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Yeast Suggestion for Heirloom Apples

I’ve gotten a hold of juice from heirloom apples (Ashmead’s Kernel, Esopus Spitzenburg, Arkansas Black, Albemarle Pippen). I don’t know the sugar content yet–I’m hoping in comes in at 1.060 or so.

I’d like to brew somewhere between a semi-sweet to dry cider but I don’t want to blow out all the flavor either. I will be bottle carbonating.

Any suggestions for yeast?


You lucky dog! I have a couple of batches of heritage apple cider going right now as well, but it looks like you hit the jackpot with some really nice varieties.

I like Cote des Blancs yeast the best. It will ferment cold in the upper 40s / low 50s. If you can maintain it cold like that, it will help to preserve the flavors and aromas. And even if you need to ferment it warmer than that, it is still my favorite yeast of all at any temperature. It does finish quite dry, typically in the neighborhood of 0.996 specific gravity, but if you rack the cider often and keep things cold, it may quit a little higher/sweeter than that.

You could also try Wyeast 1728, which is supposed to finish semi-sweet and rates very highly for cider making. I have never tried this myself, so I am just going based on things I have read in a recent issue of Zymurgy magazine, but I plan to try this yeast next year.

Good luck!!

Ya, there’s a guy here in C’ville who devotes an inordinate amount of time and resources to making Cider. He’s in contact with a number of orchards and professional “micro-cideries” in the area. Great contact.

I’m taking your advice and will use the Cote de Blancs for all 12 gallons. I like to experiment a bit with different yeasts and whatnot, but I don’t really want to mess around with these apples.

Thanks for the advice.

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