I am looking to make some homebrew cider. I intend to use store-bought apple juice, and mix with an appropriate amount of yeast. I am wondering what kind of yeast you would recommend?

In the past, I have been told that Champagne yeast is the best, but I have also heard that statement derided, so I really don't know.

  • 3
    Try to plit a batch. Half with champagne yeast and another half with ale yeast and see if there is any meaningful difference. I would expect champagne yeast to finish drier, but not sure on that.
    – Paolo
    Apr 25, 2013 at 13:59
  • I am also very new to trying to make cider. The first batch was with 1 tsp wine yeast (Wilkos own), 1 gallon of off the shelf apple juice (Without additives or preservatives) It came out very dry and tasted quite like white wine although you could taste the yeasty flavour. My next batch of cider, I am going to replicate a wine kit next, with apple juice concentrate, water, brewers sugar, cider yeast and yeast nutrient, to see if the results are better. I have put some of the first batch in bottles with sugar for a secondary fermentation. Just need to wait to see if that is any better.
    – user12011
    Mar 25, 2015 at 12:31

10 Answers 10


I'm an inexperienced ciderist and I've been researching this very question for around two months.

Many renowned cideries use champagne yeast. The thing to remember here is that champagne yeast is very aggressive and should ferment your must to total dryness (little/no sugar remaining, specific gravity below 1.000) so you may need to back-sweeten to achieve the flavor you prefer.

Check this page out, this guy has tested dozens of combinations of sweeteners & yeasts: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/results-juice-yeast-sugar-experiments-83060/

I am about to do 7 one-gal batches with TreeTop brand unpasteurized cider, with their gravity pumped to 1.065 with white/granulated sugar, and a half-ounce of yeast energizer per gallon added. This is happening in the next 4 days, so keep in touch with me and I'll share my results with the following yeasts:

  • Danstar: Nottingham (Type: dry, Purpose: English Ale)
  • Safale: S04 (Type: dry, Purpose: English Ale)
  • Wyeast: 4776 (Type:liquid, Purpose: Cider)
  • Red Star: Pasteur Champagne (Type: dry, Purpose: Champagne)
  • Red Star: Côte des Blancs (Type: dry, Purpose: White Wine)
  • Lalvin: Bourgovin RC212 (Type: dry, Purpose: Red Wine)
  • Danstar: Belle Saison (Type: dry, Purpose: Farmhouse Ale/Saison)

The first five on the list I have read multiple positive reviews & successful recipies, the last two are for giggles.

If you wish to read a good book on cider, I recommend: Cider: Making, Using & Enjoying Sweet & Hard Cider by Annie Proulx

  • How did these turn out? Apr 10, 2014 at 13:03
  • 2
    Hi Cpfohl - I allowed all these ciders to ferment for 45 days. Here are my notes: Nottingham: Darker color, great clarity, sweeter than some. Weaker carbonation than others. "meaty" off-flavor. Finished SG 0.996 Safale SO4: Extremely clear, weak flavor doesn't do enough to cover harshness in character. SG 0.998 Wyeast 4776: Darkest color, interesting aroma. Hazy appearance. Slick mouthfeel. Good carbonation. SG 0.996 Red Star Pasteur champagne: Lightly cloudy appearance, Hot/Alcoholic off-flavors. SG 0.996 Oct 14, 2014 at 16:18
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    Red Star Côte des Blancs: Somewhat harsh aroma, lightly cloudy, flavor tart but nice, alcoholic. SG 1.000 Lalvin Bourgovin RC212: Higher carbonation than others. Good clarity, very astringent. SG 1.000 Danstar Belle Saison: Pleasant aroma, Dry, good carbonation, exceptional clarity, above-average carbonation. SG 0.997 Oct 14, 2014 at 16:19
  • 1
    Many people recommend Nottingham and SO4. I've done both again since this batch and have decided against ever using them again. Too many weird flavors. I'm also staying away from champagne & red wine yeasts. I'd recommend Côte des Blancs to almost anybody. Belle Saison is a surprise favorite for me. We just had an apple press, and I'm committing 10 gallons to Belle Saison. Oct 14, 2014 at 16:20
  • One of the best ciders I've tasted was fermented with Belle Saison. There's definitely a synergy there with that yeast and cider.
    – Wyrmwood
    Sep 1, 2017 at 19:21

I've used champagne yeast, but I find it dries the cider out too much. To reach an acceptable level of residual sweetness you have to back sweeten. That means either disabling the yeast (potassium sorbate, pasteurization, or cold crashing) and then carbonating and sweetening. Or you could add sweetener to each glass you pour. Either way, it's a PITA.

I've used WYeast 1056 with good results. A juice that start around 1.060 finishes (for me) at around 1.005. To my mind this is the right level of sweetness, assuming the juice is not overly acidic.

I've got 5 gallons of frozen unpasteurized juice that I'm going to turn into cider for the warmer weather. I might try Wyeast 1968, which is a highly flocculent and low attenuation strain. I expect it to finish somewhat sweeter than the 1056.

  • Nice - I'm going to give those two a try. Tx, I've been using CBC-1 as it's a clean taste, but looking for something a little more spicy.
    – zatbusch
    Aug 21, 2019 at 14:38

I have been fermenting apple cider for 4 years, so my experience is limited. Last couple of batches have turned out much to my liking. I am using Danstar Windsor My recipe is simple: blend of several apple varieties from my little orchard, then pitch in yeast. That's it, no sugar - either pre or post fermentation; no added flavoring. Windsor is an English beer yeast. I like it because it produces a cider that retains some apple flavor, and is not totally dry.


I make semi sweet sparkling cider often. After trying a few different types, I find that Danstar Nottingham is the very best. I make mine with table sugar and treetop pasteurized apple juice from Costco. Ferment it out to ~1.010 in primary, bottle (prime with table sugar as you would a pale ale) and then cold crash or pasteurize within about 10 days (when it is carbonated).

  • I follow the same process as you but have been using CBC-1 - I'll give the Dansar a try -Tx
    – zatbusch
    Aug 21, 2019 at 14:40

I've been lucky and not yet had bad results from the wild yeasts on the apples I press, however when I've pressed a larger volume of juice (3 gallons+) and want to minimise the risk of losing it to vinegar yeasts I recommend the Bayanus strain that Young's sell or failing that I usually go for a champagne yeast as I like a dry, crisp taste.


I have used two different types of yeast for the same brew you are talking about. I have used a cider yeast from the brand BlackRock. This was a nice brew with sweetness to the cider and around 8% ABV.

The BlackRock cider yeast was a nice summer brew that you could have out in the sun and was very refreshing.

The other yeast have used is Champaign yeast. That was a very dry crisp drink with an ABV of around 13%.

The Champaign yeast is more of a wine tasting cider. It depends on how you want to drink it but I agree that some back sweetening may be a good idea.

I currently have another one brewing at the moment that is using a beer yeast. I will let you know how that tastes when it is done.

My recommendations depend on what you want. Something to drink at the beach would be using a cider yeast but at night with dinner would be the Champaign yeast


I used white labs wlp775 liquid yeast with costco apple juice 6 gallons. I added 4 cups white table sugar 2 tablespoons of yeast nutrient. cider came out good light amber color very clear nice apple taste little dry (not dry like a wine) and sweet


I've been having stellar results for the last 2 years with White Labs Sweet Wine/Mead Yeast. It leaves it semi-dry and plenty of fruit flavor. I have found it to produce good young and aged product.


I've been making apple wine for a short time. I've had good results so far using Fleischmann's baking yeast. I recently purchased a cider kit that came with cider yeast. I'll assume that will probably probably work good.


Our club had the local pro cider maker speak last night. He said he generally uses London Ale yeast for his products. I think the bottom line is you use the strain to get the cider you want. Try things!

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