Making Cider with 8 Different Yeasts - Which Should I Supersize to 5 Gallons?

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Which four yeasts would you honor with a 5 gallon batch?

  • Safcider AB-1 Yeast

    Votes: 1 14.3%
  • Safcider AC-4 Yeast

    Votes: 1 14.3%
  • Safcider AS-2 Yeast

    Votes: 3 42.9%
  • Safcider TF-6 Yeast

    Votes: 3 42.9%
  • White Labs Beer Yeast English Cider WLP775

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • Wyeast 4766 Cider

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Mangrove Jack M02 Cider Yeast

    Votes: 4 57.1%
  • Cider House Select Yeast

    Votes: 2 28.6%

  • Total voters
    7

Cogswell

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I'm brewing eight batches of cider with eight different yeasts.

I can make four 5 gallon batches and four 3 gallon batches.

Which four yeasts would you honor with a 5 gallon batch?


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4766xl_wyeast_4766_cider.jpg
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Dr_Jeff

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I've never used any of those yeasts.
My "goto yeast" is K1V-1116.

Good luck, please report back on what you used as far as juice, sugar, etc.. and how each turned out flavor wise.
 

Knightshade

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There was a big writeup on the SafCider ones in a recent Zymurgy. Led me to thinking I'd probably want to try AS-2 and TF-6 to see which I liked more. I've only made a couple of batches with US-05 and S-04, with the latter being preferred.
 
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Cogswell

Cogswell

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Are you using fresh pressed or store bought filtered juice?
Fresh pressed from an orchard.

Good luck, please report back on what you used as far as juice, sugar, etc.. and how each turned out flavor wise.
Thanks! Always planned to report my results. It's probably obvious but I'm doing this to figure out which yeasts I like best. All batches will be treated exactly the same to isolate yeast differences.

Here's the plan:
  1. Start with fresh pressed, unpasteurized, preservative free juice from an orchard
  2. Divide cider into sterilized fermenters
  3. Add campden tablets according to raw cider PH and install airlocks
  4. Wait twelve hours
  5. Add pectinase
  6. Wait twelve hours
  7. Add 1 gram of DAP per gallon
  8. Pitch yeast
  9. Wait for fermentation to complete
  10. Rack into CO2 purged secondary
  11. Wait until ???
  12. Maybe add campden tablets to stabilize???
  13. Transfer into CO2 purged kegs
  14. Refrigerate and force carbonate
  15. Drink!
This is my first venture into cider so I'm open to suggestions. Honestly, I need advice on everything after step 9.

Should I skip the secondary, go straight to keg and condition there?

Are the conditioning campden tablets unnecessary if I skip secondary and go straight to keg?

Should I add Sparkolloid or Super Kleer to the recipe?

Would Sparkolloid or Super Kleer inhibit my ability harvest yeast from the trub? $70 worth of yeast here. I'd like to bank as much as I can.
 

doublejef

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I would go to keg directly after fermentation and skip this chemical add.
 

Uncle Bob

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I have basically the same issue. First time making hard cider and wanted to play with a number of yeasts not necessarily knowing what I wanted as a final result(s).
I used a champagne yeast because I read people enjoyed the product.
To your selection:
I used AB-1, AS-2, Cider House Select, and yesterday pitched TF-6.
We did gallon jugs for all except Cider House Select and TF-6 which are in 5 gal. buckets.
Sunday 10/3/21 we transferred into bottles (except obviously the TF-6, and the Cider House Select with is still perking) to get some carbonation into the product, but had to taste each prior to bottling.
My findings:
Champagne yeast: flat taste, and very dry. Incidentally, the dryness was a quality I "thought" I wanted, now seems too dry. Maybe the carbonation and some rest time will assist. I doubt it though.
AB-1 and AS-2; again, tasted flat, but not as dry.
So, that is why I pitched the TF-6 yesterday. The product description states it will bring out some of the fruitiness.
Originally I was attempting to stay away from the "fruitiness" as I find still cider too sweet, but after the few I've tested, I need some add'l taste. I'm sure many reading this will suggest adding a non- fermenting sweetener, such as apple juice concentrate, and depending on my final, final analysis, I may try that next year. Too late for this years attempt. As of this writing, and the yeasts noted and tasted above, all lack flavor. I would like to see the specific "cider yeasts" yet to be tested yield something closer to what I imagined (doesn't everyone,) some distinctive tastes.
Lastly, many in this forum have written of the merits of English ale yeasts for cider, so considering my less than great results to date, I will follow the suggested leads and next year try some cider made with a Nottingham ale yeast.
To conclude: without the results being final, I can only suggest your first go around using the specific cider yeasts; being an optimist (I make a point of keeping my glass more than half full, goes down to less, I fill it up again,) something makes me want to think the Cider House Select is going to work.
 

bwible

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Very limited cider experience here. I tried juice from an orchard once. The only one of those yeasts I ever used was White Labs English Cider. It makes a bit of a tart cider, which I think English cider is supposed to be.

I kegged mine and did not use any sorbate, stabilizers, etc. I only made 3 gallons. It did not get drank quickly and went “off” after maybe 6-8 weeks. The juice tasted really good, I would have been better off drinking the apple juice. I even tried freeze concentrating what was left to make some apple jack. The result was just awful.

It looks like you are planning to make 32 gallons of cider - which I can’t imagine is going to get drank quickly unless you are planning to hand it all out at a festival or something. So I would consider some kind of stabilization. I know wine makers use sulfites. Potassium Metabisulfite. Campden is sodium metabisufite. I’m not a chemist to know the difference. If you plan to bottle and carbonate I’m not sure how that works, though.
 
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RolandD

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... I'm sure many reading this will suggest adding a non- fermenting sweetener, such as apple juice concentrate, and depending on my final, final analysis, I may try that next year. ...
Apple Juice concentrate is NOT an non-fermentable sugar. You will need to stabilize with potassium metabisulfite and potassium sorbate, otherwise the yeast will restart fermentation.

Lalvin D-47 has been my preferred cider yeast for the past year, but I'm very pleased with how Lavin K1-V1116 did on my last batch and may switch over to it.
 

jseyfert3

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Fresh pressed from an orchard.
Ah. I ask because while I've only made cider from store bought filtered juice to date, of the yeasts you've listed I've used M02 and Safcider (when it was just Safcider without the different varieties. I liked D47 better than either of them, and wasn't particularly happy with the M02 in particular. And best part is D47 is dirt cheap compared to the "special" cider yeasts...

They may be better with fresh juice though, which is why I asked. And certainly different fermentation temps may help tremendously (I ferment in my basement between 60-65 °F currently, though I'm working on getting a fermentation chamber set up).
 

Uncle Bob

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RolandD, my mistake. Thank you for setting it straight. I had readily discounted the approach of adding, and would have gone back to study in depth prior to having attempted. I was aware that it required some form of stabilization and was remiss in not making note. However, since we have each other, have you indeed added an apple concentrate? If so, your findings and suggestions based on my earlier, albeit incorrect reply. Thank you for your correction wouldn't have liked to have been the blame for bad info.
 

Golddiggie

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I've been using the Wyeast sweet mead yeast in my cider batches so far (three, two last season and one fermenting now). The yeast will not go to dry, leaving 2-3% sugar in the cider (or mead if you use it for that). To date, the batches produced with this yeast have been very well received. If you've not tried the yeast, I highly recommend doing so. Unless you want ALL the batches to go to dry.

BTW, I've not move any of the cider batches to another fermenter/vessel unless it was a keg (to carbonate the batches last season). Now that I'm using conical fermenters, I'll leave it there (dropping the yeast when it's time) and force carbonate in fermenter. It will then go direct into 500ml cans.
 

AzOr

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Fresh pressed from an orchard.



Thanks! Always planned to report my results. It's probably obvious but I'm doing this to figure out which yeasts I like best. All batches will be treated exactly the same to isolate yeast differences.

Here's the plan:
  1. Start with fresh pressed, unpasteurized, preservative free juice from an orchard
  2. Divide cider into sterilized fermenters
  3. Add campden tablets according to raw cider PH and install airlocks
  4. Wait twelve hours
  5. Add pectinase
  6. Wait twelve hours
  7. Add 1 gram of DAP per gallon
  8. Pitch yeast
  9. Wait for fermentation to complete
  10. Rack into CO2 purged secondary
  11. Wait until ???
  12. Maybe add campden tablets to stabilize???
  13. Transfer into CO2 purged kegs
  14. Refrigerate and force carbonate
  15. Drink!
This is my first venture into cider so I'm open to suggestions. Honestly, I need advice on everything after step 9.

Should I skip the secondary, go straight to keg and condition there?

Are the conditioning campden tablets unnecessary if I skip secondary and go straight to keg?

Should I add Sparkolloid or Super Kleer to the recipe?

Would Sparkolloid or Super Kleer inhibit my ability harvest yeast from the trub? $70 worth of yeast here. I'd like to bank as much as I can.
You can add your pectinase along w campden. No need to wait.
I’ve never used a fining agent with cider (mead is a diff story) besides pectinase. With time, cider will drop clear. The one exception to this rule is when using an apple high in tannins, such as a bitter variety, and only when using in a high ratio. I’ve use bitters as high as 30% of recipe and they drop clear, only after a long secondary.
If you do plan on reusing yeast, make sure you are using nutrients during the initial fermentation. I’d also throw in a pinch along w the saved yeast slurry. I would also not save it as long as beer yeast (that fermented beer).
 

Chalkyt

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I (and I suspect, most others) will be interested in your longer term results. I only became aware of these new Fermentis yeasts a couple of months ago and am keen to try them next year (we are into Spring now, down here). So please, Cogsworth and Uncle Bob, let us know how it all goes.

You are probably aware of how these yeasts are supposed to behave, but here is an extract from a paper by Etienne Dorignac - Technical Manager, Fruit Fermentation at Fermentis.

Yeast strains may have a huge impact on cider profiles, not only in terms of fermentation performances and analytics but for sure also from a sensory perception standpoint. As such, they can be considered as a powerful tool to diversify the cider offer in the market and cidermakers can play with them to achieve their final product target. For this purpose, Fermentis focused its research on the selection of valuable strains dedicated for ciders. SafCider™ AB-1 (Apple Balanced) will suit for all types of balanced ciders even under difficult fermentation conditions. SafCider™ AS-2 (Apple Sweet) will bring to sweet and dry ciders complex aromatic profile between fresh and cooked fruits and a rounder mouthfeel. SafCider™ AC-4 (Apple Crisp) will be applied for highly fresh and crisp sweet or dry ciders. SafCider™ TF-6 (Tutti Fruiti) will be dedicated to intensely fruity but rather sweet and round ciders.

Uncle Bob... I find that even my "favourite" yeasts (S04 and M02) don't seem to generate much flavour initially and the cider can be a little harsh, but what a difference a few months make... six months is even better. So, don't be too disappointed at this stage.

Also, for sweetness I sometimes monitor the cider taste during fermentation once it gets below 1.020 or so as this lets me know what percent sugar (or g/L) that I would like to end up with. This gives me an idea of where to stop fermentation (or back sweeten) although I know from experience that something like 25 g/L is the "sweet spot" for my carbonated cider (no pun intended!) and about half that for "dry". I tend to bottle just before this point then use heat pasteurisation to stop fermentation when a slight carbonation (1 -2 vols of CO2) has developed. Of course, kegging or chemical pasteurisation works also.
 

z-bob

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I have never used any of those yeasts, although MJ's M02 is on my list of yeasts to try. I generally use Red Star Côte des Blanc yeast; and when I bottle it I dump more apple juice and a cup of sugar on the yeast cake.

Voss Kveik yeast (OYL-061) works very well for cider too and it's *fast*, but sometimes doesn't carbonate well. I also want to try German Ale yeast K-97. A typical batch for me is 3.5 or 4 gallons because I have a bunch of 4 gallon plastic carboys.
 

Uncle Bob

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Chalkyt, very pleased to hear such input. Admittedly a bit bummed, but far from discouraged. Totally prepared to allow time to make me feel successful, and not past talking myself into thinking the product is great. (I will however only lie to myself, and some others that I have undoubtedly over served with some other libation (homemade or purchased) prior to testing my product, yet promise to be honest within the forum.) FYI, as I write this response, my wife is listening to her favorite Aussie, Gavin Webber, aka The Curd Nerd, as she is attempting to improve her home made goat cheeses (not perfect, but moving forward.) So between ourselves, we have some work to do or we'll die trying, (probably via food poisoning.) I'll look into the M02. At this moment, I sense that my method to stop fermentation will also be via heat. All too new, but I'm persistent to a fault.
I value your words of encouragement.
 

z-bob

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I have basically the same issue. First time making hard cider and wanted to play with a number of yeasts not necessarily knowing what I wanted as a final result(s).
I used a champagne yeast because I read people enjoyed the product.
To your selection:
I used AB-1, AS-2, Cider House Select, and yesterday pitched TF-6.
We did gallon jugs for all except Cider House Select and TF-6 which are in 5 gal. buckets.
Sunday 10/3/21 we transferred into bottles (except obviously the TF-6, and the Cider House Select with is still perking) to get some carbonation into the product, but had to taste each prior to bottling.
My findings:
Champagne yeast: flat taste, and very dry. Incidentally, the dryness was a quality I "thought" I wanted, now seems too dry. Maybe the carbonation and some rest time will assist. I doubt it though.
AB-1 and AS-2; again, tasted flat, but not as dry.
So, that is why I pitched the TF-6 yesterday. The product description states it will bring out some of the fruitiness.
Originally I was attempting to stay away from the "fruitiness" as I find still cider too sweet, but after the few I've tested, I need some add'l taste. I'm sure many reading this will suggest adding a non- fermenting sweetener, such as apple juice concentrate, and depending on my final, final analysis, I may try that next year. Too late for this years attempt. As of this writing, and the yeasts noted and tasted above, all lack flavor. I would like to see the specific "cider yeasts" yet to be tested yield something closer to what I imagined (doesn't everyone,) some distinctive tastes.
Lastly, many in this forum have written of the merits of English ale yeasts for cider, so considering my less than great results to date, I will follow the suggested leads and next year try some cider made with a Nottingham ale yeast.
To conclude: without the results being final, I can only suggest your first go around using the specific cider yeasts; being an optimist (I make a point of keeping my glass more than half full, goes down to less, I fill it up again,) something makes me want to think the Cider House Select is going to work.
What exactly are you shooting for, or do you know yet? :)

I like dry cider, but if it's too dry it doesn't taste like anything. But it's amazing how little sugar it takes to bring the "apple!" back to it. The Cote des Blanc yeast I mentioned earlier ferments dry but it doesn't go beyond that. I like that cider without any added sweetener, especially if I age it for a few months in the bottles before I drink it.

Apple juice concentrate is not a non-fermentable sugar; lactose is, but it's not really sweet. You might try sucralose (Splenda) or a sugar alcohol like erythritol. You could add those during fermentation or at bottling time. Or forget about all that and let the cider go completely dry, then add a splash of simple syrup when you serve it.
 

Chalkyt

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Heat pasteurisation is pretty straightforward but does need some care to minimise the chance of bottle bombs (we have all had one at some time or other). These aren't a problem for still cider as you would pasteurise with the bottles unsealed, but sealed bottles (for carbonation) are another matter as you need to know what bottle pressure you are dealing with. It isn't too hard to keep the pressure during pasteurising below 100psi which is generally well below the pressure rating for most bottles.

I currently pasteurise with a 65C constant temperature waterbath with the bottles in the hot water for about 10 minutes. With carbonation at 2 vols of CO2, bottle pressure doesn't exceed 85psi.

Attached is a paper that I have sent to a few others which will give you some insight into what is involved. You should also read Pappers post at the top of the forum which is where my interest in heat pasteurising started.
 

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RolandD

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RolandD, my mistake. Thank you for setting it straight. I had readily discounted the approach of adding, and would have gone back to study in depth prior to having attempted. I was aware that it required some form of stabilization and was remiss in not making note. However, since we have each other, have you indeed added an apple concentrate? If so, your findings and suggestions based on my earlier, albeit incorrect reply. Thank you for your correction wouldn't have liked to have been the blame for bad info.
Apologies if that came off harsh. I was concerned you might have potential bottle bombs and get hurt.

For some ciders, I use four cans of a complementary frozen juice concentrate for a five gallon keg. That puts it in the range that my wife and I enjoy.
 

madscientist451

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Years ago, I did many taste tests with different wine/beer and cider yeasts and juice combinations and came to the conclusion that the variety of apples used and their degree of ripeness is way more important than what yeast is used. Just because you are using fresh pressed orchard juice doesn't mean that your fermented cider will be all that great. Also keep in mind that many commercial juice producers water down their juice, and the apples used may not be ripe when processed. If you can find tree ripened fruit, carefully select the varieties and how much of each, sweat the apples for a month and make cider out of that, you'll see the difference I'm talking about. So if your apple blend isn't really suited to making good hard cider, don't expect the yeast to make up for that.
But back to the yeast, Cider House Select is my first choice when my LHBS has it in stock. I've used the White Labs yeast and it was just OK.
I've used various Beer Yeasts and most are ok and most wine yeasts make a very dry cider. 71-B wine yeast is a good choice if you are using the standard eating apples that most growers sell these days. So I've only used 2 out if the 8 choices above. My 2 cents: make a gallon batch of each and see which one you like the best before making a 5 gallon batch of anything. I've also noticed that juice from apples that ripen later in the season makes better hard cider so find out when your juice source stops making it and go back at the end and get some more.
 

Uncle Bob

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madscientist451, your point(s) are noted. I grow a nice combination of both cider and eating apples, the ratio of each, let alone varieties within each was mostly ignored this go around. I will however note that as the growing season winds down I am finding not only more juice when pressed, but more flavorful. My first pressing tastes different than my fourth, and I have one more pressing to go however, the variety is dwindling as some trees are more mature and yielded more fruit than others, the younger tree's fruit has already been used in prior pressings. In short, a rookie mistake but being new to the game I'm playing around to try and locate where I want to position myself, then I'll attempt to achieve. To date, I'm pretty sure that in the future I'll shy away from the drier tastes, which incidentally I though was something I would have liked. I look forward to the results of my labors, learning from my mistakes, but most of all, I enjoy the process and the science behind reaching a "goal."
 

Uncle Bob

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RolandD, I get it. Here to learn. Found your attachment very informative. Thank you
 

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There are so many factors that go into making great tasting cider, not least of which is personal taste. Each of us has a different taste preference which will impact how we perceive and/or enjoy the cider. I typically use 71B in a mix of ciders from my local orchard. They have a standard cider which is a mix of apples they have to get rid of, but generally always follows a formula for sweetness, bitterness and tartness, so is generally pretty similar no matter when you get it. But they also make a single varietal cider using only Goldrush apples. I have experimented and find that I prefer a 60/40 mix of their regular cider and their Goldrush cider. It gives me a nice tartness and flavor once fermented. I would agree with those above who state that the later in the year the cider is pressed the better the flavor, and in my experience the higher the sugar content. The standard cider usually starts around 1.060 but I bought some in March, which was their last press of the previous year's harvest and it came in closer to 1.080, as the apples had been sweating for close to 4 months at that point. I would also agree that the longer the cider sits the better the flavor gets. I have started drinking cider at 2 months and didn't really like the flavor profile. But with age it can really come into it's own. My current keg started fermenting in January and was kegged in September. It was quite good right out of the gate but has even improved with time in the fridge. I would suggest you set up a standard test using the same must and the various different yeasts you want to try. Let them go for 6-9 months and then do a sample tasting, without adding sugar. Then add a little sweetener to each in glass and retest. This will help you figure out the combination of must, yeast and sweetner level that best matches your taste preferences. Nothing is stopping you from fermenting the rest of the juice you have and enjoying it as you go, but doing the test this way now will help you to maximize future production.
 

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Maybe a hijack here but has anyone ever used lactose and/or monk fruit sugar to back sweeten? I am also in process of first batch of cider (S04 ferment) and was hoping to keg and use unfermentable sweetener to avoid the whole halting yeast step.
 

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I know none of these yeasts: would be very interested in your results. Whatever you do: make sure you use the same juice for all yeasts to keep things comparable.
 

z-bob

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Maybe a hijack here but has anyone ever used lactose and/or monk fruit sugar to back sweeten? I am also in process of first batch of cider (S04 ferment) and was hoping to keg and use unfermentable sweetener to avoid the whole halting yeast step.
I am seriously considering getting some erythritol to play with. I have some crabapple syrup that I made last year that I sometimes add to my glass of cider, but for the most part I like them dry as long as they are not so dry all the taste disappears.

One good thing about using simple syrup or apple juice concentrate to sweeten is each of your guests can sweeten however much she wants and you don't make the whole batch too sweet for those who like it dry. This should work really well with kegging. Just put a squeeze bottle of syrup next to the tap and tell ppl what it's for.
 
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Cogswell

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Thanks everyone. So much useful information posted so far.

I kegged mine and did not use any sorbate, stabilizers, etc. I only made 3 gallons. It did not get drank quickly and went “off” after maybe 6-8 weeks.
That scares the crap out of me considering the amount of cider I'm doing. Is that outcome common when kegging? I don't have room to refrigerate all 32 gallons of kegged cider.

I was considering Potassium Sorbate when kegging as an insurance policy. Anyone use it?

You can add your pectinase along w campden. No need to wait.
I've seen multiple sources say that while you can add it with the campden, it's more effective 12 hours after. Something about the sulfites inhibiting the action of the pectinase. Keep in mind I'm blindly repeating what I've read. I'm a clueless first timer.

If you do plan on reusing yeast, make sure you are using nutrients during the initial fermentation. I’d also throw in a pinch along w the saved yeast slurry. I would also not save it as long as beer yeast (that fermented beer).
Is DAP enough or do you recommend a more complex nutrient? If so do you have a favorite?

My 2 cents: make a gallon batch of each and see which one you like the best before making a 5 gallon batch of anything. I've also noticed that juice from apples that ripen later in the season makes better hard cider so find out when your juice source stops making it and go back at the end and get some more.
Unfortunately, it's too late for that. :D

Just a reminder, please vote in the poll if you've made yeast recommendations. It's much easier to reference than in-post recommendations. Thanks.
 
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This is a great experiment! I recently did a similar test using 5 gallons of Aldi Apple juice, 1.5 pounds of sugar, and yeast nutrient. I used SA-05, SafCider AB-1, Cuvee Wine Yeast and CiderHouse. The SA-05 was sweet and had a nice sour apple flavor. I found the CiderHouse to be very similar. The Cuvee is drier but not as dry as I expected. It is still aging in the keg so I do need to sample it more. The AB-1 was my hands down favorite. The yeast produced some unique flavors that I can't pinpoint but are really nice. One friend described it as "the way a cider should taste". My non cider fans did not appreciate the AB-1.
 

AzOr

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Is DAP enough or do you recommend a more complex nutrient? If so do you have a favorite?

I’m a big fan of fermaid products. Last year when I pressed 50 gallons, I used both DAP and Fermaid O, at a 2:1 ratio.

If I were fermenting smaller amounts, I would probably just use Fermaid K.

As far as I know, K has DAP, whereas O does not.

I tend to be light handed when it comes to nutes. It really depends on your yeast and apples though. Most yeast will state nitrogen demands. IME, sharps require a lot more nitrogen.

I know this isn’t exactly scientific but let your sniffer tell you what the cider needs.

As far as pectinase, you could be right but it’s always worked for me when I add it along w campden. It’s also easier for my small brain to remember.

Best of luck with your experiment. I can’t wait for updates. I’m pretty settled in my ways as far as yeast but I could be persuaded to play with other yeasts in the name of science, of course.
 
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Cogswell

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Update!

I decided to do 5 gallon and 2.5 gallon batches instead of 5 & 3 so I could squeeze out an additional 5 gallon batch.

5 Gallon Winners
Safcider TF-6, Safcider AC-4, Cider House Select, White Labs WLP775, Mangrove Jack M02, Wyeast 4766

2.5 Gallon Losers
Safcider AS-2, Safcider AB-1 - 2.5 gallons


Brought home 35 gallons of raw, unpasteurized cider. A few more gallons than expected.

Also purchased a gallon of drinking cider. It's significantly clearer than the raw cider. Both are delicious but the raw cider has more fruit flavor.

Buckets of cider are stored at a stable 68F.

PH is 3.76 to 3.78 depending on the bucket.

The cider is very cloudy. Can't see a brewing thermometer submerged 1".

Potassium metabisulfate is added to bring free SO2 to 150ppm.

24 hours later:
Pectic enzyme is added according to package instructions.

Another 24 hours later:
5.25g DAP and 10.5 Fermaid O is added to each bucket. (Each bucket contains 7 gallons of cider)

Each bucket is stirred vigorously to incorporate nutrients and outgas SO2.

Cider is divided from 7 gallon buckets to fermentation buckets. Cider is poured to maximize aeration and SO2 outgass.

Yeast is pitched into each fermentation bucket. Buckets are sealed with airlocks.
Dry yeasts were acclimated to cider temperature for 24 hours before pitching then pitched dry, no starter, by sprinkling on top of cider.
Wet yeasts were prepped according to directions, no additional starter, pitched by dumping on top of cider.
One packet of yeast was used regardless of batch size.

Five hours after pitching, AS-2 is going bananas. StarSan is foaming out of the airlock like a 90's foam party.


Stay tuned for a post primary fermentation report.
 

Chalkyt

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You are probably aware that many of us are following your adventure with great interest.

I am intrigued that you rate AC4 as a winner and AB1 as a loser since the Fermentis profiles seem similar and I would have expected the results to be similar. Please tell us more. FYI, in case you haven't seen it, I attached a paper covering these yeasts to Madscientist451's post of last Saturday. This was written by Fermentis' Technical Manager, Fruit Fermentation, and although probably originally in French and translated into English, it is "followable".

Please keep reporting about what is happening because I would like to try these new yeasts and value your input.
 

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My concern here, which may or may not be an issue, is that you used juice from fresh pressed orchard apples. Not that you wouldn't want to, of course, but there is a good chance your results are confounded by the presence of wild yeast. Although I can't stand 'cider' made from pasturised, filtered supermarket apple juice, it might be worth trying to confirm at least some of your results using that kind of juice. Sorry if I misunderstood your methodology. I didn't read the whole thread.
 
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Cogswell

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You are probably aware that many of us are following your adventure with great interest.
I'm aware. When I decided to make cider this season I hoped to find a thread like this one already waiting for me to read. It wasn't here so I decided to make one.

I am intrigued that you rate AC4 as a winner and AB1 as a loser since the Fermentis profiles seem similar and I would have expected the results to be similar. Please tell us more. FYI, in case you haven't seen it, I attached a paper covering these yeasts to Madscientist451's post of last Saturday. This was written by Fermentis' Technical Manager, Fruit Fermentation, and although probably originally in French and translated into English, it is "followable".
Winners and Losers were chosen by me based on the poll in this thread and my own opinions. Since this is my first time using any of these yeasts, my opinions are based solely on what I have read here on HBT and elsewhere.

The winners got 5 gallon batches and the losers got 2.5 gallon batches.

Please keep reporting about what is happening because I would like to try these new yeasts and value your input.
I will continue to post as the adventure continues!

My concern here, which may or may not be an issue, is that you used juice from fresh pressed orchard apples. Not that you wouldn't want to, of course, but there is a good chance your results are confounded by the presence of wild yeast. Although I can't stand 'cider' made from pasturised, filtered supermarket apple juice, it might be worth trying to confirm at least some of your results using that kind of juice. Sorry if I misunderstood your methodology. I didn't read the whole thread.
I added potassium metabisulfate when the juice was fresh out of my supplier's walk-in cooler.

The 150ppm of free SO2 generated by the potassium metabisulfate suppresses all wild yeast and microbes. It sort of puts them to sleep by blocking their metabolism.

(The amount of potassium metabisulfate required varies based on the PH of the apple cider.)

The yeasts we use to make cider massively out-compete the wild yeasts and bacteria so no worries about them once you pitch your yeast.

I was able to verify that there wasn't any wild fermentation when I observed the juice prior to pitching. Note that the cider had been sitting around at 68F for 48 hours before I pitched my yeasts. There was no sign of CO2 at that point. No bubbles. No CO2 smell. Nor were there any funky spoiled smells. The only thing I could smell was sweet sweet apple cider and the stink of SO2.

I have to say that there is no greater smell than 35 gallons of room temperature apple cider. It didn't smell like much when it was cold. Once it warmed up it was a whole different story. My entire basement was permeated by the most delicious apple smell. It was absolute heaven!

Unfortunately, it attracted every fruit fly in the county.

You'd think all that SO2 would harm the yeasts we choose to use but let me tell you AS-2 took off like a rocket after only five hours. It was closely followed by AB-1 approximately twelve hours later.

I'll post comments on fermentation activity for all yeasts after primary fermentation has finished.
 

McMullan

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I'm aware. When I decided to make cider this season I hoped to find a thread like this one already waiting for me to read. It wasn't here so I decided to make one.



Winners and Losers were chosen by me based on the poll in this thread and my own opinions. Since this is my first time using any of these yeasts, my opinions are based solely on what I have read here on HBT and elsewhere.

The winners got 5 gallon batches and the losers got 2.5 gallon batches.



I will continue to post as the adventure continues!



I added potassium metabisulfate when the juice was fresh out of my supplier's walk-in cooler.

The 150ppm of free SO2 generated by the potassium metabisulfate suppresses all wild yeast and microbes. It sort of puts them to sleep by blocking their metabolism.

(The amount of potassium metabisulfate required varies based on the PH of the apple cider.)

The yeasts we use to make cider massively out-compete the wild yeasts and bacteria so no worries about them once you pitch your yeast.

I was able to verify that there wasn't any wild fermentation when I observed the juice prior to pitching. Note that the cider had been sitting around at 68F for 48 hours before I pitched my yeasts. There was no sign of CO2 at that point. No bubbles. No CO2 smell. Nor were there any funky spoiled smells. The only thing I could smell was sweet sweet apple cider and the stink of SO2.

I have to say that there is no greater smell than 35 gallons of room temperature apple cider. It didn't smell like much when it was cold. Once it warmed up it was a whole different story. My entire basement was permeated by the most delicious apple smell. It was absolute heaven!

Unfortunately, it attracted every fruit fly in the county.

You'd think all that SO2 would harm the yeasts we choose to use but let me tell you AS-2 took off like a rocket after only five hours. It was closely followed by AB-1 approximately twelve hours later.

I'll post comments on fermentation activity for all yeasts after primary fermentation has finished.
Yes, I agree it's more likely the pitched yeast population overwhelms the wild yeast community, but there's no guarantee of that happening consistently across the batches here or even at all. A kind of ecological succession is often observed during fermentation, even when one yeast strain is pitched at relatively high density. The potassium metabisulphate/SO2 is only going to slow the wild yeast temporarily. I'd be a bit wary of assuming the apparent lack of any signs of metabolic activity prior to pitching necessarily translates into no biological activity. The lag phase period, for example, rarely shows any signs of metabolic activity, but it takes several hours for the yeast to remodel its proteome to exploit the new sugary conditions. It's possible metabolites from wild yeast at low density push above the detection threshold. Not necessarily a negative character. It might add some pleasant complexity interacting with elements of the pitched yeast profile. If you always use the same apples from the same orchard there's not really much to worry about. It just means others might not get a comparable experience when pitching one of these commercial cider yeasts.

On fruit flies, it's important to prepare traps before the little buggers arrive, in my experience. I'm sure they come out of the woodwork. They're attracted more strongly to yeast pheromones than aromatic compounds given off by fruit. They're kind of yeast taxis and provide the main form of yeast transport, in either direction. I find traps with a little spent yeast slurry more effective.

IMG_0555.JPG


I've discovered eggs laid firmly on the inside walls of spouts of FV taps and even serving taps so now routinely cover them up during the fruit fly season.

Edit: did you aerate the juice for WLP775 and WY4766?
 
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Cogswell

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Edit: did you aerate the juice for WLP775 and WY4766?
Yes. I'm treating every yeast the same, other than batch size.

I stirred all of the cider vigorously before pitching to aerate and outgas SO2.

I didn't stir in the yeast after pitching. I dumped it in and let it do what it wanted to do. The dry yeasts floated on top. The liquid yeasts sunk into the cider.

Why did you ask if those two yeasts were aerated?
 

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Why did you ask if those two yeasts were aerated?
Dry yeast are conditioned with oxygen prior to the drying process and they require no aeration when pitching. Wet yeast require aeration when pitching to ensure efficient growth after pitching.
 
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Cogswell

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Dry yeast are conditioned with oxygen prior to the drying process and they require no aeration when pitching. Wet yeast require aeration when pitching to ensure efficient growth after pitching.
Cool. I didn't know that.
 
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Cogswell

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I meant to talk about my fermentation vessels earlier in the thread. I use undyed HDPE buckets with soft HDPE lids. The lids aren't gasketed but they seal very well. I can put a half gallon of water in a bucket, attach lid, and invert the bucket without water leaking out.

I use three piece airlocks with the little black rubber grommets. I push the airlock down until the grommet expands to completely fill the hole in the lid. I use punches to put perfect burr free holes in my lids so the grommets seal well.

Back to the scheduled program...

Primary fermentation is complete. During primary, I observed fermentation activity every once in a while. I wish I had been more regimented about it. My timing was poor, more or less when I happened to walk past the buckets.

I rated activity like this:
0 - no visible bubbles
1 - slight bubbling
2 - moderate bubbling
3 - vigorous bubbling, usually with StarSan foaming out of airlock

I recorded my observations and made graphs.

You'll notice some graphs don't end at zero. I wasn't able to observe the buckets at the very end. They were all at zero when I got back to them.

Cider House Select.png


Mangrove Jack M02.png


Safcider AB-1.png


Safcider AC-4.png


Safcider AS-2.png


Safcider TF-6.png


White Labs WLP775.png

Wyeast 4766.png


Four days after pitch I was concerned about Cider House Select and WLP775. I though they failed. I pulled the airlocks and sniffed. Both buckets smelled like CO2 and fermented cider...extra yeasty hard cider.

I replaced the airlocks and let everything sit another four days. I pulled the airlocks and replaced them with plugs that seal the lids.

At this point, I can see all eight buckets have cleared beautifully. As I said earlier, my buckets are undyed. I can see through them with decent lighting. Trub is very cleanly separated. Looks like I don't need additional clearing agents.

The plan from this point is nebulous. Eventually, I'll rack into kegs, stabilize with potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfate, then force carbonate.

I have a lot of new-to-me used kegs to clean and overhaul before I can rack.

How long would you all wait before racking? I know opinions vary about letting cider sit on trub.
 
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