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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sweet Deal

I've got a long-time customer in our bullion shop - he's a silver buyer - that came in 2 months ago.  He had a box full of local, organic honey.  It seems that he's a beekeeper on the side, and wanted to know if anyone wanted to buy a pound or two.

It was a bit pricey - $7 a pound - but he ended up selling 8 pounds or so to me and some of my employees.  I mentioned that I usually buy my honey in bulk - twenty or thirty pounds at a time for my prep storage, or for when I make up a batch of mead (honey wine).

Fast forward to last week:  He pops in again and say he has a bunch of honey he can't sell in his regular 1- and 2-pound bottles, as it's not "commercially presentable".  It was crystallizing and appeared cloudy.  I know that all honey will eventually crystallize and simply heating it up brings it to the rich honey "look" once again.

He wanted to know if I'd like to buy some of this honey in bulk.  How much?  5 gallons at a pop - that's 60 pounds!  We did some negotiating, and we agreed on a price of $3.50 a pound ($210 total), plus he had to break it down into half gallon lots - 6 pounds each.

He then springs this on me:  Hey, you want to "trade" for silver?  Not "yes" but "HELL YES"!  He is currently acquiring Morgan silver dollars.  These are coins that were minted from 1878 to 1921 (with a big gap from 1904 to 1921), and they have 0.77 ounces of pure silver in each.

After some hemming and hawing, we agreed on a number:  8.  I got 60 pounds of raw, organic honey for eight bucks!  Now of course, the value of those eight dollars was considerably higher than eight pieces of green paper, or copper-clad quarters, dimes, halves or modern dollars.

Happy buyer, happy seller.

After we cut our deal, he brought up my mead making activities.  If he provided the honey, would I brew up a batch for him.  I told him that whatever I made, I'd keep half for my time and trouble, plus I'd purchase the proper yeast and provide the equipment.

Deal.  On Wednesday, he dropped off another 27 pounds of honey.  Fifteen pounds will be used for a sweet mead - actually a fruit mead (called a melomel), and twelve pounds will be used for a dry mead.  That will be a total of 10 gallons of mead - which takes a year to make and mellow.

To hold him over, I gave him two pints of my current stock - a Raspberry Melomel and an Orange Melomel.

Drink slowly, my friend.....

Different subject:  Regular commenter Joseph provided a link in a comment to the last post that I wanted to make sure everyone got a chance to see.  This site has a number of videos regarding the Credit Crisis.  Those that I've had a chance to view are very good.  They give a down-to-earth explanation of a number of complex subject.

Take a look here [link].

If you scroll up and down on the page, they've got videos on everything under the sun.  Seriously, a TON of information on everything from banking to art history.  Impressive collection of knowledge.

Copyright 2011 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


Adventures in Self Reliance said...

I've been doing Ales using LME and this week I started my first Lager. What's cool is my local beer lady is making up a kit, recipes and grains for 1 gallon batches of all grain beer. I'm darned excited to get a start on all grain beers, but if I screw up 1 gallon hurts a lot less than a 5 gallon batch. To make it even better Family Dollar has 5 gallon stock pots on sale for $15.00 each.

Chief Instructor said...

Adventures, I stopped making lagers a few years back, as the lagering time is just too long. I want my beer in 6 weeks, not 4 months!

I don't know if you've ever made a Kolsch. If not, give it a try. Very lager-like, but it's an ale.

You're going to love all-grain. I've been brewing for more than 30 years now, but only went all grain 10 years ago. You can get much more creative, and it's just kind of cool taking a grain, and turning it into a beverage.


Oblio13 said...

We have eight hives and a raspberry patch. Here's a simple mead recipe:

Berry Mead

25 lbs. raspberries or elderberries or what have you.
5 lbs. raw honey
1 cup concentrated lemon juice
1 packet of brewer’s or baker’s yeast

Add just enough water to cover and bring berries to a boil. Strain into a five gallon bucket. Add honey and lemon juice. Let mixture reach room temperature. Dissolve yeast into a cup of warm water and add. Stir with a wooden spoon - no metal but stainless steel should ever touch the juice. Cover and leave mixture in the bucket to ferment. Taste in about 6 weeks—time depends on temperature. Can be put into glass jars at this time but don't tighten the caps yet.

Makes about 2.5 gallons.