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Ale yeast

Anyone out there use ale yeast to ferment cider?
What strain?
I’m going to do a cider next week and would like to use a yeast that I already have on hand: S-05, S-04, S-33, Munton’s.

Of those, S-05 will probably work the best. I’ve made good cider with it. I didn’t like S-04.

I have not used S-04, but have found I really like using British Ale yeasts for cider. They tend to leave a bit of residual sweetness, which I think is usually needed. I’d think S-04 or the Munton’s fermented at a lower temperature would be your best bet.

I was kind of thinking Munton’s. The pack I have is getting a little long in the tooth and since I’m only doing a 1 1/2 to 2 gallon batch I’d just toss in the entire 6 grams.
It’s going to be a coconut cider.

I went with the Munton’s. Pitched the yeast mid-afternoon Monday and saw signs of fermentation by supper. It’s burping once every five or six seconds now: thursday afternoon.

After two weeks .998 and tasting good.

I bottled it on Monday and think it turned out pretty good.

Good to hear. Now try to make another batch with a different yeast and let us know how that one turns out too :slight_smile:

Good to hear. Now try to make another batch with a different yeast and let us know how that one turns out too :slight_smile: [/quote]

You’ll have a long wait for that; I only brew one cider per year, some years none.
It’s something I like to do during the summer because of how easy it is and it doesn’t heat up the kitchen.

A friend and I experimented with different yeasts in cider earlier this year. We tested 4 different ale yeasts (US-05, WY1968, S-04, and Nottingham) along with a few different wine yeasts and two cider yeasts. Those of use that tasted the ciders agreed that US-05 was the best cider made with ale yeast. For me, the US-05 batch was the second best of the nine different yeasts that we used. The wine drinkers that tasted the cider thought that the ale yeast gave the cider a “beery” flavor. That must be the reason that I liked them so much. WY1968 also made a really nice cider. S-04 and Nottingham were just okay.


True, US-05 yeast does make the cider taste more beery.

Nothing beats Cote des Blancs yeast in my opinion. My favorite. (That’s a wine yeast.)

I have only used a wine yeast once with cider (I think it was Red Star Champagne) and it dried it out too much for my tastes. I’ve been happier with the british ale yeasts. I should experiment some more.


Nothing beats Cote des Blancs yeast in my opinion. My favorite. (That’s a wine yeast.)[/quote]

That was the yeast that most people liked the best. QA-23 yeast (a sauvignon blanc yeast) was also well liked.


I tried one after 10 days in the bottle. The carbonation is lighter than I wanted, but the taste is very good. I’ll try another one at 21 days and see.

Is the yeast the key factor in what makes Redd’s Apple Ale taste different. Curious as I don’t care for it’s flavor, Woodchuck is my favorite with Angry Orchard behind that. Have tried Hardcore Cider at a ren fest but only as a 50/50 with mead so can’t say how I like it. Figure if I decide to start making cider don’t want it to have the taste that Redd’s has.

The artificial flavoring is what makes Redds so different. Yuck. It is not apple and it is barely an ale. And the others are not great ciders either as many are made from concentrate. It is not the yeast that makes these different or special. It is the non-traditional processing. It is like comparing different brands of American cheese. What are the merits of Kraft singles versus Velveeta bricks etc. But we digress…

Yes, but it is a very good point. Real hard cider fanatics will spend a lot more time obsessing over the mix of apple varieties used in the cider - it is almost an art in itself to learn the varietals, how they differ and how they respond to fermentation. I suspect that if you start with the right mix of apples and the yeast plays a significant role in the flavor development, you’ve picked the wrong yeast. Whenever I’ve made cider, I start with whatever apples I can get, so ever batch is different. Sometimes they come out OK, other times (like last year), they can be extraordinary.

My ciders were all extraordinarily good from last year as well. I made one batch of single varietal Kingston Black. So good. Another batch of the best orchard-pressed cider that I could possibly find – I purchased a couple gallons from like 4 different orchards then blended them to suit my tastes and drank the rest sweet and fresh. That cider turned out phenomenal and quite tart. And the best cider of all was the one where I purchased a half dozen heritage varieties of apples and juiced them myself. Really really great stuff. More balanced. All three batches were fermented with Cote des Blancs. I don’t imagine the need to ever try any other yeast, it is really THAT good of a strain for cider. But of course I will try other yeasts occasionally in future. This was just another round of experiments where the yeast was NOT a variable this time around. This fall I’ll try the Wyeast 1728 Scottish, which Zymurgy says is the best of the ale yeasts for cider.

It takes a few years to play around with all the variables. Can you make really good cider with ale yeasts? Yes, most of the time. Wine yeasts? Yes, even moreso. Do varieties of apple matter? I would say that at first, you really will not be able to tell the differences that much. As you experiment more in successive batches, you can gain a sense of what each varietal does for your cider. However this is really something that requires quite a bit more experience and experimentation. At least, that’s my opinion and experience and suggestion.


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