Editor’s Picks: New from the Labs…

Nutrients designed for for hard seltzer fermentation and a non-diastatic saison strain, for better brewing through chemistry.

Joe Stange Dec 15, 2021 - 3 min read

Editor’s Picks: New from the Labs… Primary Image

Photos: Courtesy Omega yeast; Courtesy Lallemand

Omega Propper Seltzer

$35.99 for six one-ounce packets,

Malt typically provides enough nutrients for yeast cells to get their jobs done cleanly and effectively; dextrose, on the other hand, does not. Thus, adding some nutrients is essential if you are fermenting a sugar wash for hard seltzer.

Omega Yeast’s Propper Seltzer is meant to simplify things, providing everything you should need to ferment a sugar wash of 1.060 starting gravity in seven days in conjunction with most yeast strains. (More packets might be wise if you’re going for a high-gravity wash meant for later dilution.) Omega says that time can be shortened to four days if you’re using kveik at higher temperatures, specifically recommending its clean-fermenting Lutra strain.

There are plenty of yeast nutrients available that will help you ferment hard seltzer, but there is appeal in having one optimized for that purpose.


Lallemand LalBrew Farmhouse

Many brewers have a love-hate relationship with diastatic yeast strains—loving the character they can bring to farmhouse ales, their high attenuation, and their dry finish, but hating the risk of cross-contamination in the brewery. While most brewing yeast will stop at the normally unfermentable dextrins, diastatic strains (such as LalBrew Belle Saison) will keep right on chewing—great for your farmhouse ale but not so great for that stout in the fermentor next to it. For obvious reasons, these strains can also be a terror for commercial breweries that package beer.

The solution from Lallemand is a new hybrid yeast meant for saisons, bringing a character similar to Belle Saison and similar strains, but lacking that diastatic (STA-1) gene. The company says LalBrew Farmhouse ferments vigorously, capable of reaching terminal gravity in five days at 68°F (20°C)—though it can be taken comfortably up to 86°F (30°C). Attenuation is high despite being non-diastatic, with a listed ABV tolerance up to 13 percent.

Like other saison strains, LalBrew Farmhouse produces those classic, peppery phenolic notes. However, crediting technology from the University of California-Davis, Lallemand says that the yeast will not produce sulfurous off-flavors, removing yet another potential obstacle from your path toward brewing a beautiful farmhouse ale.