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Lager yeast in a cider?

Hey all,

My local homebrew shop didn't have any yeasts I would typically use for cider, so I opted to get WLP810 SF lager because it can handle the temperatures i need to store it at. I'm ether going to leave the batch in the wine cellar (59°f constant) or move it between the cellar during the day and the porch at night (gets down to approx 47°f).

 Additionally, the juice has been dosed with campden tabs over 24 hours ago. I have GoFerm and Fermaid K on hand, and plan to use both.

 Is this something that I can do and walk away with something drinkable? Thoughts and comments appreciated.

I’m about to make my first cider, so I’m by no means anywhere approaching an expert, however, I did just listen to both BN podcasts on cider.

The world-reknowned cidermaker they had on there said he fermented his ciders in the HIGH 30’S TO LOW 40’S!!!

So, a lager yeast would probably be real comfortable working at the temps in your cellar.

Also, apple juice is pretty much all fructose, so I don’t think you will need to worry about growth or a starter. I would probably opt to keep the temp constant.

I haven’t tried it yet, but I think a lager yeast is an excellent idea for a cider. “They” always say, “low and slow is the way to go”, and a lager yeast should get you there. I guess my only concerns might be excessive sulfur and perhaps diacetyl production, but this is nothing an extended warm rest couldn’t fix near the end of fermentation.

In this months Zymurgy (I believe it was also in BYO’s last issue), Stan Sessions does an article evaluating different beer yeasts in ciders. Of the several yeasts used in the taste test SF Lager came in last with the judges, cider makers, and general public at the tasting. At AHA Conference this year Chris Banker discussed this same taste test and said that SF lager left a lot of sulfur in the finished product. He did point out that he felt this would age out over time.

Hope this helps, good luck!

Cheers, gang. It’s chilling in the cellar. Had a slow start but took off running after a day or so. When yall talking about “slow”, what exactly does that mean? I was going to serve this around new years.
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It might be done by New Years but you are cutting it close. It is likely to taste like farts for a few months but will eventually age out. If you add a little Knox gelatin at the end of fermentation it will help to condition it faster at the end.

I’ll give it a taste test when I rack into secondary. Can I bottle condition this? Can I cask condition this?? Does it need to sit in the carboy???

You will need to be patient as it often takes a couple of weeks for the last couple of gravity points to finish up fermenting. If you bottle too early, you could get bombs. If you keg you should be alright kegging a little bit early. Just might take some age to get rid of any sulfur.

Bottled anyways (yolo)*, nothing has exploded. Going to heat pasteurize the lot tomorrow. Anything not consumed on Turkey day will get cellared and consumed at leisure. Transferred the Lager cider to secondary, will let that go until about 2 weeks before xmas, then will hit with sorbate, backsweeten and keg. Hopefully i’ll have my keezer put together by then and will cold crash the f**K out of it in an effort to clear it up. Still cloudy now.

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