Is champagne yeast vastly different?

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Is champagne yeast vastly different?

Postby ndfightingirish » Thu Nov 21, 2002 7:33 pm

Please forgive me for my lack of knowledge, however, I have only been brewing for less than 1 year. I recently tried a recipe that called for dry champagne yeast and it does not seem to be reacting the same way that lager yeast does. It is a "hard lemonade" recipe. It does not bubble in the air lock like lager yeast does. Is this normal?
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Yeast is yeast

Postby jayhawk » Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:21 pm

All yeasts ferment. Ale, lager, wine, champagne, baking, all go through the same reactions with fermentables to produce ethanol and CO2. Therefore, the champagne yeast should be fermenting fine provided it has the provided medium to function in (ie adequate nutrients, food, oxygen etc.)

I recently brewed a mead with champagne yeast and the airlock was bubbling like crazy for many weeks. However, air lock activity is a bad indicator of fermentation activity because you primary bucket may have a poor seal or the airlock may be faulty.

The best way to check if the yeast are fermenting is to check the gravity of the brew wtih your hydrometer. If it is falling, the yeast are active and working.

Post your recipe. Did you use yeast nutrient? Since you are not using malt (I assume), there could be a lack of nutrients in the brew which are vital to proper yeast health.
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Thanks Jayhawk

Postby ndfightingirish » Fri Nov 22, 2002 8:00 pm

I did check the gravity and it appears to be falling and when I checked it this afternoon, it was bubbling. I guess I was just worried since this was the first time I saw no activity. Thanks for your help and BTW, the recipe is posted here at It is the Port Washington FD Lemonade or something like that. I just did a search on lemon. Thanks again for the insight.
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Thank you Eric.

Postby ndfightingirish » Fri Nov 22, 2002 8:02 pm

I appreciate the help. I checked the gravity and it appears to be working properly. Just trying something new and worrying that I might scrap the batch. Thanks for the help.
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All yeast does ferment, but all yeast are not the same.(upda

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Sat Nov 23, 2002 10:58 am

The specie saccromyces cervisia is brewers yeast. The yeasts used to make bread is another specie altogether. The yeasts used in wine production are a related specie to brewers yeast but their fermentaion characteristics are greatly different.

The differences among yeasts are measurable by the sugars they can metabolize. The common sugars assayed are zylose, maltose, dextrose and fructose as well as others. The unique flavors that yeast can impart to a beverage are in part due to their sugar metabolizing ability.

NEW: I forgot to mention an important thing on this topic:

Lager yeast is most often described as differentiated from ale yeast by the virtue of it's tendancy to settle at the bottom of a fermenter rather than rise to the top. In truth... this is mostly due to temperature which increases sedimentation. Also causal is the fact that lower temperatures lead to less vigorous fermentation which leads to less CO2 production. Yeast are not motile and therefore do not "swim" through wort but rather rise and fall through convection and CO2 off-gassing. This is what actually gives the bottom fermenting characteristic that is observed in lager fermentations. Now that I have explained that, it leads back to the inital topic of what differentiates various yeasts. The only actual difference between ale and lager yeast is that lager yeast strains have the ability to metabolize melibiose (another sugar) whereas ale yeast does not. This ability leads to the characteristics classically associated with lagers... dry and smooth fermentation achieved at cool temperatures and the greater production of sulfur compounds.

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