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Back to Basics - Yeast

Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 27, 2010
Ottawa, ON
Next week, we'll be discussing yeasts!

What's your go-to yeast? Has it changed over time? Why?

What yeasts have you used? The ones most of us on Gotmead Live are familar with are the Lalvin family (EC1118, K1V1116, D47, 71B, RC212), bread yeast, and Wyeast 1388. Are you really familar with something not on this list? Would you like to talk about it on the show?

Let us know!


Registered Member
Dec 14, 2014
I've become a fan of KV1-1116 because of its heat tolerance, esters and flavors. It just quietly chugs away. Also Cotes des Blancs for white melomels such as pear, peach, anis etc. Very dependable. Seems "gentle". For musts that have high malic acid I use Maurivin B. Seems to leave good "viscosity." Mouth feel.


Registered Member
Sep 9, 2015
Inland Empire
I'm probably not going to get much out of the box here, but I really tend to like some of the old standbys we have all come to know and love.

EC-1118 is simply a champ. It burns clean, it is not very finicky when it comes to nutrients or temperature, it definitely finishes the job and will promise you a dry product if that's what you're looking for, and it's just plain Old Reliable. I also find it imparts a kind of a magical indescribable character to it. Almost spicy, or something close to spicy.

Two more that I found to be very reliable and dependable and produce consistent good results when you pay attention to proper nutrient additions and temperature control are 71B-1122 and D47. In my experience these two both produce very similar results, both in terms of tropical / fruity character, and alcohol tolerance.

For ciders and cysers, Red Star Cote des Blancs is my go to yeast. Very champagne like finish that blends well with the apple character. And for whatever reason it does not tend to get finicky and produce those rhino farts we all know and loathe.

I've been experimenting with CY3079 and W15 lately as well, on the recommendation of a very experienced mead maker. My goal is to find a dry yeast form surrogate for Wyeast 4632. I think I'm getting close to finding one too! These two yeasts seem to perform in parallel very similarly. And I have to commend them both on how well they have done fermenting at a higher than normal temperature. I just relocated and I haven't been able to set up any temperature control. So I've had two 5-gallon batches, one of each of these, fermenting at about 77 to 78 degrees. I am very happy to report that both of them have turned out wonderfully, with absolutely no indication of any stress to the yeast whatsoever. TOSNA protocol used throughout. Very pleasant ester qualities, and no fusels or sulfur detectable.

Cheers! 🍻


Registered Member
Mar 26, 2013
I've been using Kitzinger Reinhefe yeast from Germany obviously. Very excellent yeast which I thoroughly recommend. I think it's a serious contender to be showcased on your next airing. I've been using their Portwein variety for mead. It has a nice alcohol tolerance of around 16% and can handle high sugar environments. This makes it an excellent choice for dropping it into a high gravity must (1.135+). It'll eat on average 10 points a day and starts doing this from day 2 onward already (despite being in a high gravity environment). All it really needs is a decent starter and it'll go off like a rocket.

The real advantage though is it's resistance to shifts in temperature without doing weird stuff immediately. Due to the intended fortification of port wine it's important that the bouquet of the initial product remains in tact and that it doesn't impart too much of an alcohol heat. They also have a 'universal' type of yeast as a general purpose go-to. But it's really the one meant for ports which I find excellent for meads as well. If you can manage to keep the first fermentation relative stable in temperature, provide DAP and give the yeast a good starter (hydration by means of a sample from the must itself and of course nutrients) it will work absolute wonders.

Quite affordable as well.

I should also mention however that some of my best wines (not meads sadly) were made with ordinary bread yeast. I once made a delicious plum wine by dumping the plum fruits (cut up) into a fermentation bucket, dumped boiling water onto that and that was basically all the sanitation I used. When it was cooled down I dropped in a package of bread yeast it, gave it a shake and let it go. The end product was a fought over commodity at summer grill parties.
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