Malic acid consumption by yeast?

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madscientist451

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I've used the same cider yeasts for many years, specifically Cider House Select and 71-B, but this season I'm considering changing it up a little.
I like a dry cider, but depending on the apples used, its sometimes just too dry and I then have to back sweeten.
Fermentis has some yeast strains I haven't tried and the technical data sheet for the TF-6 strain claims "High malic acid consumption (up to 1.4g/L) "
The data sheet for 71-B says: "Lalvin 71B™ also undertakes malo-ethanolic fermentation, a biochemical pathway whereby some malic acid is degraded during alcoholic fermentation. Between 20-40% of malic acid in the juice can be metabolized this way. "
I have limited supply of "good" cider apples and somewhat reluctant to get too far into experimenting, just wondering if anyone has tried the Fermentis strains (there are 4 different ones) and has any recommendations.
Technical sheets mentioned above:
 

McMullan

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I got a pack of 71B-1122 a few years back to experiment for the same reason. Unfortunately, I didn't get round to pitching it. I'm still tempted, though. The aim was to increase the turnaround, but I like to leave cider in a secondary for at least a few months and pitch an MLF culture, which I suspect is a little more effective. It might be interesting to try both?
 

Chalkyt

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Back in September FLYPacNW reported starting a batch using one of the new Fermentis yeasts (AS2) and may have some opinions by now. Attached FYI is an interesting article about the four new cider strains by Etienne Dorignac from Fermentis.
 

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madscientist451

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Thanks for the link, if I can get the TF-6, I'm going to try it this season.
 

Chalkyt

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Please let us know how the TF-6 works out. My trees are now in blossom and I suspect that a few of them will be doing their biennial trick, i.e. not a lot of apples next Autumn, since this year I was over-run with apples. At this stage, I think that the Cox's Orange Pippin and Red Delicious will be good but the Granny Smith and Pomme de Neige look a bit light on. The Gravenstein is a bit slower than the others, but does have lots of flowers. Two of the crab apples are going "gang-busters" but the others seem to be all leaves and no flowers. I think an earlier frost might have done a bit of mischief.

My plan B is to use the Red Delicious for some single variety sweeter ciders. I had some success with the Red Delicious this year by pasteurising to keep sweetness at 1.012. However using the TF-6 may well do the job if I let the Red delicious fully ferment then just prime for carbonation. I guess I should "watch this space".
 
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madscientist451

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I got the TF-6 yesterday, I'm thinking of trying it with a single variety Newtown Pippin.
I did some taste tests a few years back and found red delicious juice very bland. Its ok as a "filler" juice though.
I made a single variety Cox's orange pippin last weekend. An excellent sweet cider, will have to see what its like fermented.
 

Chalkyt

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Yes, my earlier attempts with Red Delicious produced an insipid cider. The sugar seemed O.K. at 1.050 but high pH at 4.1 resulted in something quite bland.

However, I had so many Red Delicious that I decided to fiddle a bit. Adding Malic Acid to pH 3.2 for TA 0.7% did wonders, as did fermenting with M02. Not the world's greatest cider but a reasonably inoffensive quaffer. A more interesting result was blending with about 30% Gravensteins and allowing a natural ferment. In the past I have just used the RD as a filler if I was short of other apples. My orchard only has eight apple trees and the fun is using my apples rather than getting bulk juice from other sources. After all, how much cider can you drink in a year (yes... I know the answer is "lots").

My Cox's Orange Pippin is now about 4 years old and should produce up to 10kg this year... not a lot, so I need to use them "wisely". So far I have just added them to other blends, mostly with Pomme de Neige, Gravensteins and crabs.

I guess that I am hoping that TF-6 might restore some of the flavour that gets lost from Red Delicious when they ferment down as I would like to use them more. I have found a source of TF-6 and AS-2 here in Oz so it will be interesting to see the difference between them and S04/M02, my usual go-to yeasts. Sadly I might have to wait until next April to find out, although I do have access to a commercial orchard that has preservative free (but probably cold stored) juices.
 
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