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Yeast Selection for Fruit Distillates

Many types of orchard fruit are now or soon will be in season, and distillers across North America will be preparing washes. Fermentation is where many congeners are created and fruit flavors enhanced or lost. Here are some yeast strains to consider using for this season’s brandies, schnapps, applejacks, calvados, and more:

Pathfinder TY Fruit is a combination of alcohol tolerant, high ester-producing yeast with a complete nutrient package. It is ideal for fruit-based washes, and performs reliably regardless of the nutrient contribution of the fruit.

SafCider is a fructophilic (readily ferments fructose) strain that’s very easy to work with: it’s tolerant of low pH and works across a wide temperature range, plus low nitrogen requirement and it settles readily. SafCider is an ideal choice for apple or pear substrates, but works quite well in other fruit mashes, including grapes.

SafSpirit FD-3  is another fructophilic yeast, a strain with a neutral or mildly estery profile that also features low nitrogen requirements and high resistance to ethanol. FD-3 is suitable for any kind of fruit distillate, and is excellent for traditional European-style fruit or grape brandies, schnapps, and slivovitz.

Enological strains from Vason are an excellent addition to the fruit distiller’s toolkit when working with many kinds of fruit, and wine grapes in particular. Regardless of the varietal, style, or harvest conditions there is a strain in the Vason range for your application, and they are especially useful if only a portion of the harvest will be loaded into a still, leaving the rest to be bottled as wine.

As always, please contact BSG sales for technical support on fermentation, yeast selection, and other questions.

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