So, I made a batch (4.5 gallons) of show mead using 10lbs of locust honey. Starting gravity was 1.091
I used dry white wine yeast and fermentation went relevantly quick (with some help of potassium carbonate, DAP and Ferment-K), dropping from 1.090 to 1.003 in just 5 days and stopping. I just injected a last portion of the nutrients a night before and next day it was all done.
So, right now it is 1.003 with 11.5% of alcohol. For obvious reason I cannot taste anything yet in my mead, and probably won't be able for at least another 4-5 month (that's where the taste would start evening out.
So, since I've never made a standard dry show mead (by definition of BJCP Guide OG=1.080-1.120, ABV=7.5-14.0%, FG=0.990-1.010), I'm not sure what to expect. I was hoping to finish at 1.010, but overshoot a little bit. Thus I have few questions:
- How does a dry mead turns out usually? Like a white wine, Chardonnay, I assume?
- Will it preserve the aroma of locust honey even with 1.003 gravity?
- Should I back-sweeten it with 8-12oz of locust honey trying to bring the gravity to 1.008-1.010 or would it be fine like that?
- Would 2-3 years of aging help it? I'm pretty new into mead-making (a year), and never aged my mead longer then that.
- What is the best time for the back-sweetening? After mead just cleared out, 9-12 month out when it is servable or right away after fermentation is over and I stabilized with camden tables?
- I was thinking about splitting a batch into 3 and 1 gallons for aging, so I could play around with 1 gallon without fear of loosing the whole batch. If I use few french oak cubes with 1 gallon (1/4 of an oz or so), how much character would it bring to dry mead?
Sorry, if that was too long, and really appreciate your help.