The Ultimate Guide to Champagne Yeast EC 1118
Champagne yeast EC 1118 is one of the most commonly used strains for making sparkling wine. It is known for its ability to ferment quickly and efficiently, producing a dry and crisp finished product. In this guide, we will delve deep into the characteristics, uses, and benefits of this popular strain, providing you with all the information you need to make the most of it in your winemaking ventures.
What is Champagne Yeast EC 1118?
Champagne yeast EC 1118, also known as Prise de Mousse, is a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is used primarily for secondary fermentation during the production of sparkling wine. It was first isolated in the Champagne region of France and has since become a popular strain for winemakers worldwide. With its high alcohol tolerance, neutral flavor profile, and ability to consume sugars rapidly, EC 1118 is an ideal option for producing sparkling wines with consistent, predictable results.
Characteristics of Champagne Yeast EC 1118
EC 1118 has a high alcohol tolerance of up to 18% ABV, making it ideal for producing sparkling wines that require a secondary fermentation. The strain can withstand the increased alcohol levels that result from the carbonation process, allowing it to continue fermenting until all available sugars have been consumed.
EC 1118 is known for its rapid fermentation rate, which helps to reduce the time required for secondary fermentation. The strain typically completes fermentation within 10-14 days, depending on factors such as temperature and sugar concentration.
Champagne yeast EC 1118 produces a neutral flavor profile, allowing the characteristics of the grapes and other ingredients used in the winemaking process to shine through. This makes it an ideal choice for wines that require a clean, crisp finish, such as Brut and Extra Brut styles of sparkling wine.
Champagne yeast EC 1118 has a wide temperature range, making it resilient and adaptable to a variety of winemaking conditions. It can ferment successfully at temperatures ranging from 7°C to 35°C but is most active between 15°C and 20°C.
Uses of Champagne Yeast EC 1118
Champagne yeast EC 1118 is primarily used for secondary fermentation in the production of sparkling wine. During secondary fermentation, the yeast consumes sugars that have been added to the wine and produces carbon dioxide, which becomes trapped in the bottle, creating the characteristic bubbles associated with sparkling wine.
EC 1118 can also be used in the production of still wines that require a neutral flavor profile and high alcohol content. The strain’s high alcohol tolerance makes it an ideal choice for producing fortified wines, such as Port and Sherry.
Benefits of Champagne Yeast EC 1118
One of the primary benefits of using EC 1118 is its consistency. The strain produces predictable results, allowing winemakers to create sparkling wines with consistent flavor profiles and carbonation levels.
EC 1118’s rapid fermentation rate and high alcohol tolerance make it an efficient strain for winemaking. It can ferment quickly and completely while withstanding the increased alcohol levels that result from secondary fermentation.
Champagne yeast EC 1118 is adaptable to a variety of winemaking conditions and can ferment at a range of temperatures. This makes it an ideal choice for winemakers who may not have precise temperature control during the winemaking process.
Tips for Working with Champagne Yeast EC 1118
Rehydrate the Yeast
To ensure that the yeast remains active and healthy during the fermentation process, it is important to rehydrate it before use. This involves hydrating the yeast cells with warm water and a nutrient solution before adding them to the wine. This process helps to jumpstart the fermentation process and ensure that the yeast cells remain healthy throughout the fermentation process.
Monitor the Temperature
While EC 1118 is adaptable to a wide range of temperatures, it is important to monitor the temperature of the fermentation process to ensure optimal results. Fermenting at too high or low temperatures can result in off-flavors and sluggish fermentation.
Consider Nutrient Supplementation
Champagne yeast EC 1118 has high nutritional requirements and may benefit from nutrient supplementation during the fermentation process. This can help to promote healthy yeast growth and maintain consistent fermentation rates.
Champagne yeast EC 1118 is a versatile and efficient strain that is ideal for producing sparkling wines. With its high alcohol tolerance, rapid fermentation rate, and neutral flavor profile, it produces consistent and predictable results that winemakers can rely on. Whether you are a seasoned winemaker or just starting, EC 1118 is a valuable addition to any winemaker’s toolkit.