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Old 02-13-2008, 05:44 AM   #1
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Default Can I make mead cheap?

I'm looking into making my first batch of mead ever and wanted to know how much it cost to make. I looked at kits on Northern Brewer and they seem to be considerably more than the beer kits. I'd like to make a batch but I don't want to spend 40-50 bucks to make it.

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Old 02-13-2008, 05:47 AM   #2
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shop around your area for honey prices

maybe i'll post an ad:

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Old 02-13-2008, 06:03 AM   #3
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I just picked up 15lbs of honey from Sam's club for a little over $22.
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:57 PM   #4
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You can make cyser pretty cheap... you'll need less honey cause there is a lot of residual sugars in the juice.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:15 PM   #5
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My GF came over last week with 10 pounds of bulk honey, 5 each from Sam's Club and Gordon's Food Service for me to mead with. It's not the greatest honey in the world but it's a start...Plus you could always add a couple quarts of a better quality honey in with it, plus flavorings.

A cheeper alternative is Edwort's Apflewein. You can do 5 gallons for around 20 bucks (I paid $2.20 a gallon for mott's all natural applejuice. A couple bucks for the 2 pounds of corn sugar, and 75 cents for a pack of montrachet yeast.)
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:21 PM   #6
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A cheap way to see if you like mead is to make a one gallon batch of Joe's Ancient Orange Mead. It's cheap using grocery store honey, and it's easy. It's not going to be a fine mead like those $80 kits, but it'll be quick to drink and give you an idea if you want to invest more into mead later on.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:42 PM   #7
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An inexpensive cyser:
2 gal apple juice from Costco - $6.88
5# clover honey from Costco - $7.49
wine yeast - $0.75
This will make about 2.5 gal. You can double it for 5 if you like.
You might want to add yeast nutrients also which will cost more.

I think you will be much happier however if you use raw local honey and fresh cider from a local farm. I made a cyser using Costco honey and local cider that tasted great when I bottled it last night. I'm expecting even better after some aging.

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Old 02-13-2008, 08:34 PM   #8
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I'd use the best possible quality honey and just make a smaller batch. You probably won't go through 5 gallons of mead in the same time it takes to drink 5 gallons of beer.

For something that takes a year or two to age, you don't want to end up regretting cheaping out on ingredients a year or two from now when you drink it.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:58 AM   #9
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Cost me a total of 30 bucks for my 6gal batch. that included 14 bucks for blueberries so just the honey would be much cheaper. Got the honey from costco and local apiaries.
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Old 02-14-2008, 01:11 AM   #10
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honey just costs more than malt. its the nature of the beast.

my suggestion is using cheap honey like CostCo or Sam's Club, and then pickup some frozen berries and make a melomel. the honey is decent enough, and the fruit will make up for the 'lack of complexity' that a cheap blended honey has.

and don't boil or even pasteurize the cheap stuff. it was already heat treated, and won't have anything in it that could infect your mead. a little hot water, just to help it dissolve.

I've done this plenty, all great results.

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