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doctajones
10-23-2007, 09:27 AM
In preparation for starting a batch of cyser I've been doing research on the board and have come across several references to apple juice/cider stretching the yeast's alcohol tolerance. My question is, when formulating my recipe, how much stretching should I account for?

wayneb
10-23-2007, 11:17 AM
I've never found a reliable "rule of thumb" that accurately predicts the additional ethanol tolerance that you'll get in musts with apple cider vs musts with just honey. In fact, when I follow staggered nutrient addition protocols, I get similar results from honey-only musts that I do with musts formulated with fruit adjuncts. I think it's safe to say that in typical mid-range starting gravities (say between 1.090 and 1.125) you'll get another percent or two of alcohol tolerance over and above the yeast's manufacturers rating if you rehydrate carefully and nourish your yeast well, but often times you'll find performance exceeding that. The nourishment can come from yeast nutrients, or from stuff in the fruit juice, or from both -- the yeast don't seem to care! ;)

Oskaar
10-23-2007, 01:10 PM
I found one of my older emails from Clayton Cone of Lallemand. Here's what he had to say about the Lallemand Yeasts:

...SNIP...Check our website http://www.lallemandwine.us/products/yeast_chart.php for a chart that gives you lots of information regarding many of our yeast strains including what you are referring to as attenuation. The chart also helps you match yeast strain with grape varietal, cider and mead. Attenuation is a term used in the brewing industry and seldom if ever used in wine, mead or cider production. In the brewing industry attenuation refers to the amount of fermentable sugars, glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose , maltotriose and maltotetrose, that the yeast can ferment. In mashing the wort contains a lot of non fermentable that register as sugar on the balling, brix or sp. Gr. hydrometer. The attenuation can be 72 to 78, depending on the amount of grain used and the mashing technique and temperature. In mead, cider and wine making, the attenuation is usually 100% because all of the soluble solids are fermentable sugars. There is a minor exception when fermenting immature fruit and grapes.

All of the Lalvin strains can ferment up to 16, 18, 20% alcohol when you have a healthy fermentation. I usually multiply the % sugar (brix) by 0.6 to give me the % alcohol by volume that I should produce at the end of the fermentation. The finished sp. Gr. or brix should be below zero at the end of the fermentation. The alcohol should give you a negative reading.

Five gallon must:
Grape, cider, or mead.
Follow the rehydration instructions carefully.
Add one 5 gram packet of yeast to 20 brix juice. Double the amount if the juice is up to 26 brix.
Add 5 gram Fermaid K yeast nutrient
Add 5 grams Fermaid 2133 yeast nutrient.
Add 10 grams Diammonium phosphate DAP (Divide into several portions and add in increments during the first 48 to 72 hours)

Yeast like a fresh source of nitrogen during its growth phase. For mead, double the amount of DAP and add 2.5 grams of potassium carbonate. There are no buffering agents in honey and as a result the pH will drop rapidly during the first 12 to 24 hours of fermentation and severally stress the yeast and prolong the fermentation many weeks.

The potassium carbonate will prevent this severe drop in pH. Do not put the airlock on for the first 48 to 72 hours. Yeast must have air during its growth phase. Stir several times during the first 48 hours and again near the end of the fermentation. Ferment red wine below 86F when possible. Ferment white wine, mead and cider 60 to 75 F to get the best fruity character...SNIP...

Basically I've found that I can take any of the 14% ABV tolerant yeasts (D47, 71B, et) up to 18% when apple juice and SNA are involved. The 16-18% yeasts by Lallemand (K1V, U43, D21, D254, D80, etc) I've had up to and above 20%. YMMV.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

wayneb
10-23-2007, 01:29 PM
Oskaar -- I have one exception to this. I can't seem to get 71B to go beyond 16% no matter how well I baby it.

Oskaar
10-23-2007, 01:50 PM
Try it in a blueberry cyser with fresh blueberries and fresh squeezed AJ. I won't say it will absolutely hit 18% on the nose, but I'm consistantly in the 17.5+ range with it.

It may be differences in water, altitude, and general tweakiness too.

Cheers,

Oskaar

wayneb
10-23-2007, 02:05 PM
Hey - you've got me wondering now. Blueberries are a good source of plant sterols, as I remember. Thinking over to that thread about using olive oil in lieu of oxygenation, I read the original thread over on babble, and it mentions that yeast use O2 both to create the C18 mono-unsaturated fatty acid and to assist in the production of ergosterol. While animals use cholesterols for cell wall development, fungi (including yeasts) build their cell walls with ergosterol. I wonder if the blueberries are providing something that is easier for the yeasts to process into ergosterol? Maybe that is what leads to this batch having it's especially good alcohol tolerance with 71B???

I wish that I knew more biochemistry!

Oskaar
10-23-2007, 02:18 PM
That could very well be! I'd dive into that but I'm working on research papers for my classes at present!

Cheers,

Oskaar

smoky
10-23-2007, 07:36 PM
Wayneb, just the other day I was trying to figure out a convenient source of ergosterol to add to a brew in conjunction with olive oil! Then, after reading your post, I found this: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T6R-4CB65PF-2&_user=10&_coverDate=04%2F30%2F2005&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=ea3c8bddab503aac70b70c381bc9dc59 (!) This makes me think that many fruits likely contain ergosterol. Interestingly, according to that abstract, "decayed" apples contain more of it. I think this means that as they rot (ferment) they produce more of it. That's fantastic news! Looks like I'm gonna make a huge cyser :icon_thumright:

doctajones
10-23-2007, 08:04 PM
Thanks guys, this is exactly the info I was looking for.

wayneb
10-23-2007, 08:16 PM
Wayneb, just the other day I was trying to figure out a convenient source of ergosterol to add to a brew in conjunction with olive oil! Then, after reading your post, I found this: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T6R-4CB65PF-2&_user=10&_coverDate=04%2F30%2F2005&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=ea3c8bddab503aac70b70c381bc9dc59 (!) This makes me think that many fruits likely contain ergosterol. Interestingly, according to that abstract, "decayed" apples contain more of it. I think this means that as they rot (ferment) they produce more of it. That's fantastic news! Looks like I'm gonna make a huge cyser :icon_thumright:

Wow! That's REALLY interesting, as it correlates perfectly with the anecdotal evidence that I have from a number of home cider producers who ferment with natural yeasts. They are all convinced that partially decayed (as in "browned") apples make a superior cider, with more flavor and higher alcohol content. An elevated ergosterol content may contribute to the increased vitality of their yeasts.

This really bears further, quantitative experimentation to validate. I'll add it to my ever growing list of things to check into -- when I get some free time! ;)

smoky
10-23-2007, 08:19 PM
Well, I just freed up a spot in my brew area for a new bucket. I'm going to do 3 gallons of a Huge Cyser shooting for 25+%ABV!!! Stay tuned in the brewlog for progress. I'll probably start this weekend or the next.

wayneb
10-23-2007, 08:54 PM
Watch out. As you know from the TTB thread, anything over 24% takes you out of the tax free, homebrew category. :drunken_smilie:

smoky
10-23-2007, 09:19 PM
Really?! Even for fermented beverages, or are you just messin' with me for being so serious about that? Holy s**t, I guess I'm shooting for 24% ABV if what you say is true :icon_thumright:

Oskaar
10-23-2007, 11:08 PM
Wayne speaks the truth!

Besides, if you go that high you're going to have a very long wait for the fusel and high alcohol to mellow.

Cheers,

Oskaar

wayneb
10-23-2007, 11:13 PM
No, I'm not just messin' with you. The documentation is unclear, as there are apparently no stated limits on alcohol (either min or max) for wines produced for home consumption, but there are very clear definitions of alcohol limits on "agricultural wines" (i.e. wine made from sugar sources other than grapes -- this includes Honey wines). Agricultural wine alcohol limits are set at a 14% maximum, although as of 2003 the TTB had considered an amendment to bump up that limit, noting that "dessert wines" made from grapes were permitted up to 24% ABV. I don't know what happened ultimately to that proposed rule change -- the rule change itself is documented in the Federal Register, v. 68, No. 127, p 39500. Here's a link: http://www.ttb.gov/notices/ttbnotice_no13.pdf

I think it is especially interesting that this proposed rule change stems, in part, from a request by David Myers (yeah, the Redstone David Myers) to reduce the minimum starting Brix of honey wines to allow fermentation to a 7% ABV for some meads. Funny how you start a search based only on wine, and coincidentally a mead reference sneaks in! :laughing7:

Still, based on what I've been able to dredge up from searching the TTB website, they would probably have to rule formally on the legality and/or taxability of anything fermented to ABV in excess of 24%, whether it was commercially or home produced.

So, for my purposes, anything that I try to ferment will be 24% ABV or less. As always, YMMV. Since the TTB is really very forthcoming with legally correct and comprehensive information, you could ask them directly.

smoky
10-23-2007, 11:40 PM
Well, then, I will instruct my yeasties that they are under no circumstances to survive anything above a 24%ABV beverage! :laughing7: Seriously, though, I will not allow any law breaking in my house.