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Old 12-14-2012, 03:05 PM   #1
hiphops
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Default Wyeast for Mead and Cider

I make beer and am starting to move into cider and mead. Generally speaking, Wyeast seems to be the best yeast for beer. From my research, it seems as if Wyeast isn't so hot for ciders and meads. Has anyone used Wyeast for ciders and meads and, if so, how is it?

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:24 PM   #2
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I've not personally used it, but it seems to have a reputation for getting stuck, and quite frequently......

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:26 PM   #3
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For mead, use Lalvin Labs strains. More people get better results, more often with Lalvin than liquid yeast for mead.

I've used the Wyeast Eau de Vie for a mead, due to my high ABV desire. Otherwise, I would have used a packet of Lalvin yeast.

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Old 12-15-2012, 04:10 AM   #4
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I have used the wyeast cider yeast on over 50 different brews. Never had one fail to start. Now their mead yeast. Sucked for me. But I've only used it once burn me once. Not again. Here is how I do it. Smack the pack and let it sit in my proofing box. A small acrylic box I made it houses a small light bulb and holds it at 85'. Let it proof for three hrs. Then add that into a starter of two cups water & One cup orange juice. Let it take in that. The add one cup cider. Once it's foaming away I introduce that into the cider. Hope that helps

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Old 12-15-2012, 07:47 AM   #5
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If you enjoy using liquid yeasts, then fine, but given the differences in apple juices, beer worts and wines, when compared to honey musts, I'd suggest that you make a starter.

There is a considerably larger cell count in a pack of dry yeast than there is in liquid yeast packs, so liquid yeasts can be affected by various issues much more easily.

Oh and apart from that, dry yeasts are cheaper, by a good measure.....

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Old 12-15-2012, 08:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiphops
Generally speaking, Wyeast seems to be the best yeast for beer.
Huh? Where'd you get this data? My preference is different.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:27 PM   #7
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For beer, you have lots more choices than when it comes to mead. I prefer liquid yeast for my beers (Wyeast mostly) but I really like Lalvin yeast for my meads. Besides the cost difference ($7 for Wyeast, about $1-1.50 for Lalvin) and cell count difference (already mentioned), [IMO] Lalvin yeast is more designed for mead (and wine). I've also had great results with Lalvin strains in things other than beer. I tend to stick with what works really well. Besides, looking at threads on the Got Mead forums, you see a ton more people using Lalvin Labs (and other dry yeasts) than you do using liquid yeasts. Generally speaking, it's more newbee's using 'Mead' yeasts.

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Old 12-15-2012, 07:43 PM   #8
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The preference between Wyeast, White Labs, Lalvin, Safale, Fermentis, etc, etc. is just that - preference! They all make great brewing yeast, and all have their place, especially with the liquid brands (Wyeast, White Labs) when it comes to that one strain you may want that is proprietary (for me, these are often Wyeast's 3711 French Saison, and White Labs 775 English Cider, as well as the Wyeast Dry Mead strain).

Dry yeast is definitely more convenient, for me at least...its often far easier to rehydrate a packet or two than making a starter, with my schedule! When I'm using a neutral strain for a beer, I'm far more likely now to use US-05 than WLP001 or 1056.

Yes, you absolutely should make a starter with liquid yeast! But while dry yeast does have a higher cell count per retail unit, you may still definitely need more than one packet of dry yeast to get the proper pitch rate for many meads. Use a pitch rate calculator!

Edit: to answer the question in the OP, I really like the Wyeast Dry Mead strain as a neutral, steady, high ABV tolerant fermenter, and have made a majority of my meads with it. I also use 71B a fair bit, so I also use Lalvin. I have used White Labs Sweet mead strain successfully as well, but have not really tried the much maligned Wyeast Sweet Mead strain. I am a huge fan of WLP 775 for any apple ferments (cider, cyser, etc...)

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