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Old 12-12-2011, 12:10 AM   #1
divi2323
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Default 4 gallons mead given to me

Craigslist the other day, found a dude with a ton of winemaking equipment. He wanted $150. I went to check out what he had. In my journey I came home with:

400 wine bottles (yes, that's 400 empty wine bottles, about half of which are delabeled and stored sanitized)
3 primary fermenter buckets
6 or 7 airlocks
2 hydrometers
2 wine thiefs
2 J siphons (no automatic siphons or hose, go figure)
2 lbs pectic enzyme
2 lbs K-meta
1 lbs Sodium-meta
500 campden tablets
1/2 lb bentonite
8 oz grape tannin powder
7x 1 gallon glass jugs
2x 3 gallon glass carboys
3x 5 gallon glass carboys
500 corks (estimated, i'm not counting that box)
200 toppers (estimated, not counting, looks like about 7 packs of 3x10 each though.)

and now the kicker:

1x 3 gallon carboy of already made/fermented/aged mead..... MADE IN 2004 and racked only once a year, every other year using campden tablets (1 per gallon)
1x 1 gallon jug of already made/fermented/aged mead..... MADE IN 2005!

For someone as impatient as I am, I feel that the mead alone is worth the $150 in labor to make it.

My question to you is, I need ideas with what to do with it. It is crystal clear, and the SG readings are all on the side of the jug. I tlooks like one started at about 1.092 and the other at 1.114. They are currently in the 1.008 and 1.012 range respectively. It looks like it fermented over the course of 5-6 years which I find odd, but whatever.

I've never made a mead before, but i had planned on giving it a try next summer. the 1 gallon jug is labeled "mesquite" the other, just "honeymead". the guy said he used only honey to get the SG up.

What should I do with this before bottling? I like a good dry red wine, not too fond of sweet reds, but I'll drink about anything. I was thinking of making 4 different varieties of flavors (1 being leaving the mesquite straight up). I'm looking for ideas on what you guys have done with your finished mead products. LHBS suggested making one with a wine conditioner and sweeting it just a hair. Another guy in the store said that he likes to add flavored wine conditioner to his such as rasberry or cherry. I'm open to these ideas and i'd like to get the mead makers takes on this before I start to dig in.

(and before you all ask, yes i've sampled a bit, it's great but can tell it definitely needs something.)

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Old 12-12-2011, 12:25 AM   #2
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Score!

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Old 12-12-2011, 03:21 AM   #3
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Besides the fact that K-meta makes cyser taste nasty (so I would expect it to make mead taste nasty) and it doesn't come with a corker, I'd say it's a good deal. Good corkers don't come cheap though. You should ask him if he has a corker that he was planning to sell separately and if he could give you a deal on it. Obviously don't be that up front but you get the picture..

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Old 12-12-2011, 05:01 AM   #4
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Besides the fact that K-meta makes cyser taste nasty (so I would expect it to make mead taste nasty) and it doesn't come with a corker, I'd say it's a good deal. Good corkers don't come cheap though. You should ask him if he has a corker that he was planning to sell separately and if he could give you a deal on it. Obviously don't be that up front but you get the picture..
Forgot to mention the two handed corker. It's the cheap one you get in wine starter kits, but a corker none the less.

(I've already got a nice lever action floor corker though)
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:17 AM   #5
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You want to sell that one on the cheap? PM me if your interested I need a cheapo

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Old 12-12-2011, 05:51 AM   #6
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First off...wow that's a lot of stuff. You must have a decent sized space just to store all that equipment.
As far as the mead started years ago why not bottle it? The gravity seems high to me but if it is done, sounds like time to bottle.

-cheers

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Old 12-12-2011, 07:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewingmeister View Post
First off...wow that's a lot of stuff. You must have a decent sized space just to store all that equipment.
As far as the mead started years ago why not bottle it? The gravity seems high to me but if it is done, sounds like time to bottle.

-cheers
I'm definitely looking to bottle it, but i'd like to sweeten it just a bit or give it some flavors instead of keeping it straight up. Not opposed to just bottling it and being done with it, but it's an opportunity to take something already made and twist it a bit for my own taste.

I've heard of people adding more honey to sweeten and adding sorbate, i've also heard of people using a flavored extract. Just looking for ideas before I go to bottle.

Last question, do I need to add some meta before bottling like I do with wine?
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:54 AM   #8
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1st thing is to taste that mead & go from there. Maybe it's great as is, maybe you'll want to do something else to it. I'd at least keep a couple bottles worth as is, just to see how well it ages. I suspect the one labeled "mesquite" is made with mesquite honey, a very tasty varietal that's both expensive & tough to get outside the US southwest.
Just my 2 cnts worth. Regards, GF.

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Old 12-12-2011, 12:02 PM   #9
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That's so funny. We checked this guy out just the other day. Our meadery is almost at capacity (until we build more shelves ) so we passed. Congrats on the great buy! We figured the carboys alone were worth the price.

I'm assuming you've tasted the meads and are not happy with the flavor as is? If you are going to play, keep in mind the 1 gallon batches aren't a lot to work with so you can over do it easily. Also, keep in mind that I am a little biased. We always have plain show meads handy and we love the taste of an oaked traditional, (haven't tried mesquite yet) and all but 2 of our meads had a final gravity under 1.010. Yes, we like 'em dry.

The best of luck in whatever you choose to do!

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Old 12-12-2011, 12:27 PM   #10
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It's not that I dont like the taste, i've sampled it and it's good. I'd just like to do a few different things with it so that when I go to make my first batch eventually, i'm not just flying dark on it.

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