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Hey folks, I’m Jeff from Moonshine Distiller, and in this episode we’re going to be covering the difference between all the different types of yeast. I’ve kinda grouped them into three categories. You’ve got your turbo yeasts, your specialized yeasts, and your brewer’s and vinter’s yeasts.
Turbo yeasts have kind of a bad name. A lot of expert distillers really don’t like them, however, I’ve been distilling for years and still enjoy using them. They really just make things easier. Basically, all you need to do is mix some sugar into water, let it cool down a little bit, and add the yeast. It will ferment out really quickly, and it may not be as smooth or clean as some of the other yeasts, but by the time you run it through the reflux still and a carbon filter, it still ends up tasting pretty good (especially if you’re mixing it with something like an essence or aging it in a barrel, often it really makes no difference).
There are two types of varieties. There is a 24-hour turbo yeast and a 48-hour turbo yeast. The 24-hour turbo yeast obviously ferments a little more quickly. That time designation is really supposed to designate how long it will take that yeast to get from 0% alcohol to 14% alcohol. So, even though they are 24 or 48-hour yeasts, they won’t actually take 24 or 48 hours to completely ferment your wash if you go up the maximum alcohol by volume for each yeast. The 24-hour yeast will ferment a little bit more quickly, but it will also produce a few more by-products in the process. The 48-hour yeast is a little bit of a slower fermenting yeast. It will produce a few less by-products, but both of them both have plenty of yeast nutrients to ferment out a complete sugar wash in just a couple of days.
The specialized yeasts, like the whiskey, rum, and vodka yeast, are specific strains that are meant to ferment with different by-products produced during fermentation. The whiskey yeast, for example, produces more like a beer type of wash from an all-grain mash with a lot of esters that end up in the final product. The rum yeast does the same thing, although the esters produced are slightly different and give the rum its kind of sweet fragrant flavor. The vodka yeast, on the other hand, is meant to produce as few by-products as possible, so you get the cleanest and smoothest tasting product.
The vinter’s and brewer’s yeasts, on the other hand, are actually small yeast packets that contain only yeast and no yeast nutrients, so they cannot be used in an all sugar wash or a wash that has very few nutrients. Those are great for expert distillers who want to experiment a little bit more and have the process of mashing firmly under their belt.
Hopefully that helps explain all the differences between these yeasts and makes the confusing mess a little bit easier to understand. If you have any more questions, as always, please feel free to contact us at MoonshineDistiller.com and we are happy to help you in any way that we can.
Thanks again for tuning in, and we’ll see you next time!