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Currently I am using EC-1118 yeast for making my wines. In the past I have also used DADY Red Star and it worked, but took forever to clear up and become even remotely drinkable. Plus my last 2 batches of mead with this yeast ended up with a sour taste as well.

Is there a wine yeast out there that is NOT a Turbo yeast commercially available that can go beyond 20% ABV?

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I'm not aware of any yeast that will pass 20% by any large margin in a pitch-and-forget type of way.

Once you start pushing 16+% and you're not using a distillers yeast- you're looking for multi-stage sugar and nutrient additions and it's going to be pretty hands on. Even so- I don't think you're going to get much past 23%

If you're just pitching champagne yeast, walking away and hitting anywhere near 20% I think you're doing pretty good already.

As you learned- avoid distillers yeast for something you aren't going to distill. They aren't designed to make a good tasting product- they're designed to ferment quickly. To that point- I wouldn't even use those yeasts for anything running through a still because they're so phenolic.

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    For really sweet wines distiller's yeast is actually pretty good. But the moment you go on the drier side you get those off flavors.
    – Flotolk
    Jul 12 at 21:43

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