I’m going to do another batch of mead soon, and I’m going to use sumac a little differently. This time, I will prepare a chaga tea as normal, but after it is done decocting, I will pull out the chaga and then put in the whole sumac drupes (the flowery fruit formations), without worrying about pulling them off the stems. I will let this sit for a while (20 minutes minimum, or perhaps overnight) before straining and then beginning the mead recipe.
This should result in a tea that, apart from the chaga medicine, should be high in tannic acid, ascorbic acid, malic acid, and ready to make a most excellent local mead.
The benefit of this method is that there won’t be any floaties in the must after fermentation that I have to deal with.