Meet Your Maker: Dimitri

November 10, 2017

We love mead. Heck, that’s why we spend literally every waking moment making, tasting, and enjoying it.

But have you ever thought about the brave humans who wade waist-deep in the honey to create this exquisite beverage, the oldest known alcoholic beverage in the world?

We figured it was high time to give our makers the spotlight, and to gain some insight into what their jobs entail- the hardships, the not-so-hardships (the easyships?), the agony and the ecstasy of artfully creating liquid gold.

Everyone, meet Dimitri!

 DIMITRI

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Dimitri and I am Specific Gravity meter.

Can you describe your typical workday?

I am busiest in the morning when Renee’ the Red comes in.  She picks me up at my box and we commute to the production area where together we take the specific gravity of all the fermenting product. We do this to monitor the progression of fermentation. It is very important because if you don’t monitor fermentation, you have no idea what the yeast needs. Do they need to be fed? Are they done eating? I measure the amount of sugar in solution so the awesome humans can determine what to do with their ferments. I love my job. I get to drink delicious fermenting beverages everyday.

 

Can you describe an atypical workday?

An atypical workday is when I drink a little too much the day before and then Renee’ the Red has to get my butt back into calibration.  I don’t like being calibrated, she makes me drink distilled water. ::sigh:: It’s worth it though- I want to give the most accurate readings that I can so the production team can make the right calls on how to move forward with a ferment.

Do you have any hobbies?

Basically I live in the shop so whenever the team is out I like to host parties and dances for the other lab equipment. You should see Erl N. Meyer the Flask breakdance. It’s awesome! I, too, love dancing.  I more or less just hop up and down and wave my arms around, but I don’t care!  I love dancing so much!

How much science do you know?

Hmm…I know a little bit of science. I like to see how much sugar is in a solution.  I can sometimes calculate the amount of alcohol in something too.  Really, I am just a drunk.  A drunk that loves to dance.

Tell us about the hardest day you’ve had so far on the job:

The worst day EVER was when I was left behind at our other location and Renee’ forgot to take me with her.  I was so bored.  No one to talk to or dance with, no yummy ferments to drink to see how they were progressing.  It was so wonderful when the team finally remembered where I was and came to bring me back home to my box.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned in meadmaking?

Patience is the most important thing I have learned. To get a specific gravity right you have to take a few minutes to really measure those sugars.  I take pride in being right all the time. Sometimes, I have to take 2 or 3 minutes to make sure that I am right before I let the team know how much sugar is in solution, but they understand.  They are good humans like that.

Any advice for someone who wants to pursue a career in meadmaking/brewing?

Drink!

What is best in life?

Dancing.  Dancing can make any bad day into a good one.

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