Yeast Shootout Finale: All 16 Yeasts vs 1 Mead Recipe

Today we are finally finishing the Yeast Shootout series. If you don’t know what the yeast shootout is, it’s a series where we take 2 yeasts and 1 mead recipe – we pit them against each other to see which one is better. I made a grand total of 8 videos and you can find that playlist here:

Special thanks to Carlos, Larry, Matthew & BC for the help! I will be doing an even bigger yeast test with 20 different yeast and exact temperature & nutrient control. Stay tuned for that video!

The yeast we are checking out today are:

Lalvin D47
Lalvin Bourgovin RC-212
Lalvin QA23
Lalvin EC-1118
Lalvin K1-V1116
Omega Bananza
Omega Sundew
Safale WB-06
Safale S-04
Safale US-05
Lalbrew Saison Style Ale Yeast
Mangrove Jacks M05
Red Star Premiere Blanc
Red Star Premiere Cote Des Blanc
Red Star Cuvee
Red Star Premiere Rouge

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0:00 Intro and Explaining the test
1:40 Yeast Information
3:05 Start of the Tasting
3:33 #1 Lalvin Bourgovin RC-212
5:22 #2 Red Star Cuvee
6:55 #3 Lalvin K1-V1116
8:33 #4 Lalvin QA23
10:20 #5 Red Star Rouge
12:32 #6 Omega Sundew
15:14 #7 Safale WB-06
17:50 #8 Saison Style Ale Yeast
20:00 #9 Safale US-05
21:12 #10 Red Star Blanc
24:00 #11 Red Star Cote Des Blanc
26:06 #12 Mangrove Jacks M05
28:40 #13 Safale S-04
31:20 #14 Lalvin EC-1118
33:00 #15 Lalvin D47
35:06 #16 Omega Banana
36:50 Our Top 4 Yeasts
41:30 Our Results



  1. I would be interested to know something about how far these bottles traveled and how long it took to get to all the other tasters. There seem to be too many variables here to take this serious at all. Evidently some of the bottles "leaked". Who knows why. I imagine they were shipped, so possibly exposing the bottles to temp swings, oxidation, agitation, and who knows what else. I know that the goal on YouTube is to create content but I think it would be cool to remove some of those variables and do one that was more controlled. Entertaining none the less.

  2. Aww, you skipped 71B, which is the one I most wanted to hear your opinions on, because I'm not a huge fan of the batch I made with it. My D-47 batch is delicious and tastes like a professional wine, but the 71B batch has a weird taste of cherries, pine sap, and yeast.

  3. Some constructive feedback fkr when you upload your next iteration of this. This video was very challenging for me to track down as a reference, I was only able to find it because I knew it was out there. Not sure if tags or a different naming convention would help, but it was hurried under your other videos for the individual yeast shoot outs when searching.

  4. I think I may have commented the other day. But I had to come back because I was eating corn tortilla chips. And I remembered there was like 4 where everyone described a distinct "corn tortilla flavor" and rated those meads at the bottom. If have a personal theory that it could have been inclusions in the honey rather than from the yeast and the yeast brought those flavors out (or rather left them unscathed). Though he did say 12 of the meads were made from 1 bucket of honey while 4 batches were made from the other. This other bucket of honey could contain honey that from a hive near a corn field (corn is a grass and is wind pollenated) or the bees could have actively gone to harvest sap from the stalks after the cornfields were combined, could have brought pollen from the corn as a high fiber filler for the bee bread, coukd have cmgone to "aquire some nectar" from aphids or some other insect that sucks sugars from a plant or could have found damaged or exposed ears of corn and gathered some of the sweet starchy goodness from the kernels.

    But that's not why I'm here. Everyone rated it nasty or lowly because eof the "corn tortilla taste"… dude! Add water to that shit with a lacto ferment culture for a dry sour style mead, let it go dry, oak it and you have yourself a low ABV "session whiskey style mead". Which would have unique honey characters as opposed to caramel notes which woukd typically come from the distilation process.
    It's not a bummer. It's a GRAND OPPORTUNITY! If only there was a way to introduce amylase enzymes or something equivalent like Aspergillius Oryzea (one of the bacterias used in the SCOBY for making Sake, Soju or Mijiu. It is easily harvested and cultivated from corn hosts because it naturally LOVES corn and is usually hand in hand with it) you could use a Koji-kin or simular culture to add to a mead with flaked corn or corn meal and make a sour mash mead with corn and honey.

    DOOOOOOD! The possibilities!

  5. I know you can't answer every question but I thought I would try. I have 3 new to me honey varieties that I am going to make s traditional with plus combine each with something. Macadamia blossom (floral notes), Monkey Pod (notes of lemon & vanilla) and Ulei Blossom (notes of butterscotch) I am trying to decide on yeast for each. I have K1V, 71b, and a Premier variety pack so one of each on hand but willing to order but not sure which to try. Any thoughts?

  6. Goes to show once again that if you choose a different strain of yeast, you’ll get a different result. You can play up or play down the aroma of your ingredients depending on what yeast you use. The colour will be affected as well.

    I have this theory that the more enthusiastic your fermentation is, the more of the original flavour of your ingredients might be blown off as well. This can be solved in some cases by fermenting at a lower temp, but that means you have to be careful your yeast doesn’t get stressed either of you might get undesirable flavours… but it doesn’t hurt at times to take a wet towel and wrap it around your fermentation vessel in Summer if you don’t have airconditioning (which is the case in many homes in Europe). It’ll only lower the temp by a few degrees but it can help a lot.

    Love this video! Thank you!

    Edit: would you ever consider doing a side-by-side (as in: simultaneously brewed) yeast shoutout for these yeasts? A gigantic undertaking but it would be extremely interesting!

  7. Hahaha. I've gotta watch the video, but I'm not able to at the moment. This is great. I just got into mead making and the first thing we did after proof of concept was mix up 6 gallons of water, honey, and yeast nutrient and put it in 11 half gallon growlers then sprinkle yeast on each one to do a test of all 11 yeast varieties off the same batch. I hadn't heard of anyone else doing anything similar, but here you are. Nice.

  8. Dang! Disappointed that ec118 didn't rank in the top four for anyone, as it's the only yeast I have… But now i know that if the brew tastes bland it's partly the fault of the yeast! I'll have to give one of the winners a try

  9. 69th upvote!

    Thanks for doing this kind of experiment. It's really helpful!

    Belle saisson is good for cider. Agree about QA23; I recently made a grape wine with it, and it's bitter. The bitterness does seem to be subsiding, but I will probably not use this yeast again.

  10. The grape candy flavor is probably methyl anthranilate. Ethyl acetate is also a common tasting note y’all came up with. It’s really cool how people perceived these meads. It was fun listening to this.

  11. Fantastic work! Thanks for sharing. I will definitely investigate some of the yeasts that has been mentioned here. M05 is my favorite so far. Drops clear fast, preserves the honey aroma and flavours, ferments fast.
    Btw, it was me who corrected you for "Côte des blancs!" It is pronounced "cott dé blan" haha

  12. Everyone has different taste, and this video just made me feel a lot more comfortable about choosing a yeast. I got QA23 because youve been using it, and I was excited to start brewing! However, I think when I run out, I wanna try something new and just gain experience. Thanks for the effort and awesome creator clash! Amazing video.

  13. Great job on this huge undertaking. It’s interesting to see so many “beers yeasts” near the top. I’d love to see you do one of these experiments for kveik strains at a high fermenting temperature…

  14. But they are different ages… Lol 🤣
    Sounds like I need to try sundew, maybe for my strawberry I want to try making again.
    Also need to try the safeale one you all liked. Thanks for the great video, it takes real dedication for this long of a test! Thanks Matt, Carlos, Larry and BC.

    Wanted to add: K1-V1116, 212 and redstar premiere classique are my favorites.

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