liked it as a starter kit and used their sweet mead recipe. However, you can get the items cheaper and in parts at your brew shop. If you want the recipe kit and get everything else in piece-meal fashion from your brew shop, it would be much easier/cheaper... So, in stead of paying the $80 like it cost me, you would pay the $35 for the recipe kit, $45 for your carboys and racking cane and tube.

That's also over guessing for the price of shipping and assuming that your local brew shop charges $20 for your 3 gallon carboys, but they are usually closer to $16... Research your prices first, do the math and figure out what is easier.

I also posted a different way of doing their recipe where I hadn't pasturized and it has taken off like wild fire!

Talon.

GntlKnght
09-25-2004, 09:49 AM
Been very happy with the kit my wife bought me for christmas. She got it at:
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/catalog_download.asp

Local brew store is also great, but most things at my local store are more expensive.

Have fun!!!

dogglebe
09-25-2004, 06:09 PM
Local brew store is also great, but most things at my local store are more expensive.

I visited the site and priced a basic starter kit. After adding shipping to the cost, it's about six dollars more than my local homebrew shop.

The LHBS shouldn't ignored because it charges a few dollars more (in some cases). This is where the beginners do a lot of their learning. Here, they can spend hours asking questions before (and after) starting, and bring a bottle of his/her finished product for evaluation. You can't do that on a website.


Phil

GntlKnght
09-26-2004, 04:48 PM
This is where the beginners do a lot of their learning. Here, they can spend hours asking questions before (and after) starting, and bring a bottle of his/her finished product for evaluation. You can't do that on a website.


Phil

I could not agree more!

erik2003
09-27-2004, 05:15 AM
Sounds good, I do like the kits since they provide all of the equipment that you need.

Well, I did check out a local shop. Really, a hardware store with a small section for beer, wine, and supplies.

Putting it together looks reasonable. But if I peice it together myself, all I would need for mead is the following, correct?:

Fermenter (one 6-gallon glass carboy (or fermentation bucket),
one 6-gallon glass carboy to rack the mead from the fermenter, and then swap the fermentor carboy for later racking
an air lock or two,
racking cane and tubing.

Is this correct?

JamesP
09-27-2004, 09:19 AM
An Hydrometer - to check your potential Alcohol & whether fermentation has finished.

Cleaning powder (Potassium Metabisulfite or similar).

Bottle & corks & corking apparatus - I use PET soft drink containers mostly, it's cheaper and the mead doesn't last that long ;)

You might want your glass carboy to be 5 gal (or between 5 & 6 gal).
This will reduce the topping-up of your batch. After primary fermentation, you lose some volume with the lees left behind (old yeast & fruit bits at the bottom of the primary fermentor).

Some NON-ESSENTIALS:
tannin powder (if you want to add some mouthfeel - some add tea to the recipe instead)
Sorbate (to stabilise the mead if you are sweetening - used in conjunction with the Pot-meta)
Pectinase (when doing Melomels - to break down the pectin in the fruit)
Oak chips or equivalent (add oak flavour & tannin)
An extra dose of patience (they never seem to stock this one ;D)

Oskaar
09-27-2004, 10:12 AM
Howdy Erik,

Don't forget the following in your "MUST" (lol) have essentials:

Carboy Brush
Bottle Brush
Carboy/Bottle jet cleaner for rinsing and powering off most of the built up crud in the carboys.
A section of hose and a faucet sized hose barb in case you don't have a deep sink in your Meadhouse like I do ;)
Line clamp for racking time (it pinches the tubing to stop the flow) and saves you from overfilling bottles and spilling on the floor.

More non-requisite stuff that makes brewing more smooth:
A section of indoor/outdoor carpeting to brew over and to set your carboys on top of.
Plastic Stretch Wrap (Costco, Sam's, etc.) to cover the top of your sanitized carboys while you get ready to rack (just punch your tubing right through it)
A digital pH meter
An Acid testing kit
A couple of deep plastic tubs that will accomodate your carboys (Smart and Final for $4.95) they're nice because you can sanitize your carboys in them and the handles on the tub allow for easy lifting and moving without bouncing them off the tile or cement floor.
A wine thief (plastic or glass, I prefer glass)
A final gravity hydrometer (narrower range in a larger format)
Some mason jars (for starters and rehydrating yeast)

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

Jmattioli
09-27-2004, 09:08 PM
Joe's simple Mead kit---

Absolute minimum equipment I would start with:
2 1 gallon glass jugs 3.95 ea
2 rubber bungs and airlocks to fit jugs 1.50 ea
1 aquarium siphon hose 4 ft long (for racking) 1.00
1 funnel to pour honey mixture in jug/carboy (use your wife's)
1 large stainless spoon to help disolve honey (use your wife's)
1 large stainless pot to disolve honey in (use your wife's)
1 dozen used wine bottles (a gift from your friends who drink) use screw tops.
Clorox bleach to disinfect above items (use your wife's)

Just $12.00 will get you started. The rest is just frills to come later. With a good recipe, who needs a PH kit, acid test kit, racking cane or hydrometer or chemicals?

Other than the selected yeast (.60), honey and other ingredients in the recipe, that will do it with a little knowledge of the process. Your initial cost will only be about $2.50 a bottle for your first dozen.
Joe

ScottS
09-27-2004, 10:04 PM
I agree with Joe, simpler is better. Though I'd splurge and add a $4 racking cane to the mix. ;)

And if you've got more money to burn but don't know where to start, skip the 1 gal jugs and get a 5 gallon carboy and a 6 gallon bucket. $22 or so, and I guarantee you'll thank me when you end up with 25 bottles of mead instead of 5. ;D

David Baldwin
10-21-2004, 07:45 PM
Just a note to my own personal preferance.

I use 3 gallon carboys and 5 gallon buckets.

The 3 gallon batches are lighter and easier to wrestle around my work area.

Aggie4You
11-10-2004, 11:16 PM
And if you've got more money to burn but don't know where to start, skip the 1 gal jugs and get a 5 gallon carboy and a 6 gallon bucket. $22 or so, and I guarantee you'll thank me when you end up with 25 bottles of mead instead of 5. ;D

I'd agree with one caveat. I'd start with the one gallon jugs and upgrade when I found a recipe I liked.

In my case, I got all of my (initial) parts for free. My mother bought my dad a beer brewing kit from a garage sale. The previous owners husband had purchased it, never used it, and then died. She bought the entire kit (plastic primary, 5 gallon carboy, brushes, airlock, funnel, stainless pot w/lid, cane, tubing, et al.) for $10. Dad gave it to me because he wasn't interested in brewing with one condition. The one condition... mom wants the stainless pot back. I figure it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. :)