Yeast strains

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May 7, 2016
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Hey guys, I was wondering about yeast strains, and the different tastes that they produce. Recently I bought a 1lb bag of dry distiller's yeast and have made a few gallons of wine with it, as well as the sugar wash that I bought it for. I was interested in knowing how the wine would turn out using distiller's yeast.

Right now my fermentation is about half done, but it smells god awful, like super concentrated yeast smell. Ever smell someone with a yeast infection? Not to make it weird but that's exactly what it smells like.

I was wondering what you guys thought about different strains of yeast and their flavors? I'm looking to make about 20 gallons of Blueberry/Raspberry wine here in a month or so, and I'm looking for a yeast that is going to give me a good flavor and produce little to no off flavors. What do you guys think?

I'm really interested in knowing what kind of yeasts are good for what kind of wines.. Can't seem to find a lot of information on the internet about it.
For a good alround workhorse, that has good specifications; alcohol, pH, nutrient, temperature...I reach for 1118.
I would think that distillers' yeast is really cultivated to produce high octane alcohol that will then become the raw material for making spirits. Yeasts used to make wines where the flavors of the fruit are front and center in addition to the flavors the yeast enhances or masks or the flavors that the yeast itself produce would seem to be very different. With wine making - typically - no one is interested in making a wine whose alcohol content is going to be much higher than about 12 or 15 % so we look for yeasts that are like jewelers' tools. Distillers' yeast would be more like a bulldozer or a back hoe . I may be very wrong but I would suspect that with spirits no one is in fact using the fruits for their flavors and aromas as distillation is going to destroy those molecules. So flavor is largely going to come from the casks in which the alcohol is aged. - There are dozens of different wine yeasts each with its own characteristics... but you might want to have an idea of exactly what you are aiming for - the alcohol content, the amount of fruit you will need to make even a gallon of wine (are you planning on diluting the juice with water or fermenting the juice with some added sugar?) Too high an alcohol content might completely mask the flavor of the fruit - - - and take years to become drinkable
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Think of it this way..

You are using a bulldozer to stack china plates. Sure it may work, but wouldn't it be better to use something a little more delicate?

Cultivated wine yeast is just that, cultivated. For hundreds of years, wine yeasts have been "Bred" to bring out the bet in wine. Why shirk all of that effort and time.

EC-1118 yeast is a champagne yeast. It was cultivated to thrive in high alcohol environments and also to be very aggressive. Unless you are making champagne or perhaps are dealing with a difficult fermentation, there are much better options.

Go to the Lalvin website. They have a vast variety of yeasts and good descriptions of their characteristics....
One of the best commercial winemaker in our area uses nothing but 1118. I would say it is using a slightly bigger hammer. It will get the job done, with less concern. Could you be giving up 10% of the flavor profile? Sure, but that is the trade off.

I've used a dozen different yeast and have done plenty of split lots and multiple yeasts. I'm just not convinced it makes a night and day difference to the wine in the long run.
Well I guess that all makes enough sense. Thanks for the information guys. I just wish I could find as good a deal on wine yeast as you can on distiller's yeast. The price of the yeast alone is almost enough for me to want to use the distiller's yeast and choke it down.
You should make identical wines using different yeasts. Try to do each batch the same and after a year taste them. There will be a difference. For me, it was impossible to pick a favorite.
Read the gibberish that the yeast manufacturers describe their yeast with. They don't compare the yeasts in an apple to apple comparison. And then, lots of guys tout EC-1118, and Reds aren't even listed! But, you probably shouldn't use distillery yeast or baking yeasts, onoh, use them and compare with a wine yeast!

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