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Equipment requirements for starting a meadery

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kuri

NewBee
Registered Member
May 5, 2013
364
1
0
Japan
This is still a long ways out. I have a lot of learning to do before I can justify starting up a meadery. However, it is something that I'm thinking of doing within the next couple of years, and so thought I'd begin gathering information.

Local liquor laws require anyone making alcohol to make and sell a minimum of 6000 liters a year in order to get a license. So my question is what would the miminum amount of major equipment be for producing that amount, preferably of a size that allows for easy expansion should things take off eventually. I've never been to a professional meadery, so I don't have a good sense of the relative numbers of various pieces of equipment that would be needed, nor of what their typical process is like. Also I have this feeling that there's probably something else I'm forgetting about. Any input would be appreciated.

Fermentors:
Cellaring tanks:
Barrels:
Hot box
Temperature control
Other:

I realize that 6000 liters a year will hardly be enough for a sustainable business. However, my thought is to do this as a side job, starting small and increasing sales volume over time. The business doesn't need to support me at first, it just has to not lose money after the initial startup costs.

Separate but related question, how long can you use an oak barrel for and still be able to count on getting some oakiness out of it?
 

Marshmallow Blue

NewBee
Registered Member
Most new businesses lose money at least during the first year. Breaking even would be a very good 1st year.

The size of your fermenters will be determined by how many batches you plan on doing to reach 1585 Gallons. If you had a 500 Gallon tank, you would need to do 3 batches in it.

Oak Takes more time to extract each time you use it. Not sure if there is a set # of times it can be used.
 

Fisk Jaegaren

NewBee
Registered Member
Other:
Bottling equip...filler, corker, labeling and all associated stock
Licensing
Building to house all equip
Advertising
Recipes
Employees

and time.
Time to ferment, clear, age.

As far as oak goes, from an economical and practical standpoint, chips, powder, cubes or staves are a better option.
 

anir dendroica

NewBee
Registered Member
Oct 15, 2009
175
3
0
Corvallis, OR
I'm also thinking of starting a meadery in the next 2-5 years. My current plans are to start with 400 L (100 gallon) batches and a production of 1200 gallons (4800 L) per year.

My best estimates of startup cost are on the order of $150,000 invested before I start to see a return. That is a significant "activation energy" - albeit no more than buying a house, and the failure rate of new breweries/meaderies is remarkably low relative to other types of startups.

As I have no solid source of funding at present, my strategy is to make as much mead as possible on a home scale, develop unique and delicious recipes, and get that mead into as many appreciative mouths (i.e. potential investors) as possible.
 

Drellgor

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 19, 2015
1
0
0
Hi,

I'm also looking to start a meadery, but in San Diego, California. The local laws here don't require a minimum as far as I know. Although, I'm still in the research phase. I noticed this thread is a bit old and am posting to see if reviving it is possible. I may start a new thread too.

-Dan
 

danr

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Aug 2, 2012
432
2
0
San Diego, CA
Hi,

I'm also looking to start a meadery, but in San Diego, California. The local laws here don't require a minimum as far as I know. Although, I'm still in the research phase. I noticed this thread is a bit old and am posting to see if reviving it is possible. I may start a new thread too.

-Dan
If you are interested in starting a meadery in San Diego, you should talk with the good folks at Golden Coast Mead in Oceanside to get some insight.
 

mercuriusrex

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 14, 2012
17
0
0
Tokyo, Japan
kuri, I am a home mead maker in Japan. Tokyo area. Similar interests. I've sent you my email via private message. Drop me a line so we can talk.
 

pokerfacepablo

NewBee
Registered Member
Aug 17, 2012
806
2
0
38
St. Cloud, MN
A lot of these questions could be answered on AMA on Facebook. American mead makers Association is pro, amateur and in between.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
 
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