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I bought a pack of champagne yeast, but not sure why, just to try it :) What differences should I expect compared to a "normal" English ale yest?

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I've never used champagne yeast for beer, but I would guess that it will produce a very dry taste. –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner May 15 '13 at 17:59
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My experience is that champagne yeast makes lousy beer. It ferments different sugars than ale/lager yeast and does not produce the flavors you expect from beer.

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A champagne yeast will most likely be different from an ale yeast in two ways:

  1. While an ale yeast may fermement down to 1.008 or so, a champagne yeast will ferment to something much much dryer, closet to 1.000

  2. Wine and champage yeasts do not typically produce the amount of krausen that an ale yeast will.

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I imagine that champagne yeast would be good if you wanted a high alcohol beer as it can tolerate higher amounts of alcohol, but they produce a very dry flavour, so if you wanted a sweeter strong beer, would they work for that as well? –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner May 16 '13 at 20:16
    
Use ale and lager yeasts for beer. For a sweeter, stronger beer, ensure that you simply pitch enough viable yeast to get the job done since your beer is high gravity. Try a champagne yeast on something like a cider for good results. –  kenyabob May 16 '13 at 21:56
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I guess I didnt address this as much as I should have. An ale yeast and a champagne yeast will produce different flavors, obviously. I wouldnt ferment wort with a champagne yeast and expect good results. –  kenyabob May 16 '13 at 21:58
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