Starting a Meadery... Problem solving 101

Starting a meadery - like many DIY technical projects - is mostly an exercise in learning how not to do things. You spend hours trying to think of everything, and then 10 minutes in, find something for which you did not prepare.  Consequently, the rule of thumb is to expect a Pareto distribution (aka the 80-20 rule): You'll spend x amount of time on the first run-through of something, and then the same amount of time doing the rest of the same task. First PID: 1 hour. Other six PIDs: 1 hour total. You get the idea.

So you might, for example, be installing fittings into fermenters, and then realize that there's no obvious way to get the other end of the fitting five feet up into a 100-gallon fermenter.

Nonetheless, things are coming along nicely. The glycol system is completely rigged up. 

Our glycol route

We've even begun naming our fermenters. The primaries start at the beginning of the alphabet and go down; the secondaries will start at Z and work up. Our two 100-gallon tanks are Agnes and Bertha, followed by Cleveland, Donald and Edgar. The only secondary named so far is Willy. Suggestions are, of course, welcome.

Left to right: Agnes, Bertha, Cleveland, Donald, Edgar