I'm making my second ever mead. It's a simple dry mead, 5 gallon batch:
12# local honey
4 gallons of spring water
I added yeast nutrient over the first 3 days and oxygenated with pure O2 each day as well. It started at 1.090 and is down to 1.001 as of yesterday. The temp stayed fairly constant at around 63-64F.
This is pretty much the same process I used on my first mead which turned out great but never dropped clear. The one difference is I add WAY too much nutrient the first time by about 5x. :oops:
This time around, I want to add a little depth to the mead. I want to age it on some oak and some vanilla beans. I've been doing a bunch of research and I understand that a little oak goes a long way and that a lot of it is personal preference. With that said, I don't want a lumberyard in a bottle. Here is my plan:
Rack to carboy with 2 scraped vanilla beans and 1 or 2oz of medium toast French oak cubes. I would leave this combination for about 4-6 weeks. Then I would rack to another carboy and let it just age and clear for the rest of the year, bottling around Dec. In the end, I'm hoping for some subtle oak and vanilla flavors that add to but do not dominate the mead. I use the no heat method so there's a really nice honey aroma and flavor already.
How does this sound? Are my quantities and times going to get me roughly what I'm looking for? Since it's a dry mead, do I need to add any tannins and/or acid?
Thanks for the help