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Bayou Lacroix Vineyards | Email | Basic Winemaking | Advanced Winemaking | Basic Winemaking | Advanced Winemaking Flavor Extraction | Fermentation | Airlocks | Racking


Lalvin KV-1116LALVIN BM45
Lalvin EC-1118
Red Star Montrachet
Red Star Pasture Red
Red Star Cote Des Blanc
Red Star Premier Cuve'e
Red Star Pasture Champagne


Lalvin KV-1116

This strain tends to express freshness of white grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Seyval. The natural fresh fruit aromas are retained longer than with other standard yeast strains. Fruit wines and wines made from concentrates poor in nutrient balance benefit from the capacity of K1V-1116 to adapt to difficult fermentation conditions. Restarts stuck fermentations.

Lalvin EC-1118

This strain was isolated, studied and selected from Champagne fermentations. Due to its competitive factor and ability to ferment equally well over a wide temperature range, the EC-1118 is one of the most widely used yeasts in the world. The fermentation characteristics of the EC-1118 - extremely low production of foam, volatile acid and H2S - make this strain an excellent choice. This strain ferments well over a very wide temperature range, from 7o to 35oC (45o to 95oF) and demonstrates high osmotic and alcohol tolerance. Good flocculation with compact lees and a relatively neutral flavor and aroma contribution are also properties of the EC-1118. The EC-1118 strain is recommended for all types of wines, including sparkling, and late harvest wines and cider. It may also be used to restart stuck fermentations. I use this yeast more than any other, It ferments fairly fast, and always ferments to dryness.

Red Star Montrachet

For: full-bodied reds, Chardonnay A vigorous yeast preferred by some for full-bodied reds and Chardonnays, it may have a high temperature spike unless cooled during the peak of fermentation. Montrachet is known for a tendency to make H2S, especially when residual sulfur dust is present at harvest. As a result, we suggest that winemakers approach Montrachet with caution. If no sulfides are formed, wines are full-flavored, complex and intense. I personally Dont recommend ever using this Yeast!!!!

Red Star Pasture Red (French Red, Bordeaux Red) --

For Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other full-bodied reds.
This strong, even fermenter produces full-bodied reds that age well in oak and in the bottle. Pasteur Red encourages development of varietal intensity balanced by complex aromas and flavors. Grapes of the Cabernet family respond well to this yeast, as do other flavorful grapes such as red Rhone varieties. It is the all-time most successful red wine yeast. Nutrient supplementation is recommended.

Red Star Cote Des Blanc

fruity / ester aromas.. moderate fermenter..temperature sensitive.... don't have wide variations in ferm. temp. Tends to stop before dry (leaves residual sugar) Also known as Epernay.

Premier Cuvee (see also EC-1118)

(Formerly known as Prise de Mousse) Ferments over wide temperature range, good for sparkling and still wines. Good strain to restart a stuck or sluggish fermentation. Often imparts a suble citrus like flavor. Good with whites or reds. Saccharomyces byanus strain. Sugar/Alcohol yield varies between 16.5 to 17 g of sugar per % alcohol. AT 150 g sugar per Lt. at 15c the yield is 16.96 alcohol at 200 g sugar per Lt. at 28c the yield is 17.02.

Pasteur Champagne

Moderately vigorous with high SO2 and alcohol tolerance. Fairly neutral. Cold tolerant. Saccharomyces byanus strain


Yeast Starter
This is very simple. just draw off about 1/2 to 1 cup of your must after you have added all the ingredients, including the acid and sugar BUT NOT THE CAMPDEN TABS. we dont want any sulfer dioxide in the starter bottle. Place must in a container that is clean. I use a small mayonaise jar that has the label removed. add a pinch of yeast nutrient and sprinke yeast into jar. Place on the kitchen counter top with the lid just laid on jar and off to the side alittle, so air can get to it. This will kick in FAST!!! By doing this you can cut the wait time after adding campden tabs to only 3-5 hours. I have never had a must fail to start after adding this starter mixture to the must, even only a few hours after adding the C tabs.
Flavor Extraction
Making a good wine requires extraction of flavor and color from either a fruit or a grape variety. The method used depends largely on the type of wine you are making and the type of fruit used. For most all grape wines, you will use a press of some sort, which can also be used for fruits as well. The home winemaker however will not need to go to such lengths to get flavor into the wine.  There are basically 4 methods commonly used.         
  • Pulp fermentation
  • Cold water soaking
  • Hot water soaking
  • Boiling.

Pulp fermentation, is exactly what it sounds like. You cut the fruit into small pieces and place them into a nylon straining bag. Place the bag into the bottom of your fermentation bucket, and mash with your hands. If its a hard fruit such as apples, just place it in the bottom without mashing. With grapes, you just need to break the skin open. you add your water and all ingredients to the fermenter and ferment with the fruit in for about 5-7 days. 5 days for a soft fruit, and 7 days for a harder fruit.

Cold water soaking, The fruit is added as with pulp fermentation, but the must in not inoculated with yeast. You add the water and pectin enzyme to the fermenter and let the fruit soak for 3-5 days, stirring a couple of times a day. This method is commonly used for fruits with high tannic seeds which are impossible to remove. (blackberries) You will get the fruit flavor leeched out into the must, but will avoid the harsh, tart  flavor that to much tannin can give to a wine.

Hot water soaking, A very common start to pulp fermentation. Cut up the fruit and place in nylon bag. boil several gallons of water and pour this over the fruit. Let fruit soak in the hot water until it cools. Add rest of water and chemicals. Ferment as usual. This method is one of the BEST. you can dissolve some of your sugar in the hot water prior to pouring over the fruit. The hot water also aids in extracting a lot of color from the skins of the fruit, as well as steeping the fruit for good flavor extraction. A plus to this method is that it also sterilizes the must, thus eliminating the need for a lot of potassium metabisulphite.

Boiling,  A method used for several kinds of fruit wines. Plum and peach wines often carry recipes that call for boiling the fruit. I am not sure why, because for both of those fruits, I usually ferment on the pulp, after adding hot water to the fruit. However if you desire to get a lot of flavor extraction from a fruit, you can boil it for 10 mins or so. and then remove the fruit and pour the hot juice into the fermentation bucket. Certain fruits contain a lot of pectin, and boiling this fruit will release the pectin into the juice. This will give a finished wine a pectin haze, that will require a fining agent to clear. So never boil for to long, and always add a pectin enzyme to aid in clearing the wine during fermentation.

Fermentation is the process of breaking down sugar molecules  into alcohol and carbon dioxide, when yeasts are present. When yeasts are added to a liquid containing sugar, the yeast first begin to multiply and form a colony. If several types of yeasts are present generally they will compete for colonization. There are other organisms in a wine must besides just yeast, especially if a pure grape wine is being made. Therefore it is common to assume that other micro-biological things are going on during the fermentation process. Generally acids present in the must as tartaric and malic are reduced somewhat. Also nitrogen containing compounds are usually consumed during the fermentation process, these compounds are known to home winemakers as nutrient. The resulting wine is composed of ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide, along with other compounds. For the home winemaker the primary fermentation will be the most active, in which 70% of the sugar is used up by the yeast. some of the yeast will die off by the time this percentage is reached. Generally most recipes for winemaking tell you to rack your wine at this time. This will eliminate getting off flavors from any yeast that have expired. On the other hand I have let wine completely finish fermentation before the first racking, and have had no problems. If fermenting on the pulp I usually rack when fermentation has reduced sugar by 70%, but for pure juice fermentation where the entire process is under airlock from the beginning I usually let the wine finish before racking. The method used is purely up to the winemaker.


  • Once your must is prepared with either all juice or fruit, and acid, nutrient, and enzyme have been added, Then add your yeast. Either use a starter for the yeast or just sprinkle on top of the must. no need to stir in.
  • Airlock fermenter and place at about 70 degrees.
  • Watch for signs for bubbling in the airlock after about 24 hours or so.
  • Stir must daily if fermenting on fruit pulp.
  • Stir must once 3 days after start if fermenting juice only.
  • After 5-7 days on pulp or 10 days for juice, rack to secondary fermenter.
  • Allow fermentation to finish and rack again about a week or two after finish.
  • Once racked stabilize the wine, and then stir vigorously to release all carbon dioxide.
  • Clear your wine either by fining or aging.

In addition to controlling the yeasts, winemakers control the temperatures of the must during fermentation to fit the wine being made.  Cool fermentations (45' to 55'F) preserve a maximum of the fresh grape aromas.  Warm ones (80 to 95'F) produce bouquets-smells associated with wine rather than fruit.  Typically, white and sparkling wines ferment in the cool to middle range while reds, appetizer and dessert wines ferment within the warmer half of the range.


An airlock is exactly what is sounds like. It locks air out of a must or a finished wine. In the old days an airlock was constructed out of anything that would work. Today home winemakers can purchase airlocks very inexpensively. An airlock is filled with water or a sulfur solution and placed in a grommeted hole in the fermentation bucket. The massive amounts of carbon dioxide being released by the fermentation process are allowed to escape through the airlock because  pressure is forcing bubbles out through the top. However air and oxygen are not allowed to pass through the water or solution, because there is no pressure forcing them in. Your wine will age with out being exposed to air.


The process of transferring musts or wine from one container to another. One usually does not pour his wine from one container to the other because of the exposure to air. A racking cane and tubing are used to siphon the wine, thus avoiding over exposure to air. Generally a racking cane is a curved piece of hard plastic tubing called a "J" tube. one end of the J-tube has a yeast inhibiting tip on it, to reduce the chance of sediment being sucked into the tube during racking. The other end of the J-tube comes out the top of the carboy and curves downward. A piece of flexible plastic tubing is placed over this end of the J-tube and leads to the receiving vessel. To transfer your must or wine, you get the flow started by siphoning the liquid. You can also use a pump or other tools designed to get the flow started without putting your mouth over the end of the tube. I find that as long as you are careful, and try not to get wine into your mouth, there will be no problems. Transfer the wine being very careful not to transfer sediment. Reattach airlock and your all done.!!


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