I was really nervous the first time I made a tincture too - had those same thoughts. But I'm really glad to have stuck with it now.
The powder will absorb more alcohol than what I use - what is sold as 'dry/cut' or 'cut/sifted' or what I harvest for myself, but that doesn't change the outcome.
Straining powder will be messier than what I deal with as well, as the powder turns to kind of a muddy mess like you said, but using a very fine cheesecloth or muslin will likely still give you good results. To me, the hardest part now is waiting 6 weeks!!
Herb only treatment for Lyme & Bart ended 12/11 - no active symptoms for 2 yrs -Herb only treatment for Babesia ended 12/12www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=30&m=2977364
Had Lyme, Bart, Babs, RMSF, Ehrlichia, Myco, Anaplasmosis, EBV
New Lyme case 8/2014 - Healed 1/31/15 - unknowingly had Asymptomatic Babs and Asymptomatic Bart, being treated now though (2/2016)