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Thread: the right yeast and when to stop?

  1. Default the right yeast and when to stop?

    I originally posted a question of restarting fermentation on the troubleshooting forum.

    The reply and information from my local brew shop has led me here.

    I have a 1 year still in the carboy batch of sweet mead. (racked every 3 months or so). OG: 1.141, SG to date: 1.075.
    Used 3184 Sweet mead yeast.

    I want to keep the batch a sweet mead, take down some of the sweetness and raise the PA level. It was recommended in my reply on the other forum to pitch a more agressive yeast like K1V-1116, and stop fermentation.

    My local supplier not only doesn't carry Lalvin yeasts, they recommended 2 x Red Star Premier Cuvee. I have been reading quite a bit regarding yeasts on this site. RSPC seems to be a yeast that will really dry out my mead.

    So I made a starter this evening but want to hold off on pitching in hopes of some feedback. I am a little hesitant to proceed the process after reading about RSPC yeast as an ingredient in dry meads.

    My inclination is to pitch the yeast but not let it go too far with fermentation. Question is at what point of the process should I stop the fermentation and will I ruin my sweet mead by using RSPC?

    Other yeast recommendations for future sweet meads? My local supplier only carries Red Star, Wyeast and Danstar varieties. This is my second batch with the Wyeast and am not completely satisfied with its perfomance.

    I would really appreciate the feedback.

  2. #2

    Default Re: the right yeast and when to stop?

    I primarilly use the Red Star products.
    Premier Cuvee is the exact same strain as the Lalvin EC-1118, just a different batch.

    The K1V-1116 Lalvin yeast is the same as the Cotes des blanc in that it's easier to stop than the Pemier Cuvee. Again, same yeast strain, different batch.

    Assuming you're using a 5 gallon batch, and 18lbs of honey, using the Cotes des blanc, which has a 12 to 14% tollerance, I would recommend pitching that one as a healthy starter and then stop it when it tastes sweet enough for you...

    At 1.141, assuming that they yeast will ferment out to a full 14%, your finishing gravity would be 1.007. So, you would have an off dry, on the sweeter side mead, but not very sweet indeed. So, when the SG drops to about 1.020 start tasting every few days while checking the SG and stop it with potassium sorbate and possibly cold stabilizing it to make the yeast clear out faster.

    Hope this helps.
    Talon.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: the right yeast and when to stop?

    Quote Originally Posted by uvgot2mr
    (snip)
    I have a 1 year still in the carboy batch of sweet mead. (racked every 3 months or so). OG: 1.141, SG to date: 1.075.
    Used 3184 Sweet mead yeast.

    I want to keep the batch a sweet mead, take down some of the sweetness and raise the PA level. It was recommended in my reply on the other forum to pitch a more agressive yeast like K1V-1116, and stop fermentation.

    My local supplier not only doesn't carry Lalvin yeasts, they recommended 2 x Red Star Premier Cuvee. I have been reading quite a bit regarding yeasts on this site. RSPC seems to be a yeast that will really dry out my mead.

    So I made a starter this evening but want to hold off on pitching in hopes of some feedback. I am a little hesitant to proceed the process after reading about RSPC yeast as an ingredient in dry meads.

    My inclination is to pitch the yeast but not let it go too far with fermentation. Question is at what point of the process should I stop the fermentation and will I ruin my sweet mead by using RSPC?

    Other yeast recommendations for future sweet meads? My local supplier only carries Red Star, Wyeast and Danstar varieties. This is my second batch with the Wyeast and am not completely satisfied with its perfomance.

    I would really appreciate the feedback.
    Your first suggestion concerning K1V was the best one. You can get it by mail order so don't let that stop you. You waited a year already...What is another week or so? The starting gravity of 1.141 which finished at 1.075 needs an agressive yeast such as K1V to restart. Its already down 66 points with an alcohol of 8.6%. The additonal 75 points has a PA of another 9.9%. (18.5% total)

    I would stop it at ~15% at ~SG=1.025 . When it gets there either put it in a refrigerator or someplace cold (35-40F) for 2 days. Most all of the yeast will go to the bottom and become inactive. Rack it carefully leaving the yeast behind into a clean carboy with Sorbate and Sulfite disolved in a few ounces of warm water. Depending on the manufacturers recommendation use 1/4 or 1/2t Sorbate per gallon to prevent renewed fermentation. Use
    1/16t per gallon of Potassium Metabisufite to prevent any bacteria from feeding on the Sorbate and to prevent oxidation and other benefits.
    In a couple weeks it should be clear and bright but I would leave it a month or so and then bottle.

    In future batches I would use Red Star Cotes de Blancs from the start as Talon mentioned. The only difference is I would make the starting gravity 1.130 at the most so it will stop by itself sweet at 14% and an SG of ~1.020-1.025 (1.141 is too high for Cotes de blancs and will be very very sweet)
    Joe

  4. Default Re: the right yeast and when to stop?

    Thank you very much for the helpful insight.

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