View Full Version : Yeast question

07-28-2009, 10:13 PM
I ordered my mead equipment today, along with some yeast. I got Lalvin K1V-1116 because the website said it was a strong yeast (I'm in AZ, so temp runs a little high) and good for lower nutrient brews. It also said that it had an alcohol tolerance of around 14%.

Anyway, looking at the yeast chart in the Newbee guide, K1V-1116 is listed as having an alcohol tolerance of 18-20%.

I don't like my drinks dry, but I'd still like a little sweetness. I'm thinking of trying some melomels with this as I'm hoping the extra sugar from the fruit will help tone down the dryness? Should I just use a little extra honey? Should I just plan on backsweetening? Anyone have experience with 1116?

07-28-2009, 10:22 PM
K1V is a very commonly used yeast strain. It can definitely go to 18% when cared for.

If you'd like some sweetness in your final product, it might be easiest to let fermentation complete and sweeten the end product to your liking. (Search for info on "backsweetening".) Trying to outrun this yeast will give you a pretty strong mead. In the future, you might consider 71B, which more commonly tops out around 14-15%. Also consider using ale yeast, many of which get to about 10-12%.

07-28-2009, 10:35 PM
Yeah. I think I might try D-47 next time. A family friend gave me some mead that was around 14% and I liked it, so that's kinda what I'm hoping for. I just went with the K1V because I would hate for the heat to kill off my first attempt at something more complex than JOA.

07-28-2009, 11:50 PM
D-47 is a great yeast and I use it a lot.

There are lots of methods for keeping your mead cool. Search around for high temperature fermentation information, there is quite a bit on the forum (many folks live in SoCal, AZ, TX, FL, Central America, etc). Putting your fermenter into a large container filled with water will minimize temperature swings. Frozen water bottles can be placed in the water bath to cool things down. Wet cloth can also act as a 'swamp cooler' when draped over the fermenter, which can keep the temperature several degrees below ambient (works best in low humidity areas).

Medsen Fey
07-29-2009, 09:30 AM
K1V is a good choice for high temp fermentations. It can produce a good traditional mead with temps in the mid 80s - though it needs about a year to age before it loses the band-aid characteristics that develop. It was the winner of the HotMead Yeast Test.

To end up sweet with K1V, you just have to stabilize and backsweeten. Then you can add honey to get the ideal level of sweetness. Just remember when you do sweeten it is good to go slowly you can always add more over time, but you can't take it out if you make it too sweet.