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Old 02-12-2010, 05:05 PM   #1
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Default lalvin EC 1

I've got some of this champagne yeast left. Since this is a high alcohol tolerance, neutral taste yeast; would it be good for an Imperial Stout I'm making this weekend? I expect to hit about 1.114 for an OG with final ABV at 11%.
What else would you recommend?

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Old 02-12-2010, 09:28 PM   #2
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There's a Sunday Session podcast on The Brewing Network with Shea Comfort about brewing beers with wine yeasts. The vital lesson that comes out of it: wine yeasts are not bred to handle the same sugars as ale/lager yeasts (and lager yeasts can digest some sugars that ale yeasts can't, for that matter). Namely, wine yeasts (including champagne yeasts) cannot digest maltotriose, which accounts for quite a bit of the complex sugar in wort. The result can be quite a lot of residual sweetness, even when using a champagne yeast. The conventional wisdom that champagne yeast will "dry out" your beer is incorrect.

edit: might be better off with the Super High Gravity Ale yeast - WLP099

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Old 02-12-2010, 09:32 PM   #3
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To follow up on the last post, you can use champagne (or other wine) yeast at the tail end of fermentation of your bigger beers. It won't properly ferment maltotriose, but it WILL ferment the more simple sugars also present in wort.

I think using ale yeast until the beer gets nearly done fermenting, then using champagne yeast to finish it off would be worthwhile. In that case, it definitely would help to dry the beer quite a bit.

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Old 02-12-2010, 09:38 PM   #4
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I have tasted a russian imperial made with lavlin ec 1118, and it was a fantastic beer.
I'd say give it a try, experimentation is the beauty of homebrewing!

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Old 02-12-2010, 09:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
I think using ale yeast until the beer gets nearly done fermenting, then using champagne yeast to finish it off would be worthwhile.
At that point, you might as well let the ale yeast finish up completely. Champagne yeast is a "killer" yeast, so it will kill off your ale yeast in the process of beginning its fermentation.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wendelgee2 View Post
At that point, you might as well let the ale yeast finish up completely. Champagne yeast is a "killer" yeast, so it will kill off your ale yeast in the process of beginning its fermentation.
Correct- but that's the point. The ale yeast is finishing up due to the alcohol poisoning. The champagne yeast will get the last of the fermentables, so that the beer doesn't end up too sweet. My concern would be trying to get champagne yeast started in a too-high alcohol environment. I don't think you'd be able to get it started easily in an ABV beer of more than about 9-10%, so I'd want to get it in there by that point. By then, the ale yeast are finishing up.
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:46 AM   #7
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Different perspectives!
I've got the champagne yeast and I've got some S-05; I'll decide tomorrow if I'm going to make a run to the LHBS or use what I've got. I scanned the recipe section and there are recipes for high octane beer with just about all kinds of yeast. I would hate to make it and end up with an overly sweet beer.
Outside brewing RIS with a foot of snow on the ground will be sweet! Thanks for the input.

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