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Old 06-27-2012, 05:03 PM   #1
EndlessPurple
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Default Good Batch Size

From reading on here it seems a lot of mead makers here do a 1 gallon batch and some do larger batches. Right now I have several 1 gal carboys which I have my first meads in. I was looking at getting some 3 gal carboys for larger batches as I am concerned about the 1 gal size being too small.

Those that have been making mead a while: what size batches work out well in terms of useability?

my concern on the one gal is that only 5 bottles would be gone quick if the mead came out good, but I could be wrong and that is a good amount before ready to move on to the next flavor of the day.

If I do 5 gal batches, I would imagine the bottles of mead would start to collect fast, esp if one wanted to try to make new batches every 1 or 2 months.

That is why I was wondering if 3 gal would be a happy medium or am I completely off on how far each bottle may go?

Any input on how much you make and how far it last based on how it is drank/shared would help me in terms of buying more carboys. So far I am having fun making the different batches - just none are old enough to drink yet.

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Old 06-27-2012, 06:43 PM   #2
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the advantage of doing a 5 gallon batch is that you can split it in into 5 seperate 1 gallon batches when it is done and then add different berries, spices, etc to each batch

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Old 06-27-2012, 07:54 PM   #3
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I like doing 3-5 gallon batches

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Old 06-27-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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I like making ~4 gallons in 1/6bbl sanke kegs. I would be very aware of headspace for the batches too. Trying to make 3 or 5 gallons in a vessel that same size (rating) is a recipe for cleanup. Leave at least 1/2-3/4 of a gallon headspace in the vessel so that you don't make a sticky mess.

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Old 06-27-2012, 08:25 PM   #5
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I usually ferment my meads in 3-gallon carboys. I usually use 2 gallons of water. With the volume of honey, that is somewhere in the 2.5 gallon range, which leaves just about the right amount of headspace. I did have to use a 5 gallon carboy on a melomel recently, because it used a large amount of fruit juice.

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Old 06-27-2012, 08:28 PM   #6
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Is there a cheap place to get the 3 gallon carboys? I was thinking the same thing regarding batch size. My first batch is 5 gallons because I'm fairly confident I'll like it (blueberry). But 1 gallon seems a bit small, 3 gallons seemed like a happy medium.

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Old 06-27-2012, 08:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knotquiteawake
Is there a cheap place to get the 3 gallon carboys? I was thinking the same thing regarding batch size. My first batch is 5 gallons because I'm fairly confident I'll like it (blueberry). But 1 gallon seems a bit small, 3 gallons seemed like a happy medium.
I have just been getting mine from a local place to avoid shipping costs (and to make sure the glass isn't cracked). I think the product cost here is a little high though. Sorry I don't have any helpful suggestions.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:49 PM   #8
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A 5 gal batch is sort of the standard size. I find that I can get about 2 cases out of it of 12 oz bottles. That's 8 sixpacks or 48 bottles. To me that is not too much. I habitually squirl away 1 sixpack for the future anyway and I have friends that love my mead. So yeah, a 5-6 gal batch is fine. Unfortunately I only have 8 carboys. So this means I do about 16 batches at most a year. That is still under 1/3 of the maximum for home brewing in my state (250 gal a year). It would be nice to have the honey money do do that much, let alone the space.

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Old 06-27-2012, 09:52 PM   #9
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For me the issue wouldn't be having "too much" mead, but like you said "honey money" is limited. So I would rather have a diversity of options than a lot of a few.

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Old 06-28-2012, 02:51 AM   #10
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Many spring water companies that make larger 3,4 and 5 gallon waterbottles for home water coolers, use the type 1 I think it is bottles now that are non permeable to oxygen and stuff, I find they work great for primary fermenters and if you have a recycling center near by that you can make a friend at they will usually just give them to you, I've gotten 4, 4gallon ones in the last month from there for free.

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