Distillers TT ethanol (turbo) yeast history
The concept of turbo yeast (distilling yeast, TT ethanol yeast, moonshine yeast) was founded in the early 1990's. Before then, there was super yeast which would today be called simply yeast and nutrient, these products were very far from the turbo yeasts as we know them today.
The first real turbo yeast was likely the Swedish Turbo3 (still in production) followed shortly thereafter by Alcotec (the version we now call Alcotec 6).
The dominant brand is Alcotec, now present in most markets around the world and also the brand with the largest range currently available. The Alcotec brand is manufactured by Hambleton Bard ltd, the largest turbo yeast manufacturer in the world.
Moonshine home distilling
For moonshine, virtually all home fermented pure alcohol wash today is produced using a turbo yeast, often Alcotec 48. The days when we used bakers yeast are long gone as the yield has moved more than 50% up with turbo yeast and fermentation times now range from 24-72 hours typically (5-6 days for high alcohol fermentations to 20% abv) from 2 weeks slow and sluggish fermentation reaching topmost 10% alcohol of low quality. The high alcohol fermentations are not possible at all with bakers yeast, or even with good quality wine yeast. It is essential to use a very high quality ethanol TT yeast.
Industrial ethanol TT yeast fermentations
The alcohol industry, especially larger scale breweries and distilleries with tanks around 50,000 - 100,000 litres have always understood how to use yeast and nutrition to reach decent levels. However, comparing any old style yeast/nutrition fermentation to a turbo yeast one, the difference is huge. With proper temperature control which is always in place anyway for large tanks, something like Alcotec 48 (or TY48) will produce 18-19% reliably in 5-6 days. That is at least 50% more than before and considerably faster. It is possible to tweak the Alcotec 48 large fermentations up to 20% and even a little above, but it takes careful considerations which are unique for each brewery.
Alcotec 48 and the various clones manufactured by Hambleton Bard, contains a highly complex, chemically defined macro and micro nutrition which together with the highly specialized Alcotec TT Yeast strain is the only complete fermentation system capable of delivering 20% ABV from a pure sugar base, consistently in any size industrial fermentation tank as long as there is mantle (jacket) temperature control to avoid overheating of the ethanol TT yeast. Turbo yeast (TY) 48hr fermentations are now industry standard.
Turbo yeast alcohol distilling, industrial ethanol TT yeast
Turbo yeast, TY. 48hr turbo yeast is the most common type of distilling yeast in the alcohol industry. Sometimes also called Distillers Yeast. Available for home use and for industrial fermentations. Ethanol TT yeast is the active dry yeast in a turbo and this is mixed with the high alcohol nutrient, often called TT Nutrient, or just Alcotec nutrient. Popular brands are Alcotec 48 and TY48 (many years of identical content, from the same manufacturer). The mix of the very alcohol tolerant yeast strain (Ethanol TT yeast) and an optimized nutrient, especially designed for high alcohol yield and low production of off-flavours and fusels, is unique for turbo yeasts. For home use, it comes in a small pack for 25 litres. For industrial use, it's sold in bulk for large scale alcohol fermentations.
Alcotec 48 is the most popular turbo yeast used by large distilleries and breweries, for products like pure alcohol or malt flavoured alcoholic drinks of many types. Alcotec 48 is the only turbo yeast capable of fermenting any size batch (100,000 litres is not unusual) up to 20% ABV with very high purity and consistent result. Available in 10kg sacks, 25kg sacks or big sacks 260-1000 kgs. Ethanol TT yeast can also be used on its own, or combined with the Alcotec nutrient for customized recipes. Turbo yeast is sometimes abbreviated to TY. 48 hour turbo yeast is the most popular, Alcotec 48 is the world leading distilling yeast.