News item: Thanks to all those who stopped by the White Labs booth at CiderCon 2015 in Chicago!
Cider makers use White Labs for commercial purposes and in home settings. White Labs offers WLP775 English Cider Yeast year-round for all users, and many other wine and beer strains are also popular with cider makers, including WLP002 English Ale Yeast and WLP028 Edinburgh Ale Yeast (a study on a wide range of White Labs yeast strains with judges' ratings follows below).
To explore your yeast options, please write email@example.com or call 1-888-5-YEAST-5.
Enzymes that are ideal for cider makers include WLN4700 Hazyme C (which reduces the haze formation from soluble starch break down in apple juice) and WLN4800 Rapidase C80 (which was developed especially for depectinisation of apple or pear juice). More on enzymes from White Labs can be found here.
White Labs has a full analytical testing department that can help cider makers with testing needs (find out more in the testing section of this website). Additionally, nutrients for cider needs can be found in the nutrients section of this website. Popular nutrients available from White Labs for cider include Fermaid K and Fermaid O, made by Lallemand.
In an experiment conducted by the QUAFF homebrewing club in 2013, members tested the following strains: WLP002 English Ale Yeast, WLP028 Edinburgh Ale Yeast, WLP500 Trappist Ale Yeast, WLP575 Belgian Ale Yeast Blend, WLP775 English Cider Yeast, WLP810 San Francisco Lager Yeast, and WLP862 Cry Havoc Yeast. All cider makers used 5 gallons of apple juice and employed a variety of fermentation temperatures and nutrients.
The testing was funded by the American Homebrewers Association's Research & Education Fund (REF).
Below are the taste test rankings, with "1" being the most favored:
Q) Why should I use fresh yeast or White Labs yeast, as opposed to dry yeast?
A) Fresh yeast from White Labs has never been dehydrated and is alive and ready for inoculation upon delivery. Yeast fermentation contribute much of the flavor and aroma of cider, and liquid White Labs yeast offer significant character contributions to cider. The flavors and aromas will differ based upon apples used and fermentation conditions, and thus many cider makers experiment to find the strains (each with their own flavor contributions) that match the flavor profile they are seeking. The yeast is particularly valuable on drier styles in which the fermentation flavors shine through, and for which the yeast can contribute unique and complex flavors.
Q) Can I expand the yeast for larger batch sizes?
A) Yes, it is common for wine makers and cider makers to prop up their yeast from White Labs.
Q) Can I reuse the yeast?
A) Yes. White Labs fresh yeast is alive and healthy after most fermentations. The relatively low alcohol levels prevents the yeast from dying off, as it does in wine production. Cider makers generally do not re-use the yeast as much as brewers, however, given the more challenging, low-nutrient fermentation environment. Cider makers using White Labs yeast often re-use the yeast two to four times.