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First time making an apple cider. Which yeast products are the best to use for cider? Is there any other alternative to brewer's yeast?

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tl;dr: NO. Forget it. Ain't never no gonna work. Not for cider, not for beer, not for nuffin'.

Explanation:

Brewer's yeast sold as (part of any) nutritional supplement is usually spent yeast that has been sold off by one brewery or another to a food products manufacturer. It has been processed into a food supplement and as part of that process it has generally been heated to inactivate it. Translation: it's dead as a dodo. It won't have any viability left and can't be expected to ferment anything at all.

You might be able to use it as part of a yeast nutrient, though. Inactivated (read: dead) yeast makes up the bulk of various yeast nutrient blends.

As Philippe says, get a proper cider yeast.

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  • Some nutritional/probiotic yeasts and bacteria are sold live, not all are dead. – dmtaylor Apr 18 at 12:20
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The best brewer yeast to make cider is a cider yeast. Wyeast makes a few dry or liquid yeast for cider, which I tried and was satisfied with.

Alternatives are plenty, in fact any yeast can be used, but each will perform differently. For your first cider batch, I would play safe and use a proper cider yeast (like Wyeast STRAIN: 4766 CIDER ™).

Here is an article with alternatives: https://byo.com/article/yeast-selection-for-cider/

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Someone here claims that Saccharomyces boulardii makes a decent cider. I haven't tried this myself and remain skeptical, but here is a link:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/growing-saccharomyces-boulardii-from-a-capsule.590913/

My favorite cider yeast is Red Star Cote des Blancs. Outstanding every time I have used it. And cheap, you can buy multiple packs on Amazon and they keep in the refrigerator for many years.

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