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Old 09-04-2012, 02:51 AM   #1
nufad
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Default Fermenting ciders - yeast choice?

I've gone through a number of threads in the cider forum, but haven't come across any substantive information concerning yeast choice for fermenting ciders. From what I've gathered, wine, champagne, and cider yeast strains are most commonly used, and ale yeasts are less common. However, there was either absent or conflicting information regarding why a particular yeast strain was used. What are the advantages/disadvantages of using wine, champagne, cider, and ale yeast in making a cider?

I am planning on starting a cider soon, and have an english ale yeast (Wyeast 1469), and a clean ale yeast (Wyeast 1056) that I was thinking of using. Is it true that an ale yeast will leave the cider with a higher FG? If possible, I'd rather avoid back sweetening and stove pasteurizing for my first batch. Thank you in advance for your advice and expertise!

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:56 AM   #2
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it all depends on taste is why no 1 gives a definitive yeast. you have to make it with different yeasts and decide what you like. most ale yeasts top out at around 12%, so if you like the ale flavor in a cider, and higher grav. then ferment with ale yeast, then add champagne yeast. if you want basically no flavor from yeast, ferment with champagne yeast. that's what i do. either way, if you want it sweet, add k-meta, wait a couple days, then sweeten

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:57 AM   #3
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This is what you want..
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/resu...riments-83060/

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:59 AM   #4
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I always use a good ale yeast like Nottingham or S-05. Another good yeast for cider is RedStar's Cote des Blancs, which is good for most fruit wines as well.

You probably meant to ask if ale yeast will leave a higher FG, not OG, and in fact it will, but not as high as a beer of the same strength. Malt has more unfermentable sugars than apples, so you shouldn't expect a very high FG. That said, the little bit of sweetness that is left by the ale yeast should be enough.

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Old 09-04-2012, 03:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMartin View Post
You probably meant to ask if ale yeast will leave a higher FG, not OG, and in fact it will, but not as high as a beer of the same strength. Malt has more unfermentable sugars than apples, so you shouldn't expect a very high FG. That said, the little bit of sweetness that is left by the ale yeast should be enough.
Yes, I meant FG (edited the original post). Of the commercial ciders that I have tried, I prefer dry ciders. What range of FG should I expect out of an ale yeast?
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:09 AM   #6
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I don't really remember, I've only made three ciders, one with Cote des Blancs and two with S-05. All I can say is that ale yeast will leave it a little sweet (not like woodchuck or anything, just not dry) and the wine yeast will leave it much drier. If you like dry cider I would absolutely recommend Cote des Blancs as a cheap yeast.

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Old 09-04-2012, 03:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMartin View Post
I don't really remember, I've only made three ciders, one with Cote des Blancs and two with S-05. All I can say is that ale yeast will leave it a little sweet (not like woodchuck or anything, just not dry) and the wine yeast will leave it much drier. If you like dry cider I would absolutely recommend Cote des Blancs as a cheap yeast.
Thanks! I think I'll split the cider into two batches, and use 1056 in one and 1469 in the other (it's what I have on hand, so why not?). The stone fruit ester quality of 1469 is appealing, but I'm not so sure about the nuttiness. To be honest, I'm not sure what a nutty cider would taste like. I'll post the results when it's done.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:22 PM   #8
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Why with specific cider yeasts like WLP 775 and Wyeast out there do so many use an ale or wine yeast?

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Old 09-04-2012, 04:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkKF
Why with specific cider yeasts like WLP 775 and Wyeast out there do so many use an ale or wine yeast?
Dry yeasts are much cheaper (not to mention easier to store), and some ale and wine yeasts produce very good results.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:56 PM   #10
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Cider is low in nutrients ... so you might consdier a yeast that does not need much nutrient/nitrogen.

I would stay away from montrachet which is notorious for producing hydrogen sulfide odor particularly if used with low nutrient/higher’ish temperature ferments. I've had more issues with montrachet with H2S than any other.

There’s lots of yeast choices out there but just to pick one ... you might consider Lalvin K1-V1116.

K1-V1116 has low nitrogen needs, has a strong "competitive factor" to fight off other rogue yeasts and organisms, is a low H2S (hydrogen sulfide) producer - sometimes a problem in cider; and 1116 tends to promote the development of esters which can provide fruity and floral notes in the cider. 1116 also preserves natural fruit aroma as well.

If you use this yeast and want to get the most from it as far as ester production, you should carefully keep the ferment at 55 to 58 degrees ... do that *primary* fermentation in an open top bucket fermenter, not a carboy or jug (1116 has higher oxygen needs) ... and tho it has low nutrient needs, you should still use some yeast nutrients (DAP in specific) in a lighter than standard dose (maybe a half dose or so) adding half of the nutrient at the beginning and the other half 2 days after the first signs that the ferment is working.
Because 1116 is a fairly fast fermenter and cider does not have far to go ... and even tho the lower temp will slow the ferment just a bit, make sure you don’t wait longer than 48 hours for that second half of the nutrients to assure they will be used up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nufad View Post
If possible, I'd rather avoid back sweetening and stove pasteurizing for my first batch...
As far as avoiding backsweetening or pasteurizing but still having a sweet cider ... I’d say just stick it in the refrigerator on the bottom shelf and that will stop the yeast before it uses up all the sugars.

While you could stabilize the cider with sorbate, this is not typical for ciders.

Another possibility would be to use a yeast with *high* nitrogen needs ... not moderate needs but high needs ... so that the yeast craps out from a lack of nutrients before it uses up all the sugar. (obviously do not use any additional nutrients in the cider with this method)
However most apples grown in modern fertilized orchards have a bit too much nutrient in them for their juice to stall out in ferment without “keeving” which is a method of removing nutrients from the cider ... but if you were going to try it anyway, you might try a wheat yeast, for instance wy3333.

Trying to get the yeast to reliably give it up due to low nutrients is probably not very promising without keeving.
Personally, like I say I’d just put it in the icebox to stop the ferment.
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