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eurobug
03-23-2017, 07:49 AM
I plan on making a new batch of mead. I am in Belgium, and have to use alternatives to fermaid and goferm. I would like to combine lessons learned from the BOMM protocol and SNA. I made many mistakes on my first batch, got lots of good advice from you amazing people, learned much much more since then about mead making, and would like to post my plan for my second attempt for scrutiny and comments. I do not want to mess this one up.

- 19 lbs raw unheated honey from a local apiary, harvested from Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera). This is a rather brown, liquid honey with strong floral and river smells.
- Wyeast 1388 liquid yeast, one smack pack.
- Erbslöh vitaferm F3 nutrient, 30 grams (=6 tsp)
- DAP?
- Kalinat (=KHCO3, potassium carbonate). 5 grams (=1 tsp)

Target volume: 6.5 gallons, target initial gravity: 1.105, target final gravity: anything around or below 1.005 makes me happy.

Honey will be dissolved in warm water, and brought to room temperature.
I will make a one gallon starter in a two gallon bottle first, using 2.5 lbs honey, 1 gram of the Kalinat, 1 tsp total of the nutrient (staggered over 2 1/2 tsp additions: upfront and at 1/3 break), and the liquid yeast pack, smacked one day before addition to the must. This will be dumped in the 5.5 gallon must at 2/3 break, in a brewing bucket.
The large must will have the remaining Kalinat added upfront, and the nutrient in 3 equal additions of 2 tsp: upfront, 1/3 and 2/3 break. Twice daily stirring for aeration and degassing and measuring SG, both for the starter and the main vessel, until 2/3 sugar break. Move to a glass carboy when SG drops below 1.02. Degass daily as long as SG>1.005, then leave alone for 1-2 months. Rack and vacuum degass, and age for several months in carboy.

I have some questions:
- Is this too much honey?
- I have this nutrient called Erbslöh vitaferm F3, which is a brown powdery substance, based on killed yeast with nitrogen, thiamine, and other nutrients, lipids and vitamins added. I cannot find assimilable nitrogen numbers on this stuff, but it seems to be designed for wines, max. allowed dosage under EU law is 1 gram/liter due to B1 content, recommended 0.3-0.4 gram / liter twice (once in the beginning, once at 1/3 sugar break). This sounds a lot like Fermaid K or O. After reading about many people leaving out the DAP for better mead, would it be acceptable to use only this product (no additional pure DAP), up to its max dosage of 1 gram/liter? Or would DAP really be beneficial here?
- Is adding nutrients containing nitrogen a good idea at the 2/3 break? The alcohol level should be around 9% here.
- Should a yeast hull nutrient addition be scheduled in somewhere?
- Should I use any sulfite or sorbate at any point, or before bottling?

The aim is to create a decent dry or off-dry traditional, without any additions of spices, oak, etc... This would give me some benchmark mead to compare the rest to. I will await any feedback before starting this in about 2 weeks.

Dadux
03-23-2017, 08:33 AM
I plan on making a new batch of mead. I am in Belgium, and have to use alternatives to fermaid and goferm. I would like to combine lessons learned from the BOMM protocol and SNA. I made many mistakes on my first batch, got lots of good advice from you amazing people, learned much much more since then about mead making, and would like to post my plan for my second attempt for scrutiny and comments. I do not want to mess this one up.

- 19 lbs raw unheated honey from a local apiary, harvested from Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera). This is a rather brown, liquid honey with strong floral and river smells.
- Wyeast 1388 liquid yeast, one smack pack.
- Erbslöh vitaferm F3 nutrient, 30 grams (=6 tsp)
- DAP?
- Kalinat (=KHCO3, potassium carbonate). 5 grams (=1 tsp)

Target volume: 6.5 gallons, target initial gravity: 1.105, target final gravity: anything around or below 1.005 makes me happy.

Honey will be dissolved in warm water, and brought to room temperature.
I will make a one gallon starter in a two gallon bottle first, using 2.5 lbs honey, 1 gram of the Kalinat, 1 tsp total of the nutrient (staggered over 2 1/2 tsp additions: upfront and at 1/3 break), and the liquid yeast pack, smacked one day before addition to the must. This will be dumped in the 5.5 gallon must at 2/3 break, in a brewing bucket.
The large must will have the remaining Kalinat added upfront, and the nutrient in 3 equal additions of 2 tsp: upfront, 1/3 and 2/3 break. Twice daily stirring for aeration and degassing and measuring SG, both for the starter and the main vessel, until 2/3 sugar break. Move to a glass carboy when SG drops below 1.02. Degass daily as long as SG>1.005, then leave alone for 1-2 months. Rack and vacuum degass, and age for several months in carboy.

I have some questions:
- Is this too much honey?
- I have this nutrient called Erbslöh vitaferm F3, which is a brown powdery substance, based on killed yeast with nitrogen, thiamine, and other nutrients, lipids and vitamins added. I cannot find assimilable nitrogen numbers on this stuff, but it seems to be designed for wines, max. allowed dosage under EU law is 1 gram/liter due to B1 content, recommended 0.3-0.4 gram / liter twice (once in the beginning, once at 1/3 sugar break). This sounds a lot like Fermaid K or O. After reading about many people leaving out the DAP for better mead, would it be acceptable to use only this product (no additional pure DAP), up to its max dosage of 1 gram/liter? Or would DAP really be beneficial here?
- Is adding nutrients containing nitrogen a good idea at the 2/3 break? The alcohol level should be around 9% here.
- Should a yeast hull nutrient addition be scheduled in somewhere?
- Should I use any sulfite or sorbate at any point, or before bottling?

The aim is to create a decent dry or off-dry traditional, without any additions of spices, oak, etc... This would give me some benchmark mead to compare the rest to. I will await any feedback before starting this in about 2 weeks.

Hello there eurobug
Your plan is pretty solid. I can point out some things that are not clear or give you some advice. There are no big errors anyway so this is just some advanced stuff that you are missing.

The ammount of honey seems good. By my calcs 350g/liter. Didnt check if the sg was correct altough it seems a bit low, check with gotmead calculator if you didnt already.
You need to use 2grams kalinat per gal If im correct. So that would ammount to 13g total, 1 or 2 in the starter.
Go to denardbrewing.com for extra info about makig a starter. Im not familiar with the correct protocol for liquid yeast, but you probably dont want to wait till 2/3 break to pitch it. Probably in 2-3 days you can pitch. but again not sure. Make sure to oxigenate it and add some nutrient at the start so the yeast grows strong.
You can dissolve honey is room temp water. No need for heat at all just some shaking. If you do heat it, dont go past 40 degrees celsius.

I cant check now but maybe you can tell us if your nutrient has both inorganic nutrient and organic or only the latter.
If its organic only, you can follow the new bomm nutrient protocol for orgwnic nitrogen nutrients. If it is not, you might want to assume its like fermaid K and use it with DAP to do the old bomm nutrition schedule. If you dont want to use dap but its both organic and inorganic, i can give you guidelines to use only that (i use wyeast nutrient, both organic and inorganic in it).

Ignore law guidelines for nutrient use if you are not going commercial. Its stupid. Excess in B1 is not a problem.

There is no need to rack to a glass carboy for fermentation. If you want to do.it go ahead but its pointless if your plastic bucket is food grade.

It will probably end dry at 1.000 if the sg Is 1.105. 13% ABV or so.

Inorganic nitrogen is not assimilated past 9% alcohol. Organic is. Yeast hulls is organic. I sometimes use it in high abv meads but you dont need to. If you stick to bomm protocol follow it to the letter.

Sulphite and sorbate are not.needes if you dont intend to add any fermentables at a later stage. You might want to do a low addition of sulphites (50ppm or so) to prevent spoilage and oxidation but irs not necessary.

Make sure to follow the bomm protocol for aereation and degassing. You only need to aereate in the starter and in the first 3 days of fermentation.

homoeccentricus
03-23-2017, 08:44 AM
Yo, I'm from Belgium too - Antwerp. Where do you live? I bought the nutrients in Sweden: http://shop.humle.se/

eurobug
03-24-2017, 04:14 AM
Thanks for the tips, these are the kind of things I was looking for, to optimize the recipe! I will increase the amount of kalinat, and try to find some PH strips. I did use the mead calculator to get to the target initial gravity of 1.105. The starter on denardbrewing.com is stated as "If you do not have the equipment necessary to make a starter, you can make a 1 gallon BOMM to pitch into 4 additional gallons. After adding yeast to the 1 gallon BOMM, wait 3-4 days before pitching into the additional 4 gallons." After 3-4 days, the 1/3 sugar break has probably passed, that's why I wanted to to SNA in two steps for the starter as well. Will make sure to oxigenate strongly, as I think it is even more important in the one gallon starter, as that is where the colony is grown.
The nutrient seems to be made by growing yeast in a nutrient rich environment, deactivating it, and adding additional stuff such as thiamin and DAP. So it is partly organic, partly inorganic. I would like to use only this nutrient if possible, as it seems to contain everything needed. The only question is, how much...? Maybe it is simpler to just stick to the BOMM guidelines 100%, and assume that vitaferm = fermaid K.
I was planning on doing the primary fermentation in a bucket (the first week, down to 1.01 or something), for easier aeration and access for stirring. After that, I think a carboy filled entirely seems more appropriate to avoid oxygen and spoiling? It can finish the last couple of points in there, and sit on the cake for about two months. I read that this approach, combined with the occasional stirring to disturb the lees, will result in faster clearing and cleaner mead in the end.
I think it is reasonable to add a little sulphite before bottling then. I will not add further fermentables, I will keep this dry.
Thanks again for all the tips!

homoeccentricus, I live in Leuven, and work in Antwerp. Thanks for the link, that is the first Europe online store I saw that has goferm and the fermaids in reasonable quantities, not in bulk! Thanks! TOSNA, here I come! :)

Dadux
03-24-2017, 05:00 AM
Thanks for the tips, these are the kind of things I was looking for, to optimize the recipe! I will increase the amount of kalinat, and try to find some PH strips. I did use the mead calculator to get to the target initial gravity of 1.105. The starter on denardbrewing.com is stated as "If you do not have the equipment necessary to make a starter, you can make a 1 gallon BOMM to pitch into 4 additional gallons. After adding yeast to the 1 gallon BOMM, wait 3-4 days before pitching into the additional 4 gallons." After 3-4 days, the 1/3 sugar break has probably passed, that's why I wanted to to SNA in two steps for the starter as well. Will make sure to oxigenate strongly, as I think it is even more important in the one gallon starter, as that is where the colony is grown.
The nutrient seems to be made by growing yeast in a nutrient rich environment, deactivating it, and adding additional stuff such as thiamin and DAP. So it is partly organic, partly inorganic. I would like to use only this nutrient if possible, as it seems to contain everything needed. The only question is, how much...? Maybe it is simpler to just stick to the BOMM guidelines 100%, and assume that vitaferm = fermaid K.
I was planning on doing the primary fermentation in a bucket (the first week, down to 1.01 or something), for easier aeration and access for stirring. After that, I think a carboy filled entirely seems more appropriate to avoid oxygen and spoiling? It can finish the last couple of points in there, and sit on the cake for about two months. I read that this approach, combined with the occasional stirring to disturb the lees, will result in faster clearing and cleaner mead in the end.
I think it is reasonable to add a little sulphite before bottling then. I will not add further fermentables, I will keep this dry.
Thanks again for all the tips!

homoeccentricus, I live in Leuven, and work in Antwerp. Thanks for the link, that is the first Europe online store I saw that has goferm and the fermaids in reasonable quantities, not in bulk! Thanks! TOSNA, here I come! :)

FYI DAP has double nitrogen than K. So instead of adding 1/4 tsp of dap you can add 1/2 tsp of K. Thats the basic direct conversion, so you can scale the nutrients using only K (so if protocol asks for 1/2 tsp of K and 1/4 tsp of DAP, you can just add 1 tsp of K). But noone reports problem with the BOMM protocol. You have the info now its your choice.

You are right aereation during the first 3 days of the starter will help a lot. But once you pitch in the total must too, since the colony will keep growing since they have more space.

About thtat bucket thing, no clue. I use buckets and usually have quite some headspace and its ok. While the lees are in the mead, they will bind most oxigen coming in contact with the mead. So low risk of oxidation there, specially if you rouse the lees. Mead is also very dificult to oxidize since honey has a lot of antioxidants and sugar only does not oxidize. If you still feel like trying to rack it in another carboy, your call. Probably nothing wrong with it, i personally doubt it does anything (good or bad) but hey, im not sure either. During ageing (after the first racking, it is advisable to keep the headspace low, and the same goes to the surface of the mead in contact with the air (less surface less absorption).

eurobug
04-05-2017, 04:11 PM
Í just pitched the starter in the bucket of must. The starter was ALIVE, that was for sure. The SG ended up being 1.094, so I will run with that. Filled the bucket until a wee bit over 25 liters, so that after future racking, I can fill a 25L carboy to the brim. I did take all above advice, and upped the amount of kalinat, dissolved honey in water of 26 degrees C (this was surprisingly easy, only some lengthy stirring required), and will follow BOMM to the letter (with the vitaferm thingy replacing fermaid K). I will also leave everything in the bucket for about a month, and rouse the lees every couple of days after fermentation finished. I will then rack for clearing, using patience as my clearing agent, and add a little sulphite at bottling time to avoid long-term storage problems. Hope to bottle mid-late summer.

I will try to remember to update in the future about how this turned out. Future batches will be with Fermaid O, using BOMM or TOSNA. Thanks again for the help, and the link to the euro store selling fermaid.

Dadux
04-05-2017, 05:04 PM
Í just pitched the starter in the bucket of must. The starter was ALIVE, that was for sure. The SG ended up being 1.094, so I will run with that. Filled the bucket until a wee bit over 25 liters, so that after future racking, I can fill a 25L carboy to the brim. I did take all above advice, and upped the amount of kalinat, dissolved honey in water of 26 degrees C (this was surprisingly easy, only some lengthy stirring required), and will follow BOMM to the letter (with the vitaferm thingy replacing fermaid K). I will also leave everything in the bucket for about a month, and rouse the lees every couple of days after fermentation finished. I will then rack for clearing, using patience as my clearing agent, and add a little sulphite at bottling time to avoid long-term storage problems. Hope to bottle mid-late summer.

I will try to remember to update in the future about how this turned out. Future batches will be with Fermaid O, using BOMM or TOSNA. Thanks again for the help, and the link to the euro store selling fermaid.

Remember, if you want you can add more honey mid ferment in case you were wondering. Altough 1.094 is 12% so not bad
Apart from that it looks like its going full sail. try to keep the temperature in the 15-18ºC.

eurobug
04-06-2017, 02:32 AM
The temp is 19 degrees C during the day, and 16 at night, I guess that would be all right then. 10 hours after pitching the starter, the must has a thick head of foam of about 2 cm. Stirring gives a lot of foam, violent stirring will definitely cause the bucket to overflow. The smell is flowery, acidic, yeast, honey, even a little hoppy. I can definitely believe that this is a Duvel yeast, very similar smells pop up, even the head looks the same (been drinking duvel for 20 years now, still my favorite beer). I believe this is going to be fantastic.

I also took a gravity reading, the SG is again 1.094, but the liquid in the thief is bubbling (had to use the thief to get through the foam layer). I think that the original gravity reading was too low because not all honey was well dissolved. These buckets are deep, and the honey concentration might have been higher at the bottom. Ah well, no worries :)

eurobug
04-27-2017, 02:29 PM
Well the mead is clearing outside now for 4 days, has dropped a tremendous amount of lees, and is starting to become translucent. I tried a glass of it today, and must say it is not entirely what I expected. I can clearly see through the glass and there is no yeasty taste. But there is a strong alcohol taste (not really fusels, that taste I know very well, but actual ethanol, like vodka, with lots of legs in the glass), not really any taste left from the honey, and it is very dry. It is much better than my first attempt at mead though, which still tastes like a paint thinner + white wine cocktail.

It is only three weeks old, so I know this is way too young even for a BOMM. The final gravity was 0.998 in the end, so apparently it did finish quite dry. My guess is to have patience for aging, and possibly stabilize and backsweeten to 1.005. Does that sound alright? Next mead I will try to improve more by finding actual orange blossom honey and fermaid O, and following TOSNA.

I would add a nice graph I made of the SG as a function of time, but I cannot figure out how to add a jpg to my post, I get size errors all the time, while it is merely a 16kb image.

Cobrac
04-27-2017, 05:49 PM
Yo, I'm from Belgium too - Antwerp. Where do you live? I bought the nutrients in Sweden: http://shop.humle.se/

I shop my stuff there too, but that's because I live in Sweden...

Sent from mTalk

caduseus
04-27-2017, 05:54 PM
Well the mead is clearing outside now for 4 days, has dropped a tremendous amount of lees, and is starting to become translucent. I tried a glass of it today, and must say it is not entirely what I expected. I can clearly see through the glass and there is no yeasty taste. But there is a strong alcohol taste (not really fusels, that taste I know very well, but actual ethanol, like vodka, with lots of legs in the glass), not really any taste left from the honey, and it is very dry. It is much better than my first attempt at mead though, which still tastes like a paint thinner + white wine cocktail.

It is only three weeks old, so I know this is way too young even for a BOMM. The final gravity was 0.998 in the end, so apparently it did finish quite dry. My guess is to have patience for aging, and possibly stabilize and backsweeten to 1.005. Does that sound alright? Next mead I will try to improve more by finding actual orange blossom honey and fermaid O, and following TOSNA.

I would add a nice graph I made of the SG as a function of time, but I cannot figure out how to add a jpg to my post, I get size errors all the time, while it is merely a 16kb image.

Sweetness: That is a loaded question as each of us has different preferences. I can say that technically it as follows per BJCP:
<1.010 is dry
1.011-1.024 is off-dry (also called semi-sweet)
1.025 or higher is sweet

unofficially there is dessert sweet: 1.050 or higher

I cant say what you should do because what it tastes like now backsweetened will be different 2-4 months from now as it ages.

There are other ways to affect flavor too other than sweetness.
Vanilla- not only does it give it more flavor but can make it sweeter without it technically having more residual sugar honey
Oak ageing- this always adds body; I like medium to low medium-plus as it also can give off some vanilla flavors in addition to the tannins
carbonation- this adds body; ever had a flat coke? this adds body, acidity but sometimes make it more dry; like a champagne
acidity- check this; I find meads/wines with ph<4 to be flat and flabby in taste; personally I like to shoot for pH 3.5

These are just a few. There are also all types of fruits and spices as well.

Dadux
04-27-2017, 07:03 PM
Well the mead is clearing outside now for 4 days, has dropped a tremendous amount of lees, and is starting to become translucent. I tried a glass of it today, and must say it is not entirely what I expected. I can clearly see through the glass and there is no yeasty taste. But there is a strong alcohol taste (not really fusels, that taste I know very well, but actual ethanol, like vodka, with lots of legs in the glass), not really any taste left from the honey, and it is very dry. It is much better than my first attempt at mead though, which still tastes like a paint thinner + white wine cocktail.

It is only three weeks old, so I know this is way too young even for a BOMM. The final gravity was 0.998 in the end, so apparently it did finish quite dry. My guess is to have patience for aging, and possibly stabilize and backsweeten to 1.005. Does that sound alright? Next mead I will try to improve more by finding actual orange blossom honey and fermaid O, and following TOSNA.

I would add a nice graph I made of the SG as a function of time, but I cannot figure out how to add a jpg to my post, I get size errors all the time, while it is merely a 16kb image.

Give it some time. If then you want to sweeten it, stabilize and do so to the desired point. If you are not satisfied with how the taste is/is going, then you can add spices or herbs. But wait a bit for this, because it might surprise you.
All the points said by caduseus are also good, but you cant judge a 3 week mead on how it tastes regarding alcohol because its waaaay too early. Backsweetening, oaking (and black tea), and slight spicing with sweet spices (vanilla, marshmallow, others) will all make the mead taste less alcoholic and harsh. However, they can change the flavour of the mead.
Edit: sometimes meadmaking is all about planning, but sometimes is about what you feel a mead needs. dont be afraid to experiment a bit, and add stuff you did not plan to add in the first place. Sometimes you'll ferment a mead thinking "this is going to be an orange mead" and it ends up being a weird traditional. Or a lavender mead. Im just saying, sometimes you dont get exactly what you expected in the ferment, but that does not mean you cant make something great out of it. If, after some time, you dont feel your mead tastes that good, go ahead and change its flavour to something you want to drink. This is about enjoying it.

eurobug
05-05-2017, 01:35 PM
Thanks for the tips, I must learn to be patient in this hobby. That will become easier as I build up some reserves I guess, right now I am still in the "I wanna taste this right now" stage. I cannot RDWHAHB cause I do not yet H any HB...

I thought of splitting up this batch into several smaller batches. One I wouldn't touch, as a benchmark. One I will try the vanilla + oak. And for one I am thinking of adding dried genepi sprigs and flowers (artemisia umbelliformis). This is a highly aromatic mountain flower, usually used for making the genepi liquor, which is very popular in the Alps, and related to absinthe-type drinks. I would backsweeten this to a rather sweet level with honey. Would this sound alright, or would I be wasting 2 gallons of mead and a bushel of precious flowers on this?

Dadux
05-05-2017, 01:57 PM
Thanks for the tips, I must learn to be patient in this hobby. That will become easier as I build up some reserves I guess, right now I am still in the "I wanna taste this right now" stage. I cannot RDWHAHB cause I do not yet H any HB...

I thought of splitting up this batch into several smaller batches. One I wouldn't touch, as a benchmark. One I will try the vanilla + oak. And for one I am thinking of adding dried genepi sprigs and flowers (artemisia umbelliformis). This is a highly aromatic mountain flower, usually used for making the genepi liquor, which is very popular in the Alps, and related to absinthe-type drinks. I would backsweeten this to a rather sweet level with honey. Would this sound alright, or would I be wasting 2 gallons of mead and a bushel of precious flowers on this?

You can use flowers. Make sure to leave as little as posible green parts, because it might give you a vegetable flavour. Its a bit tricky. The best way i think is making a tincture (use vodka or 90+ drinking alcohol) Then you can add exactly the ammount you want. The other way is adding them whole, or drying them first. My experience is flowers give a lot of smell and some flavour, and can be very very good. Maybe go with just 1 gallon for starters and see if you like it. Also, make sure to stabilize first. and then backsweeten.
Vanilla and oak is great. My advice would be to add the vanilla first and way a month at least before you add the oak. Also what type of oak you plan to use? (american, french, toast leve, chips, cubes...) be careful (specially if using chips), nobody likes overoaked things, go slow on it. It will give a nice touch though

eurobug
05-05-2017, 02:33 PM
Usually the entire genepi plant is used for the liquor, the typical recipe is to infuse 5 grams (about 1/6 ounce) of dried plants in one liter (about one quart) of 40% spirit (like vodka or alcohol+water), let it sit for at least a month, filter and add 5 ounce sugar. Maybe a better option then is to just make this liquor, but with 6oz honey instead of 5oz sugar, and add that to the mead (stabilized of course). I can try a little, and if it tastes like crap I still have the pure mead and the liquor separately. If it works, I can fortify part of the batch with the genepi and let it have a honeymoon for some months in the bottle.
I have medium toast French oak chips. For some reason, cubes (or spirals, sticks, ...) are hard to come by in Belgium, I never saw them in any of the brewing web shops I visit, not even in neighboring countries. I read that with chips, it is best to use only a little bit, and that they give their flavor very quickly (hence also a flatter flavor profile).

Dadux
05-05-2017, 03:12 PM
Usually the entire genepi plant is used for the liquor, the typical recipe is to infuse 5 grams (about 1/6 ounce) of dried plants in one liter (about one quart) of 40% spirit (like vodka or alcohol+water), let it sit for at least a month, filter and add 5 ounce sugar. Maybe a better option then is to just make this liquor, but with 6oz honey instead of 5oz sugar, and add that to the mead (stabilized of course). I can try a little, and if it tastes like crap I still have the pure mead and the liquor separately. If it works, I can fortify part of the batch with the genepi and let it have a honeymoon for some months in the bottle.
I have medium toast French oak chips. For some reason, cubes (or spirals, sticks, ...) are hard to come by in Belgium, I never saw them in any of the brewing web shops I visit, not even in neighboring countries. I read that with chips, it is best to use only a little bit, and that they give their flavor very quickly (hence also a flatter flavor profile).

Well, but if its dried its another story. i was talking about fresh. As long as its dried, the vegetable flavour should be minimal.
Chips are ok. I use them. Its not cubes or staves yes, but they still give a nice touch.

eurobug
06-03-2017, 01:30 PM
The weather has turned hot, so time to move the mead inside. It has mostly cleared, but some sediment sticks to the sides of the bottle so it is hard to see how clear exactly it is. I can clearly see through the demijohn though, so good enough.

My dried genepi plants arrived, and I will do a test of about 5 litres of genepi-mead. What would be best:
- Add the dried plants to the mead and let it sit for about 2 months
- Make an infusion with pure alcohol by seeping the plants for 1-2 months, and fortify the mead with this, up to 18-20 ABV.

To be safe, I am more inclined for option 2, although option 1 seems more authentic, and the idea of a 5 litre bottle of green-colored mead with a bouquet of rare mountain flowers in the middle just sounds right :)