In our apartment, we have a room that goes by many names: the den, the Sam Cave, the bonus room, etc&etc. It has long transcended it’s original purpose, though, and been given a new name:
The Mead Cave!
As a homebrewer who lives in an apartment, things can often be a little cramped, so you have to make the most of your space if you want to optimize your production. When my fiance and I were looking for new places last October, giving our mead its own space was imperative. Here’s how we got our small but perfect setup for our small, but awesome operation:
Optimize Your Space
If you have less space, you need to build up instead of out. At our old apartment, we were wedged in the corner of an albeit larger-than-average laundry room. While we upgraded our square-footage with our new rental, we were still a little pressed for space because, um, hi? It’s an apartment. So we invested in some good, heavy-duty shelving. Similar to Gorilla Shelves, these shelves came from Target and are strong enough to hold quite a few gallons of mead at a time, as well as equipment.
Instead of using boxes to store equipment, instead, store your equipment inside of your equipment. We have a large bucket that we use for reracking where we also store our siphons, wine thief, and piping. We don’t ever use the bucket unless we’re using the rest of the equipment inside of it, so it makes for an easy grab when we’re getting ready to re-rack. We also use our brewing pot for the same thing.
Optimize Your Equipment
We got into a bad habit when we first started brewing: instead of buying five-gallon buckets, we chose to take the path of glass carboys. Which are more expensive than buckets, and also tougher to store. But hey, we like to see what’s a-cookin’. Half the fun of mead is seeing the color come through, right?
You may choose to go with buckets to line your shelves. That’s fine. It’ll be cheaper for you in the long run, and if your shelves break someday, you may lose a lot of wort, but you won’t lose your carboys. We like to live on the wildside though.
We also received a wine cooler as a Yuletide gift from my pops one year, so you know that badboy is in there, keeping completed drinks ready to go.
You’ll recognize the fellow on the tapestry keeping an eye on my bubbly babies: that’s the Green Man, of course. I figured there was no one better to watch over my beloved brews than John Barleycorn himself. I also chose to paint the room a nice, light green because I felt that it would make the yellow-gold of my brews really pop while they’re fermenting. Additionally, I used some white Christmas tree lights to add a homey glow to my cave.
What does your mead cave, hollow, brewery room, or whatever you like to call it look like? What tips have you learned? Share with us on social media or in the comments below!