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Old 05-12-2009, 01:19 AM   #1
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Default Which Yeast & Which Sugar? How To Choose?

In a wine recipe book that I purchased, Mary's Recipes, various fruit recipes just state "wine yeast". While I've been told from my LHBS that 1122 "brings out the fruitiness", 1116 and 1118 tolerate high alcohol, and D47 brings out "mouth feel" (as examples), how do you differentiate between various yeasts? I've read Jack Keller's article and researched this. Champagne Yeast seems to ferment quickly, 1116 created MEGA rhino farts in my hard iced tea (would another yeast have been better or are MEGA rhino farts really "a good thing"?) Is there an online resource that provides more information or is there someone who can better define usage??

Another usage question:When to use which type of sugar? How they each ferment and how long to bulk age them. I'm referring to cane sugar vs corn sugar vs honey vs any other fermentable sugar.

As always, thanks for your knowledge and input!

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Old 05-12-2009, 01:28 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by SueMac View Post
In a wine recipe book that I purchased, Mary's Recipes, various fruit recipes just state "wine yeast". While I've been told from my LHBS that 1122 "brings out the fruitiness", 1116 and 1118 tolerate high alcohol, and D47 brings out "mouth feel" (as examples), how do you differentiate between various yeasts? I've read Jack Keller's article and researched this. Champagne Yeast seems to ferment quickly, 1116 created MEGA rhino farts in my hard iced tea (would another yeast have been better or are MEGA rhino farts really "a good thing"?) Is there an online resource that provides more information or is there someone who can better define usage??

Another usage question:When to use which type of sugar? How they each ferment and how long to bulk age them. I'm referring to cane sugar vs corn sugar vs honey vs any other fermentable sugar.

As always, thanks for your knowledge and input!
Usually, I don't get rhino farts. That's usually a sign of stressed yeast, and I tend to use yeast nutrient.

Really, any wine yeast will work fine. There are some times when you have a specific goal in mind- like to preserve the bouquet, so you'll want a wine like K-1116. Otherwise, you don't get a ton of flavor from the yeast, and in a medium ABV wine, they tend to be pretty interchangable, unless you have a specific issue. Like excess malic acid, then you'll want a yeast that helps with that. Overall, though, generic instructions mean a basic champagne yeast or other wine yeast.

I almost always use table sugar for fruit wines, but honey does provide some "smoothing" qualities that you don't get with table sugar. I generally ferment with the table sugar, and then add honey later on. My crabapple wine really gets much smoother with the addition of honey in the secondary.
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:08 PM   #3
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Thanks, Yooper. I won't second guess yeast choices then. I use yeast nutrient, too and I used it in the batch of Hard Iced Tea. The rhino farts were horrible (my husband thought the sewer backed up)! But I also used yeast energizer...Could that be why?

I generally use table sugar, too. I'm just curious because I made the Apfelwein this past weekend and the recipe calls for corn sugar. I'm a stickler for making a recipe as written the first time because if I ammend it, I won't know what it's really supposed to taste like and if I've made it better or worse.

How much longer does honey take to "mature"?

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Old 05-12-2009, 07:54 PM   #4
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Did you mean this Jack Keller "article"? http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/strains.asp

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Old 05-12-2009, 08:09 PM   #5
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I too use regular table sugar and it's always worked fine. It's consistent and it's always available.

As for yeast, this Lalvin yeast chart is a handy reference I use when determining which yeast may work in the wine I'm considering.

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Old 05-13-2009, 12:20 AM   #6
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I've seen the one from Jack Keller (thank you) and thanks, too for the Lalvin one.

While there's a lot of info out there for fruit wines, there isn't anything on "alternative beverages" such as Hard Iced Tea, Hard Lemonade/Limeade, etc. I guess with the prospect of carbing some, an ale yeast might be a good choice so it will finish sweeter. But that's not always a given. Such is the case with soft drinks which use either Champagne Yeast or Premier Cuvee.

I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that some things are hit or miss... Experiment, sample; experiment, sample...Learn from others...

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Old 05-14-2009, 03:03 PM   #7
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There's a number of hard iced tea experiments going on in the winemaking subforum--I've bumped a number of them this morning just to get updates. It seems like we've got some resources at our disposal.

FYI, I plan on table sugar--and have used 1118 in the past for a hard strawberry lemonade. Like Ms. Yooper says, nutrient (and starters) are helpful in preventing stressed yeast.

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Old 05-14-2009, 11:24 PM   #8
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There's a number of hard iced tea experiments going on in the winemaking subforum--I've bumped a number of them this morning just to get updates. It seems like we've got some resources at our disposal.

FYI, I plan on table sugar--and have used 1118 in the past for a hard strawberry lemonade. Like Ms. Yooper says, nutrient (and starters) are helpful in preventing stressed yeast.
I researched this site and others before I settled on a recipe. I used yeast nutrient and settled on Lalvin 1116 based on the recipe I was using. It's unfortunate that some recipes are from years past so you have no one to currently ask questions of and sometimes, there is no follow-up as to how the recipe turned out...I used table sugar, too. After fermentation I stabilized and backsweetened with lemonade and sugar.
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