Cellar Craft Dry or liquid yeast for Old Vine Zin

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Buffman

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I just ordered the CC California Reserve Old Vines Zinfandel (12L) as my first foray into winemaking. Should I use the dry yeast that comes in the kit or sub with a liquid yeast alternative? I've been brewing beer for a few years and generally have better results with Wyeast or White Labs liquid yeast.
 

cpfan

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I think that in the long run you will find that yeast plays less of a role in wine making than beer making. Very few of us have even tried liquid yeasts.

Feedback on the 12 litre Cellar Craft kits is excellent for the price point, and few (if any) of those folks switched the yeast.

BTW, thank you for the full name of the kit. It makes responding to your questions easier. Although there is more than 1 CC (Cellar Craft, Cellar Classic, California Connoisseur), it was obvious which you were talking about.

Steve
 

smurfe

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I use the liquid yeasts quite a bit now as I have a local shop that carries them and I recommend them. If you don't have a local shop and have to order it in online I would just use the packet that comes with the kit. CPFAN is correct though, it isn't near as vital with a wine kit as with beer.

I just like the liquid as I build a starter with them just as beer and make a much larger pitch and have a much faster fermentation kick off. Sometimes within an hour or two. Both companies offer some very good strains. Most are the same as the dry but there are a few strains available in the liquid that you can't get dry.
 

Buffman

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Thanks for the great responses. My local shop carries liquid yeasts for wine. I'm considering using White Labs Assmanshausen Yeast (WLP749). I prefer liquid for beer for the reasons Smurfe mentioned. If I go that route, would I need a starter for a 12L (~3 gallon) batch? I've pitched a WL vial into about that volume of wort and it was the fastest fermentation I've ever had.
 

smurfe

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I have never really sat and calculated my starters for wine. I basically just take a liter of the juice, add the yeast and let it work on the stir plate for a day or two. I use the Wyeast smack pack more than the White Labs and just smack the pack but have used both. The strain you mentioned is an excellent choice and I was going to recommend that particular strain to you. I have used it and had a great, fast, clean fermentation. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
 

cpfan

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Thanks for the great responses. My local shop carries liquid yeasts for wine. I'm considering using White Labs Assmanshausen Yeast (WLP749). I prefer liquid for beer for the reasons Smurfe mentioned. If I go that route, would I need a starter for a 12L (~3 gallon) batch? I've pitched a WL vial into about that volume of wort and it was the fastest fermentation I've ever had.
It doesn't appear that you understand that a 12 litre kit makes 23 litres of wine (ie 6 US gallons). Hope you have 6 gallon equipment (ie min 8 Gal primary, and 6 gal carboy).

BTW, I've made more kits than nearly everybody here (anybody else run an FoP for 6 years?). But only one Cellar Craft kit. VERY VERY few fermentation problems with just sprinkling the dry yeast on a well stirred must. Of course, I try to keep my fermentation room about 74F.

Having said that, there is nothing wrong with starters or liquid yeast.

Steve
 

Buffman

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Thanks, Steve. I didn't realize that. What a noob I am.

I have a 6.5g carboy to use as a secondary, but I'd need to pick up a bucket for the primary. How long do you secondary your wine? I ask because my big carboy is my primary for homebrewing. I won't be able to brew beer until I get the wine out of there, and I really don't want to buy another carboy.
 

St Allie

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Hello and welcome Buffman

Your kit instructions will give you a better timeframe to get it bottled.. so you can free up the carboy.. kits are generally 4 or 6 weeks to bottling.

a week to 10 days in the primary and then the rest in the carboy, then racking and clearing is usually another 8 days..

these are guidelines, hope that helps..

Allie
 

cpfan

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Buffman:

Sounds like you need to pick up a 6US gallon (23 litre) carboy. You could try Freecycle or Kijiji. Hopefully you'll have better luck than me trying to get a cheap (free!) 19 litre carboy.

Allie is correct about the time frames. But many of us let it sit in the carboy longer to provide better clearing and some aging.

BTW, unlike beer, which is quick to drink after bottling, wine should be slow to drink. IE think 6 months minimum after starting the kit for the best results. Of course it won't poison you younger.

Steve
 

Buffman

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Sounds like I need both a 8g bucket primary and a 6g carboy secondary (maybe a Better Bottle) to avoid roadblocking my beer production. If I could recruit my 6.5g carboy as a primary, I could find a 6g carboy for a secondary. If fermenting wine produces beer-like krausen, then that probably won't work.
 

cpfan

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The dry yeasts that I have used are low-foaming. But even then I've had foam FILL my 11 USG primary when doimg a 6 USG kit. I don't know know if the liquid yeasts are low foaming.

Steve
 

Wade E

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I would not go with anything less then a 7.9 gallon bucket and youll need the 6 gallon carboy. I dont have experience with liquid yeast on wine either so dont know what to expect so maybe youl be safer getting a 10 gallon Brute(White) from Walmart or a primary from a beer and wine shop. Welcome to our forum here.
 
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