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I have, sitting in front of me, a "brew wine capper" [Capper <<universal>> for crown caps 0 28mm] for putting caps on wine or beer bottles, with about 25 caps left in the box. Now, I don't brew (yet), but I know some people who read my journal do... Would this be of use to you? Or should I try to brew some mead or something?


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 23rd, 2004 03:39 am (UTC)
Crown caps are best for beer. When it comes to mead, I only use them for prepping contest entries (which go out in 12oz beer bottles). For mead or wine, corks are best.

To brew mead (or beer) you'll need to go to a brewing supply store and get:

two glass carboys of equal size (the bigger the better, the tighter the sweater, heehee)
#7 rubber stopper with hole
#7 rubber stopper (solid)
plastic fermentation lock
autosiphon or other racking cane
bottling cane
bag of corks (if making mead or wine, you will get about 5 bottles per gallon, so a six gallon batch will yield 30 bottles)

Mead fixin's from stupormarket or other food source/apiary:

15 to 20 pounds of honey
1/2 gallon apple juice
4 gallons of spring water
ginger if you like that sort of thing: 1/4 pound of fresh root in a 6.5 gallon batch will add a nice flavor without being too hot

From elsewhere:

Ceramic or stainless steel brewpot (3 gallons if you want to make mead, 5 gallons if you want to make beer or wine. Do not use aluminum, it reacts with stuff in the brew and can make off flavors.)

6 foot length of 5/8" plastic tubing (I always get at Home Depot since the brew places gouge on the price of this. Get a few lengths of it.)

Bottles can be obtained for free from any catering hall or restaurant - have them hold a bunch for you one weekend. get a garbage pail and fill with water and 1 gallon of bleach for sanitizing, and put the bottles in it to soak off the labels. If you drink wine, save your own bottles this way as well. Do not use clear bottles - blue, brown and green are all good. Light can affect the way beer and wine taste - one reason there are wine cellars. The only wines sold in clear bottles are the type not expected to sit on the shelf for long.

Equipment outlay runs about $100. Some places have premade kits that use plastic buckets as their primary fermenter. This is good for beer and some types of wine but not really necessary for mead.

If it sounds too involved already, maybe you should put the thing up on EBay. If you really want to try it, though, I will be happy to help walk you through brewing your first mead.

I find brewing to be very rewarding spiritually. It keeps me in touch with my Gods. Providing high quality versions of a beverage considered sacred to my community really makes me happy on a molecular level. It is how I pray - I dedicate batches to specific Gods and meditate on which flavor would appeal to a particular God. It helps to build frithful relationships. It is one way I serve my community. If you want to get into it, I will be happy to help.
Aug. 23rd, 2004 08:07 am (UTC)
Hmmmm. How much of it requires two hands to do? That's my biggest limitation...
Aug. 23rd, 2004 08:25 am (UTC)
You'd need assistance with racking or bottling, since starting the siphon can be tricky even with two hands. You should definitely get an autosiphon under the circumstances rather than an ordinary bottling cane. Most corkers or cappers also require two-handed action. As for lifting full carboys, I have done it one-handed but it sucks - the husband usually helps me with that because of my back injury.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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