Cherry Vanilla Melomel questions - when to add fruit/vanilla
This is only my third mead, and the first where I haven't pretty strictly followed a recipe I've found here or on gotmead...here's what I have, for a 5 gal batch:
14# clover honey
8# sweet cherries
3# cherry puree
4 Madagascar vanilla beans
2 packets of KV1116 (rehydrated & made a starter last night)
nutrient/energizer & acid blend
I have both glass carboys and a plastic brewing bucket available. My question is how to add the cherry...I was thinking of adding the puree into the primary fermentation and letting it sit for 4-5 weeks or until I'm close to my FG. Then racking onto the frozen-thawed-and then mashed cherries in secondary. I'd rack again after 2 weeks on top of 3-4 split vanilla beans.
Is there a better way to do this? I was contemplating letting the honey ferment on its own and then racking to the cherries as well. Also looking for input on using a plastic bucket vs. carboy (I really dont trust plastic). I am thinking I may have a bit much cherry too...
Let me know what you guys think, thanks!