Well, despite some newbie screw-ups (I'll spare you the details), things seem to be going well in my first attempt at mead. OG was 1.100, and now...after 3 wks in primary...the gravity is around .995! I tasted it today, and it tastes like a dry petillant champagne. Certainly feels like there is a significant alcohol kick to it.
I am going to rack to a glass secondary soon, and I am thinking about adding either a peach or ginger flavoring element. I chose not to add anything to the primary since...as a newbie...I wanted to be sure I got the basics down first, and I didn't want to risk messing with the acidity of the must.
One thing I am considering is the addition of some amount of peach puree directly into the secondary (with the only sanitation element being to sanitize the outside of the can). If so, how many pounds of puree are reasonable for a 5 gallon batch?
Alternately, I might just make some kind of strong tea...like a ginger tea...and put that into the secondary. That seems to be an easier flavoring strategy than the peach puree paradigm, one advantage being that I'd get less sludge settling out.
Any advice as to the relative merits and associated procedures of the above paradigms is MUCH appreciated. As a newbie, I kind of want to avoid things that are gonna present awkward complications to the process, but a hint of peach or ginger flavor would be a nice addition to the champagne-y character of this mead.
I presume I could also add flavoring elements after the secondary, just as the the mead is being put into bottles, but if any additions are gonna restart fermentation at all, then of course I'd rather that happen in the secondary than in the bottles. Plus, by adding puree or tea in the secondary, I can use that addition as a way to manage an appropriate headspace (and on that point...how much headspace should I have in the secondary carboy?)
Thanks in advance for any opinions and especially for any specific 'how/when/how much' procedural advice!