1) So two nights ago I brewed my "first" batch of mead. I say "first" because previously I had only done two batches opf this - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/joes-quick-grape-mead-57190/
- with fairly good success - but I had wanted to make a more traditional mead. What I ended up using was:
15 lbs of Dutch Gold Clover honey
4 gallons of Water
5 tsp of Superferment
2 Packets of Lalvin 71B-1122
I then spent yesterday reading quite a few posts about how for a show mead you should really use more quality honey, and that some folks have had bad experiences tastewise with traditional meads made with Dutch Gold. So my thought was to get some better quality and make a straightup mead with that and with this batch possibly add fruit / spices to get a more balanced profile to outweigh the lesser quality honey. Does anyone have any suggestions on recipes that I could try that just entails adding fruit and or spices in the secondary (I don't want to add anything to the primary as fermentation is already underway). Thoughts?
2) Is bulk aging preferable to a longer bottle aging? I had been thinking of once the primary ferm is complete (~2 weeks from brewing), racking to secondary (with whatever I end up adding), waiting for it to clear (guessing another 4 weeks), racking it off whatever else fell to the bottom again to bulk age (3-6 months), and then bottle aging for another 6 months.
3) Is there any preference as to temperatures for bulk aging? My basement stays a pretty decent temperature, but I also have space in my keezer and was thinking of maybe aging there if there is any benefit from lower temps (38 degrees)