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A good first yeast

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JustNotReal

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Hi guys, how are you all? I was wondering if someone could give me a help here? I am trying to make my own home mead, but I can't decide which yeast would be best to use. After some research I discovered that the "Lalvin K1" is a good option, but I aren't sure if ist good just for melomels or for a simple clean mead too, any sujestions?
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loveofrose

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All yeast can be good yeast if treated properly and used with the right recipe. Tell us what you want to make and we can help you choose the right yeast for your goals.
 

gratus fermentatio

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In the words of Jack Keller: "Choose your yeast like you would choose a tool." Meaning, figure out what you want for your end product & choose the strain of yeast best suited to make that. Do you want sweet, semi-sec, or dry? Have a look at this info:
http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/strains.asp
It should help you to choose a strain.
Regards, GF.
 
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JustNotReal

JustNotReal

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All yeast can be good yeast if treated properly and used with the right recipe. Tell us what you want to make and we can help you choose the right yeast for your goals.
The basic idea is a low alcohol (about 5% to 8%) hydromel mead. Not too dry if possible. The ingredients are the following:
1 ounce of golden raisins
1.5 lbs (2 cups) of my hometown honey
1 teaspoon of yeast (to decide)
1 gallon of water

I have 2 major concerns at the moment.
First is removing chlorine from water, I live in Switzerland and the brand's we have are: Evian, San Pellogrino and Coop.
Secondly the type of yeast, which from what I gathered lalvin k1 would work fine, but I'd rather listen to someone who already did this before starting
 

loveofrose

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Ok, now I have a good idea of what you want. A few things:

1. Yeast: While KIV will work, you would be better off with a clean Ale yeast or D47. W15 is also a good choice because it helps with the next point.

2. Mouthfeel: low ABV meads are always lacking on mouthfeel. The raisins will help by adding tannins, but you may want to use a neutral tea as a base or oak cubes to further help with this deficiency.

3. Nutrients: Even a 1/4 tsp of Fermaid K or Wyeast nutrient upfront would do wonders. Raisins are not nutrients. If someone told you they were, they were wrong.

4. Water: Bottled spring water does not have chlorine as far as I’ve seen.
 

nitack

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There is a pretty well known site ...cough...stormthecastle...caugh... that most newbies land on that does advise using raisins. It WILL add nutrients. Wine does not need nutrients for a reason, grapes have the literally perfect nutrient profile for fermenting yeast. However, a few raisins are not the same as a vat of grape must.

Choosing yeast:
- K1-V1116 is a very good first batch choice, it is a hardy yeast that it’s near impossible to screw up.
- skip EC-1118, it is the monster beast of mead yeast, it will eat through anything, but it is extremely energetic and you’ll likely blow the delicate flavors out the airlock
- D47 is a good generic yeast, little more finicky than the K1
- 71b is an important one to remember if you are working with apples at all because it is able to process the natural acid in apples and lessen the bite you can get
 

loveofrose

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In the small quantity added, raisins are not nutrients. Wine is fine because it’s 100% grape juice. A mere 1 oz is great for adding tannins, but not enough nutrition to overcome the deficiencies in honey.
 

MaaZeus

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People have been succesfully making mead using raisins and fruits for years. It CAN be done but it is not optimal, the yeast are still somewhat starved which means it takes more time to age due to the fusels they produce. However I'd argue that we need to use extra nutrients mostly for traditional meads because we use purified honey these days (raw honey has plenty of crap like pollen that adds nutrients) but the moment you start adding chopped or squashed fruits and spices the need for nutrients is greatly reduced. And if you make a Cyser or similar mead where you replace water with juice the extra nutrients are nearly useless because juices are already full of it. *Edit* Unless you are making a super strong Cyser that is.
 
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gratus fermentatio

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The basic idea is a low alcohol (about 5% to 8%) hydromel mead. Not too dry if possible. The ingredients are the following:
1 ounce of golden raisins
1.5 lbs (2 cups) of my hometown honey
1 teaspoon of yeast (to decide)
1 gallon of water

I have 2 major concerns at the moment.
First is removing chlorine from water, I live in Switzerland and the brand's we have are: Evian, San Pellogrino and Coop.
Secondly the type of yeast, which from what I gathered lalvin k1 would work fine, but I'd rather listen to someone who already did this before starting
For a low ABV mead (hydromel), ANY wine yeast will take that dry. Even an ale yeast will take that dry. You could always stabilize & backsweeten if you wanted it sweeter. For a low ABV like you describe, I'd use an ale yeast like Nottingham. I've had Nottingham go to 9% in graff (malt cider), so it may still be dry, but it won't strip out the flavor like a wine yeast will.

For chlorine removal, you can treat your water with potassium metabisufite pre-fermentation. Just be sure to aerate well to reintroduce oxygen before you pitch the yeast, as yeast need oxygen at the beginning of fermentation, but later the must needs to be protected from oxygen.
Regards, GF.
 
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