Tupelo Mead Waxing

Double meaning I suppose. But anyway, basically when I bottled my first mead, the Tupelo Mead – named both after the honey used and the road I lived on at the time, I bottled it in 24 12oz bottles and 11 750ml bottles. I figured the 24 smaller bottles would be for drinking, distribution amoung friends and competitions. The bigger bottles I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the, but I wanted them to be special.

Tupelo Mead 1

After thinking about it I decided I would wax dip the bottles. For me I knew the look I wanted, the heavy wax dip look like Makers Mark or Dark Lord, not the shitty, thin, chippy wax some places use like New Glarus. So I went to the LHBS to pick up wax hoping they weren’t suckas and got the real-deal. The wax took longer than I expected to melt and I needed more than I realized. I bought a pound and used about half of it. So as not to ruin anything, I used an empty soup can with the wax in it in a pot of boiling water, like a double boiler. This way the can was disposable if need be and the pot could still be used for cooking.

Tupelo Mead 2

I wound up giving the bottles a double dip. I held them in upside-down for about 10 seconds, then raised them and let the excess wax drip off, then fully dipped again and inverted hoping for some nice drip affects. This seemed to work OK but I thought the wax could still be thicker. So, after double dipping all the bottles, I melted more wax and re-double dipped all the bottles. They looked much better after the second round.

Tupelo Mead 3

I also wanted to make the labels a little different then usual, so I made a more simplistic more wine-like label, at least that’s what it reminded me of. I started by using parchment paper and printing the design on them. Basically the label states information, “Tupelo Mead – Brewed October 22, 2005 – Bottled October 15, 2006 – Batch 80 – Bottle 1 of 11 – Honey Wine – Fool Circle Brewery”. After the design was printed I cut the labels out and moistened the edges. I then took a lighter and lit all the edges of the label, giving it more of an antiquated or pirate-map type look. The labels were then sprayed with spray adhesive and applied. Then I took sealing wax and a wax seal we have with an “M” on it and placed a wax seal-mark on each label. I think they turned out pretty nice.

Tupelo Mead 4

Since there is only 11 bottles and there is a lot of aging and work that went into this batch I am going to pick and choose where these bottles go. Also, mead should age like wine so it shouldn’t be a problem if the bottles are around 1, 5, 10+ years. Basically if you want to have a bottle, your going to have to be my close friend and then do something dramatic, like have a child or get married or hit the lottery. Otherwise, ask me for a sample from a 12ozer. So far, my brother and his wife have been the only ones to acquire a bottle, bottle 1 of 11, with the birth of their son Colin.

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