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Old 03-17-2006, 04:42 PM   #1
Red Hawke
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Hi to everyone in this forum..........I am interested in making mead at home it sounds delicious. I have read alot of info from various sites but cant seem to find a list of equipment needed for mead making. I would like to start out right with good equipment and a solid knowledge base, are there any books that I should read?? Please help this lost newbie with your suggestions and guidance.
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Vernie Hatthorn

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Old 03-17-2006, 09:23 PM   #2
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You would just need the basic beer brewing kit; i.e., primary, carboy, bottling bucket, tubing, bottling cane, etc.

The only other thing you would need is honey and some acid blend....oh, yeah, patience!

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Old 03-19-2006, 09:45 PM   #3
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Thanks Homebrewer 99,
My wife and I made the trip to Houston yesterday and bought one of those all in one kits for beer-wine making. We ended up with all the stuff for brewing beer as she really likes Corona and the stuff for our first mead, the beer should be in the fermenter tonight and as soon as its racked over into the carboy we will get the mead started. I went ahead and bought 2 three gallon glass carboy's for the mead to work in and will then have plenty of carboy's to rack over into when the time comes. The folks at Defalco's Home Wine & Beer were very helpful and told us over and over about how important the proper cleaning and steralization of the equipment was for both the beer and the mead. I have read where some dont like the plastic buckets for the primary fermenting chamber and use the glass carboy for that stage as well as the second. What do you guys think, have any of you used the plastic bucket with good results? It seems it would keep more light out but I do think I would like to see what is going on inside while its fermenting. What are the pro's and con's?????
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Vernie

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Old 03-19-2006, 10:18 PM   #4
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Red Hawke - Defalco's were right in emphasizing sanitation!
The 'plastic verses glass for primary' debate is a personal choice - I happily use plastic brew buckets for primary but glass for secondary is definately the best option.

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Old 03-20-2006, 01:28 PM   #5
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I am planning a three gallon recipe on my first mead will the 5 gallon carboy be OK?? I have read that very little air space in the fermentor is recomended.
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Vernie

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Old 03-20-2006, 03:08 PM   #6
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For the primary fermentation, extra airspace would be ideal as yeast need oxygen at first to get off to a good start. Some people even shake the carboy periodically for the first 3 days to get air incorporated into the must.

For the secondary fermentation you would not want to expose your must to air at all. So racking into one of those 3 gallon carboys you bought would be best, you'd want as little headspace as possible at this point.

My wife and I share our plastic buckets and glass carboys for beer (me) and mead (her). We've been told that a downside of this would be that we'd be flavoring each others batches from sharing the plastic buckets...but we haven't noticed any off flavors at all. So go for it with the plastic buckets, they're easier to clean too.

It is a good idea to keep your brews away from light, it could possibly produce off flavors and the yeasties like it dark and cozy anyway. My wife puts one of her shirts on her carboys to keep out light...that way she can peek. I just put mine back into the box the carboy came in.

Some good reading on mead can be found on the gotmead forums...
http://gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=103
Good luck and happy brewing.

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Old 03-20-2006, 06:19 PM   #7
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Thanks Dansmith13
You guys have been very helpful and I really appreciate that you take the time to explain things to someone you dont even know. I am sure I will have more questions in the future and I will continue to read the forum and at some point hopefully be able to contribute something back to this great site and the good folks that are here.
Vernie

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Old 03-20-2006, 08:12 PM   #8
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Eventually that cardboard box will give up the ghost.

I put all my carboys in milk crates. This is how I carry them around when they are full/empty. I also cut out several layers of cardboard and place them in the crates under the carboys. When they get wet, etc., I just cut more new ones.

As for off-odors, do an overnight soak in a bleach & water solution. That gets rid of most odors. Be sure to rinse with LOTS of HOT water!

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