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Old 12-03-2012, 02:48 AM   #1
Bluespark
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Default Favorite yeast for mead?

I'm getting ready to start my first batch of mead, but I don't know where to start in the yeast department. I've used a basic ale yeast and ec1118, those two are the only I've found locally, but we have one more store I need to look at.

The goal is a nice, drinkable mead. I'm not fond of super sweet, but don't want desert dry either. I'm thinking probably 12-14%.

Any suggestions?

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Old 12-03-2012, 03:20 AM   #2
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Lalvin 71B is a great yeast that I have used for a few things. It's only drawback is that you dont want the mead sitting on the yeast for long. It gives un-wanted flavors to age on the yeast.

Lalvin D47 is highly recommended for meads. You are supposed to let the mead sit on the lees and it lends a fruity/citrousy flavor to the mead. However you need to gkeep the fermentation temp low. as close to about 65*F as you can get and keep it that way. Otherwise it gives a harsh alcohol taste that takes a long time to age out.

Red Star Cote De Blanc is another nice fruity yeast. Never used it but have heard good things.

If you do not mind back sweetening the Lalvin 1116 is turning out to be one of my favorites. It is really good at maintaining aromas and has a nice smooth taste even though it can go as high as 18% ABV.

I can go on and on. It might help if you could let us know of the recipe you want to use? Are you using a nice expensive veriental honey or going for a wild flower or clover honey?

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Old 12-03-2012, 03:40 AM   #3
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I'm using a local wild flower honey. My basic idea is to start a 5 gallon batch

very simple recipe, 18 lb honey, 4.5 gallons water, some yeast nutrient( thinking of adding a few raisins or figs to help with this.) and yeast.

I'm thinking about doing primary fermentation in a bucket or carboy, then when it comes time to rack into a secondary I would use a 3 gallon and a few 1 gallons, which I would add some flavours to.

I guess i don't know if a ale yeast is a good idea, and ec1118 is very aggressive. I also want to let it ferment out all the way, which in the case of ec1118 is a very high alcohol content.

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Old 12-03-2012, 06:50 AM   #4
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My two favs are 71-b and kv-1116

The kv-1116 will require the least baby sitting. The 71-b will have to be racked off the gross lees quicker (best bet is as soon as it completes ferment). Either one of these can take your must completely dry. If you desire residual sweetness, you will have to back sweeten. However, as a dry mead ages it will gradually seem "sweeter" as the honey character comes through. There is a big difference in a young mead and one that has been allowed to age 1 1/2 to 2 years plus.

If you want to backsweeten then pick up some sorbate and sulfite, its cheap enough, and follow stabilazation procedures.

I would not reccomend ale yeast. The 71-b seems to me to produce a slightly quicker drinking mead, but I also have always liked the no fuss ferments i get from the kv-1116

good luck

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Old 12-03-2012, 07:29 PM   #5
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Further to the K1-V1116 suggestion (it's also one of my favourite yeasts) is D21. It has many of the same/similar qualities/properties of K1-V1116.

Its the closest to Brother Adams fabled "Maury" yeast that I can locate (it is a maury yeast though whether its the strain he originally used is conjecture).

It seems very good for meads particularly traditionals.....

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Old 12-03-2012, 07:39 PM   #6
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Red Star Premier Cuvee. It's the go to in my opinion.
I've had great sucess with ale yeasts, and heard good things about Red Star Cote de Blanc

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Old 12-03-2012, 07:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arpolis
Red Star Cote De Blanc is another nice fruity yeast. Never used it but have heard good things.
Not an accomplished mead maker by a long shot, but I have used this each time and enjoyed the results tremendously.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluespark View Post

I guess i don't know if a ale yeast is a good idea, and ec1118 is very aggressive. I also want to let it ferment out all the way, which in the case of ec1118 is a very high alcohol content.
What would happen to alcohol content if you cut back the honey?
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:14 AM   #9
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As far as using ec1118 and just cutting back honey, I strongly suspect I will end up with a watery, dry-as-the-Sahara type product.

Where does everyone get their yeast? Just local shops or online?

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Old 12-04-2012, 03:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluespark View Post
As far as using ec1118 and just cutting back honey, I strongly suspect I will end up with a watery, dry-as-the-Sahara type product.

Where does everyone get their yeast? Just local shops or online?
I have to go online as the nearest wine/home brew shop is 120 miles away.
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