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Geoman

What yeast should I use?

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Howdi y'all,

I'm a beginner in distilling long time beer brewer. in beer, we used to be very particular about what yeast to use.  based on the target profile, taste, and so on.  how is it in distilling for yeast choice?  do you long timers and experienced guys, do you  use different yeast for different product, like yeast for whiskey, another for rum, and another for different brandies?

I'm using bred yest so far, for rum and brandies, I'm getting not so successful. any guidance? , any good books on this subject?

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I agree with silk (as usual ). Yeast may not your problem but of course you should explain what is going on in better detail so it can be narrowed down . There is million things that can go wrong but only one thing that can go right lol.

Rum ie cane sugar and brandy ie fruit both can be fermented quite well with lavellan ec118, it very forgiving .

Tim

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Can't say whether or not yeast is your issue, but I would recommend trying other yeasts than bread yeasts. Some factors you might consider in choosing a yeast are attenuation, ester / flavor production (or lack thereof), and to a lesser extent strain origin (some yeasts were cultured off of whatever plant you're intending to ferment).

Here's a helpful chart from White Labs:

https://www.whitelabs.com/sites/default/files/distilling_guide.pdf

But also experiment - I'm starting a fermentation today with White Labs Belgian Saison II

1 hour ago, Hudson bay distillers said:

Rum ie cane sugar and brandy ie fruit both can be fermented quite well with lavellan ec118, it very forgiving .

This is a great yeast for starting out with - you can use it on pretty much anything, and it ferments relatively fast.

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I am having good results with distillamax rm from lallemand. The distillers guide to rum by Ian SMiley, Eric Watson & Michael Delevante is a good read to have on repeat.

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On 5/4/2019 at 6:25 PM, Geoman said:

in beer, we used to be very particular about what yeast to use.

In distilling you'll find that yeast selection is a little different than beer. The differences between yeasts in distilling are more subtle than beer and some effects aren't immediately apparent. It may take a few years to know if a yeast works out or not.

The second thing is that there's a number of distilleries that only use generic bread yeast for everything. Or they only produce one type of product (e.g. "Moonshine"). You'll find that attitude is due to the moonshining culture. Use what works and is cheap. Add in the illegality and not many people nor companies shared info or catered to us. This is changing drastically, but it's still just the beginning of the change.  

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39 minutes ago, Foreshot said:

In distilling you'll find that yeast selection is a little different than beer. The differences between yeasts in distilling are more subtle than beer and some effects aren't immediately apparent. It may take a few years to know if a yeast works out or not.

The second thing is that there's a number of distilleries that only use generic bread yeast for everything. Or they only produce one type of product (e.g. "Moonshine"). You'll find that attitude is due to the moonshining culture. Use what works and is cheap. Add in the illegality and not many people nor companies shared info or catered to us. This is changing drastically, but it's still just the beginning of the change.  

That is a nail, and you hit it on the head.  Huge difference between asking a question about beer brewing/home brewing, and asking a question about distilling. 

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