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Norskersword
07-20-2004, 11:47 PM
Just curious as to what everyone's choices of yeast are and why. I'm going to start a new batch soon and I'd like some opinions. This would also serve well for future reference.

Talon
07-21-2004, 08:27 PM
I use the Red Star yeast simply because I can buy the small packages when I need them and very inexpensively at $0.40 a pack...

Jmattioli
07-21-2004, 08:55 PM
My 2 favorite yeasts are Lalvin K1V-1116 and EC-1118
Info:
K1V-1116 strain was the first competitive factor yeast to go into commercial production and has become one of the most widely used active dried wine yeasts in the world.OENOLOGICAL PROPERTIES AND APPLICATIONS
The K1V-1116 strain is a rapid starter with a constant and complete fermentation between 15° and 30°C (59° and 86°F), capable of surviving a number of difficult conditions, such as low nutrient musts and high levels of SO2 or sugar. Wines fermented with the K1V-1116 have very low volatile acidity, H2S and foam production.
The K1V-1116 strain tends to express freshness of white grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Seyval. The natural fresh fruit aromas are retained longer than with other standard yeast strains. Fruit wines and wines made from concentrates poor in nutrient balance benefit from the capacity of K1V-1116 to adapt to difficult fermentation conditions. Restarts stuck fermentations.
I like this yeast cause it is quick and easy to start with just hydration, it has a neutral taste, its competitive with any wild yeasts or bacteria present and quick fermenting under low nurtrient conditions. Also it has a lower alcohol tolerance so that one can get a sweet mead without having to stabilize and add more honey after its done. Most of my meads made with this yeast are very drinkable in 2 months or less.

EC-1118 Info:
Due to its competitive factor and ability to ferment equally well over a wide temperature range, the EC-1118 is one of the most widely used yeasts in the world.
OENOLOGICAL PROPERTIES AND APPLICATIONS
The fermentation characteristics of the EC-1118 - extremely low production of foam, volatile acid and H2S - make this strain an excellent choice. This strain ferments well over a very wide temperature range, from 7° to 35°C (45° to 95°F) and demonstrates high osmotic and alcohol tolerance. Good flocculation with compact lees and a relatively neutral flavor and aroma contribution are also properties of the EC-1118.
The EC-1118 strain is recommended for all types of wines, including sparkling, and late harvest wines and cider. It may also be used to restart stuck fermentations.
I like this one because it ferments to dry very fast to very high alcohol contents so that I can from my starting SG control the exact alcohol content and then stabilize it when dry and sweeten to where ever I want it to be with precision. It is basically a quick starting problem free yeast with no adverse yeast flavors. Most of my meads made with an alcohol content of 12% or less are drinkable in a relatively short period of aging. Those made stronger seem to need much longer times to age.

Hope this helps.
Joe

Norskersword
07-21-2004, 10:24 PM
Yes this does help. I was planning on using K1V-1116 on my next batch because of ThirstyViking's advise.


Wines fermented with the K1V-1116 have very low volatile acidity...

Does this mean it is less susceptable to the "gasahol" effect that was discussed in other posts? This seems to be what you are implying. If so I'm very interested and glad to hear this.

Talon
07-21-2004, 10:57 PM
Also, what about the fermentation of the poisonous alcohols? Or is that the gasahol that Norskersword is talking about? Some yeasts create them when fermenting at over 80 degrees. Do these two strains happen to have much less of that type of issue simply because of their temperature ranges?

If that's so then I'm definately going to switch due to where I live and temps getting into the high 90's during the summer... Even though I keep my house cooled to 78 degrees.

Thanks,
Talon.

Norskersword
07-21-2004, 11:19 PM
Talon, what do you mean by poisonous alcohol? I think this subject would be good for me to learn.

What yeasts do you know of that produce poisonous alcohol? I'm new to making my own mead and after tasting some had become very sick for days after. This may be unrelated. I poured a bottle out that tasted more acidic than the rest. Could this also be caused by an infected batch?

The yeast in question is premier cuvee.

Talon
07-21-2004, 11:33 PM
I know I'm going to miss some information here, but this is the basic understanding that I have:

When fermenting, yeasts will produce ethanol, which is the drinkable alcohol that we all enjoy in our beer, wines and meads. It is methanol that is the poisonous alcohol that can be created by the yeast when going above it's temperature tollerance. IE: if your top temperature is 80 degrees, if you go above that, your yeast will survive and keep eating happilly away, but produce the methanol rather than ethanol. In the news not too long ago, for example, in the middle-east quite a few people drank some homemade alcohol that containted poisonous amounts of methanol and put them in the hospital. That could be the result of a fermentation at temperatures above the yeast tollerance or they added rubbing alcohol to their hooch. Either way, it's not a good thing.

My concern is that due to the fact that I live in Florida and have really long summers, I wanted to be sure that should i have to raise my house temperature to over 80 degress that this strand of yeast wouldn't produce the ill effects that I'm trying to prevent.

Now, the more experienced may be able to expand on my explination quite a bit due that I'm sure I've missed some necessary points in my explination.

Talon.

Jmattioli
07-22-2004, 04:00 AM
Yes this does help. I was planning on using K1V-1116 on my next batch because of ThirstyViking's advise.


Does this mean it is less susceptable to the "gasahol" effect that was discussed in other posts? This seems to be what you are implying. If so I'm very interested and glad to hear this.
What is “Volatile Acidity”?
All wine contains volatile acidity to some degree but too much is a fault. At low levels volatility lifts the aromas and adds complexity and it’s all a question of balance. Volatile acidity is acetic acid and is a natural product of the fermentation. As a fault, it is much less common than it used to be due to improved winery hygiene and the ability to control the fermentation temperature. It generates an aroma of pear drops in low levels, but can make wines smell of nail-polish remover (acetone) if severe cases.

Joe

Norskersword
07-22-2004, 04:20 AM
It generates an aroma of pear drops in low levels, but can make wines smell of nail-polish remover (acetone) if severe cases.

Yep, it sounds like we are talking about the same thing.

Talon, we are going a bit off topic here. Let us continue this conversation in another thread I started: http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=103&board=additives;action=display;num=1090518169

Jmattioli
07-22-2004, 04:37 AM
Here is the scoop on methanol
Methanol is a by-product of fermentation; more methanol is produced in fruit fermentation than in grains. Brewers do not remove the methanol in beer and wine because methanol is not especially toxic at low concentrations. You are looking at between 0.4%-1% methanol in wines and brandies and smaller amounts in beers. Distillers remove almost all the methanol in most cases. Ever notice how vodka produces clean hangovers and wines (particularly reds) give you very nasty hangovers? Methanol. That, and dehydration!
Methanol is an especially nasty type of alcohol because the body tries to break it down the same way it metabolizes, or breaks down, ethanol, the type of alcohol in beer, wine and other drinks. Metabolizing ethanol produces chemicals less toxic to the body than alcohol. Unfortunately, if the same chemical action is performed on methanol the result is formic acid, lactic acid and formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde attacks nerve cells, especially the optic nerve and can damage the liver and kidneys. Formic acid and lactic acid also attack the kidneys and liver. Most people who have drunk methanol die of severe and sudden kidney and liver failure.
In other words, when making mead, don't worry about the small quantity produced during fermentation. That isn't what makes your mead taste bad. Methanol is sweet and is even used in artificial sweetners such as Aspartame. Fermentations at higher temperatures may cause off tastes but not because of methanol production
Joe

Norskersword
07-22-2004, 06:14 AM
I see. Thanks for the info. Then can you get sick from an infected batch? The reason why I think this is a possibility is that I've read in a health book that you can get bad food poisoning from really bad water.

Jmattioli
07-22-2004, 07:40 AM
I see. Thanks for the info. Then can you get sick from an infected batch? The reason why I think this is a possibility is that I've read in a health book that you can get bad food poisoning from really bad water.
If some other bacteria, (other than the yeast which is good bacteria) gets in through the water or from improper cleaning or contamination, then the answer is yes it is possible to get sick. However IF the final alcohol content is above 10% the bad bacteria that would make you sick is usually dead (sterilized) from the alcohol. Even drinking mead that has turned to vinegar might taste bad but won't kill you.
Joe

Derf
07-22-2004, 09:24 AM
For the record, Yeast is fungus, not bacteria.

Jmattioli
07-22-2004, 07:52 PM
For the record, Yeast is fungus, not bacteria.
Yes, Thanks for the correction
Joe

Oskaar
07-22-2004, 09:21 PM
Ah, a mycologist in the crowd eh? :D

Oskaar

Norskersword
07-22-2004, 09:52 PM
Ah, ok. So it must not be my mead after all. That's a relief. ;D

Talon
07-22-2004, 10:56 PM
Jmattioli,

In an earlier reply to this post, you like the Lalvin yeasts because they become very drinkable in less than 2 months. Please describe what you consider drinkable? Are your meads still finning out or are they clear when you start to drink them at this time? If not, how long would it take for it to clear out?

These are all things that will influence my decision to move over to the Lalvin yeasts. The meads I have are rather drinkable after 3 months, but there is a little harshness in them yet and it ages out to be good at 8 months after bulk aging, etc.

Thanks,
Talon.

Jmattioli
07-23-2004, 12:59 AM
Jmattioli,

In an earlier reply to this post, you like the Lalvin yeasts because they become very drinkable in less than 2 months. Please describe what you consider drinkable? Are your meads still finning out or are they clear when you start to drink them at this time? If not, how long would it take for it to clear out?

These are all things that will influence my decision to move over to the Lalvin yeasts. The meads I have are rather drinkable after 3 months, but there is a little harshness in them yet and it ages out to be good at 8 months after bulk aging, etc.

Thanks,
Talon.
Talon,
I did not mean to imply that my meads are drinkable so soon just because of the yeasts. Its true there are some yeasts that impart flavors that take time to age out and both I have recommended are neutral in that respect. What seems to make a mead drinkable without aging is going for a lower alcohol content (10-12%) and not using but the minimum required nutrients or none at all if blending with a honey already higher in nutrients (like Buckwheat) or in making a melomel where the fruit provides the nutrients along with hard water. Things like excessive alcohol and nutrients and sometimes a yeast that imparts flavors is harsh and not drinkable for some time. Also I have not found the need to add acid at the start of fermentation. For the most part, it slows it down. I now wait til its done and find acid is not needed to balance the mead as it becomes more acidic naturally as it ferments. If I want to duplicate an old English mead, then I add malic and tartaric and sweeten up with more honey to balance taste but only at the finish. I personally always use grape tannin ~1/2t per gallon (except with grape melomel) disolved in warm water at the start and only once have I had to use a fining agent for clearing. It usually clears in a couple weeks after it has stopped fermenting and then I start drinking it. I personally believe ( though I don't know) that pushing a high alcohol content sometimes stresses the yeasts and also contributes to the harsher taste most people report that stays with the mead until aged over a year or so. I have found the quicker I can get the process over and cleared the smoother and more balanced the taste while it is still young. This is easier to do if one targets a lower alcohol level. I target more for flavor than alcohol.
P.S. If one wants a stronger mead just for the alcohol then add Vodka. ha. ;)

Talon
07-23-2004, 01:24 AM
Okay, now I understand a little better what you mean. I don't try to push the yeast past it's alcohol tollerance unless I'm making a sparkling mead, then I prime with destrose.

So, ultimately, from your descriptions and the ongoing conversation here, I'm going to at the very least try the Lalvin yeast products and see how one of my meads turns out. Should I like it, I'll fully make the switch.

Oskaar
07-23-2004, 02:30 AM
Have you ever used the Lalvin D-47 or the 71b-1122 in a Sweet or Medium Show Mead?

If so what kind of characteristics did you notice, and what was the lead time for primary and secondary?

adTHANKSvance,

Oskaar

Norskersword
07-23-2004, 03:00 AM
Jmattioli I have a question for you as well. Are there yeasts that you have discovered in your experience to be more susceptable to "gasahol" and tend to try to "push themselves" to their limit? Hence, yeasts to be avoided?

Are there any other yeasts besides the ones you mentioned that seem to be less susceptable?

Jmattioli
07-23-2004, 05:38 AM
Have you ever used the Lalvin D-47 or the 71b-1122 in a Sweet or Medium Show Mead?

If so what kind of characteristics did you notice, and what was the lead time for primary and secondary?

adTHANKSvance,

Oskaar
Have used 71B-1122 twice. Once in trying to duplicate an English mead.
Started Jan 15th 2004...Racked Feb 27 to secondary and Finished Mar 3 .. Clear and bright March 30th for bottling. I used more acid in this one and it slowed the fermentation.
Also used before that in straight wildflower mead Oct 24, 2003 that I racked to secondary only 5 days later and It was finished Nov 10th ( Only 17 days) but I sweetened and it took til Jan 5 to clear.
I found it much faster than Red Star Cotes de blancs or what some call Epernay 2 which I made a batch at the same time but took 10 weeks with same ingredients. I found 71B to be a fast starter and fast to full completion in a very short time. Had good aromas but flocculation ( compacting of Lees) not as good as some others for racking. It likes temperatures in the 60's so it was great for a winter batch. 71B is a great yeast and finishes pretty smooth. No harshness for being young. The problem is it will go to 14% and I prefer k1V as it will leave a little sweetness without having to stabilize and usually finishes around 12%. Also K1V is a competitive yeast and 71B is a sensitive yeast which means there is less likelyhood for unwanted strains with K1V as it is very domineering. (a real Killer) ;)

Jmattioli
07-23-2004, 06:04 AM
Jmattioli I have a question for you as well. Are there yeasts that you have discovered in your experience to be more susceptable to "gasahol" and tend to try to "push themselves" to their limit? Hence, yeasts to be avoided?

Are there any other yeasts besides the ones you mentioned that seem to be less susceptable?
OK . Here goes....
Rather than offend some others opinion on this subject that may have that yeast as their favorite. I will list the ones I've used without getting that "gasohol" effect. Also, as I stated before, I believe the "gasohol" is more a combination effect rather than just the yeast type used. Charts such as
http://consumer.lallemand.com/danstar-lalvin/refchart.html
will indicate sensory effects of a particular yeast along with other data to help you make decisions on selecting one.
However keep in mind I do not allow my alcohol content to get above 12% on purpose (that may be the most significant factor) and there are many other good yeasts to chose from. To keep it simple and since I have had such consistant results I personally find my experimentation days with other yeasts are over since I am satisfied with the two I listed in my first post. Here's my List:
1. Fleismanns Bread Yeast (however not recommended by the general mead community)
2. Lalvin EC-1118
3. Red Star Cotes de blancs
4. Lalvin 71B-1122
5. Lalvin K1V-1116
6. Munton Gold Yeast
Good Luck,
Joe

Norskersword
07-23-2004, 06:12 AM
This is exactly what I was asking for. Thanks!

Oskaar
07-23-2004, 02:15 PM
I'm thinking because the temperature here in So Cal is so frigging hot, that I'm better off with the K1V-1116 because of its robustness and "killer" nature.

Thanks,

Oskaar

Talon
07-25-2004, 06:59 PM
I'm with you, Oskaar! In Florida we don't really have much of a winter in the central region.

Thanks, Jmattioli for sharing your knowledge.

Oskaar
07-28-2004, 02:23 PM
I went with the Lalvin D-47 yeast in the batch I made yesterday. Let me tell you this stuff is some really agressive yeast. Less than 12 hours and it is a bubbling riot.

Anyhow, more as the batch progresses.

Thanks,

Oskaar

svaros
08-22-2004, 10:56 PM
Oskaar,
Any report on the batch with Lalvin D47? I just started a few batches with it and was wondering what kind of result you got (I'm looking to steer AWAY from the gasahol flavor....)


Thanks

DE

Oskaar
08-23-2004, 06:36 AM
See my post under the Premier Cuvee Yeast Heading.

Oskaar

ScottS
08-23-2004, 06:34 PM
I'm a little late, but I'll relate my experiences anyway. :) I use 3 yeasts for nearly everything, 71B-1122 for melomels, D47 for show meads and cysers, and EC-1118 for anything that I want stronger or sparkling. All do best fermenting in the 65-70 degree range, though I've found going up to 75 doesn't do any harm. As for harshness and aging, if you ferment at the right temps, harshness seems much more dependent on sweetness and the presence of other flavors than the yeast.