need help choosing a yeast
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  1. #1
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default need help choosing a yeast

    i've got some honey extracted from frames brought in from dead out colonies. it's mostly capped stores that were left for wintering last year along with some of this year's not quite ripened nectar.

    the water content is 19.4% so i won't be selling any as table honey, but would rather turn it into a mead batch.

    the honey is happy at 19.4 and not trying to ferment. there is a lot of pollen in this honey as many of the frames had beebread on them as well.

    i'm guessing there are alot of wild natural yeasts in this honey. my concern is that those wild yeasts may dominate the fermentation, and from what i have read can adversely affect the flavor of the mead.

    can anyone recommend a particular yeast that is good at overpowering the wild yeasts?
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Izard County, AR, USA
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    Default Re: need help choosing a yeast

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    can anyone recommend a particular yeast that is good at overpowering the wild yeasts?
    "Use a good grade of yeast, one with a “killer” factor to overwhelm other wild yeasts. Some yeasts are known as “killer” yeasts because they suppress the growth of other yeasts. I suggest Lalvin E.C.-1118, or Pasteur Champagne."

    https://byo.com/article/making-mead-tips-from-the-pros/
    8 years, 30 colonies, no chemical treatments

  4. #3
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: need help choosing a yeast

    many thanks for the link c-bees. that particular lalvin yeast has shown up on a couple of the other hits i got on google search. there were some other good tips in that article as well, thanks again.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Izard County, AR, USA
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    Default Re: need help choosing a yeast

    I've been researching mead recently for my first go at it......Can't decide whether to go down the rabbit hole of exact instructions, or do the Viking thing and go basic basics. Do I want to age something 18 months to find out it got screwed up?

    I'm thinking of micro mead. Making quart jar batches so I can experiment with smaller amounts.
    8 years, 30 colonies, no chemical treatments

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    7,793

    Default Re: need help choosing a yeast

    KIV 1116 will finish fermentation in three days at 75F and has few bad habits IMO. 16% abv give or take. I have not yet had a problem with wild yeast taking over and I now use my collected pollen in lieu of yeast energizer and nutrient. If that doesn't have lots of the natural yeast I don't know what would. I really don't think its an issue if you give your yeast a head start in some warm must for an hour or two before pitching.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Roxboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: need help choosing a yeast

    Try contacting www.eckraus.com Ph#1-800-353-1906. They can usually help with yeast selection. I have had a lot of luck with them. Hope this helps.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    erie, pa
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    204

    Default Re: need help choosing a yeast

    place the must in a primary and add 1/4 tsp K-met (potassium metabisulphite) per 5 gallons or less. Kmet Binds O2 so it will be gone in 24 hours in a unlocked primary. then stir well and pitch yeast. Even a mild yeast will then function.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Lambton Shores, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: need help choosing a yeast

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i've got some honey extracted from frames brought in from dead out colonies. it's mostly capped stores that were left for wintering last year along with some of this year's not quite ripened nectar.

    the water content is 19.4% so i won't be selling any as table honey, but would rather turn it into a mead batch.

    the honey is happy at 19.4 and not trying to ferment. there is a lot of pollen in this honey as many of the frames had beebread on them as well.

    i'm guessing there are alot of wild natural yeasts in this honey. my concern is that those wild yeasts may dominate the fermentation, and from what i have read can adversely affect the flavor of the mead.

    can anyone recommend a particular yeast that is good at overpowering the wild yeasts?
    You are concerned unnecessarily; lots of people brew with unpasteurised, unfiltered honey of questionable origin without issue. Honey is almost entirely simple sugars, meaning that a brewers yeast will leave nothing behind for wild yeasts to thrive on. The most important aspect will be moving the mead off of the yeast cake within a couple of months of making the mead - wild yeast may be able to survive off of the materials released as the brewers yeast dies.

    If you are really concerned, for every 19L/5gal of mead, dissolve 1/4 tsp of potassium (or sodium) metabisulfite (or two campden tablets, which are the same thing) into the mead must (e.g. honey/water mix) 24 hours prior to pitching your yeast. This will kill off the wild yeast. It can help to vigorously stir the mead before adding the yeast, in order to help drive off some of the SO2 which has formed - although most wine yeasts are quite sulphate resistant.

    Quote Originally Posted by c-bees View Post
    "Use a good grade of yeast, one with a “killer” factor to overwhelm other wild yeasts. Some yeasts are known as “killer” yeasts because they suppress the growth of other yeasts. I suggest Lalvin E.C.-1118, or Pasteur Champagne."

    https://byo.com/article/making-mead-tips-from-the-pros/
    Killer yeasts only kill susceptible strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae; most wild yeasts are either non-cerevisiae species in the Saccharomyces genera, or are from a completely different genus. In either case, a killer strain won't do much to help control wild yeasts.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: need help choosing a yeast

    many thanks for the replies everyone!
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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