A Simple Guide on How to Choose Wine Yeast (AIH)

Packets of Yeast

Choosing wine yeast is part of the art of winemaking. 

What wine yeast you choose makes a difference.

When you ask the question: what type of wine yeast should I use? there is a lot to think about before answering. In fact, there is more to think about than

most people realize, and this is where some home winemakers can fall just a little short in their wine-making.

Many are under the impression that wine yeast is just wine yeast and making a selection is not that big of deal. Sometimes the result can be pitching whatever yeast happens to be on hand. Some even contemplate adding bread yeast, but the wine yeast vs bread yeast thing is a whole other story.

In reality, there are many different wine yeast strains, each bringing its own to the wine. Some will ferment to higher levels of alcohol than others. This is called alcohol tolerance. Other wine yeast strains may not ferment to higher alcohol levels but are effective at fermenting down the residual sugars. This is referred to as wine yeast attenuation.

Different wine yeast types also have different flavor profiles. Some produce wines that are more rich and earthy while others produce wines that are more fresh and crisp. So it is important to understand that the wine yeast you select does make a difference and should be considered as one of the central ingredients of any wine recipe.

In an effort to help the home winemaker that is faced with choosing wine yeast, we have developed a couple of wine yeast charts. One is for the Lalvin wine yeast chart. There are 5 different wine yeast strains listed on the Lalvin yeast chart. The other comparison chart is for the Vintner’s Harvest wine yeast chart. There are 9 different wine yeast strains listed on Vintner’s Harvest wine yeast chart.

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