Which yeast?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Newsman

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
3,248
Reaction score
572
Location
Cohutta
Ok. We have established my previous cyser batch was a dumper (thanks, PP).
Going to try again with what ingredients I have.
So here's the yeast selection I have on-hand,
EC-118
RC-212
WLP677
QA23
COTE DES BLANCS
Nottingham

All have been sitting in my fridge for a very long time

Ec-118 and RC-212 are what I have plenty of, so I can double pitch, if necessary.

What would y'all use? Not caring so much about alcohol content. Want a medium dry beverage
 

bkboiler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2015
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
691
Location
San Diego
TLDR: NOTTY!

Hmm...medium dry but what ABV? Do you like it really fizzy or just a little sparkle? Kegging?
I've worked with all those you list except wlp677 and qa23...
My preference on the list would be notty, but I'm really impatient... 😁 I've done notty in both mead and cider and liked each of them (separately).
I've used rc-212 in a raspberry wine and cote de blanc in a strawberry wine. I believe I once used ec1118 in a rocket fuel mead I made once, it was a trainwreck, but that may have just been me...I don't exactly "get" the nutrient additions stuff very well yet.
 
OP
Newsman

Newsman

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
3,248
Reaction score
572
Location
Cohutta
Oh, I also have bread yeast as well, which, if I want a medium ABV Cyser might be a good option as wel.
Just ordered a sachet of 71B. Leaning towards mixture of 71B and QA23 since both are supposed to enhance fruity flavors. Goodness knows I'm going to need help keeping this from being flavoless rocket fuel!
 
OP
Newsman

Newsman

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
3,248
Reaction score
572
Location
Cohutta
Kirkland Wildflower Honey. I can always add a bit of acid, if necessary. I also have plenty of yeast nutrient, if that would help. TBH, I've never made a cyser before other than that one I ignored for like 2 years. :)
 
OP
Newsman

Newsman

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
3,248
Reaction score
572
Location
Cohutta
Any wine yeast will work then. I would definitely avoid bread yeast. Cysers tend to be higher ABV than ale yeasts can handle, so I'd avoid them too.
Well, as I said before, I want semi-sweet, so I don't want it to be pure rocket fuel. :D I'm not really concerned about how much alcohol I can get out of it.
 

Maylar

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
4,465
Reaction score
1,703
Location
New Haven County
Well, as I said before, I want semi-sweet, so I don't want it to be pure rocket fuel. :D I'm not really concerned about how much alcohol I can get out of it.
I've got 15% ABV from bread yeast in a JAOM. Unless you start with a really high OG don't expect it to finish semi-sweet.
You also want your cyser to taste good and be balanced between the apple and honey. Typically we split the sugar between both, like 1.050 cider and 1.050 or more of honey. That puts you in the 13% bracket or more. Even a 14% yeast will usually go dry.
IMO an ale yeast just doesn't have the flavor profile to compliment a cyser.
My best to date was an orange blossom cyser with orchard juice and Renaissance Fresco yeast - Fresco
The citrus character of the yeast was a perfect match for the OB honey.

Yeast pairing is an art and science. If you pitch whatever you have in the fridge then you're just gambling that it'll come out right.
 
OP
Newsman

Newsman

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
3,248
Reaction score
572
Location
Cohutta
Interesting. According to the calculator at Brewer's Friend, putting those two together, I should be getting I should get between just under 14 and just over 15% ABV with 10# of honey and 5 gallons of apple juice. If I drop to 5# of honey, I should get about 9-10% ABV. Not sure which way to go. Thinking I may do it with 5# of honey, cold crash, keg and add 5# of honey to back-sweeten, depending on how it tastes.
 

bernardsmith

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
5,497
Reaction score
1,931
Location
Saratoga Springs
In my opinion, 71B has a very special affinity for apple wines, cysers and cider. Sure it does metabolize SOME of the malic but the increased smoothness that that can create after 9 -12 months bottle aging puts any apple based wine in a whole new league. Sure many folk on this forum swear by ale yeast as their yeast of choice for hard cider, but speak to professional cider makers.
 

Maylar

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
4,465
Reaction score
1,703
Location
New Haven County
Sure many folk on this forum swear by ale yeast as their yeast of choice for hard cider, but speak to professional cider makers.
We had a pro here a few years ago who was responsible for the production of 250,000 gallons of cider a year. He made a point that using 71B was absurd since they'd just have to add the malic acid back to make up for what the yeast metabolized.
 
OP
Newsman

Newsman

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
3,248
Reaction score
572
Location
Cohutta
Any reason I should not combine the 71B and the QA23? They both seem to be good at making "fruity" alcohol. There is a pinned post by Meadist stating that both are ideal for making mead. :)
I'm sure one will outcompete the other, on the other hand, maybe the 71B will help smooth it out, as according to Meadist, it helps meads mature faster.
 

Dan O

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
420
Reaction score
232
Location
HAMPSTEAD
Any reason I should not combine the 71B and the QA23? They both seem to be good at making "fruity" alcohol. There is a pinned post by Meadist stating that both are ideal for making mead. :)
I'm sure one will outcompete the other, on the other hand, maybe the 71B will help smooth it out, as according to Meadist, it helps meads mature faster.
One will dominate for sure. If you want to try them both, split the must into 2 smaller vessels & do a side by side experiment/comparison, then you'll know that going into it the next time you make it. TAKE NOTES!😉🤨🤓🤓
 
OP
Newsman

Newsman

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
3,248
Reaction score
572
Location
Cohutta
Just started my new batch. Made a quick starter, mainly to confirm yeast viability. Dumped two packet starter into 4 gallons of juice along with 10# of honey.
I need one more gallon of juice, but I'll dump that later to help negate the need for a blowout tube.
I also put 2 TBSP of yeast nutrient in the bottom of the BMB before I dumped anything else in.
Hopefully that'll get me going. I'll check on it again a couple weeks after I add the 5th gallon of juice.
I discovered I had another 5# of honey, but I figured adding that would make rocket fuel
 
OP
Newsman

Newsman

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
3,248
Reaction score
572
Location
Cohutta
Here's a pic of my new batch. 2 packets of QA23. My fermentation chamber is set to 65* (current temp showing as 67.5)
Seems to be coming along fine. I didn't take a starting gravity. I will probably slip the Hydrometer in there after the krausen dies down, not that there's that much now.
I did add a 5th gallon of juice. That was a different brand, Motts, but I doubt it will change.
 

Attachments

OP
Newsman

Newsman

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
3,248
Reaction score
572
Location
Cohutta
How can you start ANY ferment without taking the starting gravity?
Because I don't really care. I just want sometalcohilic to drink. I'm not planning on entering it in a competition or boasting I got every bit of alcohol out of that yeast.
I just want something to drink.😂😂😂
 

iceman_ii

Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
13
Maybe I am missing something here, but you are talking about 10 lbs of honey and 5 gallons of Apple Juice, of which you think you may only use 5 lbs of honey during the fermentation and back sweeten with the other 5... in either case you are talking about 5 gal of apple juice and 10 lbs of honey... apple juice ain't necessarily cheap, but 10 lbs of honey is what, $60 or so? Seems to me that cheaping out and using whatever yeast you have available is false economy... you would save $5 on a package of Mead yeast, and risk $80+ in other consumables?

Maybe it's just the newb talking, but personally, I wouldn't risk it. I would just buy some mead yeast, not just use the best of what you have in the refrigerator (some of which by your own admission is rather long in the tooth). This isn't olympic diving, when you (or your friends) taste your product, you don't get extra credit for "degree of difficulty"

EDIT:
And sorry if I came across as a bit of a prick, not trying to be, just trying to understand...
 
Last edited:
OP
Newsman

Newsman

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
3,248
Reaction score
572
Location
Cohutta
Maybe I am missing something here, but you are talking about 10 lbs of honey and 5 gallons of Apple Juice, of which you think you may only use 5 lbs of honey during the fermentation and back sweeten with the other 5... in either case you are talking about 5 gal of apple juice and 10 lbs of honey... apple juice ain't necessarily cheap, but 10 lbs of honey is what, $60 or so? Seems to me that cheaping out and using whatever yeast you have available is false economy... you would save $5 on a package of Mead yeast, and risk $80+ in other consumables?

Maybe it's just the newb talking, but personally, I wouldn't risk it. I would just buy some mead yeast, not just use the best of what you have in the refrigerator (some of which by your own admission is rather long in the tooth). This isn't olympic diving, when you (or your friends) taste your product, you don't get extra credit for "degree of difficulty"

EDIT:
And sorry if I came across as a bit of a prick, not trying to be, just trying to understand...
Well, I'm unemployed right now. I already had two 5# jugs of Honey and. 4 gallons of juice, so it wasn't like I had to go.out and buy all of the ingredients. Besides, QA23 is a wine yeast that was recommended for its flavor, and I had several packets in my fridge, so why not use it?
I also have a packet of champagne yeast if it's too sweet when fermentation is done.
 
Last edited:

iceman_ii

Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
13
Well, I'm unemployed right now. I already had two 5# jugs of Honey and. 4 gallons of juice, so it wasn't like I had to go.out and buy all of the ingredients. Besides, QA23 is a wine yeast that was recommended for its flavor, and I had several packets in my fridge, so why not use it?
I also have a packet of champagne yeast if it's too sweet when fermentation is done.
Sorry, I didn't understand, now I do. Now it makes perfect sense!
 

bernardsmith

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
5,497
Reaction score
1,931
Location
Saratoga Springs
There is (I think) no such thing as a "mead yeast" other than a yeast which a lab has labelled their yeast as such***. Certainly there are dozens of strains of lab cultured yeasts and each strain has been cultivated to highlight certain flavors and characteristics of the substrate they are added to. There are yeasts which ferment better at lower temps and those that ferment better at higher temps. There are yeasts that make enormous demands on nutrients and yeasts that are cultivated to produce nary a molecule of H2S. Some yeasts produce glycerols up the wazoo (and so add mouthfeel to a thinner bodied wine) and some yeasts that thrive in high alcohol, high acidic environments. The best yeast to use is the yeast that best suits the conditions you are fermenting in and the outcomes you are seeking.

***While it is possible that a lab harvested and has been cultivating a strain of yeast it isolated from a naturally occurring indigenous fermentation of honey in the wild in some very isolated part of the planet my money is on a standard strain of yeast that they are simply selling as suitable for mead making... which is just about 99.99 % of any lab cultured Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
 
Last edited:

AzOr

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 11, 2016
Messages
1,076
Reaction score
586
Location
Pacific NW
I’m a bit late to the game but my go to is Imperial Bubbles. It’s for cider but I’ve used it in cysers and it goes to 12% easily. For me it retains quite a bit of apple character.
 
OP
Newsman

Newsman

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
3,248
Reaction score
572
Location
Cohutta
I’m a bit late to the game but my go to is Imperial Bubbles. It’s for cider but I’ve used it in cysers and it goes to 12% easily. For me it retains quite a bit of apple character.
Yeah, just a touch late. But it might help someone else in the future
 
OP
Newsman

Newsman

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
3,248
Reaction score
572
Location
Cohutta
Update: I've been cold crashing going in a week. Just tasted my first sample and ALL I can taste is the alcohol. I dropped a couple vanilla beans in there this morning. I'm planning on racking to secondary later this week and will try to recover the beans and drop them back into the secondary for a few more days. Think I'm definitely going to need to let this age so I taste more than alcohol. Not sure I need to back sweeten as it doesn't taste DRY, just no flavor, as such. No apple, no honey. Just alcohol.
That being said, it's definitely drinkable as-is if all you care about is alcohol.
Just as a guess, I think this probably came out close to 15% ABV. Maybe next time I'll put less honey in as I'm not overly concerned about alcohol content.
Thinking about buying some Hawaiian honey. There's a guy on Facebook who lives on Hawaii selling various exotic honeys. Here's a link to one of his posts: https://m.facebook.com/groups/2113021078752834/permalink/4322266904494896/
 
Top