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The quest for better yeast

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Lwrightjs

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So far, I have been experimenting with varieties of dry yeasts and have great results. I've been a fan of Red Star Premier Rouge.

But... I want to up my yeast game. Do you have a preferred yeast? Feel free to break it down by varietal if that's your style.

There are a ton of good beer yeasts out there but for wine, it seems to most people just pitch whatever is on hand or the same few dry.
 

sour_grapes

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I cannot make a definitive case, but I have gravitated to D254. Never had a bad result...
 

Lwrightjs

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I cannot make a definitive case, but I have gravitated to D254. Never had a bad result...
Do you have anything to compare it to, or you just liked the package and description on the box so you use it?
 

crushday

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I have to admit I’m mildly offended at the suggestion that a masterclass vintner such as @sour_grapes would simply choose a yeast based on the visual appeal of packaging or a creatively written description.

“Never had a bad result...” is the answer to your question.

https://winemakermag.com/resource/yeast-strains-chart
 
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Johnd

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I’m partial to D254 and BM 4x4 for Petit Sirah, as well as most of my other full bodied reds. Like to ferment with both yeasts, in separate batches, and combine them later for some added depth and complexity.
 

CDrew

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It is debatable how much long term difference the yeast makes, and whether one tastes better than the other. But let's assume it does make a minor difference. It would take YEARS of wine making and record keeping and experiments and blind tastings to figure it out. The best any of us can do is to report our experience good or bad.

Pasture Red(Premier Rouge)- worked well for me in 2017. The wine has finally come into it's own(was super fruity early), and while simple it tastes clean with good fruit now. It's easy to find in any brew store and perfectly good. Comes in a classic red package.

D254-Used once, no problems, I've been drinking up the Primitivo product over the last several months. Can't say better or worse than anything else, but favorable experience. One of my wine making friends likes this so I'll likely use again since we share yeasts and other ingredients.

D21- I used this in 2018 based on the pairing write up on MoreWine. Had great luck with it. Thought the wine was good and clean tasting right after fermentation and looking forward to the aged product. Is alleged to be tolerant of low nutrient musts. I didn't test that. Very favorable fermentations, will use again.

Avante- This stuff is the bomb. Used 2018 in PS and 2019 in everything. Clean fermenting, not fussy, genetically incapable of making H2S. It's also heat and alcohol tolerant, a true work horse and nearly ideal for garage style feremntation. Preliminary tasting says the wine is perfectly good. Will definitely continue to use.

And next year I want to try another Renaissance Yeast - Muse or (more likely) Bravo.

Just remember that many of the very best wines in the world are fermented with the yeast that comes in on the skins, and the actual strain of yeast may not be hugely important, especially in an aged wine.
 

sour_grapes

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Do you have anything to compare it to, or you just liked the package and description on the box so you use it?
I have to admit I’m mildly offended at the suggestion that a masterclass vintner such as @sour_grapes would simply choose a yeast based on the visual appeal of packaging or a creatively written description.

“Never had a bad result...” is the answer to your question.

https://winemakermag.com/resource/yeast-strains-chart
Thanks for the support @crushday , but that was fine. I was not offended by @Lwrightjs 's legitimate question.

The longer answer is that I have initially chosen my yeasts almost exclusively based on MoreWine!'s description: https://morewinemaking.com/web_files/intranet.morebeer.com/files/wyeastpair.pdf. Over time, I have used BM45, RC212, SYR, D47, RP15, D254, etc. It just seemed like every batch I made with D254 was superior. Maybe I just coincidentally chose that yeast for my best batches, who knows? But I concluded that this would be my go-to yeast for most reds; I still use BM45 for jammy or Italian blends.
 

4score

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Another Avante fan. Great results and as @CDrew says, no H2S. I also produce wines with fairly high alcohol and hot fermentation environments and Avante powers through. Lately, I've been doing a 2-step yeast process beginning with Prelude (non-Saccharomyces) and finishing off with Avante.
 

MiBor

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@4score where do you buy Prelude yeast? I looked all over the net and I couldn't find a retail source. Lodi Wine Labs sells Avante and I want to use it next year, but you mentioned the combination of the 2 yeasts (Prelude and Avante) in other posts and I'm starting to think that I would like to give it a try if I could buy it in a package smaller than 500grams.
 

4score

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Yeah, that's a problem. I think I ordered it from Gusmer. You may try looking for the same yeast packaged as Biodiva.
 

wood1954

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avante is fantastic, no h2s, fast worker easy 14% alcohol, no off flavor,lets the grapes flavor come thru
 

Lwrightjs

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I have to admit I’m mildly offended at the suggestion that a masterclass vintner such as @sour_grapes would simply choose a yeast based on the visual appeal of packaging or a creatively written description.

“Never had a bad result...” is the answer to your question.

https://winemakermag.com/resource/yeast-strains-chart
Perhaps I could have asked it better but the root of my question was really along the lines of - did you choose this yeast for a set minor of reasons (like it just felt right) and then stuck with it when it produced wine you enjoyed?

@sour_grapes - Thank you for seeing and answering the root of my question. You're right, I was essentially asking if you 'read the labels and descriptions and it just "felt right". And you've loved it ever since.. sort of thing' -- also, that pdf you linked is gold!
 
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Jay A

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My strains of the past have been; BM45; 4X4; & this year Avante. Very pleased with Avante on this years Sangiovese. I think nutrition is the important factor with any strain being used.
 

Vinobeau

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So far, I have been experimenting with varieties of dry yeasts and have great results. I've been a fan of Red Star Premier Rouge.

But... I want to up my yeast game. Do you have a preferred yeast? Feel free to break it down by varietal if that's your style.

There are a ton of good beer yeasts out there but for wine, it seems to most people just pitch whatever is on hand or the same few dry.
IMO, the descriptions that the yeast manufacturers write, are written by the sales department. They are mainly waffle. If you want to "up your yeast game", everytime you make a batch of wine, make two or three separate and identical batches, with the only difference being a different yeast and different nutrient if needed. Rack each batch at the same time, log your actions and taste periodically. When it comes times to bottle, bottle separately and note the yeast on the label. There will be a difference, but will it mean anything to you??
 

Ceibal

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I have used Rc-212 in some fresh grape wines that are still aging and just used it in a Nebbiolo. My question is what experience have you guys had with Red Star Pasteur Red and D254? I like reds that are full bodied, smooth and lot of oak. Thoughts on the differences and what each will provide? I have not tasted any of the wines I have made with RC212 yet, waiting a couple of more months for them to properly age.
 

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