A tale of 2 yeasts!

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CDrew

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With apologies to Charles Dickens, I am still messing around with H2S preventing yeasts from Renaissance and thought I would report the progress and when I get to the end of fermentation, the results.

This past week, we drove from Sacramento, to Yakima Washington with the idea that we would do some wine tasting around Yakima and then stop in Portland on the way home and pick up some frozen Juice from Wine Grapes Direct. WGD could not get the Sauvignon Blanc that was so good last year (grape shortage in Washington this year) and so I got 30 gallons of Oregon Willamette Valley Riesling. It was fun because the pick up was at Michael Crew's house and so we got to meet him, his chickens and his ducks. We left with 6 frozen pails of juice and a dozen duck eggs. Oh, and 3 bottles of wine. The savings on shipping more than paid our gasoline bill and we got a nice trip out of it. The pails thawed out as we drove home and I transferred into fermentation containers yesterday and pitched the yeast. Fermentation 1 is with Allegro Yeast and Fermentaiton 2 is Fresco yeast. They are otherwise identical fermentations.

Allegro I used last year in Sauvignon Blanc. It's a very strong fermenter and cannot produce H2S.

Fresco is new for me. It technically is a cider yeast, but tolerates up to 15% alcohol and also cannot produce H2S. It was recommended as a white wine yeast on the Home Winemaking Channel on YouTube.

Both of these yeasts are cool tolerant fermenters and I've got them in the garage which is averaging about 64F. I should mention that I chapatalized the juice from 20.5 brix to 22 brix. I left the pH alone at 3.2. The yeast was hydrated with Go Ferm Protect Evolution and was pitched yesterday at mid day. Today, there is already a difference-The Allegro took off like crazy. You could see this even in the yeast starter. And that's despite being vacuum sealed and refrigerated the last year. The Fresco is also moving just much slower. I would estimate the Allegro is bubbling 3 times as fast as the Fresco. I'll get real numbers in a day or two. Anyway, since both got started, I gave each a feeding with Fermaid K this morning.

I'll try and keep this updated in case anyone else is interested in the H2S preventing white wine yeasts. I've had great success with Avante, Bravo,(red wines), Allegro, and hopefully the now the same with Fresco.

Fermentors side by side with resting Syrah in Kegs behind:

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CDrew

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So I have to say, the Fresco fermentation has really come along today. It seemed like a laggard, but I think it just has a longer lag phase. Still not the fury of the Allegro ferment but still going vigorously. Both smell totally clean and beautiful. I tried to download video but it did not work. Anyway, it's going well and particularly the Allegro is going very fast.

But to get small quantities of these yeasts takes some work. The Beverage People in Sonoma repackage the Fresco yeast in in smaller amounts. Pretty cool . The Allegro is harder to find in small amounts. I have a 500gm Allegro pack that I opened last fall and vacuum packed for a year. It's still perfect.
 
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Cap Puncher

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You can get small quantities (50g for $12 Candian)of Allegro from the Bosagrape


Also just started Apple Riesling Mead. We fresh pressed cider for the wife’s birthday and I kept 4.5 gal for a batch and added a Riesling concentrate with 5 lbs of honey. I’m using Zymaflore Alpha ( Torulaspora delbrueckii) yeast followed by Allegro 24 hrs later. It is almost finished and smells amazing in my cellar. I did notice Allegro foams a bunch (or maybe it’s the apple)
 

CDrew

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You can get small quantities (50g for $12 Candian)of Allegro from the Bosagrape


Also just started Apple Riesling Mead. We fresh pressed cider for the wife’s birthday and I kept 4.5 gal for a batch and added a Riesling concentrate with 5 lbs of honey. I’m using Zymaflore Alpha ( Torulaspora delbrueckii) yeast followed by Allegro 24 hrs later. It is almost finished and smells amazing in my cellar. I did notice Allegro foams a bunch (or maybe it’s the apple)


Interesting, I did not see a lot of foam with either one. I'm going to add some nutrients tonight and will stir it in. Likely to get foam then! The apple riesling mead sounds interesting. Also, the WGD people are talking about using their fruit for beer making, especially the "late harvest" Sauvignon Blanc from Yolo county. I've never been a big fruit beer fan but maybe it's great.

I briefly checked on the fermenters today before work. Both now have a continuous stream of CO2 from the airlocks, so going fast despite the cool temps which was 63F. I hope to get some brix numbers tonight after work.

And on the Allegro-I got a 500gm brick last fall (2020), kept it vacuum sealed for a year and it's still good to go. In fact I still have about 400gm of it.

I was able to get a smaller quantity of Fresco (120gm) from The Beverage People. I'll use the rest for some cider this fall sometime.
 
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CDrew

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So, never a dull moment in winemaking! I have an update for those of you interested.

Allegro fermentation: Brix started at 22 is now 10. Got second Fermaid K feeding today. All is well.

Fresco fermentation: Brix started at 22 is now 12. But it appears to be going faster than the Allegro right now. After adding the Fermaid K, despite hydrating/mixing it in a small amount of water, I got this nice wine volcano. At first it was strong enough to blow out the air lock and shower the hood of my wife's car with wine. Then it slowed to a slow lava flow for 5 minutes or so. It appears minimal wine was lost but a full on sticky floor had to be mopped up.

Anyway, even though Fresco is a low foam yeast, under the right circumstances it does just fine!

Both fermentations are in full swing right now despite the cool temps. So if you need a low temperature, white wine yeast, that can't produce H2S, either of these will work just great for you.


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CDrew

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I used Allegro on my Chardonnay and Riesling batches. I used Avante on zinfandel grapes from Mettler Vineyard. Thank you Drew! Both worked well, with no H2S.

@Chuck E - Glad to help. How was the Riesling with the Allegro? Curious, because I don't know whether to blend back with the Fresco fermentation or let it be it's own thing. I would appreciate your thoughts.

These Renaissance yeasts seem to be extremely strong fermentors. Once they get rolling there is no messing around and they get fermentation done like now, even with cool temperatures. The fermentations smell fantastic too. Very clean. I tasted some of the foam-really good fresh fruit taste. These could be complete in just another 3-4 days. Though if it cools off, things could go a bit longer.
 

Chuck E

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@CDrew The Riesling ferment went quickly. I pitched it in the morning and it was rolling when I came home from work. My winery is in the basement at about 65F. I let it go for about 8 days, but it was finished in about 5. I stirred it daily, and the little bit left on the spoon tasted great. This juice was more acidic than I expected, so I will probably be cold crashing it. It's in secondary now, and I like the way this yeast compactly settles. Can you taste a difference with the Fresco ferment? My inclination would be to let it stand on its own.
 

CDrew

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For all intents and purposes, this 30 gallon Riesling fermentation is over. Allegro is at -1 brix and Fresco at almost -2 brix. Things are still bubbling a bit, and the brix in both is below zero. I don't have time to rack until Wednesday, but it's good progress. They both taste really good too. I'll give a slight nod to one of them, see below.

Fermentation temperature low of 62F, high of 71F with about 5F variation day to night as measured with an IR temperature gun. When it got to 71F, my wife had pulled her hot car right into the wine making area and that bumped up the temp a bit one day. Both were fed with identical nutrients-Fermaid K 1.5g/gallon after 24 hours and 1g/gallon at about brix 15 ish.

Some comments:
Allegro yeast: This was first out of the gate and was fermenting almost as soon as it was pitched. It smelled clean, minimal foam, trouble free. Same result as last year. It is not capable of H2S production and I don't detect even a hint of it. Initial taste of the new wine-clean, good white wine taste, less acid maybe than the Fresco. The Sauvignon Blanc I made with this last year has been really good, especially the last few months as it's gotten a year of age on it. I hope to have some left at 2 years and so I've hidden a case of it in the wine room!

Fresco yeast: This yeast was developed for cider making, (and is also incapable of H2S production) but it was a recommendation of the Home Winemaking channel for german style wines. I have to agree with him that it's a trouble free white wine yeast as well. It took about 12 hours longer to really take off after pitching, but once it did, It went even faster than the Allegro. A bit more foam, especially when I added the second feeding of Fermaid K, and I got my first true wine volcano. Taste wise-very crisp flavor, almost apple like. I can highly recommend this yeast for Riesling.

Conclusions: Both Allegro and Fresco are a step up in white wine making yeasts. Both are strong low temperature fermenters, though my garage was not as cool as I thought it might be. Average fermentation temperature was around 65F. Both completed fermentation in 9 days, on about the same schedule. Taste wise: this is highly subjective, but I'll give a slight nod to the Fresco. Very crisp flavor that I associate with a good dry Riesling. Time will tell as it's racked, aged a bit, sulfited, clarified, etc.

And yet another shout out to Wine Grapes Direct - these guys have excellent juice/must. Nice people too. Very good supplier to do business with. They are coping the the grape shortage felt everywhere too, and I hope next year they will have the Washington Sauvignon blanc back in stock.

Future plans: Will rack on Wednesday of this week, and likely will lysozyme at that time to prevent MLF, and then Sulfite to 50ppm, which should be plenty given the low pH. I will do the battonage thing weekly until January or February which should help to remove CO2 as well. Will bottle in the spring so it's ready to go by summer. I'll do some blending trials to see if I want to combine these fermentations or leave them as separate entities.
 
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Noontime

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And yet another shout out to Wine Grapes Direct - these guys have excellent juice/must. Nice people too. Very good supplier to do business with. They are coping the the grape shortage felt everywhere too, and I hope next year they will have the Washington Sauvignon blanc back in stock.
Wine Grapes Direct are fantastic, and Andrew and Michael are great guys (and knowledgeable and passionate about winemaking :) )
 

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I love projects like this where you can compare and contrast one changed variable. I agree, the Renaissance yeast line is fantastic. We tried their new TR-313 yeast on our Viognier last year and it was great. Of course, I've always been a big supporter of Avante (and Prelude) for reds. I think we're doing Prelude out of the gate for whites and reds, then going to Avante or TR-313. That's good to know about Frisco! I'll have to try that one.
 

CDrew

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I love projects like this where you can compare and contrast one changed variable. I agree, the Renaissance yeast line is fantastic. We tried their new TR-313 yeast on our Viognier last year and it was great. Of course, I've always been a big supporter of Avante (and Prelude) for reds. I think we're doing Prelude out of the gate for whites and reds, then going to Avante or TR-313. That's good to know about Frisco! I'll have to try that one.

Where did you get the TR-313? Earlier this year when I thought I would do Sauvignon Blanc, I tried to find some and was not successful. I know now that I can order a brick of 500gm through Lodi Wine Labs, but I'd really like just a small portion like 100gm. If you have a good source, please let me know.
 

4score

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I believe we got it from Lodi Wine Labs....and we had to get the whole brick.
 

CDrew

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Another brief update. Vacuum racked this tonight. I got 2 x 15 gallons plus some yeasty dross. The fact that Wine Grapes Direct gives 5.25 gallons per pail is really helpful as there is enough to not require make up wine. I tasted of course!

Allegro: Very good clean flavors. Surprisingly good fruity flavors. Wife approved. Bone dry of course. The wine is just slightly more yellow than the Fresco fermentation if that makes any sense.

Fresco: Really good clean flavor. Crisp acid bite but not as fruity as the Allegro. Really fresh tasting and good. Definitely detect grapefruit type flavors. Even the yeasty dross tastes good.

I'd say both are impressive, but tonight's tasting confirms that Fresco is the early favorite. But neither one will go to waste. I was surprised by the color difference, it's subtle, but it's real. I'm thinking blending trials will be needed before bottling, but I may just throw it all together.
 

CDrew

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If you blend, bottle at least 5 bottles of each wine separately. A taste testing 6 and 12 months later may be instructive.


Just based on small samples of brand new wine, my wife said, "maybe next year just use Fresco for all of it." I had to remind her that this is all a bit of a science project, so no. I don't think I'll know until a year (or two) from now what's really better. But I can detect that even very young Rieslings are pretty good. It should be fun to see them come together over time. Last year the white wine was ready to be bottled in about March, so hoping for the same. It would be nice to have next summer.

I likely will keep a case of each as it's own thing and then do head to head tastes over a year.

Anyway, these are really excellent but different yeasts, and each has something to contribute. A year from now, I'll know.
 

CDrew

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I bottled all of this Riesling today. I did keep them separate for a real comparison. It yielded 6 cases of the Allegro version and 6 cases of the Fresco version. The interesting thing tasting them at bottling is how similar they are. Very hard to pick one over the other, but both are fresh, varietal true, and excellent. My wife and I tasted side by side, blinded and could not pick a clear winner. But the young Riesling is very good, bone dry, and hey, we have 12 cases of it! It should last awhile. 2 or 3 years from now it might be a different story.

Anyway, bottling and clean up was a 6 hour process.92E60B89-9580-4BDC-A2D3-EA3645698F67.jpeg
 
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