Best Practices - Hard Seltzer
How do I make a hard seltzer with Escarpment yeast and nutrients?
Hard seltzer requires a different approach than beer fermentation, so we've done some digging and experimenting for you and have come up with some advice for hard seltzers.
You need nutrients (both FAN/YAN and micronutrients) for seltzer, which is devoid of both and which are both required for optimal yeast health. Insufficient nutrition causes slow or stalled ferments or sulphur off flavour.
Nutrient Recommendation for Hard Seltzer
- 80 g/hL (100g/bbl) DAP (diammonium phosphate)
- 8g/hL (10g/bbl) Yeast Lightning Nutrient
With this combination, the DAP is an affordable bulk nitrogen source to get you to ~180ppm of FAN equivalent for optimal yeast growth. The Yeast Lightning ensures a proper supply of micronutrients, vitamins and additional FAN for optimal flavour production and performance.
Seltzer base (sugar and water) is devoid of buffers. This means that yeast will strongly acidify the fermentation and this will impact flavour perception and yeast health. It is helpful to buffer the ferment with a pH buffer. There are different ways to approach this.
- Buffer with calcium carbonate. This will precipitate with the yeast when fermentation is complete, and avoid flavour impact that may result from other buffering salts. Start at 50 g/hL (60 g/bbl) and go up from there if necessary - monitor pH during the ferment.
Most brewers are aiming for a neutral flavour profile. For neutral, stress-resistant, fast-fermenting yeasts we typically suggest kveik such as KRISPY. We have also found that Ebbegarden Kveik can produce seltzers with a pleasant citrus and fruit character.
If this advice helps you, please let us know! Our goal is to work with fermentation enthusiasts to make the fermentation process less stressful and keep quality consistently high.