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Yeast Experiment Round One Results

First round results are in for the yeast experiment! On a Friday afternoon several of us Northern Brewer folks sat down for a unique wine tasting.

yeast experiment

Some of you folks probably took a look at my previous post, The Grand Yeast Experiment, in which I described the set-up.

Basically, this is the same wine, a Vintner's Reserve Shiraz kit with no oak, fermented as 6 one-gallon batches with a different yeast strain for each. The differences in taste were pretty dramatic for just changing one thing. Below are the complete listings of the tasting notes that we took by person. This was a blind tasting, so we didn't know what strains were used until afterwards. Some people's impressions vary from others, but you should get a nice overall picture of each yeast's effect. We found that the one liquid strain used was very different from the others, so winemakers may want to explore some of the liquid options more. Feel free to ask any questions, the results of the upcoming mead tasting should be posted soon.

Tom:
1 - White Labs Cabernet - Nice acidity and tannin emphasis. Roundish, fruit forward (lots of fruit flavor at the beginning) dark cherry impression.
2 - Red Star Pasteur Red - Neutral, fruit on back end, a little flat
3 - Lalvin 71-b - Very full tasting with a lot of body, big alcohol impression, some fruit flavors.
4 - Red Star Montrachet - Blackberry in the nose, gentle with some leather notes and a slightly tannic backend. Probably the most nuanced of all the strains.
5 - Lalvin D-47 - Very dry with no alcohol taste, fuzzy berry/cherry, nicely fruity.
6 - Vintner's Harvest CR51 - Chocolate in the nose, more chocolate in the taste, lots of acid.

Tim:
1 - White Labs Cabernet - Tastes yummy. Full body some fruit.
2 - Red Star Pasteur Red - Much less body than #1, hot alcohol, low fruit flavor. Meh.
3 - Lalvin 71-b - Tannins seem pronounced. low body. Cherry-er but less "fruity". Dry.
4 - Red Star Montrachet - Lots 'o body. Balanced/restrained, seems less flavorful. Oaky?
5 - Lalvin D-47 - Fruity. Good. Dry but not boozy.
6 - Vintner's Harvest CR51 - Good. Acid.

Dan:
1 - White Labs Cabernet - Alcohol notes, sweet and robust, sweeter than I like. Cherries+plums with a tang. Tannins.
2 - Red Star Pasteur Red - Lot's of alcohol in the nose, medium dry, tannic, almost oaky, more grape flavor.
3 - Lalvin 71-b - Tobacco+very dark fruits. Some sweetness but not overly sweet. Body.
4 - Red Star Montrachet - Smalls like cheap wine. Flat, some dark fruit tannic medium sweet.
5 - Lalvin D-47 - Smells similar to 4. Some alcohol in nose. Sweet, rounded flavor soft edges.
6 - Vintner's Harvest CR51 - Nice Dark flavors, very full body. Booze in nose along with loads of cherries. Harsher, tangy.

Dawson:
1 - White Labs Cabernet - Tobacco, tannic, earthy dark fruit, burny.
2 - Red Star Pasteur Red - Cherry, much brighter less earthy than #1, softer, less tannic vs. #1.
3 - Lalvin 71-b - Alcohol! Dry, high fruit notes.
4 - Red Star Montrachet - Dark fruit, nicely balanced alcohol+Tannin, mouthfeel.
5 - Lalvin D-47 - Soft, faintly fruity nose, subdued tannin - would like some oak.
6 - Vintner's Harvest CR51 - Earthy berries and jam, round.