if you want to get technical the fermentation is done once the mead is put in the secondary. i hate that term.
i use oak through out the process to get the right amount.
i start by adding chips to the primary and if i do not get enough i will add more post fermentation (secondary). i suggest using restraint when adding because you can add more very easily, but it is very hard to remove once added.
i also suggest sticking to the oak medium you know, i use chips, but when i have used powder and cubes i had problem. because i did not know how to use them and tried to use them like chips.
i also mix my chips toast levels; lets say i wanted to use med toast, i would use 60-70% med toast chips and the rest would be light toast. i do this because barrels are not evenly toasted like chips and the barrel will have many toast levels in the thickness of the stave. cubes do a good job and mimicking this, but take a lot longer to finish up.
like i said just do not add to much, i have never used wooden staves, so i cannot give advice there. but i can tell you when you make "oak juice" it totally sucks and is undrinkable.
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