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Equipment for Mead Making

Mead Making does not require a lot of equipment.  A few basic pieces carefully cleaned and sanitized is all that is needed to begin mead.  Select equipment that is 

  • Clean and easy to keep clean
  • The right size for the job.  

Advanced equipment such as a good PH Meter, Buon Vino Filter Unit or other items can be added over time.  



Fermentation Bucket and lid (Primary)





A primary fermentation bucket is used for mixing the ingredients and for the initial fermentation.  Select a white food grade (look for the HDPE Symbol on the bottom) bucket.

One gallon recipes – 2 gallon bucket

Five gallon recipes – 6.5 gallon bucket

Six gallon recipes – 7.9 gallon bucket

Carboy (Secondary /Aging)









A secondary carboy is a smaller (1, 3 or 5 gallon) container having and opening only large enough to securely place a fermentation lock. Several sizes may be needed for wine making. These containers are made of heavy glass or high-density polyethylene. Fermenting juice is transferred to these containers after the primary fermentation is completed.






A fermentation lock is a device attached to a rubber stopper which is designed to fit into fermentation vessel. It is important for the device to be secured so carbon dioxide gas can escape from the fermentation vessel without letting in any air. Air contact can spoil the wine by oxidation or can contaminate the mead with acetic bacteria. These bacteria convert the alcohol in the fermenting juice to vinegar.




This is a rubber stopper with a hole drilled through it to allow for insertion of the airlock.  The bung is made from sulfur free pure gum rubber.

One gallon jug – size #6.5

5,6 and 7 gallon glass carboys  - size 7 or 7.5

PET carboys – size #10 or Universal


Hydrometer and Test Jar






A hydrometer is a simple and inexpensive instrument which takes the guesswork out of mead making. It is used to measure the amount of sugar in the honey + ingredients mixture prior to fermentation. It also tells when fermentation is completed. A hydrometer is essential for consistent results in mead making.







An adhesive liquid crystal display thermometer designed to monitor the temperature of the fermentation process with convenience and precision and without the sanitation concerns of immersion thermometers.







Auto Siphon






A plastic racking cane slides within another plastic tube of larger diameter, which features a one-way valve at one end. Simply submerge the closed end of the device into the elevated vessel of wine, place the free end of the hose into the destination vessel, pull up on the racking cane, and plunge it down. In most cases, one plunge of the racking cane will do the trick, but if not, a second is all that’s needed. Mead flows, and your siphon goes.







There are no rules when bottling mead.  The most important consideration is making sure your bottles are properly cleaned and sanitized.   






Corks, either natural or synthetic work great for bottling your wine.  There are different sizes of corks based on how long you wish to age your wine and also for some of the smaller wine bottles.  Most 375ML or 750ML wine bottles will accept an 8 or 9 cork.      





You will need a corker to insert the corks into your wine bottle.  Several are available.


A plunger style corker is fine when you have just a few bottles.  Use a #8 cork with the plunger style.


Other corkers include the double-lever, Portuguese and Italian floor corkers. 

Bottle Brush




You will need two.  

Select a bottle brush to clean the inside of your wine bottles


Select a carboy brush to clean the inside of your carboy.  Look for the soft red carboy brush for use with the PET carboy.

Wine Thief







A wine thief allows the user to extract samples the carboy.  A glass wine thief is used with one gallon jugs.  A larger one is needed for 3,5,6 and 6.5 gallon carboys. 

Large nylon straining bag








A straining bag is  needed to separate the fruit pulp solids from the liquid

Miscellaneous Items

Miscellaneous items which will be needed include: a large saucepan, a long-handled plastic spoon, a measuring cup and a set of measuring spoons, a funnel, extra cheesecloth, also gummed labels, a marking pen, a long-handled brush for cleaning, and bathroom or platform type scales for weighing juice.


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