Better than Apfelwein...
After reading the post "Man, I love Apfelwein" I decided I'd try it out.
So far I've made 35 gallons of cider. I used the following yeasts and they are in order from best to worst.
1. Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen Yeast
The best by far, super tasty with a great, almost tropical fruit flavor and aroma.
2. Wyeast 3056 Bavarian Wheat Yeast
Somewhat similar to 3068. Very tasty and dry.
3. Red Star Montrachet
Extremely dry (as it should be) and smooth but lacking flavor. I made two batches with this yeast.
4. Wyeast 4766 Cider
I was suprised how mediocre this yeast was considering its an actual cider yeast. Rather plain in all aspects.
5. Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley Ale Yeast
This wasn't very good, definitely not worth doing again. Too yeasty with a barn like quality.
6. Red Star Cote Des Blancs
Insanely buttery. I even gave it a diacetyl rest but I'm not sure if that does anything with apple juice. I aged this one for several months and the butter never left. Almost felt like a slick was left on your mouth after drinking it.
For the wine yeasts I added 2 pounds of sugar and for the beer yeasts I only added 1 pound of sugar. I followed the same procedure with all the batches using Tree Top apple juice. I was very sanitary with everything and I just followed the basic Apfelwein recipe. Both of the wine yeasts were approx. 8.5% ABV and the beer yeasts averaged 7% ABV give or take.
The point of this post is that I was surprised how much better both the Wheat yeasts were compared to the Montrachet yeast. They had better flavor and aroma and finished much sooner than the Montrachet. Everything was kegged and carbonated around 14 PSI at 35-36 degrees F.
Its all gone now but I did bottle one sample of everything and the Wheat Ciders were still the best after a couple months of extra aging in a bottle. The Weizen and Bavarian Ciders were like eating an Apple flavored Jolly Rancher. It was amazing. And interestingly enough the Montrachet exhibited some Jolly Rancher qualities as well, but not nearly as strong as the Wheat yeasts.
Give both of the Wheat yeasts a try. You won't be disappointed. And for the Montrachet yeast be sure to age it for at least 3 months.
Awesome, thanks for the post. I came to this area to ask if anyone had tryed different yeasts with this recipe! My first batch is still fermenting, I made 5 galls with Montrachet, and a 1 gal experiment with EC1118 champagne. Curious to see how it pans out. Next time I'll try the weisen.
Thanks so much for the side by side, I've used a couple different yeasts as well, but never was able to drink them simultaneously. For some reason this stuff never seems to sick around long ;)
I have yet to make apfelwein but I was planning to in the future. I just started a Hefeweizen last week though with American Hefeweizen Yeast #WLP320. I really want to repitch this yeast into an apfelwein does anyone know what its wyeast equivalent would be and how it would turn out?
Interesting. I've always used champagne yeast and had spectacular results. Maybe I'll try the wheat yeast like you recommend next batch.
Can you talk about your ability to maintain the target fermentation temperatures for these yeasts. The reason I ask this is that Wheat yeast is more forgiving in high temp situations leading to banana esthers as temps increase (and clove as temps decrease).
I don't doubt that your Apfelwein may taste better (for you). I just want to pinpoint it as a benefit of the yeast characteristics or an off flavor.
The characteristics of the beer yeasts don't seem to carry over into cider. Take for example the 3638 Bavarian Wheat. The description reads:
Top cropping hefeweizen yeast with complex flavor and aroma. Balance of banana and bubble gum esters with lichi and apple/plum esters and cloviness. Flocculation - low; apparent attenuation 70-76% (64-75º F, 18-24° C)
There wasn't any banana, bubble gum, plum anything in the cider. The only distinct fruit character (besides apple, duh!) I got from the cider was pineapple and that didn't stand up to cold conditioning for an extended period of time. I think there is a much different interaction between the yeast and apple juice compared to yeast and wort. And the longer the cider ages the more appley it gets.
I'm just going to keep at it trying different yeasts and different temperatures. I'm doing Wyeast German Wheat, Belgian Wheat and Belgian Saison next. Doing the Apfelwein with different yeasts is a lot of fun, its crazy easy and it tastes wonderful.
I agree that your experiment sounds cool. Especially since you are only varying one thing (yeast) and all the other things are somewhat constant. Keep us posted.
What is EdWorts take on all of this?? I am going to try apfelwein real soon with an ale or belgian yeast. Sounds better to me than a wine or champagne yeast. Guess I would prefer a less dry taste.... Guess we will see.
All personal preference I guess....... Homebrew is about an expierement.
Great thread airtight, i've tried the U.K. version of apfelwien (we just call it turbo cider) with a muntons premium yeast, it has left a definite bready twang to it i suppose the same as what you found with wyeast 1275.
I was going to get some proper cider yeast (whitelabs) but im setting up a starter of wyeast 3068 for a hefe this week end and im excited by your findings (i could knock out a quick turbo cider at the same time with the same starter).
Did you wait for the 3068 to flocculate or did you go ahead and drink it cloudy. Did 3068 leave any sweetness or did it finsih dry??
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