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JDWebb
09-04-2015, 04:05 PM
Something we'll eventually talk about on the show, but I'm curious, most everything I read regarding recipes include yeasts from Lalvin. I used a Wyeast 4184 in a cider I made that came out pretty good. As far as mead making, is there a preference to use Lalvin versus any other?

Crowing
09-04-2015, 04:49 PM
Well in my own small experience, (6 batches total) most have been d-47, and turned out good, the one BOMM with wyeast is my only batch that I think may have been tainted and not end up drinkable.
So if that BOMM doesn't end up ok after cold crashing then I think I'll be a Lalvin guy.

Squatchy
09-04-2015, 06:49 PM
One thing that may speak to why so many use Lalvin is that there is more posted data about their yeast than other company's. At least as far as I can tell

bernardsmith
09-04-2015, 07:06 PM
I think that all the folk who run commercial meaderies that you have interviewed on the radio show have said that they use 71B.

Stasis
09-04-2015, 07:10 PM
I don't think it's the manufacturer's fault the mead got tainted..
I suspect the preference to use Lalvin comes from the majority of people coming from places where Lalvin is easily available. The fact that they share more information than others also helps a lot. But had it been difficult to buy Lalvin for the majority of people as much as it is for me I think there would have been at least one other well used manufacturer. I think some yeasts could be interchangeable if you know enough about them.
When it comes to reading about yeasts I like going to this page: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/strains.asp
If the description interests me I'd search google for more specific information on that strain. I think it would be very nice to have a sticky with a detailed list about yeasts such as found on that site. Something which I would find useful would be to add the basic heat and alcohol tolerance

JayH
09-04-2015, 07:32 PM
When I first started the first couple of batches were with White labs sweet mead yeast and just enough honey for it to be semi sweet. Then they didn't have any White labs so I used a package of Wyeast sweet mead yeast. That is when I leaned about alcohol tolerance as the White labs has an alcohol tolerance of something like 15% and the Wyeast something like 11% it ended up way to sweet.

So I started reading and there two things that started me using the Lavlin, first that is what Culver City home brew shop carries for wine yeast, second that is what everyone on GotMead referenced, so why look further.

However while I still use a fair amount of the Lavlin yeast mainly D47 and 71B though I just started two 1 gallon batches of Blueberry mead, one with BM4x4 and one with D47. I want to compare them and possibly try the BM4x4 this year for some of my prickly pear mead.

However as I like more of a session mead along with it being semi sweet I have done a lot with different Ale Yeasts. However for some reason I always seemed to use English/American ale yeast instead of Belgium or German yeasts. I have several nice 5-6% meads so I can have a pint on a hot summer day and still function.

I'd have to go back through my notes for details, but when I had our brew club taste batches with several (5-6) different meads from tests with different ale yeasts, the winners tended to be Nottingham and SA05.

I just made a batch of BOMM and I'm going to have to start experimenting more with Belgium yeasts now.

I suspect many of us are like me, we experiment with other things, but because the knowledge is out there and easily available, we keep coming back to Lavlin for much of our use.


Cheers
Jay

JDWebb
09-04-2015, 07:38 PM
Well in my own small experience, (6 batches total) most have been d-47, and turned out good, the one BOMM with wyeast is my only batch that I think may have been tainted and not end up drinkable.
So if that BOMM doesn't end up ok after cold crashing then I think I'll be a Lalvin guy.

How was the BOMM tainted? Could it be something other than the yeast?

Crowing
09-05-2015, 01:07 AM
How was the BOMM tainted? Could it be something other than the yeast?

Yes, in all probability. I didn't mean to sound like I was claiming a sachet of botulism was in my wyeast 1338. I only meant to say that my small mazing career has seen success in lalvin and my only wyeast use was *maybe* tainted. It was most likely a freak thing, but I was just going with statistics in my own experience.

58limited
09-05-2015, 10:28 AM
I started with the Wyeast mead yeasts and even the sweet mead yeast produced a dry 14.5% mead, it has to age a couple of years to be really good. Back in college I was given some Vierka yeast. I have not found too much info on it but one reference said it was an "old timey" mead yeast, one of the few available back before mead became popular again and it has fallen out of common use. I had a hard time finding it again but finally bought some. I have had great luck with it. My BIL compared Vierka, D47, and EC1118. The Vierka was the best overall. In our monthly tastings the D47 had one point (two months in if I recall?) where it was better than the Vierka but then the Vierka mead passed it up - but both were close, good tasting and good quality meads. EC1118 came in last at all points in this experiment. I can't really describe the tastes like a judge can, we just tasted the meads and made comments such as: "I like this," "This is smoother," "This is 'rough'," etc. Of course this is all subjective and everybody's tastes are different.

If Vierka becomes unavailable and I loose my culture, I will switch to D47.

I'm experimenting with DV10 right now, it produces a crisp clean mead without very much yeast influence to the flavor. Great for the OB hydromels I have on tap but I prefer Vierka for regular meads.

loveofrose
09-05-2015, 10:53 AM
Yes, in all probability. I didn't mean to sound like I was claiming a sachet of botulism was in my wyeast 1338. I only meant to say that my small mazing career has seen success in lalvin and my only wyeast use was *maybe* tainted. It was most likely a freak thing, but I was just going with statistics in my own experience.

You are using Wyeast 1388 and not 1338, right? Others have confused those two before.


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

Crowing
09-07-2015, 01:07 AM
You are using Wyeast 1388 and not 1338, right? Others have confused those two before.


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

Yeah, 1388. Only confused in my ability to type

Wingnut
09-08-2015, 08:50 AM
I made a 5 gal batch of fresh peach this summer and gave the Vierka a try. They carry it in both of our local brew shops. It really seemed to ferment well, very active. I started it a day or so before the pitch, and we ran the peaches through a food mill.
It finished a bit sweet but I was working with 30 lbs of very tree ripe peaches.
I plan to try it again sometime.


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