Winemaking Yeast Guide
Lalvin Wine Yeast
The Bourgovin RC 212 strain was selected from fermentations produced in the Burgundy region by the Bureau interprofessionnel des vins de Bourgogne (BIVB). It was selected for its ability to ferment a traditional heavier-style Burgundian Pinot Noir.
The RC 212 is a low-foaming moderate-speed fermenter with an optimum fermentation temperature ranging from 20° to 30°C (68° to 86°F). A very low producer of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), the RC 212 shows good alcohol tolerance to 16%.
The RC 212 is recommended for red varieties where full extraction is desired. Lighter red varieties also benefit from the improved extraction while color stability is maintained throughout fermentation and aging. Aromas of ripe berry and fruit are emphasized while respecting pepper and spicy notes.
A vigorous white wine yeast that will leave a wine very full bodied with enhanced mouthfeel. Accentuates varietal character and contributes ripe tropical fruit and citrus notes. Recommended for Chardonnay and Rose as well as mead, when nutrients are supplemented. Whites, rose, mead.
This strain was isolated from grapes grown in the Côtes-du-Rhône region of France by Dr. Dominique Delteil, head of the Microbiology Department, Institut coopératif du vin (ICV), in Montpellier. ICV D-47 strain was selected from 450 isolates collected between 1986 and 1990.
The ICV D-47 is a low-foaming quick fermenter that settles well, forming a compact lees at the end of fermentation. This strain tolerates fermentation temperatures ranging from 15° to 20°C (59° to 68°F) and enhances mouthfeel due to complex carbohydrates. Malolactic fermentation proceeds well in wine made with ICV D-47.
Recommended for making wines from white varieties such as Chardonnay and rosé wines. An excellent choice for producing mead, however be sure to supplement with yeast nutrients, especially usable nitrogen.
Selected in Narbonne at the Institut national de recherche en agriculture (INRA) by J. Maugenet. The selection was designed to isolate yeasts that would produce a fruity yet fresh character in wine that would live long after fermentation.
The 71B strain is a rapid starter with a constant and complete fermentation between 15° and 30°C (59° and 86°F) that has the ability to metabolize high amounts (20% to 40%) of malic acid. In addition to producing rounder, smoother, more aromatic wines that tend to mature quickly, it does not extract a great deal of phenols from the must so the maturation time is further decreased.
The 71B is used primarily by professional winemakers for young wines such as vin nouveau and has been found to be very suitable for blush and residual sugar whites. For grapes in regions naturally high in acid, the partial metabolism of malic acid helps soften the wine. The 71B also has the ability to produce significant esters and higher alcohols, making it an excellent choice for fermenting concentrates.
Selected by the Institut coopératif du vin in Montpellier among numerous killer strains isolated and studied by Pierre Barre at INRA, the K1V-1116 strain was the first competitive factor yeast to go into commercial production and has become one of the most widely used active dried wine yeasts in the world.
The K1V-1116 strain is a rapid starter with a constant and complete fermentation between 10° and 35°C (50° and 95°F), capable of surviving a number of difficult conditions, such as low nutrient musts and high levels of sulfur dioxide (SO2) or sugar. Wines fermented with the K1V-1116 have very low volatile acidity, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and foam production.
The K1V-1116 strain tends to express the freshness of white grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Seyval. The natural fresh fruit aromas are retained longer than with other standard yeast strains. Fruit wines and wines made from concentrates poor in nutrient balance benefit from the capacity of K1V-1116 to adapt to difficult fermentation conditions. Restarts stuck fermentations.
AKA Prise de Mousse. Saccharomyces bayanus. A low foaming, vigorous and fast fermenter good for both reds and whites. It is also ideal for ciders and sparkling wines. A very competitive yeast that will inhibit wild yeasts. It will restart stuck fermentations because of good alcohol and sulfite tolerance. This is a very neutral yeast that will have very little effect on the varietal character of the grape. A popular strain that ferments fully and flocculates well producing compact lees. Good for cool fermentations. Champagne, dry reds, whites, ciders and sparkling. 45-95° F (7-35° C).
Selected in Portugal by the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD) in cooperation with the Viticultural Commission of the Vinho Verde region, Lalvin QA23™ is an excellent choice for wine styles like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Chardonel, and Gewürztraminer.
Lalvin QA23™ has low nutrient and oxygen requirements, and it has been known to ferment juice at low temperatures (15 °C/59 °F) to dryness. QA23™ is an excellent thiol converter making it a complementary yeast for developing varietal Sauvignon Blanc passion fruit character. It also produces large amounts of the enzyme beta-glucosidase during growth, which allows for the release of bound terpenes in aromatic varieties.
Red Star Wine Yeast
Pasteur Red (now "Premier Rouge")
A strong fermenter and produces full-bodied red wines. Particularly well suited for grapes from the Zinfandel and Cabernet families as well as Berry and Cherry Wine, Gamay, Merlot, Pinot, and Syrah.
Montrachet (now "Premier Classique")
Montrachet is a versatile all purpose wine yeast with complex flavors and aromas. Ferments strongly and has good alcohol tolerance. Well suited for Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel and other dry, full bodied wines.
Côte des Blanc
Cote des Blancs is also known as Epernay II. It is recommended for Chardonnay, Riesling, mead and cider, as well as fruit wines, particularly apple. it imparts a fruity aroma in both red and white wines. A slow fermenter that works best between 50 and 80 degrees. This strain will not ferment to a dryness at the low end of the range, leaving residual sugar resulting in a sweeter wine.
Premier Blanc (Pasteur Champagne)
Red Star Pasteur Blanc has a neutral flavor profile that is recommended for dry wines. Alcohol Tolerance: 13-15%, but can exceed 16% with a healthy ferment. Recommended for Cabernet, Cider, Dry Whites, Fruits, Meads, Port, and sodas. Despite the name, this yeast SHOULD NOT be used in sparkling wines.
This Prise de Mousse strain is fast-starting, clean and neutral. Premier Cuvee is a popular choice because of its consistently strong fermentation characteristics and high alcohol tolerance, up to 18%. The first choice for champagne and sparkling wines. Also good for restarting stuck fermentations.