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Lalvin Yeast Test

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Kitchen

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Taking the time to perform a test this winter of Lalvin yeast, which I have decided to use as my brand of yeast going forward due to the lack of any volatile sulfur issues with my ferments.

I just mixed up a basic mead using wild flower honey ending up with a OG 1.120 and divided it into 7 one quart jars. I pitched 0.75g of the following Lalvin Yeats in to the test jars, one yeast per jar.

K1-V1116
D47
RC212
BM4x4
71B
QA23
EC1118

Should be an interesting experiment and I am looking forward to comparing them in a month or two.

Lalvin Yeast Test.jpg
 

Kitchen

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It was 2 gallon mix and I added in 1.25 grams of Fermaid O before splitting them up. I will be feeding them two more times over the next two weeks.
 

dmw_chef

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That's not nearly enough for any of those yeasts, and they need it over the next couple days instead of the next couple weeks.

A 2 gallon must at 1.120 is gonna need like 11.5g total if using fermaid-o only for a medium requirement yeast. Also don't forget that yeasts have different nutrient requirements. A 2 gallon 1.120 must using BM4x4 is going to need more like 16.5 grams.

Nitrogen requirements:
K1-V1116 - Low
D47 - Low
RC212 - Medium
BM4x4 - High
71B - Low
QA23 - Low
EC1118 - Low
 

Kitchen

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Thanks for the advice; I did not realize mead needed this much nutrients.

I just added 0.5 grams to each quart, except for the RC212 and BM4x4 where I added 0.6g and 0.75g respectively. I plan on adding an equal dose tomorrow, plus maybe an extra half the day after. This should bring me up to where I need to be according to your measurements.
 

dmw_chef

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Yeah, a honey must is going to have less than 30 YAN, so it needs a lot. It's also important to rehydrate with go-ferm to supply sterols and some fatty acids honey is deficient in as well.
 

tradowsk

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There's a handy nutrient calculator here: TOSNA Calculator

It takes into account OG, yeast type, etc. to give you the right dosages of nutrients to get a good ferment.

But your experiment is very interesting, I'm excited to hear how things progress!
 

Kitchen

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After just three days, I am getting fairly different smells (I typically ferment in open containers for the first week or so). No clear winner yet, but 71B, QA23 and BM4x4 are smelling nice.

RC212 smells like pure alcohol at this point. I did not have high hopes for that yeast anyway since it is a red wine yeast and through it in just for the hell of it.
 

dmw_chef

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I've made a very pleasant traditional with RC212. It can be a bit of a diva though if it's not perfectly happy.
 

Kitchen

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After a month of fermenting I finally got some updates.

EC-1118: produced a crisp, albeit acidic, mead that was lighter on flavors and had a shorter finish. Due to this, it had a pronounce alcohol flavor showing throough. I feel this would be best for lighter crisper summer time drinks where the ABV is more in the 10% to 12% range. That, or for finishing out high ABV meads that will not ferment dry with the primary yeast.

RC-212: The aroma was somewhat muted but had more intense flavor that was savory, or as savory as a mead can be. We got pear, apple and touch of cherry along with butter on the finish. I feel this would be a good yeast for darker meads. I made about 3.25 gallons of a Bochet, using two different levels of cooked honey, and I am using this yeast in that.

D-47: sweet buttery aroma with flavors of pear, apple, cherry. Good all around yeast.

K1: No thanks! This was just not palatable to me.

71B: This produced a smoother less acidic/sharp mead with a noticeable decrease in malic acid, which Lalvin advertises. Would work wonders on a fruit based mead, and I current have a cyser fermenting with it right now.

QA23: Just made us think Pinot Grigio. Really accented tropical and fruit flavors flavors. I dont think it works well with mead, but does wonders for PG and Chablis.

BM 4x4: A basic yeast that was neither great nor bad. Kind of not exciting.
 
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my wine

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This is awesome information! I don't know much about making meads but a red wine will pretty much be finished with fermentation in a month. And this information should somewhat apply to wine although perhaps not directly.

I was a bit surprised with your take on the BM 4x4. That is a blend of BM 45 and another compatible and hardy yeast. The BM 45 is noted for mouthfeel, fruit and structure and is recommended for reds. Perhaps it didn't do much for you basic mead. I'm using the RC 212 in a merlot kit right now. If all goes well I may use that diva yeast more often. Thanks for sharing!
 

ruhbarb76

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Taking the time to perform a test this winter of Lalvin yeast, which I have decided to use as my brand of yeast going forward due to the lack of any volatile sulfur issues with my ferments.

I just mixed up a basic mead using wild flower honey ending up with a OG 1.120 and divided it into 7 one quart jars. I pitched 0.75g of the following Lalvin Yeats in to the test jars, one yeast per jar.

K1-V1116
D47
RC212
BM4x4
71B
QA23
EC1118

Should be an interesting experiment and I am looking forward to comparing them in a month or two.

View attachment 69928
Three cheers! Love the thought out approach. I wonder what the test matrix would for wines. i.e. For
 

Triw51

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So, kitchen, based on your test what in your opinion would be the best yeast for a hydromel? I am a beginner just started a cherry mead but was interested in the low alcohol of hydromels Thank you
 

Kitchen

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So, kitchen, based on your test what in your opinion would be the best yeast for a hydromel? I am a beginner just started a cherry mead but was interested in the low alcohol of hydromels Thank you
I am not an expert by any stretch, but I would say it depends on what you are looking for. I would use EC-1118 for a crisper version or D47 for a fuller flavored one, or as full flavored a weak mead would be.

I personally made meads under 9% and found them too week in flavor without much mouthfeel. So all of the meads I am current experimenting with start at 1.125 with my Rhodomel being an exception. That one starts at 1.105, and I am using EC-1118 with it. I also should note that with that I am using two different rose varietals, with one being heavy with tannins, so that helps to add a mouthfeel.
 

Triw51

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I am not an expert by any stretch, but I would say it depends on what you are looking for. I would use EC-1118 for a crisper version or D47 for a fuller flavored one, or as full flavored a weak mead would be.

I personally made meads under 9% and found them too week in flavor without much mouthfeel. So all of the meads I am current experimenting with start at 1.125 with my Rhodomel being an exception. That one starts at 1.105, and I am using EC-1118 with it. I also should note that with that I am using two different rose varietals, with one being heavy with tannins, so that helps to add a mouthfeel.
Thank you for the input I appreciate that information
 

dmw_chef

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I haven't done any hydromels, but I'd think that yeasts high in glycerol production might be good for hydromels, like D254 or Uvaferm 43
 
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