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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > New Mead Master in Training
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:25 AM   #1
DerykCrum
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Default New Mead Master in Training

After a year of procrastinating (which I'm very good at) I have decided to start my own home brewery. Now I am a new comer completely. My only experience in brewing is my dad taught me how to set up a moonshine still when I was 12 (which I've forgotten) and being an alcoholic. Instead of doing beer like my friends keep demanding I've opted to start an specialize I'm mead since no one around me seems to even drink it much less make it (though I'm sure someone does).

I haven't started, hell I haven't even bought the equipment. I just know that I want to. I plan on using my Christmas cash on it (if enough) or using my tax returns so I know it'll be awhile before I start. I'm really just looking to get a jumpstart on my knowledge and perhaps acquire some friends familiar with what I'll be doing.

Don't worry I'm gonna spread my knowledge so it's not like I'm a lost puppy all the time (but still the majority).

So first thing first, what all do u suggest I get for this? I've looked at the deluxe something kit on rebelbrewery.com it's like $150 and contains alot more than what I saw on several other google found sites. But any additions or suggestions are completely welcome. I learn quickly and take criticism very well

Secondly though lastly lol, I intend to do two batches (one after the first) to start the process. Probably too much in the beginning but still what will prolly happen. I want to do an apple cider and cinnamon cyser first. Then hit it on a raspberry and perhaps oranges (or maybe blackberry instead) meglen (bad spelling I know) and hopefully make it a sparkling mead.

Anything u can add, subtract, or whatever greatly appreciated. Even good recipes to look at. Thanks in advance

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Old 11-16-2011, 02:03 PM   #2
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Buy "The Complete Mead Maker" by Ken Schramm and read it cover to cover. I think that will help you pick what gear you do and do not want to start out with.

Recipes depend on what you like and what you have available to you locally, but there is not really a right or wrong as far as what you put into your mead.

Lastly, read the sticky at the top put together by hightest, he has done a wonderful job compiling information and explaining the process, which should help save you from a few headaches.

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Old 11-16-2011, 07:31 PM   #3
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Originally I didn't think we had any apiaries neer since I'm in Paragould, Arkansas did a little research and found out that not only is Arkansas a major honey producer but one of our largest apiaries is 15 minutes away so I have good access to honey and the other ingredients I'll prolly by in bulk at SAMs club. I guess my only thing now would be finding yeast. Are there any sites you would suggest? Or god willing, does anyone by chance know where to get it in Arkansas?

And thanks on the book idea. I'm gonna look for it this weekend so I have ample time to understand it all alot better

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Old 11-16-2011, 07:41 PM   #4
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How to Brew - By John Palmer
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbachunk View Post
Buy "The Complete Mead Maker" by Ken Schramm and read it cover to cover. I think that will help you pick what gear you do and do not want to start out with.

Recipes depend on what you like and what you have available to you locally, but there is not really a right or wrong as far as what you put into your mead.

Lastly, read the sticky at the top put together by hightest, he has done a wonderful job compiling information and explaining the process, which should help save you from a few headaches.

This just about covers it. Read The Complete Mead Maker and hightest's sticky on staggerd nutrient additions.
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:22 PM   #6
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Just ordered the complete mead maker on Amazon with free two day shipping using a friend's Amazon prime account! I'll have it read before Monday

http://www.amazon.com/Compleat-Meadm...f=cm_lmf_tit_1

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Old 11-17-2011, 07:24 AM   #7
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I don't know if this suites your goals, but you may want to start with a couple of 1 gallon batches until you get some of the basics mastered. It is always a heart breaker to spend months babying a fermentation just to find out you did some fundamental things wrong... Even more heart breaking when it is 6 gallons. If you are like most others, you will forget a step or over/under do something. That's just natural part of learning so learn on a less expensive venture. Just my 2 cents worth.

Cheers

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Old 11-17-2011, 10:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMA View Post
I don't know if this suites your goals, but you may want to start with a couple of 1 gallon batches until you get some of the basics mastered. It is always a heart breaker to spend months babying a fermentation just to find out you did some fundamental things wrong... Even more heart breaking when it is 6 gallons. If you are like most others, you will forget a step or over/under do something. That's just natural part of learning so learn on a less expensive venture. Just my 2 cents worth.

Cheers
+1
Even though my first batch was a 5 gallon batch, I often suggest people start with 1 gallon batches, the equipment is cheaper and also the total batch price is lower. Heck, I have been mead making since 2005 and I still do 1 gallon batches.

Other than reading Ken's book which you said you have ordered, I recommend trying a batch of Joe's Ancient Orange Mead (JAO/JAOM) Its good, quick, and gives you a chance to get your basics down before getting complicated.

Welcome to the site!

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Old 11-17-2011, 11:14 AM   #9
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1 gallon batches are probably a good idea although that's not what I did. My reasoning was, I decided I will not bottle or drink any of these first batches (except small tastings at rackings) until at least one year of aging. So if they turn out horrible I would be disappointed in the waste of time and ingredients but if they turn out amazing I would be pissed about waiting so long and only having 1 gallon. My logic might not work for everyone but it works for me lol.
I also kept my recipes fairly simple although I didn't follow any directly.
I am also keeping good daily notes, only thing I missed was OG reading but I am pretty sure I used enough honey and the right yeasts to get a high alcohol content
and some residual sweetness.

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Old 11-17-2011, 12:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerykCrum View Post
Originally I didn't think we had any apiaries neer since I'm in Paragould, Arkansas did a little research and found out that not only is Arkansas a major honey producer but one of our largest apiaries is 15 minutes away so I have good access to honey and the other ingredients I'll prolly by in bulk at SAMs club. I guess my only thing now would be finding yeast. Are there any sites you would suggest? Or god willing, does anyone by chance know where to get it in Arkansas?

And thanks on the book idea. I'm gonna look for it this weekend so I have ample time to understand it all alot better
Are you talking about Fleetwood Farms in Batesville? I am trying to get a sample from there because it is really the only place I have found in Arkansas to sell at a good price in bulk. I know there is a homebrew shop in Little Rock area and there should be one in Memphis I figure or there are plenty of sites if there are no local places.
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