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Old 04-21-2009, 06:40 PM   #1
BrewN00b
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Default Question about a first batch of mead.

I'm looking to brew my first batch of mead, but I have a couple quick questions.

When I ordered a lager kit from an online store they accidently sent me a package of Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast instead of a second pack of Saflager S-23 (both are yellow and look similar). I was thinking I would use that, but it seems to be profiled mostly for white wines. The recipe I was thinking of following was Charlie Papazian's basic mead recipe, which called for 15lbs of honey using champagne or Pris de Mousse wine yeast.

Would the Red Star yeast work ok for the mead? I'm thinking so, but I don't want to waste a bunch of money on honey if it wouldn't. Honey is expensive here.

Also, I was going to let it ferment in a swamp cooler and try to keep temps around 65-75 degrees. I imagine that should be about right, correct? It will be sharing space next to a batch of Ed Wort's Apfelwein. I don't want either of them to be lonely.

Thank you.

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Old 04-21-2009, 07:30 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BrewN00b View Post
Honey is expensive here.
Your Red Star Champagne yeast is ok for mead but certainly not the best choice. Champagne yeast burns right mead and wine and gives it a "hot", or alcoholic, burn that takes quite a while to mellow.

Honey is expensive everywhere. Yeast isn't. Why not try a yeast better suited for mead, such as Lalvin's D-47, 71B-1122, or K1V-1116, all of which are commonly available at any LHBS? There are many suitable yeasts, these just happen to be three of my favorites and I always have them on hand.
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:57 PM   #3
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Charlie's recommendations were developed from his beer brewing experience, and often he made intuitive assumptions when formulating his recipes that weren't actually the best choices. Recommending Prise de Mousse yeast was one of the suggestions that I wouldn't go with, either.

That said, Red Star's Pasteur Champagne isn't actually the traditional secondary fermentation, "method champenoise" yeast (like EC-1118 or the actual Prise de Mousse - now called Premier Cuvee by Red Star). It derives its name from the fact that it was isolated from the Champagne regions in France and it is a bayanus strain, but it isn't quite as "hot" a fermenter as the Premier Cuvee or 1118. Still, I don't like it because it doesn't flocculate well, so it tends to take forever to settle out.

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