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White Labs yeast cider blind taste test

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landwaster

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Just came across this White Labs yeast taste test done by San Diego QUAFF and sponsored by AHA. You have to be a member to get all the details but White Labs nicely posted the results. The one thing that's interesting is that several beer yeasts were rated better than White Labs Cider yeast. I'm thinking of doing 1 gallon test batches to see for myself since my local brew store started carrying them (edit: I tested a few of these and posted my thoughts below):

OFFICIAL JUDGES
1. WLP028 - Edinburgh Scottish Ale
2. WLP002 - English Ale
3. WLP862 - Cry Havoc
4. WLP775 - English Cider
5. WLP500 - Monastery Ale
6. WLP575 - Belgian Style Ale
7. WLP810 - San Francisco Lager

CIDER MAKERS
1. WLP002 - English Ale
2. WLP028 - Edinburgh Scottish Ale
3. WLP862 - Cry Havoc
4. WLP775 - English Cider
...

WHITE LABS PUBLIC VOTING
1. WLP002 - English Ale
2. WLP028 - Edinburgh Scottish Ale
3. WLP862 - Cry Havoc
4. WLP775 - English Cider
...
 

Sailingeric

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I used the WLP775 yeast with Ryan's Apple cider from Hood River Oregon and after 3 weeks in the bottle it is very yummy. A little tart which I like but a lot less than a couple weeks ago.
 

Archer

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I saw this awhile back and thought it very interesting, too. It encouraged me to try some of these, however, as was pointed out to me by someone much wiser, the tests included no "wine" yeasts to compare against the ale yeasts.
 
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landwaster

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So I just racked my ciders after doing tests with a bunch of yeasts, using unpasteurized cider juice from a local orchard. My brewstore had these White Lab yeasts from the blind test:

English Ale
Edinburgh Ale
English Cider

and I also tried 4 dry yeasts:

D47
EC-1118
71B-1112
Nottingham Ale.

What I found is that the 4 dry yeasts pretty much tasted the same, and in fact I combined them into a single batch. They were dry with not a lot of flavor other than a tangy zing (PH is very low on the juice). The White Labs English & Edinburgh Ales tasted similar to each other, and somehow tasted much more mellow in acidity (at least what I perceived). The White Labs English Cider tasted the best, mellow like the other two White Lab ale yeasts but it had a bit of an underlying apple flavor that I couldn't put my finger on.

Without paying for the taste test paper, it's hard to tell how and why the two Ale yeasts were rated higher than the cider yeast.
 

progmac

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Awesome! Thanks for sharing your results. Experiences like this make us much better Brewers/winemakers

I ran some local cider with three yeasts, ring wood, a jefe yeast, and a lager yeast at lager temps. Hell if I could tell the difference among them.

This runs contrary to other yeast experiments I've done. The local juice I got was really sweet and flabby. That could have had something to do with it.
 
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