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ADVANCED WINEMAKING BASICS
Continued


Strains of Wine Yeast

Choose your yeast as you would choose a tool


Red Star Active Dry Yeasts

Assmannshausen : Assmannshausen is a German yeast strain. Germany leads the world in yeast isolation and production. Assmannshausen is best suited for red wines. It intensifies the color and adds a spicy aroma. It first was only meant for Pinot Noir and Zinfandel, but now Cabernet Sauvignon takes advantage of this strain. The only drawback is its ineffectiveness in a high solid content.

Côte des Blancs : Formerly known as Epernay 2, this is another slow fermenting, very low foaming and low flocculating yeast tolerant of low temperatures. It tends to bring out floral and fruity qualities in wines and can be useful in both grape--especially fruity German style whites-- and non-grape wines--such as peach or raspberry--where a bouquet is especially desired. This yeast will not push alcohol production over 13% in a cool fermentation but has a range of 12-14%.

Epernay : Epernay is a Champagne yeast, meaning it was isolated in Champagne, France and is used in Champagne production. Epernay is used in bottle fermenting because it ferments slowly and is tolerant to cold temperatures with moderate foaming. It is also used for primary fermentations of still white wines.

Flor Sherry : Develops "flor" aerobically, but also useful for anaerobic fermentations of Port, Madeira, or other sweet styles. Temperature range is 59-86°, low flocculation, and alcohol is 18-20%.

Montrachet : Perhaps the most popular yeast used. It is available for both red and white wine fermentations and may be called Montrachet Red and Montrachet White. It works especially well in producing Chardonnay in barrel and stainless steel. It also tolerates sulfur dioxide well, but does not work well with high sugar levels (more than 23.5 Brix). It is this ineffectiveness in high sugar levels that is most likely responsible for many stuck fermentations. Temperature range is 59-86°, low flocculation, and alcohol is pretty reliable at 13%.

Pasteur Champagne : Champagne yeast is the second most common yeast strain used. It was isolated in Champagne, France and is technically a mixed-population culture. It is common in sparkling wine production because of its ability to induce fermentation quickly and because of its effectiveness in low temperatures and its tolerance of medium-high alcohol conditions. These conditions are common in sparkling wine production. Temperature range is 59-86°, low to medium flocculation, and alcohol is 13-15%.

Pasteur Red : Pasteur red is also called French red. Like Champagne, it is a mixed population strain. It was developed in Bordeaux, France. It is meant for red wines because it is tolerant to heat and sulfur dioxide and hardly ever causes stuck fermentation. The red wines it is usually used for are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel. Temperature range is 64-86°, low flocculation, and alcohol is 16%.

Pasteur White : Pasteur white is also called French white. As the name suggests, it is used primarily for white wine fermentation because of its ability to ferment slowly and tolerate cold temperatures. It also gives off a noticeable yeasty aroma. Pasteur white foams considerably so it works better in stainless steel rather than wooden barrels.

Premier Curvee : Also known as Prise de Mousse, this is a Champagne yeast that is strong acting, low foaming and therefore qualified for barrel fermentations. It imparts a strong yeasty aroma and is useful for secondary fermentation in both still and sparkling wine production. Good for reds and whites alike and for restarting stuck or sluggish fermentations. Temperature range is 45-95° (equal to Lalvin EC-1118), flocculation is low, and alcohol is reliably 18%.

Steinberg : A strain developed in Germany. Like Pasteur white, Steinberg is used for white wine fermentation because it yields a lengthy fermentation process. It even tolerates the cold better than Pasteur white. Johannesburg Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc and Muscat all use this strain. It gives off a tropical fruit aroma and is best used in stainless steel fermenting.


Lalvin Active Dry Yeasts

Many of Lalvin's yeasts are only sold in quantities of 500 mg or larger and are intended for commercial rather than home use. It is often feasible for a winemaking club's members to pool their resources and purchase a quantity, then divide it up among themselves. Alternatively, one could check the commercial wineries in their area and determine whether they would sell a small quantity of yeast if they happen to be using one of these.

Lalvin 43 : This yeast was selected for its exceptional ability to restart stuck fermentations, out-performing 33 different isolates tested against each other and the traditional strains typically used to restart stuck fermentations. The stuck fermentations used in the selection process were from wines with high alcohols (14.3% with 21 gm/l residual sugar) and high free SO2 (35 mg/l). Although selected for its restart abilities, it also gives good sensory results when used in high sugar musts. It is a fast fermenter with a temperature range of 55-95°. Alcohol tolerance is at leat 18%.

Lalvin 71B-1122 (Narbonne) : This yeast metabolizes more of the malic acid during fermentation than most other yeasts and should be considered for wines which are high in malic. It is noted for producing "fruity" reds such as vin nouveau and works well with high-acid native North American grapes, producing rounder, smoother, more aromatic wines that tend to mature quickly. Because it is also known for making blush, rosé and semi-sweet wines with a tropical fruit character, it promotes these styles with Cabernet Franc, Gewürtztraminer and Riesling. For obvious reasons, is often the yeast of choice for a great many malic fruit and berries and for vegetable-grape concentrate blended wines. Alcohol toxicity is predictable at 14% and its temperature range is 60-85°. F.

Lalvin AC- : This yeast was selected from fermentations in the Loire region with the objective of finding a strain that would lower the acidity perception while maintaining and developing fresh fruit and floral aromatics. A moderate speed fermenter, this strain can tolerate fermentation temperatures to 85° F., yet still produce low levels of SO2 and H2S. This yeast is used in the Loire Valley for Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadet as a complement to young, balanced dry or off-dry white wines. It should prove useful for high acidty North American native grape varieties and high acid fruits. Alcohol toxicity is 14%.

Lalvin AMH (Assmanshausen) : This yeast enhances the varietal character of such grapes as Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. It is considered a color friendly strain that enhances spicy and fruity flavors and aromas. This strain has a long lag phase, a slow to medium fermentation rate and benefits greatly from the use of superior nutrients. Good strain domination is obtained if the culture is allowed to develop in about 10% of the total must for about 8 hours before final inoculation. It has a 15% alcohol tolerance at a temperature rage of 68-86° F.

Lalvin BA11 : This strain is a relatively new selection (1997), isolated near Estação Vitivinicola de Barraida in Portugal. It has excellent fermentation kinetics, even at low temperatures (68-86°), a 16% alcohol toxicity ceiling, and excellent promotion of esters. It promotes clean, aromatic, varietal characteristics and intensifies mouthfeel and lingering flavors in white wines and does almost as well with rosé styles. In relatively neutral white varieties, it encourages the fresh fruit aromas of orange blossom, pineapple and apricot. It requires a high-nitrogen nutrient.

Lalvin BDX : A French isolate, Lallemand touts this strain as "The perfect fermenter." It has perfect fermentation kinetics at a moderate rate and temperature (64-86° F.) and does not generate a lot of heat during fermentation. It is highly recommended for the production of quality dry red wines (alcohol toxicity at 16%), especially Merlot and Cabernet sauvignon, with minimum color loss and enhanced flavor and aroma. Like BA11, it requires a high-nitrogen nutrient.

Lalvin BGY (Burgundy) : Isolated in the Burgundy region of France, this strain should be considered primarily for commercial use rather than the home. It is used in reds, particularly Pinot Noir, for slow fermentations within a temperature range of 75-86° with an alcohol ceiling of 15%. This is not an easy strain to use, but can produce good results when carefully rehydrated following Lallemand's recommendations and inoculated into must with balanced nutrients.

Lalvin BM45 : This strain was selected from many world class Brunello di Montalcino fermentations for its enological characteristics. It is a relatively slow starter, well adapted to long maceration programs within a 64-82° temperature range. It has high nitrogen requirements and can produce H2S if nutrient-starved. It produces high levels of polysaccharides and therefore wines with increased mouthfeel. It tends to bring out aromas in Sangiovese described as fruit jams, rose and cherry liquors, with evident and clean notes of sweet spices, licorice and cedar. It also is used to minimize vegetal characteristics and can be used with Chardonnay as a blending component to increase mouthfeel. With a 16% alcohol toxicity ceiling, it reliably ferments to dryness.

Lalvin BRL97 : This Barolo strain was selected from over 600 isolates taken from 31 wineries of the Barolo region as a natural yeast from Nebbiolo able to retain and enhance color. It is a fast starter and moderately speedy fermenter within a temperature range of 63-84° F. that demonstrates good MLF compatibility. It is recommended for its color stabilization and sensory contributions in heavier structured reds such as Zinfandel, Barbera, Merlot and Nebbiolo. It enhances color stability, maintains structure and is favored when long aging is planned. It ferments to 16% alcohol and has moderate nitrogen needs.

Lalvin CSM : Isolated in Bordeaux for Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. It favors color and phenolic extraction, is red fruit driven, reduces vegetal aromas and adds complexity along with balanced, round mouthfeel. Its optimum fermentation range is between 59-89° F. and it does not handle alcohols above 14%. This strain requires high levels of nitrogen and nutrients but will promote malolactic fermentation.

Lalvin CY3079 : This strain was selected from fermentations in the Burgundy region to complement the typical white Burgundy styles of winemaking. It is a slow, steady fermenter even at cooler temperatures (60-86° F), demonstrates a good alcohol tolerance (15%), and produces few volatile acids and H2S if its hight nitrogen needs are met. It is highly recommended for barrel fermentation and sur lie aging of Chardonnay. It releases peptides at the end of fermentation that are believed to enhance many aromas, such as fresh butter, honey, white flowers, and pineapple. In both the Chablis and Montrachet regions barrel fermentations with this strain showed richer, fuller mouthfeel compared to other strains.

Lalvin DV10 : This is "the original Champagne isolate," according to Lallemand, known in other contexts as Epernay. Its fermentation kinetics are strong over a wide temperature range (50-96° F) with relatively low oxygen and nitrogen demands. It is one of the most widely used strains in Champagne and is known for clean fermentations that respect varietal character while avoiding bitter sensory contributions associated with many other strains. It is highly recomended for both premium white and red varietals, mead and cider production, and many fruit, berry, vegetable, and herb wines. It is a fast fermenter with an 18% alcohol tolerance, is famous for its ability to ferment under stressful conditions of low pH, high total SO2, and is low foaming with low volatile acid production.

Lalvin EC-1118 (Prise de Mousse) : This is the original, steady, low foamer, excellent for barrel fermentation or for working on heavy suspended pulps. It is one of the most popular wine yeasts in the world. It ferments well at low temperatures, flocculates well, and produces very compact lees. It is good for Champagne bases, secondary (bottle) fermentations, restarting stuck fermentations, and for late harvest grapes. It is also the yeast of choice for apple, crabapple, cranberry, hawthorn, and cherry wines. It has excellent organoleptic properties and should be in every vinter's refrigerator. Alcohol toxicity is 18% and it ferments relatively fast. It tolerates temperatures from 39-95° F. It is not, however, tolerant of concurrent malolactic fermentation.

Lalvin ICV-D21 (Languedoc) : This strain was isolated in 1999 for fermenting red wines with stable color, intense fore-mouth and mid-palate tannin structure, and fresher aftertaste. It contributes polysaccharides and retains higher acidity, inhibiting development of cooked jam and burning-alcohol sensations in highly mature and concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. It produces very few sulfur compounds, allows the expression of fruit from the grapes while reducing the potential for herbaceous characters in Cabernet Sauvignon. When blended with wines fermented with ICV-D254 and ICV-D80, wines fermented with ICV-D21 bring fresher, deep fruit and continuous intense sensations beginning in the fore-mouth and carrying through to the aftertaste. It is almost as desirable a strain for whites as for reds, is a moderately fast fermenter with a temperature range of 64-96°, and an alcohol tolerance to 16%.

Lalvin ICV-D47 (Côtes-du-Rhône) : This is a low-foaming quick fermenter that settles well and forms compact lees at the end of fermentation, although when left on the lees, ripe spicy aromas with tropical and citrus notes develop. This strain tolerates fermentation temperatures ranging from 50° to 86° F. and enhances mouth feel due to complex carbohydrates and high polysaccharide production. Malolactic fermentation proceeds well in wine made with ICV-D47. This strain is recommended for making wines from white varieties such as Chardonnay and for rosé style wines. It is ideal for persimmon, peach, nectarine, paw-paw, and mango, as well as aromatic wines such as rose petal, elderflower, anise and woodruff. It is also an excellent choice for producing mead if supplemented with yeast nutrients, especially usable nitrogen. Its alcohol ceiling is 14%.

Lalvin ICV-D80 (Côte Rôtie) : This strain was isolated in the Rhône Valley for its ability to ferment high sugar musts low in nitrogen and high in polyphenols. It is a rapid starter, with moderate fermentation rates within a temperature range of 64-96° F., and alcohol tolerance of up to 15%. This strain is able to bring out differentiated varietal aromas by reinforcing the rich concentrated flavors found in varieties such as Zinfandel and Syrah, but it also enhances less aromatic varieties such as Petite Sirah. To optimize complexity, it is recommended that finished reds fermented with ICV-D80 be blended with finished reds fermented with ICV-D254. The ICV-D80 compliments ICV-D254 by bringing more tannin intensity to the blend and adds a long lasting smoke and licorice finish.

Lalvin ICV-D254 : This Rhône strain was isolated from Syrah fermentations after screening 3,000 isolates and putting 450 of them through trials for their enological properties. It was selected for its ability to ferment in low-to-medium nitrogen musts. It is a low foamer with an alcohol tolerance of up to 16% when fermentation does not exceed 82° F. (53° is the low). In red wines this yeast strain develops ripe fruit, jam, and cedar aromas together with a mild spiciness. On the palate it promises a high fore-mouth volume, big mid-palate mouthfeel with intense fruit concentration, and a mild spice and smooth tannin finish. Used on white wines -- in particular barrel fermented Chardonnay -- the sensory profile is described as showing pronounced butterscotch, cream, smoke, hazelnut, and almond aromas.

Lalvin ICV-GRE : This strain from the Cornas area of the Rhône Valley was selected for easy-to-drink Rhône style wines with up-front, direct red fruit. This style is well expressed by short skin contact (3 to 5 days). Under these conditions, this strain helps avoid the risk of vegetal and sulfur off-characters in varieties such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Rhône whites and rosés, it results in stable, direct, fresh fruit characters such as melon and apricot and delivers big fore-mouth impact. It has a temperature range of 64-96° F., an alcohol tolerance of up to 15%, and requires high nitrogen supplementation.

Lalvin K1-V1116 (Montpellier) : This strain tends to express freshness of the grape or fruit variety, especially in Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Chenin Blanc, but also in fruit such as peaches, nectarines, kiwis, and strawberries. Because it produces such flowery esters as isoamyl acetate, hexyl acetate, and phenyl ethyl acetate, the natural fresh fruit aromas are retained for a longer period compared to standard yeasts. It is recommended for French hybrid whites, mature reds, and ice wines as well. This strain ferments well under stressed conditions and may be used to restart a stuck fermentation. Known among enologists as the original "killer yeast," K1 dominates almost any fermentation and is capable of fermenting to 20% alcohol if sufficient nutrients, nitrogen, and fermentable sugars are properly employed, but 18% is quite reachable. It is a fast fermenter and can tolerate a huge temerature range (50-107° F). It is not, however, tolerant of concurrent malolactic fermentation.

Lalvin L2056 : This strain was selected for its ability to maintain varietal fruit aromas and flavors of Côtes du Rhône varieties. It retains varietal aromas and flavors well, has good alcohol tolerance (16%), and low SO2 production. It maintains good color stability at a temperature range is 59-89° F. It is a quick to moderate rate fermenter with a relatively high nutrient requirement. It is excellent for forward fruit style reds and is becoming more available.

Lalvin L2226 : This is another vineyard isolate from Côtes du Rhône. It is alcohol tolerant to 18% over a temperature range is 59-89° F. and is highly recommended for high sugar reds and late harvest wines. In red varietals, high color and good structure as well as black cherry, berry and cherry cola aromas can be obtained with high nitrogen nutrients.

Lalvin MO5 : Isolated in the Loire Valley Muscadet region, this is a slow fermenter that requires adequate nutrients and high levels of oxygen. It works particularly well in low maturity white grapes from cool regions, achieving 14% alcohol at 59-90° F. With lees aging, it will produce roundness and lower acidity. Even in low quality fruit it produces floral esters and fruity, balanced wines with a long finish.

Lalvin M1 : This strain is used to produce aromatic rosé and white wines, especially wines with residual sugar. Due to the high production of esters, typical descriptors include 'fruit punch', especially when fermented at lower temperatures (down to 54° F.) and provided adequate, balanced nutrition with high nitrogen. The production of esters is limited at temperatures above 68° F. and alcohol tolerance tops at 16%. The yeast flocculates and settles to give compact lees.

Lalvin M2 : This is a neutral to low ester-producing yeast and needs a high level of balanced nutrients with moderate nitrogen for a strong fermentation finish. It can achieve 15% alcohol at 59-86° F. In both reds and whites it can be distinguished by its expression of citrus and blossom notes, but is also excellent for producing well-rounded rosé wines.

Lalvin QA23 : This is a Portugese isolate used for Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Colombard, and Semillon for production of fresh, fruity, clean wines. It enhances aromas of terpenic varietals through beta-glucosidase activity. It has a low nutrient requirement and will ferment juice of low solids content at low temperatures (50-90° F. range). It is a fast fermenter with an alcohol ceiling of 16%.

Lalvin R2 : Isolated in the Sauternes region of Bordeaux, this strain has excellent cold temperature tolerance (42-86° F. range) and will contribute esters which makes it a very good strain for whites made from grapes such as Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Vidal, and Seyval. It may be used for fruit wines whenever a Sauternes wine yeast is specified. Alcohol toxicity is 16% and fermentation is fast. This yeast rarely sticks and in fact can be used to restart a stuck fermentation if alcohol has not reached too high a level.

Lalvin RA17 : This yeast was isolated in Burgundy and is used for young, easy to drink Pinot Noirs and Gamays. It enhances the varietal aromas and quickly develops an early release red. This strain should be good for Zinfandel, Merlot, and even Black Spanish, but also for black fruit and berries. This is a worthwhile strain to keep in the refrigerator for a special need. Alcohol toxicity is 15% and it is quite tolerant of concurrent malolactic fermentation. It does require a high nitrogen nutrient to avoid the formation of H2S. Wines made from RA17 can be blended with wines fermented with RC212, BRL97 or AMH to give a more balanced, complex and fuller structure.

Lalvin RC212 (Bourgovin) : This yeast is traditionally used in the Burgundy region for full red wines and is a favorite of home winemakers seeking similar big reds. Naturally, it is perfect for Pinot Noir. It has good alcohol reach (14-16%) and high temperature (68-86° F.) tolerance and excellent color stability. This yeast requires high nitrogen nutrient additions to avoid the potential development of H2S. It is quite suitable for use with non-grape black and red fruit (plums, prickly pear cactus fruit, pomergrantes) and berries (blackberries, raspberries, dewberries, mulberries). It is quite tolerant of concurrent malolactic fermentation.


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Lalvin R-HST : This strain was selected for its exceptional oenological properties in Riesling from trials conducted 1991 to 1996 in Austria. It has a short lag phase and generation time, even at cold temperatures (50-86° F. range). These features allow it to dominate and persist over spoilage yeast such as Kloeckera apiculata where other S. cerevisiae might have difficulty. It is a relatively neutral strain and retains fresh varietal character while contributing body and mouthfeel. It also produces crisp, premium white wines intended for aging. With a 15% alcohol ceiling, it should take any white to dryness.

Lalvin S6U : This strain was selected for its unique ecological characteristics, such as the ability to ferment at low temperatures in musts with low levels of suspended solids. The most unique properties of this strain are its high glycerol production (1-2 g/l higher than other strains) and high titratable acidity (1.5 g/l higher) at the end of fermentation, adding to increased mouthfeel. Repeat fermentations with this strain have shown lower alcohol conversion compared to other Saccharomyces uvarum strains when fermented under cool conditions.

Lalvin Simi-White : This is a popular choice for fruity white and rosé style wines. It can achieve 14% alcohol at 59-86° F. It is prized for its ester-producing aroma and flavor contribution to Chardonnay and has been described as contributing creamy fruit. It is highly affected by nutrient composition and juice handling procedures and has a tendency to produce a lot of foam.

Lalvin Syrah : This Côte du Rhône isolate is used for Syrah, Merlot and Carignane. It is a high glycerol producer and offers good mouthfeel and stable color extraction. Its temperature range is 50-90° F. with alcohol production to 16%. It requires high nutrient levels and shows the best sensory results when rehydrated according to Lallemand's suggestions. Typical aromas include violets, raspberries, cassis, strawberries, and black pepper.

Lalvin T73 : Isolated from a premium Spanish Claret in the Valencia area, this strain is noted for its ability to enhance the natural aromas and flavors of red wines produced in very warm climates. Wines that especially have trouble "opening up" are enhanced by the well-balanced production of esters and higher alcohols (to 16%). In the American Southwest, this is a good strain for Black Spanish (Lenoir), Favorite and even dark natives. A good glycerol production contributes to a pleasant mouth feel. This is a competitive yeast with moderate fermentation speed.

Lalvin T306 : This strain was isolated from indigenous fermentations of Pinot Noir at Tyrrell's Vineyards, Pokolbin, NSW Australia. It can achieve 14% alcohol at 59-86° F. It is used mainly for fruit focused Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Semillon, and Chenin Blanc. In barrel fermented Chardonnay it contributes elegant, light white fruit. It requires nutrients high in nitrogen and ferments moderately fast.

Lalvin W15 : This strain was isolated from a high quality Müller Thurgau must in Switzerland. It was developed to ferment dry whites and rosés at moderate speeds where bright fruit and heavy mouthfeel are desired. It also ferments light red varieties well, with alcohol reaching 16% and nitrogen-heavy nutrient requirements. It has a 50-81° F. range and produces higher levels of glycerol and succinic acid, especially at temperatures above 77° F.

Lalvin W27 : This Swiss strain boasts a slow, steady, low-foaming fermentation tolerant of low temperatures (39-85° F. range). Its low heat production make it an excellent choice for whites and reds alike, with reds experiencing a lack of color loss due to low glycosidase production. Alcohol toxicity is 14% and it is more tolerant of concurrent malolactic fermentation than most yeasts.

Lalvin W46 : This strain was isolated from a Pinot Noir fermentation in the Zurich region, although it is a better white wine producer than red. Its fermentations take off quickly and rapidly dominate indigenous flora. It is similar to W27, with a 39-85° temperature range and 14% alcohol ceiling, but has a more rapid fermentation rate and is not sas nitrogen demanding. Low temperature tolerance and clean fruit aromas are characteristic. In Pinot noir there is little color loss and in Riesling and Sylvaner it enhances flavor and aroma profiles.


Wyeast Vinter's Choice Yeast Cultures

Note: These are liquid yeast cultures. Directions come with the cultures, but generally one must aerate a small portion (1 pint) of diluted juice well and add the active yeast culture. Agitate often to continue aeration over several hours before adding to the must. Additional yeast nutrients, particularly in white wines and high sugar content juices is beneficial. These strains are readily available in many on-line catalogs; you simply have to look.

3021 Pasteur Champagne (Prise de mousse) : Used in many white wine fermentation's and also some red wines. Also used for secondary fermentation of barley wine. Ferments crisp and dry, ideal for base wines in champagne making. Low foaming, excellent barrel fermentation, good flocculating characteristics. Dry White Wines, Spumante, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Pinot Blanc, Gewurtztraminer.

3134 Sake #9 : Sake yeast #9 used in conjunction with Koji for making a wide variety of Asian Jius (rice based beverages). Full bodied profile with true Sake character. Sake, Nigori, Dai Gingo, Fruit, Plum Wine, Rice Beer.

3242 Chablis : Produces extremely fruity profile, high ester formation, bready, vanilla notes. Allows fruit character to dominate aroma and flavor profile. Finishes slightly sweet and soft. Fruity White Wines, Chardonnay, Chablis, Ciders, Gewurtztraminer, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris.

3783 Rudisheimer : Produces distinct Riesling character. Rich flavor, creamy, fruity profile with nice dry finish and a hint of Riesling sweetness in the aftertaste. Rhine Wines, Fruity Ciders, Riesling, lce Wine.

3237 Steinberg : Classic German yeast from the Rheingau District produces full bodied wines with great depth, dry smokey characteristics with a sharp finish, drier than # 3783. Riesling, Sylvaner, Moselles, Liebfraumilch.

3277 Assmannhausen Red : Ferments slower than most red wine strains. Enhances vinifera character in French American hybrids. Cold tolerant. Red German Wine, Riesling, Red Varletals, Merlot, Red French American Hybrids.

3028 Pasteur Red : Ideal for red or white wines which mature rapidly with beauijolais type fruitiness and for bigger reds requiring aging. Low foaming, low sulfur production over a broad temperature range. Cabernet, Red Varietals, Gamay Beaujolais, Zinfandel, Rhone, Burgundy, Pinot Noir.

3267 Bordeaux : Produces distinctive intense berry graham cracker nose, jammy, rich, very smooth complex profile, slightly vinuous. Well suited for higher sugar content musts. French Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Petit Syrah, Rioja, Valdepenas.

3244 Chianti : Rich, very big, bold, well rounded profile. Nice soft fruit character with dry crisp finish. Barolo, Barbera, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, Chianti, Valpolicella.

3347 Eau de Vie - (Water of Life) : A very good choice for alcohol tolerance and stuck fermentations. Produces a very clean dry profile, low ester and other volatile aromatics. 21% alcohol tolerance. Cordials, Grappa, Barley Wine, Eau de Vie, Single Malts.


White Labs Yeasts

White Labs wine yeasts are "pitchable" yeast cultures, meaning they contain sufficient living yeast to inoculate five gallons of must without rehydration or a starter propagation. Because they are fresh, in theory they impart better flavors to the must. Refrigerated, they have a four-to-six-month shelf-life. They should be attemperated to within 10 degrees F. of the must for several hours before "pitching."

WLP715 Champagne : Classic yeast, used to produce champagne, cider, dry meads, dry wines, or to fully attenuate barley wines/ strong ales. Can tolerate alcohol concentrations up to 17% with low flocculation. Neutral. Attenuation greater than 75%. Optimum fermentation temperature range is 70-75° F.

WLP718 Avize Wine : A strain selected for Chardonnay and complex whites, with a temperature range of 60-90° and alcohol ceiling at 15%.

WLP720 Sweet Mead/Wine : A wine yeast strain that is less attenuative than WLP715, leaving some residual sweetness. Slightly fruity and will tolerate alcohol concentrations up to 15% with low floccuation. A good choice for sweet mead and cider, as well as Blush wines, Gewurztraminer, and Riesling. Attenuation less than 75%. Optimum fermentation temperature is 70-75° F.

WLP727 Steinberg-Geisenheim Wine : A strain selected for Reisling and Gewurztraminer, with a temperature range of 50-90° and an alcohol ceiling at 14%.

WLP730 Chardonnay White Wine : This is a good yeast for dry white wines. Slight ester production, low sulfur dioxide production. Enhances varietal character. This is a good choice for all white and blush wines, including Chablis, Chenin Blanc, Semillon, and Sauvignon Blanc. Fermentation speed is moderate, alcohol tolerance is 14%, floccuation is low. Attenuation is greater than 80% at the optimum fermentation temperature of 50-90° F.

WLP735 French White : A strain selected for Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle, with a temperature range of 50-90° and alcohol ceiling at 16%.

WLP740 Merlot Red Wine : Neutral, low fusel alcohol production. Will ferment to dryness, alcohol tolerance to 18%. This is a vigorous fermenter well suited for Cabernet, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon. Attenuation is greater than 80% with low flocculation. Optimum fermentation temperature is 60-90° F.

WLP749 Assmanshausen Wine : A strain selected for Pinot Noie and Zinfandel, with a temperature range of 50-90° and alcohol ceiling at 16%.

WLP750 French Red Wine : A strain selected for Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, with a temperature range of 60-90° and alcohol ceiling at a high 17% to carry the wines to dryness.

WLP760 Cabernet Red Wine : High temperature tolerance, moderate fermentation speed, and alcohol tolerance to 16% make this a good choice when temperature cannot be rigorously controlled. Excellent for full bodied red wines, ester production complements flavor. WLP760 is also suitable for Merlot, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc. Attenuation is greater than 80% and flocculation is low. Optimum fermentation temperature is 60-90° F.

WLP770 Suremain Burgundy Wine : A strain selected for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, with a temperature range of 60-90° and alcohol ceiling at 16%.

WLP775 English Cider : This is a classic cider yeast that ferments dry but retains flavor from apples. Sulfur is produced during fermentation, but will disappear in the first two weeks of aging. This yeast can also be used for wine and high gravity beers. Attenuationis less than 80%, flocculation is medium, and optimum fermentation temperature is 68-75¦ F.


Kitzinger's Dry Yeasts

Kitzinger's dry yeasts are active dry yeast (ADY) cultures sold in 0.33 lb (150 grams) units. This is a convenient size if you are making lots of wine. If not, the yeast may be sealed and stored in the refrigerator until needed again, but once opened will deteriorate in time. Still, their price is very reasonable and a considerable value.

As with all yeast cultures, dry or liquid, the yeast should be taken out of the refrigerator (where ALL yeast should be stored), allowed to warm up to room temperature, and then mixed into a starter solution a day or so before being pitched.

The complete line of Kitzinger's Dry Yeasts could at one time be obtained from Rocky Top Homebrew Supplies of Olympia, Washington. I cannot attest to their continued supply.

Kitzinger's yeast All Purpose :

Kitzinger's Yeast Assmannshausen :

Kitzinger's Yeast Beaujolais :

Kitzinger's Yeast Bordeaux :

Kitzinger's Yeast Burgundy :

Kitzinger's Yeast Chablis :

Kitzinger's Yeast Champagne :

Kitzinger's Yeast Chianti :

Kitzinger's Yeast Cold Fermentation :

Kitzinger's Yeast Liebfraumilch :

Kitzinger's Yeast Madeira :

Kitzinger's Yeast Muscat :

Kitzinger's Yeast Pinot Noir :

Kitzinger's Yeast Port :

Kitzinger's Yeast Riesling :

Kitzinger's Yeast Rosé :

Kitzinger's Yeast Sauternes :

Kitzinger's Yeast Sauvignon :

Kitzinger's Yeast Sherry :

Kitzinger's Yeast Tokay :


Vierka Dry Yeasts

Vierka dry yeasts are a little different than most other dry yeasts. These are not active dry yeast (ADY) cultures like Red Star or Lalvin wine yeasts, but rather are cultures dried on a media of dried grape skins, seeds and pulp. They require a different activation approach and a little more time to activate, but they do the job and offer a few yeasts that are difficult to find elsewhere.

Add 1/2 teaspoon sugar and a pinch of yeast nutrient into 1/2 cup of warm water (104 degrees F. is perfect) and stir until dissolved. Combine this water and the dried yeast culture and supporting media into a sanitized jar and stir. Cover with a napkin secured by a rubber band and set it aside in a warm (but not hot) place. It will take up to two full days (and perhaps as long as four) to activate Vierka yeast and get a healthy starter colony going. To condition the starter for your must, add 1/4 cup of must from your primary and stir. Recover the jar and allow 12 hours for the conditioned starter to get going well. Add this directly to your must, but do not stir. Ideally, the starter should lay at or near the surface of the must for several hours where oxygen is readily available to the yeast. When the must shows clear signs of fermentation, stir it shallowly to mix the yeast into the upper layer of must. When fermentation is vigorous, stir deeply.

The complete line of Vierka yeasts can be obtained from Homebrew Adventures of Charlotte, NC.

Vierka Burgundy :

Vierka Chablis :

Vierka Champagne :

Vierka Johannis Riesling :

Vierka Liebfraumilch :

Vierka Mead :

Vierka Port :

Vierka Sauterne :

Vierka Sherry :

Vierka Tokay :

Vierka Cold Fermentation :


Vierka Liquid Yeasts

Vierka liquid yeasts are far more convenient than Vierka dry yeasts. Cultures are obtained from vintage crops as specified. Each bottle contains enough culture to inoculate 10 gallons of must or juice.

The complete line of Vierka liquid yeasts can be obtained from several sources, including the E.C. Kraus Catalog, Independence, MO.

Vierka Bordeaux :

Vierka Burgundy :

Vierka Champagne :

Vierka Liebfraumilch :

Vierka Mead :

Vierka Port :

Vierka Rhine :

Vierka Sauterne :

Vierka Sherry :

Vierka Tokay :


J. Laffort Active Dry Yeasts

J. Laffort active dry yeast (ADY) cultures are only available in 500 mg quantities. These amounts are impractical for the average home winemaker, but Laffort strains are quality yeasts and one should consider them. It is often feasible for a winemaking club's members to pool their resources and purchase a quantity, then divide it up among themselves. Alternatively, one could check the commercial wineries in their area and determine whether they would sell a small quantity of yeast if they happen to be using one of these. These yeasts can be ordered directly from Scott Laboratories at 707-765-6666, outside California at 1-800-821-7254, or by fax at 707-765-6674.

Zymaflore VL1 : This strain was isolated in Bordeaux for its enhancement of natural varietal aromas. Excellent organoleptic results have been obtained due to the beta-glucosidase activity on bound turpenes found in varieties such as Muscat, Chardonnay, Semillion, and Viognier. Low decarboxylase activity results in low production of vinyl-phenols and helps yield wines with finesse and elegance. Given sufficient nutrients, its relatively slow fermentation rate will ferment to dryness with 14-15% alcohol tolerance and a minimum of H2S, SO2 and volatile acid production.

Zymaflore VL3 : This strain was isolated in Bordeaux following fundamental research done on enhancing varietal character and aroma in Sauvignon Blanc. The research led to the identification of certain aroma precursors which yeast could act upon to reveal specific aromas. Subsequent experimentation has found this to be true of other varieties, such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc, and most other white wines. The VL3 is adapted to aging on the lees and produces very low levels of volatile acidity and SO2. Alcohol tolerance is 13-15%.

Zymaflore ST : This is a Sauternes strain developed at the Bordeaux Institute of Oenology. It was selected for the production of sweet wines with up to 15% alcohol by volume. A high sensitivity to SO2 helps stop the fermentation with a minimal amount of SO2 addition, reducing the potential for complex sulfur compounds formation.

Zymaflore F10 : This strain is tailored for the production of full-bodied, well-rounded red wines with good structure. It allows for full expression of varietal character and terroir with improved extraction of polysaccharides and anthocyanins. It is alcohol tolerant to 13-15% and is recommended for use in wines produced for aging, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Syrah.

Zymaflore F15) : This strain was selected in Bordeaux for its ability to produce round, aromatic and structured red wines. Particularly notable is this strain’s high production of glycerol. It is particularly suitable for grapes coming from young vines or in wines that lack phenolic structure and is alcohol tolerant to 15%.

Actiflore F5 : This strain was selected by the Laffort research laboratory (SARCO) for its good implantation and ability to produce wines with more complexity and fruity character. It is particularly good for red wines with average aging potential or to be drunk fairly young. This is a quick starting fermenter with low production of sulfated compounds and a fermentation potential of up to 14.5% alcohol. It can also be used with good results on white and rosé wines and is particularly good with Pinot Noir.

Actiflore BJL : This strain was isolated in the Beaujolais area for its ability to produce fresh, up front fruit in wines in the "primeur" style, specifically Gamay, Zinfandel and Merlot. It is a quick fermenter with good color extractionand a low production of H2S and volatile acids. It enhances berry-fruity flavors and is MLF tolerant.

Actiflore C (Strain F33) : This strain was selected particularly for its production of colloidal polysaccharides which creates wines with superior balance. It has excellent fermentation characteristics, including good kinetics, low nitrogen requirement, resistance to heat shock, and alcohol tolerance up to 15%. It is a general purpose yeast suitable for the production of whites, rosés and reds.

Unican Active Dry Yeasts

Unican active dry yeast (ADY) cultures are difficult to find in the United States, but are available in the United Kingdom. Unican yeasts can be ordered on-line from the HomeBrewShop or The Home Brew Shop.

Unican Yeast - All Purpose :

Unican Yeast - Burgundy :

Unican Yeast - Hock :

Unican Yeast - Port :

Unican Yeast - Sauterne :

Unican Yeast - Sherry :

Unican Yeast - Cold Fermentation :

Unican Yeast - All Purpose (50g Drum) :


Gervin Active Dry Yeasts

Gervin active dry yeast (ADY) cultures are difficult to find in the United States, but are available in the United Kingdom. Like Unican yeasts, Gervin yeasts can also be ordered on-line from the HomeBrewShop in Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire, UK, or from The Home Brew Shop in Farnborough, Hants, UK.

Gervin Yeast - No. 1 : Green Label, General purpose Bordeaux (Narbonne) strain for both white and red wines. It starts quickly, works at temperatures down to 15c and settles well at the end of the fermentation period. High tolerance to sulfur dioxide (up to 100 ppm).

Gervin Yeast - No. 2 : Red Label, Full bodied red table Burgundy/Champagne (Monrachet). Vigorous yeast giving a rapid start-to-finish to fermentation. Excellent for all red table wines, it is especially recommended for making wines from autumn fruits such as blackberries, elderberries and sloes. It will ferment at temperatures down to 15° c. Beware of foam.

Gervin Yeast - No. 3 : Yellow Label, Sparkling, dessert, dry white table Champagne. This wine is designed to produce sparkling wines, so it tolerates higher levels of alcohol then most yeasts and is ideal for high alcohol dessert wines. It is excellent for restarting stuck fermentations and will ferment well from 12-30° c.

Gervin Yeast - No. 6 : Orange Label, High alcohol, sparkling, restarter for stuck fermentations.

Gervin Yeast - No. 5 : White Label, Quality white table wines. This French yeast is particularly good for making quality white fruit table wines. It forms little foam and ferments well at low temperatures (8-15° c), thus ensuring that the wines develop excellent bouquets.

Gervin Yeast - Varietal A : Quality red table Bordeaux SF strain. This French yeast was selected to compliment and enhance the characteristics of the grapes. Used for the production of red Bordeaux (Claret) wines, it ferments well at 18-35° c.

Gervin Yeast - Varietal B : Quality white table Rhine strain. This is another high quality aromatic yeast intended for the production of wines with a young fruity bouquet. Ferments down to 10° c.

Gervin Yeast - Varietal C : Champagne, sparkling, dessert wine, Prise de Mousse strain EC1118. This yeast is said to be involved in production of 70% of all Champagne. It has similar characteristics to No.3 yeast, but is considerd hardier by many professional winemakers. Recommended for making sparkling wines and for restarting stuck fermentations. Capable of producing alcohol up to 18.5%.

Gervin Yeast - Varietal D : Fruit wines from concentrates, Narbonne strain 71B. This yeast has two inviting characteristics. First, it produces an exceptionally fine bouquet. Second, it can metabolise up to 35% of any malic acid present in the must, which makes this a superb yeast for many fruit wines.

Gervin Yeast - Varietal E : Wine yeast.

Gervin Yeast - High Active Wine Yeast :


SB Active Dry Yeasts

SB yeasts are active dry yeast (ADY) cultures like Red Star or Lalvin wine yeasts. While not readily available in the United States, they are available on-line from The Home Brew Shop of Farnborough, Hants, UK.

SB 1 Bordeaux : For red or white table wines. Rapid starting with good resistance to sulfur dioxide. Temperature range 18-23° c.

SB 2 Burgundy : For full bodied red wines. Good tolerance to alcohol and sulfur dioxide. Easy starting properties and a vigorous fermenter. Temperature range 18-23° c.

SB 3 High Alcohol : A tolerant strain specifically suited to the production of dessert wines like port or sherry or typical fruit wines. Temperature range 18-23° c.

SB 4 Rosé : A strain of Bordeaux yeast particularly suited to the making of Rosé table wines, quick to start and is clean and free from excessive froth. Temperature range 18-23° c.

SB 5 Hock : A high quality yeast for white table wines, very good for fermenting at low temperatures. Temperature range 15-20° c.

SB 6 NU Start : A special wine yeast with the ability to re-start stuck musts after partial fermentation. For best results, activate before adding to must. Sachet packaged for 1 to 3 gallons. Temperature range 16-23° c.

SB 7 Champagne : A style of S. Bayanus which has a good fallout rate and good re-ferment properties. Temperature range 15-25° c.

SB 8 Sauterne : A Bordeaux strain suited to the production of Sauterne type wines with a high starting sugar content. Temperature range 18-23° c.

SB 9 Chablis : A style highly suited to production of full-bodied dry white wines. Resistant to sulphur dioxide and tolerant to temperature range 18-23° c.

SB 10 General Purpose : Suitable for the production of non-specific wines, like vegetable, fruit, flower and ginger beer. Temperature range 18-23° c.

SB 23 Super Yeast : A superior general purpose yeast which is fast fermenting and with a very high alcohol tolerance. Temperature range 15-20° c.


Ritchie Active Dry Yeasts

These yeasts are available on-line in the United Kingdon. I have found them at Colchester Homebrew Supplies, Colchester, Essex, UK, and Inn House Brewery, Glasgow, UK.

Ritchie Premier Crus Sherry Yeast : Sachets available.

Ritchie Port Yeast : Sachets available.

Ritchie Sherry Yeast : Sachets available.

Solvino Reviver Yeast Sachets available.

Ritchie Tokay Yeast : Sachets available.

Ritchie Sauternes Yeast : Sachets available.

Ritchie Burgundy Yeast : Sachets available.

Ritchie Hock Yeast : Sachets available.

Ritchie Bordeaux Yeast : Sachets available.

Ritchie Champagne Yeast : Sachets available.

Miscellaneous Other Wine Yeasts

These yeasts are available on-line piecemeal at one or more of the following sites: Art of Brewing, Kingston, Surrey, UK; The Home Brew Shop in Farnborough, Hants, UK; Colchester Homebrew Supplies, Colchester, Essex, UK; HomeBrewShop, Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire, UK; Homebrew2U, Holland on the Sea, Essex, UK; The Beer Essentials, Lakewood, WA, USA.

Condessa French Wine Yeast : Sachets available.

Condessa French Champagne : Sachets available.

CWE Formula 67 Yeast : Various quantities available.

CWE High Alcohol Yeast : Sachets available.

Favourite All Purpose Yeast : Sachets available.

Favourite High Active / Restart Yeast : Sachets available.

Formula 1 Superyeast : 100 gr Sachets available

Harris VinKwik Yeast : Sachets available.

Kitzinger Mead : Sachets available.

Solvino High Alcohol Yeast Sachets available.

Youngs All Purpose Red Wine Yeast : Sachets available.

Youngs All Purpose White Wine Yeast : Sachets available.

Youngs Red Bordeaux Wine Yeast : Sachets available.

Youngs White Bordeaux Wine Yeast : Sachets available.

Youngs Champagne Wine Yeast : Sachets available.

Youngs Dessert/High Alcohol Wine Yeast : Sachets available.

Youngs Burgundy Red Wine Yeast : Sachets available.

Youngs High Active Yeast : Various quantities available.


Malo-Lactic Cultures

Lalvin X-3 MLC (MLC 10) : A blend of four strains of Leoconostoc oenos, including PSU-1, Peynaud, Radler 3, and Petaluma Isolate. It may be used with both reds and whites, may be introduced early or late, and is a living--not dried--culture. It is fairly expensive (but the most economical ML culture), quantified for large batches (200-800 gallons), and not generally sold for home use. The best bet is to find a winery that uses it and beg them to sell you a very small amount. It must be frozen or refrigerated immediately until used.

Kitzinger Malo-Lactic Culture : I have very little information on this culture, except that it is Leuconostoc oenos and is fairly expensive (I have seen it listed as high as $9.50 for a 5-gallon treatment).

Wyeast 4007 Malo-Lactic Culture : Malo-lactic culture blend isolated from western Oregon wineries. Includes strains Ey2d and Er1a. Excellent for high acid wines and low pH. Can be added to juice any time after the onset of yeast fermentation when sulfur dioxide is less than 15 ppm. This product retails in the $4-5 range for a 5-gallon treatment, but I have seen it listed as high as $7.50.




Feeding Your Yeast


Last update was May 11th, 2009.


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