Experimenting with Different Cider Yeasts....

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quid_non

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Greetings All!
Been playing around with making hard cider form both Costco Pasteurized AJ and fresh pressed (non pasteurized, but sulfite treated) AJ. Costco AJ has no preservatives (Sorbates, etc...). After several batches using Mangrove Jack M02 yeast all have turned out good, but looking for some new options. After some sleuthing (this site and others) I have complied a list of Cider Yeasts others have tried and recommend (or not...) Thought I would share this and some "Cider Wars" ferment off plans now in progress.

Cider Yeasts: (In no particular order)
Mangrove Jacks M02 Cider
Lalvin 71B-1122
Nottingham Ale

Safale S-04
WLP720
WLP775
Wyeast 4184 (SMACK PAK)
Wyeast 4766
Red Star Cote Des Blancs
WLP002 English Ale
WLP028 Edinburgh Ale
WLP862 Cry Havoc
WLP773
Brewers Best Cider House Select
Belle Sasion - Danstar
Vinters Harvest VR21
Vinters Harvest R56
Black Rock Cider Bread Yeast
Safcider

The ones above in RED are planned for 1Gal fermentation tests - all will be tested from the same lot of AJ (Costco). I'm looking for input on the next round to try - please feel free to suggest 4 additional candidates (from the list above or others not included...) based on your preference / past experience or curiosity...

I will update the post with specifics and taste notes as this progresses. Goal is to down select two yeasts for this years upcoming Apple harvest.

Also - see link below for a recent review of a few WLP Yeasts judged for Cider Making:
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/attachments/0001/5982/Cider_Yeast_Comparison__final_.pdf

Ferment on!:yes:
 

bmd2k1

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Greetings All!
Been playing around with making hard cider form both Costco Pasteurized AJ and fresh pressed (non pasteurized, but sulfite treated) AJ. Costco AJ has no preservatives (Sorbates, etc...). After several batches using Mangrove Jack M02 yeast all have turned out good, but looking for some new options. After some sleuthing (this site and others) I have complied a list of Cider Yeasts others have tried and recommend (or not...) Thought I would share this and some "Cider Wars" ferment off plans now in progress.

Cider Yeasts: (In no particular order)
Mangrove Jacks M02 Cider
Lalvin 71B-1122
Nottingham Ale

Safale S-04
WLP720
WLP775
Wyeast 4184 (SMACK PAK)
Wyeast 4766
Red Star Cote Des Blancs
WLP002 English Ale
WLP028 Edinburgh Ale
WLP862 Cry Havoc
WLP773
Brewers Best Cider House Select
Belle Sasion - Danstar
Vinters Harvest VR21
Vinters Harvest R56
Black Rock Cider Bread Yeast
Safcider

The ones above in RED are planned for 1Gal fermentation tests - all will be tested from the same lot of AJ (Costco). I'm looking for input on the next round to try - please feel free to suggest 4 additional candidates (from the list above or others not included...) based on your preference / past experience or curiosity...

I will update the post with specifics and taste notes as this progresses. Goal is to down select two yeasts for this years upcoming Apple harvest.

Also - see link below for a recent review of a few WLP Yeasts judged for Cider Making:
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/attachments/0001/5982/Cider_Yeast_Comparison__final_.pdf

Ferment on!:yes:
How'd this go?
 
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quid_non

quid_non

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A bit of an progress update. A long read here but tried to compile comparative information. I have learned a lot from ya'll here and thought it was time to "pay forward" ---hope some find it useful!
Cider Recipe:
  • 2 lbs (1 kg)corn Sugar - dissolved in ~1.5L warm water, heat to 150 F for 10' to pasteurize
  • 2 gal Costco Apple Juice (pasteurized - no preservatives!)
  • 2 gal Zieglers All Natural Apple Cider (pasteurized - no perservatives)
  • 11g Pectic Enzyme (fermentation) - dissolve in warm water then add
  • 16g Acid Blend - add directly to juice
  • O2 Sparge @ 0.75L/min ~5min
  • Aliquot into ~5-6 equal volumes 1 Gal containers
  • Add indicated yeast (solid or liquid) - used balance to add ~1.5-3 g (dry) or ~1/5 vol of liquid (WLP775)
  • Cider was fermented at ~63-71 F (Fermentation Chamber (dorm fridge- equipped with a heat strip and Inkbird temp controller ) in 1Gal plastic containers (the ones the juice came in) fitted with a bung
  • Post fermentation, all ciders were cold crashed (40 F for 1 week) then final measurements (and tasting) made on room temp cider
Scientific Stuff:
  • Fermentation progress was measured with a hydrometer (OG and FG only) while weekly progress employed a refractometer only
  • pH (final) was measured with a calibrated inexpensive pH meter
  • Total Acidity (TA) was measured via direct titration of 10mL cider with 0.25N NaOH using phenophthalein as the indicator (an inexpensive kit I assembled) and expressed as % malic acid (based on molecular weight of the acid and two equivalents of acid per malate)
  • Tasting was subjective - done by me
  • Final ABV was estimated via calculation in Beersmith 2
Results:

upload_2018-12-9_10-47-13.png


upload_2018-12-9_10-47-47.png


upload_2018-12-9_10-48-19.png


upload_2018-12-9_10-48-41.png


upload_2018-12-9_10-49-0.png


Comments:
  • In general - most yeasts reached full attenuation in about 2.5 - 3 weeks at this temp and recipe
  • Note the clear distinction between FG determined by refractometer vs. Hydrometer. This is due to the presence of ethanol in the mix. While this has been discussed often here, just a reminder not to estimate complete fermentation on RI (refractive index) alone, but it is an easy, fast and sample effective way to monitor yeast progress (especially if you can't afford/justify a "tilt meter")
  • Note the difference in terminal pH (acidity) of the different yeasts - this value corresponds nicely with the total acidity (titration) i.e. the lower the pH value the greater the total acidity.
  • Final ABVs were in the 6-8% range
Tasting (approx 1 week post final fermentation - not aged yet some these may change...):
  • WLP775 - dry, but still some apple on the finish, a bit tart
  • Kolsch - nice nose, not much apple flavor
  • SO4 - some sulfur smell left, nice apple long finish, a bit tart
  • Notty - Lots of carbonation present, some apple finish, not tart, OK
  • Cotes - some apple finish detected, not tart
  • 71B-1122 - very dry, little apple finish, slightly "off taste"
Conclusions:
  • Still a few yeast strains to go thru yet but based on this "fermentation factorial" my taste is leaning toward (in order of preference):
  1. Nottingham
  2. Cotes
  3. WLP775
  4. Kolsch
  5. S04
  6. 71B
BONUS! - More to come:
After getting this information, I split each 1 gal cider into 2 ~0.5gal containers and steeped one container with ~8g sterile oak chips! Aging @ ~65- 70 F.

I'll report back on how/if this modification changes the order. For the very dry ciders, I'll plan on "backsweetenng" with FAJC (frozen apple juice concentrate) to a final gravity of ~1.010-1.020 depending upon sweetness desired.
 

bmd2k1

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A bit of an progress update. A long read here but tried to compile comparative information. I have learned a lot from ya'll here and thought it was time to "pay forward" ---hope some find it useful!
Cider Recipe:
  • 2 lbs (1 kg)corn Sugar - dissolved in ~1.5L warm water, heat to 150 F for 10' to pasteurize
  • 2 gal Costco Apple Juice (pasteurized - no preservatives!)
  • 2 gal Zieglers All Natural Apple Cider (pasteurized - no perservatives)
  • 11g Pectic Enzyme (fermentation) - dissolve in warm water then add
  • 16g Acid Blend - add directly to juice
  • O2 Sparge @ 0.75L/min ~5min
  • Aliquot into ~5-6 equal volumes 1 Gal containers
  • Add indicated yeast (solid or liquid) - used balance to add ~1.5-3 g (dry) or ~1/5 vol of liquid (WLP775)
  • Cider was fermented at ~63-71 F (Fermentation Chamber (dorm fridge- equipped with a heat strip and Inkbird temp controller ) in 1Gal plastic containers (the ones the juice came in) fitted with a bung
  • Post fermentation, all ciders were cold crashed (40 F for 1 week) then final measurements (and tasting) made on room temp cider
Scientific Stuff:
  • Fermentation progress was measured with a hydrometer (OG and FG only) while weekly progress employed a refractometer only
  • pH (final) was measured with a calibrated inexpensive pH meter
  • Total Acidity (TA) was measured via direct titration of 10mL cider with 0.25N NaOH using phenophthalein as the indicator (an inexpensive kit I assembled) and expressed as % malic acid (based on molecular weight of the acid and two equivalents of acid per malate)
  • Tasting was subjective - done by me
  • Final ABV was estimated via calculation in Beersmith 2
Results:

View attachment 601562

View attachment 601563

View attachment 601564

View attachment 601565

View attachment 601566

Comments:
  • In general - most yeasts reached full attenuation in about 2.5 - 3 weeks at this temp and recipe
  • Note the clear distinction between FG determined by refractometer vs. Hydrometer. This is due to the presence of ethanol in the mix. While this has been discussed often here, just a reminder not to estimate complete fermentation on RI (refractive index) alone, but it is an easy, fast and sample effective way to monitor yeast progress (especially if you can't afford/justify a "tilt meter")
  • Note the difference in terminal pH (acidity) of the different yeasts - this value corresponds nicely with the total acidity (titration) i.e. the lower the pH value the greater the total acidity.
  • Final ABVs were in the 6-8% range
Tasting (approx 1 week post final fermentation - not aged yet some these may change...):
  • WLP775 - dry, but still some apple on the finish, a bit tart
  • Kolsch - nice nose, not much apple flavor
  • SO4 - some sulfur smell left, nice apple long finish, a bit tart
  • Notty - Lots of carbonation present, some apple finish, not tart, OK
  • Cotes - some apple finish detected, not tart
  • 71B-1122 - very dry, little apple finish, slightly "off taste"
Conclusions:
  • Still a few yeast strains to go thru yet but based on this "fermentation factorial" my taste is leaning toward (in order of preference):
  1. Nottingham
  2. Cotes
  3. WLP775
  4. Kolsch
  5. S04
  6. 71B
BONUS! - More to come:
After getting this information, I split each 1 gal cider into 2 ~0.5gal containers and steeped one container with ~8g sterile oak chips! Aging @ ~65- 70 F.

I'll report back on how/if this modification changes the order. For the very dry ciders, I'll plan on "backsweetenng" with FAJC (frozen apple juice concentrate) to a final gravity of ~1.010-1.020 depending upon sweetness desired.
Wow...that's a ton of great, detailed info! Thx for posting....gonna need to re-read a few times to let it all soak in! [emoji111]
 

ebbelwoi

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Thanks for the detailed info. Wow!

I'm surprised that you had 3 yeasts finish above 1.010. Maybe I should give S-04 another shot...
 

Blacksmith1

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I'm wondering (worrying) about the sulfur smell with the s04. I just pitched a cider with it and need to know if that dissipates with aging or will it have to be left open to allow the sulfur to escape. I'm just starting out with this so if it seems like a stupid question, it's not, just an ignorant one.
 

ebbelwoi

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I've done three or four batches with S-04 and Kirkland juice. Never had a problem with it, sulfur or otherwise. I just prefer Nottingham. But I occasionally use S-04 when I'm going to give a batch away. It's tasty but not in a "unique" way like Notty.

I had some sulfur with Montrachet, I think, and it eventually went away, but I left the airlock on as long as I could.
 
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quid_non

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Thanks for the detailed info. Wow!

I'm surprised that you had 3 yeasts finish above 1.010. Maybe I should give S-04 another shot...
Thanks - I'm not sure all of those were complete, they may have gone lower than 1.010 if left for a few more days/week. I wanted to try some attempts at stopping fermentation in the area where I would normally "backsweeten" to (e.g. ~1.010-1.020)
 
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quid_non

quid_non

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I'm wondering (worrying) about the sulfur smell with the s04. I just pitched a cider with it and need to know if that dissipates with aging or will it have to be left open to allow the sulfur to escape. I'm just starting out with this so if it seems like a stupid question, it's not, just an ignorant one.
I did detect Sulfur with S04 during ferementation, but it dissipated pretty quickly post cold crash. WLP775 had a ton of rhino farts during fermentation but no detectable taste/smell after reaching terminal FG
 
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quid_non

quid_non

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Wow...that's a ton of great, detailed info! Thx for posting....gonna need to re-read a few times to let it all soak in! [emoji111]
Many thanks - suggest you re-read with a few ciders in hand to make it more interesting?:ban:
 

Maylar

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I'm wondering (worrying) about the sulfur smell with the s04. I just pitched a cider with it and need to know if that dissipates with aging or will it have to be left open to allow the sulfur to escape. I'm just starting out with this so if it seems like a stupid question, it's not, just an ignorant one.
I've had sulfur with S-04 only once, when I ran out of yeast nutrient. I caught it early though and adding nutrient and stirring the cider a couple times a day for 3 days made it go away.
 

MarkKF

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Thanks for the detailed info. Wow!

I'm surprised that you had 3 yeasts finish above 1.010. Maybe I should give S-04 another shot...
I’ve never had S-04 finish above 1.004

Usually 55-65 deg. F. with nutrients
 

ebbelwoi

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Some of this data is really nice. If you ever get around to it, I'd like to see a graph of where the individual yeasts ferment out 100%.
 
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quid_non

quid_non

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Second on two batches of S-04 at 1.002 with nutrients at about 63-64° F
Yep-I agree! Thanks for the additional info!
I'm sure some of those would approach 1.000 (or less) if I let them go. Just did not want to backsweeten unless necessary so I elected to stop some early.
 
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