· Côte des Blancs - a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been
derived from a selection of the Geisenheim Institute in Germany. It
is a relatively slow fermenter, identical to Geisenheim Epernay,
but producing less foam. This yeast requires nutrient addition for
most chardonnay fermentations. Côte des Blancs produces fine,
fruity aromas and may be controlled by lowering temperature to
finish with some residual sugar. It is recommended for reds,
whites, sparkling cuvées and non-grape fruit wines (especially
apple, it is reported). Ferments best between 17°-30°C (64°-86°F).
Sensitive below 13°C (55°F).
· Montrachet - a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been
derived from the collection of the University of California. This
strain has been widely used in the U.S. since 1963. It is a strong
fermenter with good ethanol tolerance, and will readily ferment
grape musts and fruit juices to dryness. This strain also has good
tolerance to free sulfur dioxide. This strain is recommended for
full bodied reds and whites. It is not recommended for grapes that
have recently been dusted with sulfur, because of a tendency to
produce hydrogen sulfide in the presence of higher concentrations
of sulfur compounds. Montrachet is noted for low volatile acidity,
good flavor complexity, and intense color.
· Pasteur Champagne - a strain of Saccharomyces bayanus, has been
derived from a pure culture slant of the Institut Pasteur in Paris.
This strain has been widely used in the U.S. since 1968. It is a
strong fermenter with good ethanol tolerance, and will readily
ferment grape musts and fruit juices to dryness. This strain also
has good tolerance to free sulfur dioxide. This strain is
recommended for all white wines, some reds and for fruit juices.
Although this yeast is somewhat flocculent, it is not commonly used
for sparkling wine. Pasteur Champagne has been recommended, by
several sources, for restarting stuck fermentations. Ferments best
between 15-30 deg. C, (59-86 deg. F).
· Pasteur Red® - a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been
derived from the collection of the Institute Pasteur in Paris. It
is a strong, even fermenter that produces full bodied reds. This
yeast encourages the development of varietal fruit flavors,
balanced by complex aromas, especially when using grapes of the
Cabernet family. It may be necessary to cool the fermenting must to
prevent unwanted temperature increase. This yeast is reported to
give character to less robust red grapes, or those picked before
· Premier Cuvée - a strain of Saccharomyces bayanus from French
wine yeast is a special isolate of Red Star Yeast & Products.
This yeast has good tolerance to ethanol and free sulfur dioxide,
and ferments to dryness. Premier Cuvée is noted as a very low
producer of foam, urea, and fusel oils. It is recommended for reds,
whites and especially champagne. This yeast is reported to perform
well restarting stuck fermentations. Winemakers have remarked that
Premier Cuvée is the fastest, cleanest, and most neutral fermenter
offered by Red Star®. Ferments best between 7°-35°C (45°-95°F).
Return to Product Detail
Ask a Question
10/20/2008 -- I made a batch of beer using Muntons American Style Light Beer. I put the packet of yeast on top, let it sit for ten
minutes and stired it in.It has been 17hrs later and no bubbles or fermentation has started.What to do now?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: When you have yeast that doesn't start within 24 hours of pitching, it could be any of several problems. The yeast may have been too old. The temperature of the wort may have been too hot. There may not have been sufficient nutrients or sugars for the yeast to start. The best fix is to get a fresh yeast packet, and start it in a pint of sugar water at a temperature between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Add a teaspoon of yeast nutrient, and let the mixture sit in a covered jar overnight. You should see foam on top the next morning, indicating active yeast. At this point you can add it to the wort and be relatively sure it will show activity in the wort within 12 to 24 hours. If after 24 hours there is not activity, then you may have an unintentional ingredient (such as cleanser or disinfectant) in the wort that is killing the yeast.
5/28/2007 -- my main problem is with the yeast,sometimes it works really fast other times it seems really slow.how can i be sure that it works.
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Yeast works differently based on a number of factors - the temperature of the brew, the age of the yeast, whether starter is used, what type of brew it is, etc.
The best way to ensure a quick start and a healthy ferment cycle is to build a yeast starter the day prior to brewing. Sterilize a quart jar. Make up a pint of solution using boiled water, sugar or honey (about 2 Tbsp), yeast nutrient and yeast energizer (about a 1/4 tsp of each). Dissolve everything in the water and wait for it to cool to room temperature. Add the yeast, and cover the jar with a piece of plastic food wrap - don't seal the jar, as you will want the gasses to escape. You should see fermentation within an hour or so, with foaming lasting about 4 to 6 hours. When the foaming subsides, add a touch more sugar/honey. Keep doing this until you are ready to pitch the yeast into your brew. Just prior to pitching, stir the starter vigorously to get the yeast bed swirled up into solution. This will give you a faster start.
To ensure a steady fermentation, constant temperature around 70-75 degrees is best (except for lagers). I recommend the Homebrew Heatpad, winter or summer, for a constant temperature.
7/5/2006 -- We have a recipe for making orange wine. It calls for wine yeast, grape tannin, and yeast nutrient. Which of your products do you suggest? And what quantities?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: For the grape tannin, we only have one choice: Stock number 7390 is powdered tannin from actual grape skins.
For the yeast nutrient, we have two options. Our basic nutrient (stock number 7357) is a compound called diammonium phosphate. It's a lab-produced clone of the chemical compound in dead yeast cells and works very well. We also have a product called servomyces (stock number WLN3200). This is produced by Dr. Chris White of White Labs - the largest producer of liquid brewing yeasts in the USA. Either of these products works very well, although I would probably recommend the first one if you are running a test batch.
For yeast, I highly recommend the Lalvin 71B-1122 strain (stock number 4919). This yeast works very well with fresh fruits and fruit juices, and is excellent for lighter colored fruits such as peaches, pears, apples, and citrus.
As for quantities of each ingredient, that depends on the batch size. Grape tannin is only used in very small amounts (roughly 1/8 tsp per gallon) so the smallest sized package would be plenty. The yeast nutrient requires between 1/2 and 1 tsp per gallon. There are about 2 tablespoons in a 2oz bag. One packet of yeast is sufficient for anywhere from 1 to 6 gallons.
7/3/2006 -- Are there any mead yeasts that can bring it up past 18 percent ABV? If so, are there any you would recommend?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Yeasts cultured specifically for mead generally have a tolerance between 12 and 16 percent. White Labs has both a sweet and a dry liquid mead yeast. Lalvin labs cultured their D-47 strain for meads.
For higher alcohol, I have used the Lalvin 1118 yeast, which is a champagne strain. The tolerance is about 18%. For higher alcohol, I would recommend the Red Star Flor Sherry dry yeast. When using sherry yeast, I recommend starting the primary fermentation with a lower tolerance yeast such as the D-47 or Red Star's Montrachet strain. After 10-15 days, rack the mead into a fresh carboy and pitch the sherry yeast. The sherry will do a much more efficient job this way. My partner and his wife claim to have gotten as high as 21% this way.
If you're planning to do some distilling, you can use the same two-step process, but finish with turbo yeast in the secondary. This will drive your alcohol up to 25%, but has some off-flavors. The off-flavors will distill out, but stay in if you're drinking the mead as brewed.
10/19/2005 -- Last Fall I made some zinfandel whose OG was 30 brix. After fermentation (which I think finished), the wine is still WAY sweet. Can I add water and re-ferment?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: The most likely problem is that you have a stuck fermentation. You don't mention your FG, so I can't tell for sure. Your OG is a little high (21-ish is more normal.)
Take a specific gravity reading, and if the current gravity is out of tolerance, you can restart fermentation by building a yeast slurry and re-pitching it in a day or two. If you do not see any activity after pitching the yeast slurry, you can try again with a higher tolerance yeast. It's possible that the yeast you were using has reached its alcohol tolerance.
I wouldn't add water, as this will reduce both the body and flavor of the finished wine.
9/20/2005 -- I made some watermelon wine, and it smells like bad or rotten watermelon. Is it still any good? It's time to bottle it on Sep 24th, or should I just throw it away?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Sometimes with wine, it is hard to say if it has gone bad or is merely stuck at some stage of fermentation. During both primary and secondary fermentation, the yeast puts off some rather pungent by-products that can cause the fermenter to smell like the fruit or vegetable base is rotting. You didn't say how long ago you started the wine, but you mentioned bottling it this week, so I assume it was several months ago.
Check the thickness of the yeast that has settled out in the bottom of the jug. If the yeast layer is very thin, it may be because it did not yet reproduce enough to complete fermentation. Check the color and clarity of the wine. Watermelon should be a pale pink - almost white, and completely clear. If it is still dark pink/red and hazy, then the yeast is still in solution and hasn't done much work. If this is the case, try adding a bit more sugar and another packet of yeast to see if it starts up again.
If the wine has cleared, and the yeast layer is settled out and fairly thick, take a sample of the wine and taste it. If it tastes okay, but still smells funky, it may just need to age a bit to allow the trapped gases out. If it tastes as nasty as it smells, then it was most likely contaminated with bacteria at some point in the fermentation process. If that is the case, you are probably better off throwing it away and starting over. Make sure that you use a good sanitizing agent on everything that comes into contact with your liquid, and use a closed fermentation with an airlock if you're not already doing so.
7/21/2005 -- Does the type of yeast have anything to do with how long it takes mead to clear?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: It can. Clarity of the finished mead is based on several factors: high protein content, residual wax compounds in the honey, pectin levels in any fruit that was used, acid levels, and (of course) particulate matter in the mead. Residual yeast particles can remain in solution for months after the mead has finished fermenting. Part of the delay in settling out can be the density (specific gravity) of the finished mead - higher density makes it harder for the particles to fall out. The type of yeast can also be a factor - different yeast particles may have different weights, or some yeasts have particles that are more likely to stick to each other (flocculate) than others.
Some tricks to aid clarity:
1. Use a yeast with a high flocculation rating. Good flocculation means the yeast will clump up and fall out sooner, and also resist being swirled back into solution when you move your carboy.
2. When you rack your mead for clarity, try to keep it in a cooler location. Chilled mead will clear faster than warm mead.
3. Place the carboy on top of your refrigerator. When the condenser motor kicks on, the fridge will vibrate the liquid gently, helping the yeast particles to fall out.
4. Use a filter. For sweeter meads, start with a course filter first, and finish with a medium filter. For dry meads start with medium and finish with fine.
4/26/2005 -- Are the grains already ground up when I get them? How is the yeast packaged so it will be fresh on arrival?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: We do offer cracking of the grains as a free service. When you check out, there is a "customer comments" section that you can add any special requests to. Just write in that you want your grains cracked, and we will do so before sealing the bag.
The dry yeasts are all factory packaged, and we maintain them in a refrigerator until shipping. The liquid yeasts are ordered directly from the manufacturer on a "just in time" basis and rotated to ensure that we maintain only those tubes that are within the manufacturer's "viable" window. When we ship the liquid yeast, they are packed with disposable freezer packs.
10/9/2004 -- Dear sir. I am using now, over 2 years, Lalvin dry yeast EC-1118. The problem is that I live in an arabic country and it is illegal to have alcohol. So the kit I have has everything except the grape juice.
What I am doing is mixing fresh juice in a 17 ltr bottle with 1 kg of sugar boiled in 1 ltr of water added to the mix, then add the yeast after 15 min and let stand as directed on the sachet. I have the hydrometer to test the mix before and after. I already have tried so many different kinds of juice, and have all the notes. At the end, some have better taste and different color depending on the juice that I started with. All taste very dry and strong with alcohol varying between 11.5 and 13.5. Is it possible to bring any kind of grape and squeeze it and make the wine? Please suggest - I need your help.
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: It sounds to me as if you are doing everything correctly. Yes, it is possible to squeeze any type of grape and be able to ferment it into wine, although some grape varieties will do better than others. Concord, Niagara, Pinot, Zinfandel, Riesling, and some others are best.
If you want to have a sweeter wine, then after the first ferment is done, you can add sugar in small amounts until you get exactly the taste you want. Each time you add the sugar, the wine will start to ferment again, and the alcohol will rise a little bit. Eventually, the yeast will die, and the wine will get sweeter.
If you have specific questions, you can email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
8/2/2004 -- I am trying to make some muscadine/scuppernong wine. I am also interested in making some blackberry wine since I am limited on my frozen muscadines at this point. What type of yeast do I need for these types wine to give me the best taste and alcohol content?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: For any of these, the Red Star Montrachet strain will work well. It provides about an 11-12% alcohol content while balancing the high acid content of both blackberry and scuppernong.
If you use a Lalvin strain instead, I recommend the RC-212 strain for the muscadine/scuppernong and the 71-B strain for blackberries.
7/29/2004 -- At what temperature should I store my wine yeast?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Refrigerated, the yeast should last for 6 months to a year. I've had yeast still viable more than 2 years with refrigeration. I recommend a temperature range between 35 and 45 degress Fahrenheit.
7/29/2004 -- Can the yeast work alone with the grape juice? Without adding chemicals and tablets?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Yes, yeast will work fine when introduced to sugars present in fruit juice. Campden tablets are used to kill off wild yeasts in fruit prior to introducing the cultured yeast. Other chemicals (such as nutrients or energizers) are generally added to accelerate cultured yeast activity, and may be required by specific recipes or added at the whim of the brewer.
7/29/2004 -- Besides Montrachet, can you recommend yeasts for red and white wine?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Both Pasteur Red Star and Lalvin are fine yeasts for wines. Details of which yeasts work for which wines are in the descriptions of those stock items.
7/28/2004 -- Hey, it's been 3 days since I mixed up my batch of wine and the only thing I have done different from the instructions on the package was when I rehydrated the yeast I put a little bit of sugar in the warm water and left it in there for about 20 minutes instead of 15... but it's not fermenting and it's actually sucking water back up the hose... should I pour it out and start over????
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Never pour out a batch of homebrew until all options for fixing a problem have been exhausted. Many times, it's a simple fix. In this case, there are a couple of problems that may be the cause.
The first possibility is that the fruit juice you are using may have preservatives. You didn't specify if you used fresh fruit, juice from a homebrew store, or other commercial juice. Whenever you use commercial juice (from somewhere other than a homebrew shop), check the label for the words "potassium", "sulphite", "sorbate", or "to preserve freshness". Any of these indicate that a preservative has been added. Overcoming preservative is a long and arduous process, and if you write back and tell me that's the problem, I'll send a complete answer.
Another likely problem is that the yeast was no longer viable. Dry yeasts usually last about 3 to 6 months in room temperatures, up to a year or more when refrigerated. However, yeast is tricky and these timeframes are just estimates. Humidity, changes in temp, and other factors can shorten yeast life. If you have a slow start or a stuck ferment, always try a new yeast starter with a fresh packet of yeast.
A third factor could be residual cleanser or sanitizer on the equipment. In this case, thoroughly sterilize and rinse a new fermenter. Siphon the liquid into the new fermenter, being sure to oxygenate it thoroughly. Then start over with a fresh yeast starter.
10/14/2003 -- I am making scuppernong wine and it has a vinegary taste to it. Any suggestions as to why this happened and what I can do to eliminate the vinegary taste?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: There are a number of different reasons for why it would have a vinegary taste. First of all, do you have any sort of milky or egg-whitish film floating on top of the wine? If so, this is called a "mother of vinegar", and it indicates that the wine has actually turned. It's easy to identify because it's a little different from the meringue-like foam or carbonation-like foam layer that forms during fermentation, and it never goes away. The best thing to do in that case is to cultivate the vinegar, bottle it, and use it for cooking or as gifts. Homemade vinegar is very good.
If there is no "mother" floating on top, then the taste can be for a number of other reasons. The most common is that some sort of bacteria escaped the sanitation process and has soured the wine. Another could be that a wild yeast strain got in before your cultured yeast got active (in some cases, people prefer to use the natural yeasts that reside on the grape skins... which is sort of a crap-shoot for flavor.) Wild yeasts tend to have a more vinegary or cidery flavor. Another cause could be that all the sugar was eaten up in the fermentation process. Scuppernong is a sourish grape to begin with, so it doesn't make a good dry wine.
In any of these cases, you can use a combination of refermentation, resweetening, and aging to mellow the flavor. Start by checking the viability of the current yeast. If your wine is still in the fermenter, dissolve a few tablespoons of sugar in warm water and add it to the fermenter. If you notice refermentation, then your yeast simply used up all the original sugar. At this point, you can continue to add sugar in small amounts until the yeast dies, or you can rack your wine into a new container and add a stabilizer (such as potassium sorbate) to prevent refermentation. Once you have done one of those things, then you can sweeten the wine to taste. Adding a touch of ascorbic acid (an anti-oxidant) can help.
Finally, after complete fermentation and sweetening, age is your friend. Let the wine age in the bottle (on its side) for at least 6 months before tasting again. You should notice the flavor mellowing a bit. I usually put 1/4 of my batch in a dark, cool place and leave it for two to three years, and those wind up being my best bottles.
If after 6 months to a year in the bottle, the vinegary taste is still strong, don't throw the wine away. Scuppernong grapes add an interesting flavor to foods, and the wine can be used in place of wine or cooking sherry in food recipes.
7/16/2003 -- How much yeast energizer do you add to 5 gallons of Rhubarb-Strawberry juice to start fermentation?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: First of all, remember that yeast energizer is not necessarily required to start a fermentation. The purpose of yeast energizer is both to help isolate toxins in the must that would otherwise slow down fermentation, and to help get fermentation started more quickly in order to overcome the ability of any wild yeasts or bacteria that may otherwise have a chance to settle in. This second reason is particularly important when working with fresh fruit rather than canned juices. Normally with juices, I won't use any. Rhubarb is a little different, since it's a vegetable (high fiber, low sugar.) The characteristics of a vegetable will serve to slow fermentation. If the recipe you're using doesn't specify, I usually recommend starting out with about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per gallon... so, about 2 teaspoons for a 5 gallon batch - maybe 2-1/2 depending on the percentage of rhubarb to strawberry.
Return to Product Detail
Ask a Question