So I made a batch of mead, I don't recall the specifics. It came out to around 8%ABV, finished dry. I used Wyeast Dry Mead Yeast and 100% clover honey. I held it at 160 or 180 degrees with some water for some period of time, cooled it, then pitched the yeast.
Once fermented, I put it in 8 separate containers, each with a different type of oak. Here are my thoughts.
Finding #1. I am not impressed with the yeast. It's been about 4 months now and I know these things get much better with age, but it still definitely has quite a bit of yeastiness that I was not expecting for such a small mead after 4 months.
Finding #2. At this two month interval, I found all of the heavy toasts preferable to the Medium toasts. All of the heavy toasts seemed to have a certain amount of additional smoothness to them. I would like to try charring the oak next to see what that is like!
Finding #3. The Hungarian is the mellowest, sort of a smooth flabby oak flavor- of the three, it tastes the best when cold. The French is the most complex and spicy. The American is the smoothest with a quite a bit more structure than the Hungarian, but not nearly as spicy as the French.
In Process: Mango Beer, Homebrewers Pale Ale
Bottled/Kegged:Spicy Light Rye, Rice-adjunct Pale Ale, Mild Bourbon Porter, Roasty Stout, Basic Light Mead, Bourbon County Stout Clone
Up Next: Berlinerweiss, Chocolate Raspberry Ale, and American IPA