Added pics of racking from 1 gallon jugs to tertiary: http://imgur.com/a/7pZde
The mead has been sitting on fruit in secondary for a month. I tasted some a couple days ago and the fruit character is absolutely mouth watering. For some reason, this mead tastes amazing for being so young. It tastes better (no fusel alcohols or off flavors whatsoever) than a couple of my year-old meads.
The orange blossom honey used in the Strawberry and Nectarine meads took a month to fully ferment, whereas my other melomels (with fruit in primary) have taken around 2 weeks. Maybe that accounts for the clean flavor at a young age?
Adding the fruit to gallon jugs in secondary was a mistake. Bottling buckets and large muslin bags are the way to go if adding fruit in secondary. It was kind of a pain to rack out of the jugs and strain into a bottling bucket. Lesson learned.
I'll try to bottle in a few weeks if it clears well. Might carb up a couple gallons of the strawberry before bottling in champagne bottles. Worried that it might not be "dry" enough, as it finished at 1.018. Might also add a jalapeno or chipotle pepper to a gallon. I took a couple samples last night and (cold) steeped in a chamomile teabag for a minute or two, which really complimented the strawberry and nectarine nicely with some floral/citrus notes and tannins.
Question: Is there a better method of infusing with chamomile tea ... beside adding a teabag to tertiary?
Good learning experience overall. I think I'll be adding fruit to secondary (instead of primary) from now on. The Super Berry Melomel (fruit in Primary) I made a year ago is delicious, but it's very tart and more red wine like and took about a year to mellow. The strawberry melomel (fruit in Secondary) tastes amazing after 2 months -- very strong fresh fruit flavor/aromas. Although racking was a pain in the ass, it's been absolutely worth the extra hassle.
TL;DR: I might be a "Fruit in Secondary" convert.