This is my third batch of mead (3.5 gal).
The main one has:
Approximately 10lbs of raw, local, wildflower unfiltered, unpasteurized honey.
2 cups of strong Barry's Irish breakfast tea
A quantity of Barry's Gold blend loose tea (unsure how much).
1 1g dissolved vitamin C tablet.
1 packet of Montrachet red-star wine yeast
Water enough to make up the difference.
His little friend ( an experiment) has all the above plus:
3 bay leaves
some powdered ginger
1 cinnamon stick
some allspice berries
4 capsules of cranberry extract (gel cap removed)
a splash of organic vanilla extract
a splash of almond extract
Oil of 3 capsules of black-currant-oil
I know currant leaves were used in the past for nutrients and since my currant bush has no leaves being winter and all I tried using the oil from some gel caps.
My first mead was exactly the same as the main one except for the 1g of dissolved vitamin C tablet. It was my favorite so far. At first I was gonna throw it out because it tasted so horrible but I let it age for 8 months and WOW what a difference. The tannins from the tea aged out and man it was yummy, there was so much tannins it tasted like whiskey before it mellowed.
The second was JAOM but instead of bread yeast I used muttons ale yeast. It was good but astringent probably should have let it age longer and the clove about knocked me over. But oh well.
//Now to the questions
As I said this is my 3rd mead, but the other two did not have such a krausen, what would be causing it?
Also, I would prefer to not use any artificial chemical additives in my brewing/vinting ( I feel bad about using the vitamin C as it is).
So, what are good food / naturally occurring things that I might be able to add to my future meads in place of "nutrients" or would my current strategy of honey,water,yeast,tea be sufficient?
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.