Originally Posted by gratus fermentatio
You really will get a much better end product by using vanilla beans, sliced in half & scraped, use the pulp too. Here's a bargin:http://www.beanilla.com/sale
With the beans, you get everything the bean has to offer & you can remove it when you think the proper flavour profile has been reached. With the extract, you get only what was extracted & if you accidentally add a bit too much, you can't take it out. It's your mead, make it the way you think is best; but you really can't go wrong using the vanilla bean(s) instead of the extract.
See, IMO, I don't see the need to scrape them. I just split along the length. The alcohol will get to the flavour elements plenty quick enough and there's little point in using a "cheffy" technique that's normal for ice creams, sauces, etc where the tiny black fleck's add to the character of such products.
The seeds are so small, they'd likely need filtering out to make sure that none got through from the various rackings etc.
But hey.... whatever eh ? If it works then run with it.......
That vanilla link is a lot cheaper then $9, but the ones I got off ebay were Madagascar vanilla, but grade B. Not the pretty ones, all nice and straight and of a uniform size. I used them for 2.25 litres of vanilla extract (95% alcohol), and I used 100 of them, just splitting them and putting them in to steep.
good, strong extract is the result, the vanilla being so strong as to be almost bitter unless it's been sweetened.