I've been making ciders for last year (with more experience on beers and meads). Two things happened. I tried a french cider couple a month ago and I liked it to the point, that I won't mind making it myself. Also, 5 weeks ago I used French Saison Yeast (Wyeast 3711) on my common cider and on my session mead (both SG=1.050, FG=1.002). The result was fantastic (awesome aroma, taste and even appearance is somewhat close to the standard).

So, I've got some calcium chrolide for keeving in home environment, in couple of weeks I'll be getting a fresh pressed (early harvest) sweet cider from one of the local orchards. My question is, are there any restrictions on yeasts in French Ciders? All the recipes (not that many) suggest using like champaign yeasts. Would it be too odd and out of style if I use Saison Yeast?

Just trying to experiment a bit :)

  • do you mean restrictions from the style guidelines, or what would actually work to ferment the cider to your liking? If the former, I'm guessing the French pedants would have a problem with it. :-)
    – Pietro
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 19:38
  • Yeah, pretty much fro BJCP point of view. The guide only specifies the type of apples (even though regular or baking apples would do the trick), and keeving... I couldn't find much info on yeasts... Champagne or wine yeasts are usually used, but it doesn't seem to be a standard... So what about using french saison yeast? Still French :)
    – Trigger
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 3:22
  • According to this source, cider.org.uk/keeving.html, you should rely on the wild yeasts on the apple skins if you're planning on keeving. Cultured yeast is too robust, and would continue to ferment to dryness even with the nutrients removed by keeving. Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 13:48
  • Ciders? Meads? French? Sounds like you should try a chouchen
    – valverij
    Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


If I was after a sweet/medium cider the I'd go for an Ale yeast, a medium/dry cider a wine yeast and one as dry as the Sahara Champagne yeast. I am guessing a Saison would be dry and full of yeasty esters :)

Regarding apples you can make tasty drinkable cider with most apples, but for a full bodied cider you will want to get hold of some cider apples as they have higher levels of tannin in the skin that fill out the body and add extra mouth feel. I have a friend who made an amazing cider/wine with 50% pressed apples and 50% pressed white grapes from his garden a few years back, the grape skins provided what was lacking in his apples skins.

I don't think it greatly matters what apples or yeast, and as always home brewing and experimentation go hand in hand.

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