Tonight at 9PM ET, we’ll be talking with Dustin Deisher and Jeff Anderson, award winning home meadmakers. The topic at hand is bench trials.

In making mead, we do our fermentation, feed our yeast, and do our racking and stabilization. But once that’s all done, the mead needs to be finished. And as anyone with more than a couple batches under their belt can tell you, yeast don’t read the alcohol range info on the packets, and fermentations often end where you want to make adjustments after it finishes. It may need more acid, or tannins, or need sweetness or flavors from fruits, spices or a honey varietal adjusted to get to the final result you want. And that is where bench trials come in.

Figuring out what needs to be added or adjusted to get that final mead flavor profile is a process, and we’re going to dig into that tonight.

Dustin Deisher started brewing with his former band mate and best friend Jeremy Goehring in 2013 after binging on Skyrim. After getting some equipment and some pointers from the local homebrew shop they were on their way to conjure up some liquid gold! In 2014 they met other fellow mead makers when they joined the Lincoln Lagers Homebrew Club. After their first medal at a major competition (2nd with a wildflower traditional at the 2014 Mead Free Or Die) they were hooked. They spent many years competing with standard strength meads. It wasn’t until the last couple of years they really started pursuing session meads. After applying some techniques used in brewing beer they could add new elements such as carbonation to their arsenal! Dustin started using different beer yeasts and post fermentation additions to produce balanced and sparkling melomels. This eventually led them to the Mazer Cup where they were able to put their hydromels to the real test. They had the pleasure to do a scale up of one of their 2019 M3A Mazer Cup winners at Boiler Brewing Co. Along with competing, Dustin became a Certified Beer and Mead BJCP Judge. Becoming a judge has helped him develop a better palate for varietal honeys. When they used these in their hydromel batches it took everything to a whole new level. Last year they saw the fruits of their labor when they placed 2nd BOS under Ken Schramm at The Valkyries Horn. Dustin’s next step in his mead making career is to bring sparkling hydromels to his local craft brew industry.

Jeff Anderson been homebrewing for 8 years. His main love is brewing traditional German styles of beer but after Curt Stock visited his brew club for their annual Sower’s Cup competition several years ago, Jeff fell in love with the idea of making fast turn around hydromel strength meads and specifically fruit and berry meads. Most of his inspiration is pulled from his culinary experience and he really just loves to experiment with different flavor combinations.
Currently, he is also a BJCP certified beer and mead judge. Before covid, Jeff was on track to round out the trifecta with a cider cert as well until NHC was cancelled. He really loves education in homebrewing and makes it a goal to continually add new techniques to his brewing toolbox.

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If you want to ask your mead making questions, you can call us at 803-443-MEAD (6323) or send us a question via email, or via Twitter @GotmeadNow and we’ll tackle it online! 9PM EDT/6PM PDT Join us on live chat during the show Bring your questions and your mead, and let’s talk mead! You can call us at 803-443-MEAD (6323), or Skype us at meadwench (please friend me first and say you’re a listener, I get tons of Skype spam), or tweet to @gotmeadnow.

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Vicky Rowe
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