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Old 12-17-2012, 09:36 PM   #1
PickleShaman
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Default Small Amounts of Wine Yeast = Moderate Amounts of Ale Yeast?

Well, let me start off by saying that I was originally planning to make some Apfelwein, Ed Wort style, but I have realized that some plain, sweet, hard cider works better for me. Now, I have everything in order, except the yeast. The only yeast I have is Montrachet yeast, the kind recommended for apfelwein. My recipe calls for rather impotent and slow-working yeast (the original uses yeast collected from apple skins). Some are finding ale yeast to ferment too quickly in relation to the desired final product: A low ABV cider that takes 1-2 weeks to ferment and bottle condition. This leads to a cider that tastes like it needs to be aged, and ends up being closer to an apple wine.

So, my question is: Can I substitute a quite small amount of my Montrachet yeast (Red Star), and achieve the same final product that a slow-fermenting yeast would have? In other words, can I just scale down the amount of yeast to compensate for it's over-effectiveness?

Thanks!

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Old 12-17-2012, 09:39 PM   #2
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No. The yeast will just multiply until they can eat all the sugar. If you want more residual sugar, it'd be best to use a different strain.

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Old 12-17-2012, 09:47 PM   #3
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Ah, I forgot to talk about that. I am going to cold crash and gelatin the mix a week or two into it, and then add a bit more yeast when I am ready to bottle. Do you think the yeast will multiply quick enough to catch up before I crash it? If so, do you think that baker's yeast might have a similar effect to natural apple-skin yeast? I would think that cold crashing and adding gelatin would drop out enough of the yeast that the taste wouldn't be intrusive, but maybe so.

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Old 12-17-2012, 09:47 PM   #4
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my un-scientific opinion is "no". if you pitch insufficient yeast then the sugars won't be completely consumed. that's not the same as a slow ferment that produces certain flavors. either that or the wine yeast will need to multiply a lot to get to the desired population and that will produce a bunch of flavors that again aren't the same as those produced by the original slow-acting yeast.

if ale yeast ferments too quickly, then wine yeast will ferment even faster.

in the end you're trying to get a similar effect with different ingredients. it's like saying a recipe calls for wine, but instead you're adding grape juice and a little grain alcohol. you shouldn't expect similar results. if you want your cider to turn out like the recipe says, you need to follow the recipe... including the yeast.

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Old 12-17-2012, 10:36 PM   #5
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Alright guys, I think I will play it safe and grab some bakers yeast. Hopefully the gelatin and cold crashing will clear most of the taste out. I will save my montrachet yeast for apfelwein, if I happen to make it here soon.

Thanks for your help!

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Old 12-17-2012, 11:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PickleShaman View Post
Alright guys, I think I will play it safe and grab some bakers yeast. Hopefully the gelatin and cold crashing will clear most of the taste out. I will save my montrachet yeast for apfelwein, if I happen to make it here soon.

Thanks for your help!
Wouldn't go that route either. Baker's yeast is not selected to produce desirable flavors. I would use a low-attenuating ale yeast. There's actually a guy on here who did a TON of yeast experiments with cider. I would read that thread.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:07 AM   #7
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i might be wrong, but i was under the impression that the original recipe called for bakers yeast, AKA "slow and impotent". the OP was hoping to speed thigns up by using a different yeast, i.e. something that will work faster and attenuate lower.

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Old 12-18-2012, 12:55 AM   #8
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Well, the original actually uses the wild yeast on the skin of the apple, but says that bakers yeast is a good alternative. I'm not trying to speed the process, I am actually trying to slow it (while not having to go buy new yeast) so that the point where I decide to cold crash it is less of a pinhead target. Kind of a lazy prospect, I know, but I figured if I could save the trouble of finding new yeast, then why not.

But, CraigTube's recipe is a lot like this one. Notably, the same time frame of 1 week fermentation. The only thing I don't get about his, is how he maintained the sweetness in a 10-12% cider with bakers yeast. I can only presume that it is because of all the sugar he added, and the bakers yeast couldn't handle all of it within a single week. If I can do the same thing, but cold crash before fermentation ends, then I think I may be able to retain the sweetness like he did.

Anyways, I think it is worth a shot, even if it turns out to be a learning experience in the negative sense (just a 1 gallon brew). I think I will know if it isn't sweet enough before I bottle, and even then I could let it sit and see if the sweetness comes with age, as people are saying in other threads. Not to mention, I just checked and bakers yeast is only sold in HUGE bulk where I live .

If something goes right, I will hopefully to remember to post my results here. Thanks again.

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Old 02-02-2013, 05:59 PM   #9
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It's been done and in the bottles for quite a while now, and believe it or not, I am actually pretty impressed with it considering how much I augmented the recipe.

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