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#1 Tim the Enchanter

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 08:13 AM

So I went camping in the Adirondacks last weekend. On the way back, we stopped for lunch in Old Forge and ended up walking past a little winery outlet store. The GF had been searching for one of their wines, so we went in to look. She didn't find it, but they started as a small honey operation that got into fermenting by way of mead. I bought a bottle of cherry melomel on a whim. I drank a little last night...not bad.But the real point of this story is that it occurred to me... I am not brewing because I don't have anywhere to keep all the gear. But wine from extracts and mead don't need boiling, mashing, lautering, sparging...any of that stuff. I could get by with a bucket, an airlock, a bottle capper, and a little bit of tubing. The only thing I don't really have is a nice temperature stable place for good aging. What do y'all think. Would it be worth my while? Or should I just wait until I can get real brewing gear again?
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#2 SchwanzBrewer

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 08:18 AM

So I went camping in the Adirondacks last weekend. On the way back, we stopped for lunch in Old Forge and ended up walking past a little winery outlet store. The GF had been searching for one of their wines, so we went in to look. She didn't find it, but they started as a small honey operation that got into fermenting by way of mead. I bought a bottle of cherry melomel on a whim. I drank a little last night...not bad.But the real point of this story is that it occurred to me... I am not brewing because I don't have anywhere to keep all the gear. But wine from extracts and mead don't need boiling, mashing, lautering, sparging...any of that stuff. I could get by with a bucket, an airlock, a bottle capper, and a little bit of tubing. The only thing I don't really have is a nice temperature stable place for good aging. What do y'all think. Would it be worth my while? Or should I just wait until I can get real brewing gear again?

From what I gather, good wine kits are very expensive - in the $100+ range. I think most of them are 6 gallons. That's 28 or so 750ml bottles of wine (I don't know what the standard is). Not too bad per bottle. I guess my point is that it would be less of a commitment storage and equipment wise, but still expensive.Cheers,Rich
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#3 miccullen

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 08:29 AM

From what I gather, good wine kits are very expensive - in the $100+ range. I think most of them are 6 gallons. That's 28 or so 750ml bottles of wine (I don't know what the standard is). Not too bad per bottle. I guess my point is that it would be less of a commitment storage and equipment wise, but still expensive.Cheers,Rich

about righta good wine in kit form once bottled will break down to about $6-7 a bottle including the corks and bottles
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#4 texred1

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 09:13 AM

about righta good wine in kit form once bottled will break down to about $6-7 a bottle including the corks and bottles

Which is not expensive for good wine...~dustin
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#5 Corbin

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 09:25 AM

I would highly recommend getting into mead making. I have not done the wine thing but I am really enjoying my new found mead making hobby. The only drawback is time. Sucks waitng 8 months to a year to try what you have made. Look up Ancient orange mead (JOAM). I just made a batch of this the other night and it is supposed to be drink ready at 3 months.
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#6 Tim the Enchanter

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 11:16 AM

I would highly recommend getting into mead making. I have not done the wine thing but I am really enjoying my new found mead making hobby. The only drawback is time. Sucks waitng 8 months to a year to try what you have made. Look up Ancient orange mead (JOAM). I just made a batch of this the other night and it is supposed to be drink ready at 3 months.

Now that is intriguing. In fact, I saw a 1 gallon recipe for that one. Hmmmm...
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#7 miccullen

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 11:33 AM

you can do summer fruit wines in 1 gallon batches very easily as well4 lbs of blackberries a bit of red grape concentrate, some sugar, some nutrient, a bit of yeast and pectic enzyme, and about 6 weeks will make a pleasant table wine
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#8 BikeBrewer

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 05:38 PM

There's a 3 week mead recipe floating around out there (I think it was Hightest's) and I've made it several times with good results. It's definitely not as good as taking your time, but it provides a stop-gap while waiting for a more traditional recipe to age. I've used it as is and as a base for sparkling and fruit meads. I'd also recommend cider and cyser. I've got several cider suppliers around here, including a pretty big operation that will hold back fresh-pressed cider from the pasturizer for me if I supply them with as many buckets as I want filled. I've made it as simply as adding a packet of dry yeast, and even just let a couple of buckets ferment without doing anything. Great results every time.The big cider maker sells 1 gallon glass jugs through the supermarket for $6 that is pasturized and filtered, but it doesn't have any preservatives. I've even poured a little out of one of those, added some yeast, and popped in an airlock. It's not as good as from fresh, unfiltered juice, but it's always been good and I wanted 1 gallon glass jugs for starters that would've cost me $7.50 to buy from the LHBS, so I came out ahead all around.
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#9 Corbin

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 07:59 PM

There's a 3 week mead recipe floating around out there (I think it was Hightest's) and I've made it several times with good results. It's definitely not as good as taking your time, but it provides a stop-gap while waiting for a more traditional recipe to age. I've used it as is and as a base for sparkling and fruit meads.I'd also recommend cider and cyser. I've got several cider suppliers around here, including a pretty big operation that will hold back fresh-pressed cider from the pasturizer for me if I supply them with as many buckets as I want filled. I've made it as simply as adding a packet of dry yeast, and even just let a couple of buckets ferment without doing anything. Great results every time.The big cider maker sells 1 gallon glass jugs through the supermarket for $6 that is pasturized and filtered, but it doesn't have any preservatives. I've even poured a little out of one of those, added some yeast, and popped in an airlock. It's not as good as from fresh, unfiltered juice, but it's always been good and I wanted 1 gallon glass jugs for starters that would've cost me $7.50 to buy from the LHBS, so I came out ahead all around.

My search skills are failing. Do you have a link to this recipe?
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#10 Genesee Ted

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 01:14 PM

Corbin, do yourself a favor now and make a few batches of mead to just get yourself ahead. By this time next year and forever if you keep it up you will be rich in mead. Tim, if you want something fast, you can make a hydromel in about the same time as a beer. Lower ABV mead. You may have to use sulphites and backsweeten if you want a sweeter product, and with hydromels, it doesn't hurt, as it can add some extra body. One trick I have found with them is to add a bottle of liqueur of your liking for a bit more depth of flavor. Or zest, spices, etc. Carbed up it is super refreshing. This stuff can hold you over until your full size meads are mature.


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