Other Kit Taste and Yeast choices

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AZMDTed

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Fortunately, I haven't yet noticed the Kit Taste that some have experienced. I'm at the point where I want to start tweaking my kits to get that extra 10% out of them and have read with interest the discussions about swapping out the kit manufacturer supplied yeast with another that sounds like it could produce a better outcome. As part of my research into yeast types I came across this 10 year old article from Tim Vandergrift in Wine Maker:

https://winemakermag.com/367-how-kit-manufacturers-choose-yeast

What caught my attention was this paragraph:

"Some yeast, in fact, cannot successfully ferment out Pasteurized juice. Kits fermented with such an underperforming yeast will have a fruity-candied character, kind of like grape Jolly Ranchers™. When someone says, "I can detect a 'kit taste,'" it's probably this flavor that they perceive. That's why sometimes a varietal kit won't come with the most obvious varietal-specific yeast: some of these specialty yeast can't get all of the sugars, negating any potential benefit from varietal expression."

While I'm sure that not all other yeasts would produce an off flavor and they may indeed improve a kit, I do wonder if this is potentially a cause for the KT that some have had. Maybe the maker didn't switch yeasts, maybe the kit manufacturer put in a sub-optimal yeast to begin with. Or maybe switching yeast did cause an off flavor. There's probably other reasons as well, but this is one to give me pause.

Not really a question from me here, just a point to ponder.
 

Tnuscan

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Thanks! I enjoyed the article and the post.
 

bkisel

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Very informative article! Thanks for sharing.
 

terrymck

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You would have to ask the experts, but I have a feeling that yeast research has come a long way in 10 years.
 

Tnuscan

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Thanks! Enjoyed the read, some changes, and a cool way to get the purchaser to do the R&D. Wish someone would figure it all out and send me the answers while I sold them the product. We're doing it all wrong. lol
 

AZMDTed

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This is a more recent article written by Tim Vandergrift on this:
https://winemakermag.com/1390-yeast-trials-wine-kits
Thanks for the link, that's another good article. So now he's saying that the pasteurization process really doesn't affect the performance of the yeast, and by assumption the KT. Good to know.

But like Dave above, I do wish that WineExpert would simply publish a chart of their trials and say that EC-1118 works 100% of the time, but ##-##### will give you more foam, longer ferment times, longer clearing times but greater mouth feel and complexity of flavors or something like that. Oh well, nice to dream. Maybe once I'm retired I'll have the time to get six primary fermenters, six 1 gallon jugs and airlocks for secondary, etc to do my own trials. Of course by then waiting 2 years to see which one tastes best might be more risky as to whether I'm still around to enjoy it :h

Thanks for updating us on his current thinking about it.
 

Dhaynes

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I've read several times that the taste differences between different yeast which maybe significant when fermentation completes tends to fade over time. After two years or so it may be negligible. I'm thinking of running an experiment to see if this is true. Has anyone tried that?
 

David219

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I've read several times that the taste differences between different yeast which maybe significant when fermentation completes tends to fade over time. After two years or so it may be negligible. I'm thinking of running an experiment to see if this is true. Has anyone tried that?

I've read that somewhere, also...unfortunately can't remember where. I haven't experimented with yeast comparisons on identical kits yet, but I think I will...maybe with next year's kits. My schedule is full for this year...all my planned kits are started or ordered.

I have found that some yeasts I have substituted don't flocculate and compact the lees as well as the traditional kit supplied yeasts seem to do...
 

David219

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I've read several times that the taste differences between different yeast which maybe significant when fermentation completes tends to fade over time. After two years or so it may be negligible. I'm thinking of running an experiment to see if this is true. Has anyone tried that?

I've read that somewhere, also...unfortunately can't remember where. I haven't experimented with yeast comparisons on identical kits yet, but I think I will...maybe with next year's kits. My schedule is full for this year...all my planned kits are started or ordered.

I have found that some yeasts I have substituted don't flocculate and compact the lees as well as the traditional kit supplied yeasts seem to do...I should keep better notes on this.
 

sour_grapes

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@4score and @NorCal are on this task, I believe, but for fresh grapes.
 

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