If you pitch champagne yeast into your wort from the start will it attenuate further than done with an appropriate pitch of standard american ale yeast (say WLP001)?

I think people use champagne yeast to help a stalled ferment or when the alcohol content is getting too high. But I don't think that champagne yeast does a particularly good job on thins like maltose or maltotriose.

But maybe I am wrong.

3 Answers 3


According to Shea Comfort, no, it doesn't. At least not by itself. It will eat leftover simple sugars that the beer yeast couldn't get to due to a harsh environment, but it will definitely not ferment maltotriose. There are enzymes that you can add that will break the maltotriose down into something that it will consume, but you need to be particularly careful with the amount that you put in, or you will dry the beer out too much.

Another thing to consider is the Kill Factor of the champagne yeast. 12-24 hours after you pitch the champagne yeast, most of your beer yeast will be dead, due to a protein that the wine yeast produces to help outcompete other strains.

  • did not know about the kill factor... I was thinking about making a banana mead and pitching both champagne yeast and a Belgium ale yeast in an attempt to get the banana esters. Should I maybe pitch the ale yeast first and the champagne yeast a week or so later?
    – Germ
    Commented Jan 28, 2011 at 23:36
  • i didn't know how many of the wine yeasts have that until i listened to the show i linked (which i listened to last night... i'm by no means any kind of expert). that would probably work. at least one of the wine yeasts doesn't have a kill factor, though (71B).
    – baka
    Commented Jan 29, 2011 at 4:00

In the case of a high gravity beer, if the initial yeast is limited by the alcohol content from otherwise consuming consumable sugars, pitching any yeast with a higher alcohol tolerance than the initial yeast would "dry it out" further by consuming any sugars left after the environment became intolerable for the initial yeast. This is why this practice is used sometimes with a very high gravity beer, where it has stalled at a higher gravity than desired. Baka is correct however, in that it isn't going to consume otherwise non-consumable sugars.


Distaticus.var of Saccharomyces will consume the long chain sugar. Look for a saison yeast.

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