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Old 11-16-2012, 07:58 PM   #1
ArctosNero
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Default My new guetto setup

My Xmas mead is a success! I've decided (on the 1st of November) to start preparing for next Xmas. Larger quantity was the first requisite (I suppose every brewer finds this out.), my batch got claimed by friends and family faster than I could say "my mead is ready". Freaking vampires!

I'm very much into recycling and sustainable stuff like aquaponics, so here it is, my "mostly" from recycled stuff from around the house items, guetto mead fermenting setup.
The middle one will be a strawberry melomel eventually and it's resting in the original mineral water jug I used for that recipe.
The other 2 are food-grade plastic containers I've found in my french travels and they get the job done as long as it's not a hot liquid, of course.
I've got several meters of unused aquarium tubing from a hobby enthusiast, and I just used them to serve as my stopper. They're held in place to avoid water and oxygen passing through with a non-toxic glue used in food establishments. It's just a hole in the containers lids and the tube goes in a bit. That's it.
The tubes finish their journey inside those small empty honey jars. It's just water with tons of sea salt to avoid nasties. CO2 goes out, no O goes in.

It's beyond ugly, but hey, it works, it's cheap, and I can re-use most of it.
I have around 35 liters / 10 US gallons in there.
The strawberry one hopefully will be decent around summer time. The ladies are swooning already. The rest of the batch will just sit until I see fit. Probably next Xmas.



Feel free to leave any comments, any improvement ideas I could use, taking in consideration the recycling angle. I've been looking for large glass containers forever, but until now, nothing.
Cheers!

(P.S. Please ignore the PS3 and the martial arts diploma in the background. That's my man-desk and it's filled with all sorts of random junk)

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Old 11-17-2012, 07:37 AM   #2
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If it works, then what the hell.......

I'd still say that you should get hold of some glass though, just to age it in, as there's still quite a bit of uncertainty about long term storage in plastic.

Yes, it seems that if anything, it's better to use containers made from P.E.T. but even then it's hard to de-gas properly as you can only use "swirling" type de-gassing technique and I prefer vacuum of some sort (at least something like a mityvac or car brake bleeding vacuum pump - very cheap). The plastics just collapse in, so glass being rigid is the way ahead, as not only can you get a cheap pump, but it's also guaranteed to be inert.

S'up to you, but that's how I'd progress.

I understand that there's some cheaper type branded wines that come in something like 2 or 4 litre glass jugs, they'd do the job. As you can drink the vino and then use the glassware to store your meads.......

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Old 11-17-2012, 09:05 AM   #3
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Thanks for the input, fatbloke.

I actually just use the plastic for the fermentation process. Once that's done, I let them age in 5 liter wine jugs I get from several people. I just never found glass containers large enough for the whole process. I might look into making it in those wine jugs from the start, but I'll have to look into ways for customizing a cork and turning it into an airlock.

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Old 11-17-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArctosNero View Post
Thanks for the input, fatbloke.

I actually just use the plastic for the fermentation process. Once that's done, I let them age in 5 liter wine jugs I get from several people. I just never found glass containers large enough for the whole process. I might look into making it in those wine jugs from the start, but I'll have to look into ways for customizing a cork and turning it into an airlock.
Well if you can't get "bored" bungs locally, I'm pretty sure I've seen cork cutters on ebay, so you could then (in theory) just get corks/stoppers that will fit and then cut the hole for an airlock.

Don't forget (seeing that you appear to be in Portugal) that Brouwland, in Belgium also sells either pre-holed bungs of various sizes, and materials or you can even get them to cut a hole in an unusual sized bung for a small charge.

I'd have thought that would be a cheap enough way to get the kit you need without costing the earth etc, only having to buy a few minimal items to complete the set up as you want/need......
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:49 PM   #5
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I did not know Brouwland. Thanks a lot!
I'm browsing through all their bottles/tanks/casks category. This might solve my problem for bulk aging.

EDIT: Thanks to your link, I've found a distributor here in Portugal. Fantastic. I might give those specialty yeasts a try.

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