Just got an email from one of our wine making newsletter subscribers. They are wanting to know if any of the wine yeast on our website is considered to be a general purpose yeast–one they can use for any type of wine. I think this is a really good question, so I thought I would share the answer on this blog as well.
Back in the 70’s Red Star was the only company packaging wine yeast for the home wine making industry, and they only packaged one strain. It was the Montrachet that we still offer today.
It was marketed as a Neutral-Flavor Wine Yeast. Today, we still consider Montrachet to be an all-purpose wine yeast. Alternately, you can use the Lalvin’s K1V-1116, which is the same strain of wine yeast just from a different producer.
Both the Montrachet and K1V-1116 are actually yeast strain UCD 522. The “UCD” stands for University of California, Davis. They are the ones who isolated the strain. One of the strongest features of this strain that it is very hearty and can take over a must very aggressively before other organisms have a chance to flourish.
Having a few packets on hand is a great idea simply because you never know when some fruit may come tumbling your way. With a couple of packets stored in the refrigerator you’ll always be ready for wine recipes of any kind.
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.