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Thread: Yeast advances

  1. #1

    Default Yeast advances

    OK, so the last time I made mead was before a lo tof people on this forum were born, but I have a pretty simple question. I saw the most beautiful light honey at the farmer's market today, and I would like to make a mead from it. I understand the whole sweet/dry thing, but what I need to know is about yeasts. I used good old dry champagne yeast last time (and it was pretty good) but I need a yeast with very few off flavors because this honey is really light.

    Any recommendations, and why? Thanks,

    celadon77

  2. #2

    Default

    Well I'm guessing some other people may have some other questions, but I think before we can truly offer a suggestion we need to know what are you trying to make strength and style wise? also what temperature will you be fermenting at, if your room is 75 degrees we definitely are not going to recommend something like D47?

    I'm guessing that you are going to make a traditional. Honey, water, yeast and nutrients. So the question is what strength are you trying to make (changes the options available to suggest) and what is the temp?
    " ...no sense hauling empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. " -TheFlyingBeer (on HomeBrewTalk)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    3,479

    Default

    Well, through trial and error (and help/guidance from various people/locations), I don't use champagne yeasts unless it's to restart something that's stuck.

    It does seem that they do blow too much of the aromatics and some of the more subtle flavouring elements straight out the airlock.

    Now with TAKeyser's suggestion of D47, while it's a good yeast for meads, it would also seem that care is needed because if/when it's fermented outside the very narrow temperature range listed on the Lallemand yeast list, it would appear that it's a bugger for making fusels as well {edit} I've just re-read TAKeyser's comment and realised that the same opinion was highlighted.... stupid me, I should read properly first, rather than just "skipping" through others comments shouldn't I{/edit}.

    Hence if your location is prone to getting too warm, then it's better to think about using something that's a bit more tolerant of those conditions.

    So I'm gonna suggest that you consider Lalvin K1V-1116 - which has a nice, wide temperature range, as well as being tolerant to 16 or 18% (depends what you read and when it was produced, but the lalvin/lallemand list now says 18%), it's a low nutrient requirement yeast that is good for meads, particularly for traditionals, and considered my many (myself included) as the "Swiss Army knife of yeast" - especially for meads.

    The traditionals I've made with it are always a little rough when young, but they age wonderfully, tasting good once aged for at least 6 to 12 months and the esters are nice too (smells excellent).

    Of course, it's up to you and how much research you want to do to pin down a yeast with the qualities you're looking for, but K1V is easily obtained, unlike my other favourite for traditionals, which is Lalvin's D21
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  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default

    I'll put in for K1V as well. Tends not to blow off too many aromas like EC-1118 sometimes can. Also tends not to contribute heavy esters. And it's a pretty easy strain to work with.
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  5. #5

    Default Yeasts

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I am shooting for something dryish with 12-18% alcohol content (I'm not too picky if the taste is there), and I don't mind aging for a year or two. The commercial meads that I taste these days are mostly too sweet for me, and when I made a good mead in the past, all I really smell are the flowers that the honey is made from. I just want a good, clean yeast that ferments around 65F or so (my basement temperature), and if I need to add a few nutrients, I don't mind.

    It sounds like these are the types of yeasts most folks are suggesting, and I really appreciate the help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    K1V if you're going for higher %, D47 if you're going for lower. That's my $.02 anyway. I used to do everything with EC-1118 but there's a wide world of other options that I've been exploring and so far I've been pretty happy with everything I've used D47 for.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014

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