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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: Bel Air Brewing on November 13, 2020, 12:06:57 pm

Title: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 13, 2020, 12:06:57 pm
Will S-04 make a decent London Porter?
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Steve Ruch on November 13, 2020, 12:08:15 pm
Will S-04 make a decent London Porter?
Depends on your recipe. I use it in porter all the time.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 13, 2020, 12:12:19 pm
Will S-04 make a decent London Porter?
Depends on your recipe. I use it in porter all the time.

I have the Fuller's London Porter clone recipe. We used Wyeast London Ale Yeast before.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 14, 2020, 09:44:27 am
I have the Fuller's London Porter clone recipe. We used Wyeast London Ale Yeast before.

The crazy thing about that culture is that it is allegedly the Worthington Whiteshield culture.  That allegation has been made for as long as I have been brewing. Why would Wyeast call a culture that came from a Burton upon Trent brewery "London Ale?" 
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Stand on November 18, 2020, 04:36:57 pm
Marketing to us philistines is my guess.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Cliffs on November 18, 2020, 04:41:33 pm
I personally dont like s-04 at all. any other english yeast is a better alternative.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Cliffs on November 18, 2020, 04:57:35 pm
the best way I can describe the odd flavor I get from s-04 would be the smell of raw bread dough rising, but not in a pleasant way. I wish I did like it, because its other characteristics are great, its a fast and reliable fermenter, it drops clear, but in the end I just dont like the way it tastes.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: skyler on November 18, 2020, 06:20:46 pm
To OP: go ahead and use S-04. It is a great yeast for porters. I recommend fermenting cool (58-64F, no warmer).

To the people who do not like S-04, I believe you are fermenting it too warm, or at least starting too warm. I get great results from that yeast fermenting under 64F. Almost everyone I know who dislikes that yeast (many people) exclusively fermented in the high 60s or low 70s with it. Even 66F is too warm, IMO. I really shoot for 58-60F with S-04. I chill the wort down to 58F-60F and pitch, then keep my chamber set to 56F. When high krausen hits, I increase the chamber temperature to 64F. 48 hours later it's usually ready for a cold crash.

That said, taste is subjective. I absolutely despise Nottingham -- I don't find it neutral at all, it makes every beer taste tart to me. I feel the same way about WLP007, which I hate equally in British and American ales. I get nothing yeasty, doughy or overly tart from S-04, just a bit of restrained fruitiness and usually around 75% attenuation. It's not my favorite for bitters, but I like it plenty in porters and stouts.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: erockrph on November 18, 2020, 08:46:14 pm
I get the same doughy taste from S-04 in pale beers, but I find that beers with a large dose of roasted malts mask that flavor. I can use it in porters and stouts and it's fine to me, but I hate it in bitters.

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Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 19, 2020, 07:13:29 am
To OP: go ahead and use S-04. It is a great yeast for porters. I recommend fermenting cool (58-64F, no warmer).

To the people who do not like S-04, I believe you are fermenting it too warm, or at least starting too warm. I get great results from that yeast fermenting under 64F. Almost everyone I know who dislikes that yeast (many people) exclusively fermented in the high 60s or low 70s with it. Even 66F is too warm, IMO. I really shoot for 58-60F with S-04. I chill the wort down to 58F-60F and pitch, then keep my chamber set to 56F. When high krausen hits, I increase the chamber temperature to 64F. 48 hours later it's usually ready for a cold crash.

That said, taste is subjective. I absolutely despise Nottingham -- I don't find it neutral at all, it makes every beer taste tart to me. I feel the same way about WLP007, which I hate equally in British and American ales. I get nothing yeasty, doughy or overly tart from S-04, just a bit of restrained fruitiness and usually around 75% attenuation. It's not my favorite for bitters, but I like it plenty in porters and stouts.

Thanks for your input. We will ferment this one cool, just like you advise keeping the temp around 58-60 F.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: denny on November 19, 2020, 08:36:46 am
the best way I can describe the odd flavor I get from s-04 would be the smell of raw bread dough rising, but not in a pleasant way. I wish I did like it, because its other characteristics are great, its a fast and reliable fermenter, it drops clear, but in the end I just dont like the way it tastes.

Exactly.  It's the breadines I find objectionable about it.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: denny on November 19, 2020, 08:37:40 am
To OP: go ahead and use S-04. It is a great yeast for porters. I recommend fermenting cool (58-64F, no warmer).

To the people who do not like S-04, I believe you are fermenting it too warm, or at least starting too warm. I get great results from that yeast fermenting under 64F. Almost everyone I know who dislikes that yeast (many people) exclusively fermented in the high 60s or low 70s with it. Even 66F is too warm, IMO. I really shoot for 58-60F with S-04. I chill the wort down to 58F-60F and pitch, then keep my chamber set to 56F. When high krausen hits, I increase the chamber temperature to 64F. 48 hours later it's usually ready for a cold crash.

That said, taste is subjective. I absolutely despise Nottingham -- I don't find it neutral at all, it makes every beer taste tart to me. I feel the same way about WLP007, which I hate equally in British and American ales. I get nothing yeasty, doughy or overly tart from S-04, just a bit of restrained fruitiness and usually around 75% attenuation. It's not my favorite for bitters, but I like it plenty in porters and stouts.

I fermented it at 63 many times .  Still bready.  I also despise Notty.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Iliff Ave on November 19, 2020, 09:19:48 am
I agree with keeping it cool. I get undesirable flavors when it goes above the mid 60s so I tend to keep it in the low 60s. Used it in an English Porter recently with great results and it's currently going in an imperial oatmeal stout.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 19, 2020, 05:23:50 pm
My plan is to keep the ferment temp at 58, or below.
I was told this is a cleaner, less fruity yeast than the Wyeast London Ale we used before.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 19, 2020, 11:10:31 pm
One should not have to ferment ales at what are effectively high lager temperatures in order to avoid off-flavors.  The parent strain for S-04 was not selected for batch fermentation.  It was selected for continuous tower fermentation (i.e., a bioreactor for beer).  The strain is an acid producer, which is why it has a tart note.

NCYC 1026

Information    Flocculent. NewFlo type flocculation. 1:5:4:5:5 O2, DMS 33 µg/l, low acetic, high lactic, diacetyl 0.42ppm only, used commercially in Tower Fermenters (continuous process), non head-forming, no estery flavour. Contains 2µ plasmid.

Depositor        British Brewery
Deposit Name  Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: tommymorris on November 20, 2020, 07:09:05 am
S-04 gives me an odd flavor. I can’t nail it but it’s nicht gut as far as I’m concerned.

I am going to try Lallemand London to see how I like it.
You have quite a few choices for English dry yeasts. I like Mangrove Jacks M36. I want to try the new Lallemand Verdant IPA yeast.

Since you typically pitch more than one pack you could easily try Nottingham + Windsor. That is supposedly a symbiotic mix.

I like the flavor of the Lallemand London. The attenuation is quite low. But, that didn’t seem to affect the taste.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: denny on November 20, 2020, 09:05:24 am
One should not have to ferment ales at what are effectively high lager temperatures in order to avoid off-flavors.  The parent strain for S-04 was not selected for batch fermentation.  It was selected for continuous tower fermentation (i.e., a bioreactor for beer).  The strain is an acid producer, which is why it has a tart note.

NCYC 1026

Information    Flocculent. NewFlo type flocculation. 1:5:4:5:5 O2, DMS 33 µg/l, low acetic, high lactic, diacetyl 0.42ppm only, used commercially in Tower Fermenters (continuous process), non head-forming, no estery flavour. Contains 2µ plasmid.

Depositor        British Brewery
Deposit Name  Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Maybe you shouldn't have to, but why not if you get the results you want?
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: erockrph on November 20, 2020, 01:52:47 pm


Maybe you shouldn't have to, but why not if you get the results you want?
Related to this point, for those who have done so, what are the results of a "clean" low-temp S04 fermentation? I can't say that I've ever been impressed enough with it to say "if it didn't have this doughy flavor I'd really want to use it". To me, there are better clean ale strains and better British ale strains. I don't see a niche that a cleaner version of S04 would fill.


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Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 20, 2020, 03:43:16 pm
Stand by, I'll let you know. We just finished up a big brew day, and pitched the S-04 yeast.
It will ferment at 56 F.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 21, 2020, 11:40:51 am
Maybe you shouldn't have to, but why not if you get the results you want?

That is a good question.  In my world, I select a strain based on how it performs at normal fermentation temperatures for its species. For ale, that means that the strain should perform well at 20C (68F).  If one has to hold the internal temperature of an ale fermentation below 68F in order to achieve one's desired results, then a different yeast strain should be identified.  If one is looking for a squeaky clean fermentation, one should use a strain that can achieve that result without having to ferment at lower than normally accepted temperatures.  For example, British cultures are not usually squeaky clean because they have been selected for producing flavorful beers at lower gravities than most Americans are used to drinking.  As one increases gravity, one increases higher alcohol and ester production because what controls higher alcohol and ester production is combination of genetics and wort composition. 

Temperature is often falsely seen as the reason for estery beer.   However, that is treating the symptoms, not the problem.  I covered this information in detail in "Have You Seen Ester," but I will cover it here in less detail here.  What reducing fermentation temperature does is slow metabolism, especially during the exponential growth phase where it increases the replication period.   Where yeast genetics play a role in ester production is in the creation of alcohol o-acetyltransferase.  There are two alcohol o-acetyltransferase (ATTase) enzymes; namely, AATase 1 and AATase 2, which are encoded via two different genes ATF1 and ATF2.  Where wort composition plays a role is carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio.  The amount of nitrogen that is available after dissolved oxygen is consumed determines the amount of acetyl CoA that is formed during the growth phase (higher gravity wort not only has more carbon, it has more nitrogen). Acetyl CoA is formed by combining acetic acid with coenzyme A; therefore, more acetyl CoA translates to higher acetic acid-based (acetate) esters. Many of the esters that we find objectionable in beer are acetate esters. For example, outside of Hefeweizen and Belgian styles, isoamyl acetate is unwelcome.  Isoamyl acetate is the condensation reaction between isoamyl alcohol and acetic acid.  Very few of us find ethyl acetate welcome in a beer. Ethyl acetate is the condensation reaction between ethanol and acetic acid.

How does one reduce ester production without holding fermentation temperature artificially low?  The first place to start is selecting the appropriate yeast culture for the task at hand.  After the appropriate yeast culture has been selected, one should select the lowest protein barley available.  To further increase C:N, one can resort to using a percentage of flaked maize or gelatinized corn grits or even go as far as to use a brewing sugar.  I am almost certain the higher-gravity versions of IIPA contain a percentage of sugar.

Finally, Anheuser-Busch ferments with a starting gravity of 1.080 at 13C/55F.  A fermentation temperature of 13C is not particularly low for a high-gravity lager fermentation, especially one that will be a very lightly flavored beer where any defect sticks out like a sore thumb after dilution with water.  The reason that it is possible in large part is the C:N ratio of the grist, which contains a large portion of adjuncts that dilute the overall nitrogen level of the wort.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: denny on November 21, 2020, 11:52:39 am
I think you're gonna had to define what you mean by "artificially low" temps.  Do you mean anything other than conventional room temp, say 70F or so?  Since we have so many ways to control fermentation temp now, does it really matter?  I can easily ferment at any temp from 35 (yeah, not really fermentation temp) up to 100F, so why not take advantage of that to control yeast character?
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 21, 2020, 01:21:08 pm
I think you're gonna had to define what you mean by "artificially low" temps.  Do you mean anything other than conventional room temp, say 70F or so?  Since we have so many ways to control fermentation temp now, does it really matter?  I can easily ferment at any temp from 35 (yeah, not really fermentation temp) up to 100F, so why not take advantage of that to control yeast character?

We ferment in freezers, Inkbird temp controlled. Our Fermenters have thermo-wells, so we get accurate readings of the beer temp.
I have fermented in the mid to upper 30’s before.
My S-04 is chugging along very happily at 56 F.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 21, 2020, 02:31:59 pm
We ferment in freezers, Inkbird temp controlled. Our Fermenters have thermo-wells, so we get accurate readings of the beer temp.
I have fermented in the mid to upper 30’s before.
My S-04 is chugging along very happily at 56 F.

If that is an internal temperature, then yes, it qualifies as an artificially low temperature for an ale yeast.  If it is an ambient temperature, then we have no idea as to what the internal temperature is in the fermentation.  Fermentation is an exothermic process; therefore, internal and ambient temperature often differ.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 21, 2020, 02:49:27 pm
We ferment in freezers, Inkbird temp controlled. Our Fermenters have thermo-wells, so we get accurate readings of the beer temp.
I have fermented in the mid to upper 30’s before.
My S-04 is chugging along very happily at 56 F.

If that is an internal temperature, then yes, it qualifies as an artificially low temperature for an ale yeast.  If it is an ambient temperature, then we have no idea as to what the internal temperature is in the fermentation.  Fermentation is an exothermic process; therefore, internal and ambient temperature often differ.

Yes, with the thermo-well, we get internal temp readings. Not ambient temp.
Artificial? Not sure what you mean, as the Fermentis website lists the temp range for the S-04 as 59 F - 68 F. I like to ferment my ales a bit cooler.
The S-04 is quite happy at 56 F.
Title: Safale S-04
Post by: BrewBama on November 21, 2020, 04:03:48 pm
I think you're gonna had to define what you mean by "artificially low" temps.

I think anything outside the range listed on the package should be considered [artificially] low or high. In this case S-04 should be good to go anywhere between 53.6-77*F (ideally 59-68*F).  Skyler’s recommendation of “58-64*F” falls in that range nicely.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 22, 2020, 05:46:38 am
With regards to ferment temps, we have always gone on the cold side, especially with lagers, employing temps that would be considered at the bottom extreme of the yeast's range, and sometimes even a few degrees below that.

The results have always been stellar. But that's just my personal data point (s), going back to 1990.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 22, 2020, 06:51:32 am
Yes, with the thermo-well, we get internal temp readings. Not ambient temp.
Artificial? Not sure what you mean, as the Fermentis website lists the temp range for the S-04 as 59 F - 68 F. I like to ferment my ales a bit cooler.
The S-04 is quite happy at 56 F.

It sounds like you do not like ale flavors. That is okay.  Lager appears to be your thing. However, Saccharomyces cerevisiae should not need to be subjected to what are lager fermentation temperatures to produce a desired result. That is the message I want to drive home to up and coming brewers who now think that they need a fermentation chamber to keep ale fermentations below the normal ale temperature band.  In essence, this practice is what I was talking about when I said that amateur brewers have gotten into the habit of tricking a yeast culture into doing the task at hand instead of picking the correct culture for the job at hand.  Every ale yeast culture that we have today was selected under pressure over a period of hundreds of years before the invention of mechanical refrigeration, which means that most perform well in the 18C (65F) to 22C (72F) range, internal (the Kviek cultures take the lower and upper temperature bounds to a new limit).  It was mechanical refrigeration and the introduction of a pure yeast culture (Carlsberg Underhefe No.1) combined with the Carlsberg flask that ushered in the lager revolution and modern brewing, which pretty much wiped out ale brewing in the United States at one point. I guess what I saying is that if one wants squeaky clean beers, one should stick with lager brewing and cryotolerant yeast strains like the Saaz family of lager strains.  While there are neutral to a point strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae like BRY-96 and all of its descendents, they still produce above taste threshold esters.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 22, 2020, 07:40:35 am
I think anything outside the range listed on the package should be considered [artificially] low or high. In this case S-04 should be good to go anywhere between 53.6-77*F (ideally 59-68*F).  Skyler’s recommendation of “58-64*F” falls in that range nicely.

Fermentis states the higher of the two temperature ranges (i.e., 59-68F) on their packaging.  A fermentation temperature of 15C/59F is low for an ale yeast strain. I have never encountered any published data from a reputable source that states that this culture should be used at (53.6F). Fermenting at an internal temperature of 13.33C/56F tells me that a person does not like ale flavors. That is okay, but it sends the wrong message to new brewers. It tells brewers to pick a yeast culture out of convenience, not brewing performance.  We currently have more yeast cultures available to us than we have ever had. Liquid cultures are significantly easier to use than they were in the past.  Pitching a Wyeast smack pack directly into wort after it had swelled used to be a very iffy proposition with a lag times measured in days, not hours.  I am absolutely certain that there is a culture that will produce anyone's desired results in what are considered to be normal temperatures for a species or a family within a species.  For British ale cultures, we are talking 18 to 22C, maybe as low as 16C, internal.  British ale cultures are not meant to produce squeaky clean beer.  They are all pretty much estery to a point.  A few of the cultures I obtained directly from England were so estery and POF+ that they were almost indistinguishable from Belgian cultures.  We know that at least one Belgian culture originated in Great Britain. That culture was isolated from a bottle of McEwan's Scotch Ale by the famous brewing scientist Jean DeClerk.  It is used today to ferment Duvel.  Commercial brewing in Belgium only dates back to the mid-nineteenth century.  It dates back to much earlier in England, which gives credence to Northern Brewer's assertion that a lot of styles that we associate with Belgium more than likely have roots in England.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: majorvices on November 22, 2020, 08:02:59 am


I fermented it at 63 many times .  Still bready.  I also despise Notty.


It's comforting to know that as many things that change through the years some things stay the same.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 22, 2020, 08:05:47 am
You are correct...ale flavors do little or nothing for me. The closest thing would be a Kolsch, which we find pleasing especially on a hot summer day.

The exception would be the Fuller's London Porter that I made, for my wife. That is a fine beer. Not fruity, fairly crisp in nature. Wyeast London Ale was used, and fermented at 66 F.

Clean, crisp Euro-Lagers are my preference.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 22, 2020, 08:07:17 am


I fermented it at 63 many times .  Still bready.  I also despise Notty.


It's comforting to know that as many things that change through the years some things stay the same.

What's wrong with bready? And what does bready taste like? Bread dough? Fresh baked bread?

And that's why my temp is 56 F.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: denny on November 22, 2020, 08:15:08 am
Wyeast states that the low end for 1007 is 55F.  My choices for temp are experience driven.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 22, 2020, 10:06:20 am
When I think "bready," I think the yeasty flavor that fresh bread can have.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: denny on November 22, 2020, 10:21:51 am
When I think "bready," I think the yeasty flavor that fresh bread can have.

Yeah, I think that's a good description.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 22, 2020, 11:01:00 am
When I think "bready," I think the yeasty flavor that fresh bread can have.

Are there commercial examples that would exhibit this flavor?

Most people I know really like the taste of fresh baked bread. Especially my late mother's home made dinner rolls. Not sure I have ever experienced this in any beer.

Stand by...I'll be the first one to let you know how this S-04 performed!
Title: Safale S-04
Post by: BrewBama on November 22, 2020, 11:13:08 am
...  My choices for temp are experience driven.

Sounds like Skyler’s is as well. It’s cool how we all have our experiences and likes/dislikes.

I think anything outside the range listed on the package should be considered [artificially] low or high. In this case S-04 should be good to go anywhere between 53.6-77*F (ideally 59-68*F).  Skyler’s recommendation of “58-64*F” falls in that range nicely.

Fermentis states the higher of the two temperature ranges (i.e., 59-68F) on their packaging.  A fermentation temperature of 15C/59F is low for an ale yeast strain. I have never encountered any published data from a reputable source that states that this culture should be used at (53.6F). Fermenting at an internal temperature of 13.33C/56F tells me that a person does not like ale flavors. That is okay, but it sends the wrong message to new brewers. It tells brewers to pick a yeast culture out of convenience, not brewing performance.  We currently have more yeast cultures available to us than we have ever had. Liquid cultures are significantly easier to use than they were in the past.  Pitching a Wyeast smack pack directly into wort after it had swelled used to be a very iffy proposition with a lag times measured in days, not hours.  I am absolutely certain that there is a culture that will produce anyone's desired results in what are considered to be normal temperatures for a species or a family within a species.  For British ale cultures, we are talking 18 to 22C, maybe as low as 16C, internal.  British ale cultures are not meant to produce squeaky clean beer.  They are all pretty much estery to a point.  A few of the cultures I obtained directly from England were so estery and POF+ that they were almost indistinguishable from Belgian cultures.  We know that at least one Belgian culture originated in Great Britain. That culture was isolated from a bottle of McEwan's Scotch Ale by the famous brewing scientist Jean DeClerk.  It is used today to ferment Duvel.  Commercial brewing in Belgium only dates back to the mid-nineteenth century.  It dates back to much earlier in England, which gives credence to Northern Brewer's assertion that a lot of styles that we associate with Belgium more than likely have roots in England.

Admittedly you know exponentially more about yeast (and probably brewing in general) than I do.  ...and I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said here except the two highlighted portions. The first: I quoted the temp range straight off the package. The second: I believe the mfr should be considered a reputable source.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201122/f90d5338b082cb796b632932b3d4d1d8.jpg)


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 22, 2020, 12:27:06 pm
...  My choices for temp are experience driven.

Sounds like Skyler’s is as well. It’s cool how we all have our experiences and likes/dislikes.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I think someone calls this a single data point.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: denny on November 22, 2020, 12:29:12 pm
...  My choices for temp are experience driven.

Sounds like Skyler’s is as well. It’s cool how we all have our experiences and likes/dislikes.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I think someone calls this a single data point.

It is exactly.  And that and my experience all are I need for my own use.  I'm not out to prove anything.  Just make beer the way I like.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 22, 2020, 01:51:26 pm

Admittedly you know exponentially more about yeast (and probably brewing in general) than I do.  ...and I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said here except the two highlighted portions. The first: I quoted the temp range straight off the package. The second: I believe the mfr should be considered a reputable source.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201122/f90d5338b082cb796b632932b3d4d1d8.jpg)


If we look at the original fermentation temperature range, it is 53.6 to 77F, as you mentioned.  If 53.6 is the lower bound and 77 is the upper bound, then 53.6 + 77 / 2 = 65.3F is the mid-point of the temperature range. 
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: reverseapachemaster on November 22, 2020, 01:59:51 pm
When I think "bready," I think the yeasty flavor that fresh bread can have.

Are there commercial examples that would exhibit this flavor?

Most people I know really like the taste of fresh baked bread. Especially my late mother's home made dinner rolls. Not sure I have ever experienced this in any beer.

Stand by...I'll be the first one to let you know how this S-04 performed!

Bread made from pure culture yeast has a particular flavor of yeastiness that we associate with freshly baked bread that doesn't exist in sourdough and sometimes not with pure cultures made with a poolish rather than pouring dried yeast directly into the dough. I think of the dried yeast smell as like dried pasta in a cardboard box which kinda carries into the bread--like when you open the box of boxed mac and cheese.

S04/Nottingham exhibits it the most. London Ale 3 has it a little as do some other English strains. 
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 23, 2020, 02:10:08 pm
Just a quick observation...the S-04 is working nicely at 56 F. In fact, the ferment is going on at a violent pace. Nearly continuous mini explosions coming out of my blow off.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Cliffs on November 23, 2020, 02:19:21 pm
Just a quick observation...the S-04 is working nicely at 56 F. In fact, the ferment is going on at a violent pace. Nearly continuous mini explosions coming out of my blow off.

its an amazing fermenter, its brewhouse behavior is phenomenal. It's a shame I dont enjoy how it tastes :)
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 23, 2020, 03:48:56 pm
Just a quick observation...the S-04 is working nicely at 56 F. In fact, the ferment is going on at a violent pace. Nearly continuous mini explosions coming out of my blow off.

its an amazing fermenter, its brewhouse behavior is phenomenal. It's a shame I dont enjoy how it tastes :)

I just hope that the taste after fermenting at 56 F is to my liking, clean, not fruity or estery. And not like fresh baked bread...but the jury is out.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Megary on November 23, 2020, 05:12:11 pm
I’ll be making a Brown Ale with S-04 this weekend. I’ve never noticed a distracting yeasty, bready thing from this yeast before, but maybe that’s because I’ve only ever used it in a Stout (a decision I made partly based on a recommendation from Denny).
Link (https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=34841.msg438861#msg438861)

Maybe this Brown will leave a bit more room for S-04 to show itself.  Fermentation will probably be in the mid 60’s.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: purduekenn on December 01, 2020, 02:24:02 pm
I like S-04 it should work well.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: erockrph on December 01, 2020, 02:49:37 pm
I’ll be making a Brown Ale with S-04 this weekend. I’ve never noticed a distracting yeasty, bready thing from this yeast before, but maybe that’s because I’ve only ever used it in a Stout (a decision I made partly based on a recommendation from Denny).
Link (https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=34841.msg438861#msg438861)

Maybe this Brown will leave a bit more room for S-04 to show itself.  Fermentation will probably be in the mid 60’s.
I think it's one of things that once you taste it you always know its there. If you brew a fairly pale bitter with S-04 you'll probably pick it up. A brown ale may be alright. Good luck!
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Megary on December 01, 2020, 04:01:38 pm
I’ll be making a Brown Ale with S-04 this weekend. I’ve never noticed a distracting yeasty, bready thing from this yeast before, but maybe that’s because I’ve only ever used it in a Stout (a decision I made partly based on a recommendation from Denny).
Link (https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=34841.msg438861#msg438861)

Maybe this Brown will leave a bit more room for S-04 to show itself.  Fermentation will probably be in the mid 60’s.
I think it's one of things that once you taste it you always know its there. If you brew a fairly pale bitter with S-04 you'll probably pick it up. A brown ale may be alright. Good luck!

Thanks.  Fermentation seems to be going well, quick start, temp peaked at about 65-66.  Sat around 62 for a few more days and then I bumped it to 68 where it currently sits.  It will be a few weeks before it’s ready to drink.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Descardeci on December 02, 2020, 05:38:45 am
I’ll be making a Brown Ale with S-04 this weekend. I’ve never noticed a distracting yeasty, bready thing from this yeast before, but maybe that’s because I’ve only ever used it in a Stout (a decision I made partly based on a recommendation from Denny).
Link (https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=34841.msg438861#msg438861)

Maybe this Brown will leave a bit more room for S-04 to show itself.  Fermentation will probably be in the mid 60’s.
I think it's one of things that once you taste it you always know its there. If you brew a fairly pale bitter with S-04 you'll probably pick it up. A brown ale may be alright. Good luck!
Erockrph I know this taste, get in some beer I did with S-04, the worst one was a scottish light, fermenter in low temps, get a lot of bready flavor was terrible, then I need to do a porter, did a starter and the yeast show no sign so throw away and run to the brewhouse to get some yeast, the only english strain there was S-04 so I get it and my hope for this beer was very low but the beer was awesome, so again I did try this yeast one more time and blow me away, did a IPA with OG of 1,061 and in 3 days the fermentetion was done, I don't know what happen but I guess is the low gravity and low temps, <62 F, that you get this bready flavor, did one british golden ale with the yeast after the IPA and nothing of this bready taste too, and got some fruit esther that was nice, this yeast get back in my house after the porter
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: erockrph on December 02, 2020, 01:06:31 pm
I’ll be making a Brown Ale with S-04 this weekend. I’ve never noticed a distracting yeasty, bready thing from this yeast before, but maybe that’s because I’ve only ever used it in a Stout (a decision I made partly based on a recommendation from Denny).
Link (https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=34841.msg438861#msg438861)

Maybe this Brown will leave a bit more room for S-04 to show itself.  Fermentation will probably be in the mid 60’s.
I think it's one of things that once you taste it you always know its there. If you brew a fairly pale bitter with S-04 you'll probably pick it up. A brown ale may be alright. Good luck!
Erockrph I know this taste, get in some beer I did with S-04, the worst one was a scottish light, fermenter in low temps, get a lot of bready flavor was terrible, then I need to do a porter, did a starter and the yeast show no sign so throw away and run to the brewhouse to get some yeast, the only english strain there was S-04 so I get it and my hope for this beer was very low but the beer was awesome, so again I did try this yeast one more time and blow me away, did a IPA with OG of 1,061 and in 3 days the fermentetion was done, I don't know what happen but I guess is the low gravity and low temps, <62 F, that you get this bready flavor, did one british golden ale with the yeast after the IPA and nothing of this bready taste too, and got some fruit esther that was nice, this yeast get back in my house after the porter

Interesting. It almost makes me want to play with S-04 again. But I've tried it enough times that I don't think I'd risk a batch, especially since I always keep suitable alternatives for both clean ales, and English ales on hand.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 02, 2020, 01:37:15 pm
Update -

Just took a 2 oz sample of the London Porter with the S-04 yeast.

Surprisingly clean, with notes of coffee, caramel, and chocolate. No bread. None. Period.

It still has a ways to go, but is on track to being another fine Porter.

Do I like S-04 so far? Is the Pope Catholic?
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Descardeci on December 03, 2020, 05:26:31 am
I’ll be making a Brown Ale with S-04 this weekend. I’ve never noticed a distracting yeasty, bready thing from this yeast before, but maybe that’s because I’ve only ever used it in a Stout (a decision I made partly based on a recommendation from Denny).
Link (https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=34841.msg438861#msg438861)

Maybe this Brown will leave a bit more room for S-04 to show itself.  Fermentation will probably be in the mid 60’s.
I think it's one of things that once you taste it you always know its there. If you brew a fairly pale bitter with S-04 you'll probably pick it up. A brown ale may be alright. Good luck!
Erockrph I know this taste, get in some beer I did with S-04, the worst one was a scottish light, fermenter in low temps, get a lot of bready flavor was terrible, then I need to do a porter, did a starter and the yeast show no sign so throw away and run to the brewhouse to get some yeast, the only english strain there was S-04 so I get it and my hope for this beer was very low but the beer was awesome, so again I did try this yeast one more time and blow me away, did a IPA with OG of 1,061 and in 3 days the fermentetion was done, I don't know what happen but I guess is the low gravity and low temps, <62 F, that you get this bready flavor, did one british golden ale with the yeast after the IPA and nothing of this bready taste too, and got some fruit esther that was nice, this yeast get back in my house after the porter

Interesting. It almost makes me want to play with S-04 again. But I've tried it enough times that I don't think I'd risk a batch, especially since I always keep suitable alternatives for both clean ales, and English ales on hand.

To be honest with you I wouldn't risk either, the use again of S-04 was a accident,a fortune one, but now that I have some nice yeast here in home I don't see my self going back, unless I want something quick and a little esther in the english side, but quick is the main reason, and I don't have so much rush this day
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 03, 2020, 06:34:28 am
Let me reemphasize my previous post...the S-04 is performing flawlessly. Surprisingly clean, with absolutely ZERO off flavor, i.e., bready notes. None at all.
It is working so well that we will continue using S-04. In fact, the flavor profile is nearly the same as Wyeast London Ale. Yes, I have used both of these and did a side-by-side taste test.

My ferment temperature is 56 degrees, which is working just fine.

The Porter has another 10 days to go, and if there any changes in a negative way, you will be the second to know.

But that’s just my single data point.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Iliff Ave on December 03, 2020, 07:15:02 am
Let me reemphasize my previous post...the S-04 is performing flawlessly. Surprisingly clean, with absolutely ZERO off flavor, i.e., bready notes. None at all.
It is working so well that we will continue using S-04. In fact, the flavor profile is nearly the same as Wyeast London Ale. Yes, I have used both of these and did a side-by-side taste test.

My ferment temperature is 56 degrees, which is working just fine.

The Porter has another 10 days to go, and if there any changes in a negative way, you will be the second to know.

But that’s just my single data point.

I like it too but other people don't. Just the way it is. I have had zero problems with it as long as I keep it cool enough.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: denny on December 03, 2020, 08:08:18 am
I had a blonde ale last night that was made with S04.  It didn't make me want to run out and try S04, but I didn't find it as objectionable as I have found s04 beers in the past. Didn't taste any of the flavors I don't care for in S04.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 03, 2020, 09:14:43 am
I had a blonde ale last night that was made with S04.  It didn't make me want to run out and try S04, but I didn't find it as objectionable as I have found s04 beers in the past. Didn't taste any of the flavors I don't care for in S04.

Could it be the brewing process, and the ingredients used rather than the yeast that makes you come to this conclusion? I'll wager that has a huge impact on the flavor, both good and bad.

Strangely in my side-by-side taste test of two London Porters, one with S-04, one with London Ale (Wyeast), both of them were equally good with no objectionable flavors. Both recipes were similar in the grain bill.

The ferment temps were different for these, with the London Ale working at 65-66 degrees, and the S-04 working at 56-57 degrees.

At this early stage, it is hard for me to fathom anyone calling this yeast's flavor profile "objectionable".

Disclaimer: The Porter with the S-04 yeast is still a work in progress. But it's close enough to allow me an honest sensory evaluation of the flavor profile.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Descardeci on December 03, 2020, 09:43:16 am
I had a blonde ale last night that was made with S04.  It didn't make me want to run out and try S04, but I didn't find it as objectionable as I have found s04 beers in the past. Didn't taste any of the flavors I don't care for in S04.

For me this is the S-04, where I live there little option for dry yeast and if you want liquid you have to buy wait before, the homebrew shops don't have liquid in display, so it a cheap yeast, easy to use, not great not bad, and ferment really fast, some say nottingham is even faster but never used, for a beer that need a little esther and some english beers I would use, but now I'm making my yeast bank and don't see the reason to use this one anytime soon, but I don't know what happen the bready flavor that this yeast give just disappear
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: skyler on December 03, 2020, 03:03:46 pm
Just to chime in -- I have also used S-04 successfully at 56F, however it was decidedly slower at that temperature than my preferred 58F (took about as long as BRY-97 to get started). I fermented S-04 once at 68F (according to the reading on the liquid crystal thermometer stuck to the side of the plastic carboy) by accident and I finally tasted that tart bread thing that everyone is always talking about -- that was in a 100% Ekuanot pale ale and I actually ended up dumping the keg brewed with S-04 (the one with US-05 was fine). I think most homebrewers brew with it at or above the recommended range and experience the yeast at the warm end of the spectrum early on and decide how they feel about it at that point.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 06, 2020, 11:44:15 am
So here we are...16 days later.

OG - 10.57
SG - 10.20

ABV - 4.86%

While the beer actually tastes great (and is less filling), I am wondering if the yeast is finished working, or if it will attenuate even more as it's only at 64% now.
Title: Safale S-04
Post by: BrewBama on December 06, 2020, 01:19:48 pm
It depends on the wort composition. S-04 does not process maltotriose so it will finish at a higher FG. ...but that’s usually ~70-75% AA for my routine grist. If you had a bit of non fermentables you could be done.

...  My choices for temp are experience driven.

Sounds like Skyler’s is as well. It’s cool how we all have our experiences and likes/dislikes.

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I think someone calls this a single data point.

Actually, depending on how many times the process was documented using the same parameters, it could be many, many data points. We simply don’t know until Skyler tells us if it was one or how many data points.

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Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Saccharomyces on December 06, 2020, 02:02:23 pm
It depends on the wort composition. S-04 does not process maltotriose so it will finish at a higher FG. ...but that’s usually ~70-75% AA for my routine grist. If you had a bit of non fermentables you could be done.


Are you certain about S-04 not being able to metabolize maltotriose at all?  I never achieved less than 75% AA the handful of times I used S-04 (it is one of the oldest usable dry strains).  Now, compare that AA level with that of a true maltotriose challenged yeast culture like Windsor.  In my humble opinion, TxFlyGuy's high final gravity has more to do with fermenting at 56F than the culture's ability to metabolize maltotriose.  At that temperature, yeast biomass growth was seriously hampered. An AA of 65% with S-04 screams something went wrong.
Title: Safale S-04
Post by: BrewBama on December 06, 2020, 03:30:44 pm
I guess I should have been more specific. It doesn’t metabolize maltotriose as much as say US-05 or W34/70.   I usually get 70-75%AA from S-04.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201206/5f716cbc4478cf96564be0459a66d7c7.jpg)


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Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 06, 2020, 04:04:06 pm
I spoke too soon...the Porter is actively fermenting still, just much slower activity than when it first took off.

Probably another 7 to 10 days and it will be ready. I'll bet we get 70%+ when it is done. My wife is quite happy with it now.

Great coffee, caramel, and chocolate flavors coming through. Very smooth, not fruity at all.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Cliffs on December 07, 2020, 10:55:05 am
I guess I should have been more specific. It doesn’t metabolize maltotriose as much as say US-05 or W34/70.   I usually get 70-75%AA from S-04.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201206/5f716cbc4478cf96564be0459a66d7c7.jpg)


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awesome chart
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 07, 2020, 03:53:13 pm
Yes, an absolutely awesome chart. Cool colors, with a nice graphic display. But we are having some difficulty parlaying the chart data into our real world brewing experience, and flavor profiles.

Without definition of the terms and nomenclatures used, it tells us nothing.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Cliffs on December 07, 2020, 04:45:10 pm
its remarkable how similar s189 and 34/70 are.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: erockrph on December 07, 2020, 07:29:12 pm
its remarkable how similar s189 and 34/70 are.
34/70 looks pretty close to US-05, too
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 08, 2020, 08:59:12 am
I guess I should have been more specific. It doesn’t metabolize maltotriose as much as say US-05 or W34/70.   I usually get 70-75%AA from S-04.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201206/5f716cbc4478cf96564be0459a66d7c7.jpg)

The chart is eye catching, and a good graphic display.

However, I'm still trying to determine exactly what the bar graph tells us in terms of the end taste of the beer.

Example, maltotriose...

Maltotriose is a carbohydrate comprising three linked (alpha 1,4) glucose molecules and is an important fermentable sugar in wort. Maltotriose is generated during mashing as a result of the enzymatic breakdown of starches. In an all-malt wort, maltotriose typically accounts for about 15% to 20% of the total carbohydrate content. So-called hydrolyzed starch syrups (also known as glucose syrups), usually made from corn or wheat, also contain maltotriose produced from starches that are converted by extraneous enzymes into a mix of various fermentable and nonfermentable sugars. Most brewer’s yeasts can metabolize maltotriose, but they do so only after all the more easily absorbable sugars, such as glucose and maltose, have been consumed.

So exactly how does this translate to the end product and flavor profile?

And can someone here tell us what maltotriose tastes like? Inquiring beer consumers have a right to know!

Yeast metabolize the different wort sugars in different ways. To consume the disaccharide sucrose, the yeast utilizes an enzyme called invertase, which works outside the cell to hydrolyze the molecule into its components — glucose and fructose. The glucose and fructose molecules are then transported through the cell wall and metabolized inside the cell. Conversely, maltose and maltotriose are transported into the cell first, and then are broken down into glucoses by the enzyme maltase. Even though the enzyme for both sugars is the same, maltose is typically consumed first, indicating that the cell wall transport mechanism for the two sugars is different. Maybe maltotriose is too big to get through the maltose door!

The take-home message is that all fermentable sugars are broken down into monosaccharides like glucose before being utilized by the yeast, and that yeast evidently prefer to eat their sugars one course at a time. This has big implications for wort formulation in our pursuit of new recipes and unique styles.


https://byo.com/article/sweetness-brewing-sugars-how-to-use-them/

Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Megary on December 10, 2020, 06:21:43 pm
I’ll be making a Brown Ale with S-04 this weekend. I’ve never noticed a distracting yeasty, bready thing from this yeast before, but maybe that’s because I’ve only ever used it in a Stout (a decision I made partly based on a recommendation from Denny).
Link (https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=34841.msg438861#msg438861)

Maybe this Brown will leave a bit more room for S-04 to show itself.  Fermentation will probably be in the mid 60’s.
I think it's one of things that once you taste it you always know its there. If you brew a fairly pale bitter with S-04 you'll probably pick it up. A brown ale may be alright. Good luck!

Thanks.  Fermentation seems to be going well, quick start, temp peaked at about 65-66.  Sat around 62 for a few more days and then I bumped it to 68 where it currently sits.  It will be a few weeks before it’s ready to drink.

The Brown got packaged today.  I got only 68% from S-04, not sure what to make of that.  The sample from the hydrometer tasted fine so no worries there. Should be ready to drink by the middle of next week.  I’ll be looking hard for that bready thing.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 10, 2020, 07:06:02 pm

The Brown got packaged today.  I got only 68% from S-04, not sure what to make of that.  The sample from the hydrometer tasted fine so no worries there. Should be ready to drink by the middle of next week.  I’ll be looking hard for that bready thing.


My sample tasted great, at 4.86% ABV. Still another 7 days to go.
Bready? Not even a hint. None. Period.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: dmtaylor on December 10, 2020, 10:25:51 pm
Hi guys, sorry I'm late to the party.

I've used S-04 exactly 4 times in the past 3 years.  I don't get bready or doughy or yeasty from it, but really just malty, nutty, toasty.  Tastes pretty clean to me, low non-descript fruitiness, and tends to accentuate the malt in my experience.  Some might actually say it's a little TOO clean for an English yeast and I would tend to agree.

My fermentation temperatures, I'll look them up..... 63 F (constant), 57-67 F (pitched cool then ramped), 63-68 F (ramped), and "low 60s" for the last one.  The one that turned out the best, a very tasty Scottish 60/-, was the one pitched cool at 57 F then ramped up.

My attenuation has always been 77-78% except just one time was only 58% for no reason I could figure -- odd.  That was the one I really liked that was pitched cool.  But it just happened the one time.  Mash parameters were about 154 F for anywhere from 20 minutes to 120 minutes, guess I played around a bit... and yet they still always attenuated the same.  Pretty amazing to me.

FWIW, this all reminds me VERY much of Nottingham.  I have used Notty a ton, and it always gives attenuation of exactly 77-78%, regardless of mash parameters, pretty clean, all the same stuff really.  Upon this realization now, maybe I should run a side-by-side sometime.

I don't understand the dislike for either of these yeasts, they are both quite good, solid performers.  If anything, too clean.  I think I get a little peach from Notty when fermented too cool, similar to US-05.  Haven't got that from S-04.  I can't even describe the fruitiness from S-04.  It has esters but non-distinctive.  I guess maybe I haven't fermented warm enough for them to really come out much.

So that's my experience for whatever it's worth.  Cheers all.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: lupulus on December 10, 2020, 10:47:21 pm
S04 does not ferment maltotriose.
FG will be 3-4 points higher than other yeasts.

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Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: dmtaylor on December 10, 2020, 11:00:33 pm
Yes, an absolutely awesome chart. Cool colors, with a nice graphic display. But we are having some difficulty parlaying the chart data into our real world brewing experience, and flavor profiles.

Without definition of the terms and nomenclatures used, it tells us nothing.

All it says basically is that S-04 attenuates slightly less than other yeasts like US-05, the Belgians, and the lager yeasts, which is well known even without the graph.  But in my experience it still gets 77-78%, which is no slouch either to be sure.

Actually I'm surprised by T-58, looks like that one struggles to eat complex sugars like maltotriose similar to S-33 and the likes of Windsor and London.

In response to some of your other comments.... maltotriose tastes like nothing meaningful.  In my view it just serves to keep the FG high and the ABV low.  That is all.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Ellismr on December 11, 2020, 03:35:18 am
To OP: go ahead and use S-04. It is a great yeast for porters. I recommend fermenting cool (58-64F, no warmer).

To the people who do not like S-04, I believe you are fermenting it too warm, or at least starting too warm. I get great results from that yeast fermenting under 64F. Almost everyone I know who dislikes that yeast (many people) exclusively fermented in the high 60s or low 70s with it. Even 66F is too warm, IMO. I really shoot for 58-60F with S-04. I chill the wort down to 58F-60F and pitch, then keep my chamber set to 56F. When high krausen hits, I increase the chamber temperature to 64F. 48 hours later it's usually ready for a cold crash.

That said, taste is subjective. I absolutely despise Nottingham -- I don't find it neutral at all, it makes every beer taste tart to me. I feel the same way about WLP007, which I hate equally in British and American ales. I get nothing yeasty, doughy or overly tart from S-04, just a bit of restrained fruitiness and usually around 75% attenuation. It's not my favorite for bitters, but I like it plenty in porters and stouts.

I fermented it at 63 many times .  Still bready.  I also despise Notty.
Denny,
Same reason I don’t like S-04.  I use Notty on higher gravity brews but for browns & porters I like Windsor.


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Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 11, 2020, 06:31:36 am
Hi guys, sorry I'm late to the party.

I've used S-04 exactly 4 times in the past 3 years.  I don't get bready or doughy or yeasty from it, but really just malty, nutty, toasty.  Tastes pretty clean to me, low non-descript fruitiness, and tends to accentuate the malt in my experience.  Some might actually say it's a little TOO clean for an English yeast and I would tend to agree.

My fermentation temperatures, I'll look them up..... 63 F (constant), 57-67 F (pitched cool then ramped), 63-68 F (ramped), and "low 60s" for the last one.  The one that turned out the best, a very tasty Scottish 60/-, was the one pitched cool at 57 F then ramped up.

My attenuation has always been 77-78% except just one time was only 58% for no reason I could figure -- odd.  That was the one I really liked that was pitched cool.  But it just happened the one time.  Mash parameters were about 154 F for anywhere from 20 minutes to 120 minutes, guess I played around a bit... and yet they still always attenuated the same.  Pretty amazing to me.

FWIW, this all reminds me VERY much of Nottingham.  I have used Notty a ton, and it always gives attenuation of exactly 77-78%, regardless of mash parameters, pretty clean, all the same stuff really.  Upon this realization now, maybe I should run a side-by-side sometime.

I don't understand the dislike for either of these yeasts, they are both quite good, solid performers.  If anything, too clean.  I think I get a little peach from Notty when fermented too cool, similar to US-05.  Haven't got that from S-04.  I can't even describe the fruitiness from S-04.  It has esters but non-distinctive.  I guess maybe I haven't fermented warm enough for them to really come out much.

So that's my experience for whatever it's worth.  Cheers all.

Thanks for your well written feedback.
This is my first go with S-04, and it is performing very much like Wyeast London Ale in overall flavor profile.
A bit on the clean side, with very little if any fruitiness in the flavor. It does allow the malt to come through.
As stated, the ferment  temp has been 56 degrees.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Iliff Ave on December 11, 2020, 07:38:32 am
Hi guys, sorry I'm late to the party.

I've used S-04 exactly 4 times in the past 3 years.  I don't get bready or doughy or yeasty from it, but really just malty, nutty, toasty.  Tastes pretty clean to me, low non-descript fruitiness, and tends to accentuate the malt in my experience.  Some might actually say it's a little TOO clean for an English yeast and I would tend to agree.

My fermentation temperatures, I'll look them up..... 63 F (constant), 57-67 F (pitched cool then ramped), 63-68 F (ramped), and "low 60s" for the last one.  The one that turned out the best, a very tasty Scottish 60/-, was the one pitched cool at 57 F then ramped up.

My attenuation has always been 77-78% except just one time was only 58% for no reason I could figure -- odd.  That was the one I really liked that was pitched cool.  But it just happened the one time.  Mash parameters were about 154 F for anywhere from 20 minutes to 120 minutes, guess I played around a bit... and yet they still always attenuated the same.  Pretty amazing to me.

FWIW, this all reminds me VERY much of Nottingham.  I have used Notty a ton, and it always gives attenuation of exactly 77-78%, regardless of mash parameters, pretty clean, all the same stuff really.  Upon this realization now, maybe I should run a side-by-side sometime.

I don't understand the dislike for either of these yeasts, they are both quite good, solid performers.  If anything, too clean.  I think I get a little peach from Notty when fermented too cool, similar to US-05.  Haven't got that from S-04.  I can't even describe the fruitiness from S-04.  It has esters but non-distinctive.  I guess maybe I haven't fermented warm enough for them to really come out much.

So that's my experience for whatever it's worth.  Cheers all.

My experience is very much similar to yours; especially the attenuation I get from S-04. It's a very consistent yeast and I actually find it to be quite neutral.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: denny on December 11, 2020, 08:38:42 am
Yes, an absolutely awesome chart. Cool colors, with a nice graphic display. But we are having some difficulty parlaying the chart data into our real world brewing experience, and flavor profiles.

Without definition of the terms and nomenclatures used, it tells us nothing.

All it says basically is that S-04 attenuates slightly less than other yeasts like US-05, the Belgians, and the lager yeasts, which is well known even without the graph.  But in my experience it still gets 77-78%, which is no slouch either to be sure.

Actually I'm surprised by T-58, looks like that one struggles to eat complex sugars like maltotriose similar to S-33 and the likes of Windsor and London.

In response to some of your other comments.... maltotriose tastes like nothing meaningful.  In my view it just serves to keep the FG high and the ABV low.  That is all.

Is that attenuation regardless of recipe?
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: dmtaylor on December 11, 2020, 09:05:07 am
Yes, an absolutely awesome chart. Cool colors, with a nice graphic display. But we are having some difficulty parlaying the chart data into our real world brewing experience, and flavor profiles.

Without definition of the terms and nomenclatures used, it tells us nothing.

All it says basically is that S-04 attenuates slightly less than other yeasts like US-05, the Belgians, and the lager yeasts, which is well known even without the graph.  But in my experience it still gets 77-78%, which is no slouch either to be sure.

Actually I'm surprised by T-58, looks like that one struggles to eat complex sugars like maltotriose similar to S-33 and the likes of Windsor and London.

In response to some of your other comments.... maltotriose tastes like nothing meaningful.  In my view it just serves to keep the FG high and the ABV low.  That is all.

Is that attenuation regardless of recipe?

Indeed.  One of my S-04 beers was an Imperial Brown Ale, 77% attenuation and almost 10% ABV.  Another was a partial mash with extract (and NON-hazy) IPA about 6.5% ABV.  Both of those included some crystal malt.  And finally a standard JZ BCS cream ale about 5% ABV.  So yeah, all over the place.  Mash parameters simply DO NOT MATTER with the S-04 yeast in my experience, at least not in a standard conventional sense.  And same for Notty where I have much more experience with many many styles.

EDIT: Or were you talking about maltotriose?  Attenuation can vary quite a bit with the yeasts that don't handle maltotriose very well.  In those cases the mash parameters seem to be very important, like opposite end of spectrum as far as that goes.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Saccharomyces on December 12, 2020, 07:18:56 am
I guess I should have been more specific. It doesn’t metabolize maltotriose as much as say US-05 or W34/70.   I usually get 70-75%AA from S-04.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201206/5f716cbc4478cf96564be0459a66d7c7.jpg)


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All of the lager strains on that graph belong to the Frohberg family.  Why? Becasue Saaz lager strains tend to be maltotriose challenged.  I recently read a fermentation research publication where the author claimed that most industrial lager breweries switched over to Frohberg strains during the twentieth century because Frohberg strains have superior fermentation performance.  One of the holdouts is Carlsberg.  That explains why the yeast cultures available to amateur brewers that were assumed to be Saaz strains are grouping genetically with the Frohberg strains.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 12, 2020, 07:57:47 am
I guess I should have been more specific. It doesn’t metabolize maltotriose as much as say US-05 or W34/70.   I usually get 70-75%AA from S-04.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201206/5f716cbc4478cf96564be0459a66d7c7.jpg)


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All of the lager strains on that graph belong to the Frohberg family.  Why? Becasue Saaz lager strains tend to be maltotriose challenged.  I recently read a fermentation research publication where the author claimed that most industrial lager breweries switched over to Frohberg strains during the twentieth century because Frohberg strains have superior fermentation performance.  One of the holdouts is Carlsberg.  That explains why the yeast cultures available to amateur brewers that were assumed to be Saaz strains are grouping genetically with the Frohberg strains.

It would appear that the first 5 (or 6) yeasts on the chart (L TO R) are all very close in performance. Only a point or two separates them, which is most likely non-distinguishable taste wise. It's not until you get to the right hand side where the performance is all over the place, with large numbers separating each yeast.

But that's just my single-data-point observation. Your eyes might vary.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: dmtaylor on December 12, 2020, 08:15:53 am
It would appear that the first 5 (or 6) yeasts on the chart (L TO R) are all very close in performance. Only a point or two separates them, which is most likely non-distinguishable taste wise.

That might be true if fermentation of these specific sugars were the only variable responsible for "taste".  Fortunately there are thousands if not millions of other variables at play.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Saccharomyces on December 12, 2020, 08:38:42 am
It would appear that the first 5 (or 6) yeasts on the chart (L TO R) are all very close in performance. Only a point or two separates them, which is most likely non-distinguishable taste wise. It's not until you get to the right hand side where the performance is all over the place, with large numbers separating each yeast.

But that's just my single-data-point observation. Your eyes might vary.

However, there is a big difference between lager yeast strains and ale yeast strains that is not shown on that graph; namely, the ability to metabolize melibiose.  Ale strains are melibiose challenged.

Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: BrewBama on December 12, 2020, 09:50:01 am
It would appear that the first 5 (or 6) yeasts on the chart (L TO R) are all very close in performance. Only a point or two separates them, which is most likely non-distinguishable taste wise.

That might be true if fermentation of these specific sugars were the only variable responsible for "taste".  Fortunately there are thousands if not millions of other variables at play.
+1. Esters quickly come to mind. That chart only analyzes four simple sugars. Taste characteristics between the strains vary widely.


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Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 12, 2020, 12:27:38 pm
Before I get beat up too badly, my point was the sugar profile is remarkably similar. Yes, other items to consider, for sure.

The more we brew with W-34/70, the more we like it. It has become our house yeast.

Stand by for a full report on the S-04. Should be ready soon.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: dmtaylor on December 12, 2020, 01:23:47 pm
Before I get beat up too badly, my point was the sugar profile is remarkably similar.

Indeed, I agree.  Cheers.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 21, 2020, 12:00:20 pm
Okay...just kegged this London Porter, with the S-04 yeast.

The first thing that makes this yeast a bit different is it's very thick peanut butter like viscosity. I had to scrape it out of the fermenter bottom, as it would not drain through the yeast dump port. Never seen yeast this thick before.

A bit early to judge the flavor profile, but at first impression it is clean, allowing the malt to shine. Coffee, chocolate with a hint of caramel come through.

Very well balanced with the hops. Very smooth, an easy beer to consume.

I'll have a better report after the beer is carbonated and aged a bit.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Megary on December 21, 2020, 12:31:39 pm
I've been drinking my Brown for about a week.  I'm squinting, looking for anything to let me know I used S-04.  But this beer is pretty clean and really the taste is all about the malts.  Not getting bready, fruity, floral, nothing.  Main fermentation was in the low 60's with a bump to the upper 60's at the end.

Beer has dropped pretty clear and that's a nice plus, especially since a half-tablet of whirlfloc is my entire effort to aid clarity.

But as far as fermentation character, seems rather undistinguished to me. 
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 21, 2020, 01:28:20 pm
I've been drinking my Brown for about a week.  I'm squinting, looking for anything to let me know I used S-04.  But this beer is pretty clean and really the taste is all about the malts.  Not getting bready, fruity, floral, nothing.  Main fermentation was in the low 60's with a bump to the upper 60's at the end.

Beer has dropped pretty clear and that's a nice plus, especially since a half-tablet of whirlfloc is my entire effort to aid clarity.

But as far as fermentation character, seems rather undistinguished to me.

I forgot to mention the total lack of any bread character, and there is none.
A good generic English Ale yeast from my perspective. You could probably use this in almost any ale, American or otherwise.
My final number came in at 1.018, for 5.0 ABV.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 22, 2020, 04:08:46 pm
I like this yeast, and will brew up a nice Ale with it. Not an IPA, just a nice ale using Pils malt and Cascade hops.

No dry hopping allowed. This will be similar to a Euro-Pils, but with S-04 yeast, and great hops. Will ferment a bit warmer, say around 60 degrees.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: dmtaylor on December 22, 2020, 07:43:12 pm
I like this yeast, and will brew up a nice Ale with it. Not an IPA, just a nice ale using Pils malt and Cascade hops.

No dry hopping allowed. This will be similar to a Euro-Pils, but with S-04 yeast, and great hops. Will ferment a bit warmer, say around 60 degrees.

Sounds similar to what I've just done.  Yesterday I brewed a batch aiming for an Australian Sparkling Ale, actually I think it will be somewhere between that and a British Golden Ale (a.k.a. Summer Ale).  Simple recipe of half American Pale malt, half Maris Otter, with very small additions of wheat malt and honey malt.  It was a long 2-hour mash at an average 149 F.  Cascade and Calypso hops, 60-minute boil additions only, nothing late.  Pitched S-04 at 73 F, it since fell to 69 F and is hanging out there while I wait for activity.  I purposely intend to ferment this one in the low 70s just to see what happens.  The wort tasted very bitter and reminded me of breakfast cereal, like Lucky Charms but without the sweetness or marshmallows.  High hopes.  IF I remember I will try to keep ya'll posted.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: hopfenundmalz on December 23, 2020, 06:47:35 am
S-189 and 34/70 look similar at first glance, but there are some differences if you look.

I can say from experience that they are different. Split batches showed me that S-189 produces a more malty beer compared to 34/70.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Fire Rooster on December 24, 2020, 01:44:56 am

The first thing that makes this yeast a bit different is it's very thick peanut butter like viscosity. I had to scrape it out of the fermenter bottom, as it would not drain through the yeast dump port. Never seen yeast this thick before.


Nottingham's temp range is 50-72, yeast cake is more tightly packed than S-04.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 26, 2020, 07:43:57 am
I like this yeast very much, and will do another brew with it, but replicating my Fest Bier recipe (https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=35649.0), but will simplify the grain bill and employ Cascade hops.

American Amber Ale is the goal. Yes, S-04 is a British yeast, but it is clean, i.e., not overly fruity, and should do a nice job. This will not be an IPA, as we don't do those in my brewery.

Stand by for a full report and analysis.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: dmtaylor on December 26, 2020, 07:11:53 pm
I like this yeast, and will brew up a nice Ale with it. Not an IPA, just a nice ale using Pils malt and Cascade hops.

No dry hopping allowed. This will be similar to a Euro-Pils, but with S-04 yeast, and great hops. Will ferment a bit warmer, say around 60 degrees.

Sounds similar to what I've just done.  Yesterday I brewed a batch aiming for an Australian Sparkling Ale, actually I think it will be somewhere between that and a British Golden Ale (a.k.a. Summer Ale).  Simple recipe of half American Pale malt, half Maris Otter, with very small additions of wheat malt and honey malt.  It was a long 2-hour mash at an average 149 F.  Cascade and Calypso hops, 60-minute boil additions only, nothing late.  Pitched S-04 at 73 F, it since fell to 69 F and is hanging out there while I wait for activity.  I purposely intend to ferment this one in the low 70s just to see what happens.  The wort tasted very bitter and reminded me of breakfast cereal, like Lucky Charms but without the sweetness or marshmallows.  High hopes.  IF I remember I will try to keep ya'll posted.

Okay, here's a brief update.  Took 4 days at 69 F to go from 1.044 to 1.009, for 80% apparent attenuation.  I find S-04 is very neutral, and allows both the malt and the hops to shine through. I say this immediately after sampling this and one other homebrew with it.  My old Scottish ale is malty as expected. The Aussie/British golden ale described above is lightly fruity in a non-descript way, with crackery malt and an herbal hop punch.

S-04 is super neutral.  I would use S-04 essentially interchangeably with US-05, WLP001, 1056, or Nottingham -- I'd use whatever is cheapest or most easily available.  Not bready or objectionable in any way, shape, or form.  Indeed, kind of boring, really.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 27, 2020, 08:33:12 am
I like this yeast, and will brew up a nice Ale with it. Not an IPA, just a nice ale using Pils malt and Cascade hops.

No dry hopping allowed. This will be similar to a Euro-Pils, but with S-04 yeast, and great hops. Will ferment a bit warmer, say around 60 degrees.

Sounds similar to what I've just done.  Yesterday I brewed a batch aiming for an Australian Sparkling Ale, actually I think it will be somewhere between that and a British Golden Ale (a.k.a. Summer Ale).  Simple recipe of half American Pale malt, half Maris Otter, with very small additions of wheat malt and honey malt.  It was a long 2-hour mash at an average 149 F.  Cascade and Calypso hops, 60-minute boil additions only, nothing late.  Pitched S-04 at 73 F, it since fell to 69 F and is hanging out there while I wait for activity.  I purposely intend to ferment this one in the low 70s just to see what happens.  The wort tasted very bitter and reminded me of breakfast cereal, like Lucky Charms but without the sweetness or marshmallows.  High hopes.  IF I remember I will try to keep ya'll posted.

Okay, here's a brief update.  Took 4 days at 69 F to go from 1.044 to 1.009, for 80% apparent attenuation.  I find S-04 is very neutral, and allows both the malt and the hops to shine through. I say this immediately after sampling this and one other homebrew with it.  My old Scottish ale is malty as expected. The Aussie/British golden ale described above is lightly fruity in a non-descript way, with crackery malt and an herbal hop punch.

S-04 is super neutral.  I would use S-04 essentially interchangeably with US-05, WLP001, 1056, or Nottingham -- I'd use whatever is cheapest or most easily available.  Not bready or objectionable in any way, shape, or form.  Indeed, kind of boring, really.

Thanks for the input.
Brewed up a Fest Bier variant yesterday, with Cascade Hops and S-04.
The ferment activity took off quickly, much like a nuclear explosion. 2nd gen yeast.
The ambient temp is 64-68 degrees F.
It is in a spare bedroom upstairs, heat shut off. It’s the only place that has a constant temp in the range that works best.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 28, 2020, 09:13:09 am
Here is a phenom, never before witnessed in 3 decades of brewing.

A blow off tube is installed, terminating in a quart jar of water.

The bubbles are not one every 2, 3, or even 4 seconds. The bubbles are non-stop, in a continuous stream. Like a Browning .50 Cal Machine Gun, 850 rounds per minute.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: denny on December 28, 2020, 10:07:16 am
Here is a phenom, never before witnessed in 3 decades of brewing.

A blow off tube is installed, terminating in a quart jar of water.

The bubbles are not one every 2, 3, or even 4 seconds. The bubbles are non-stop, in a continuous stream. Like a Browning .50 Cal Machine Gun, 850 rounds per minute.

Surprised you've never seen that before
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Iliff Ave on December 28, 2020, 10:11:11 am
Here is a phenom, never before witnessed in 3 decades of brewing.

A blow off tube is installed, terminating in a quart jar of water.

The bubbles are not one every 2, 3, or even 4 seconds. The bubbles are non-stop, in a continuous stream. Like a Browning .50 Cal Machine Gun, 850 rounds per minute.

Surprised you've never seen that before
Was going to say the same thing!
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 28, 2020, 06:01:45 pm
Here is a phenom, never before witnessed in 3 decades of brewing.

A blow off tube is installed, terminating in a quart jar of water.

The bubbles are not one every 2, 3, or even 4 seconds. The bubbles are non-stop, in a continuous stream. Like a Browning .50 Cal Machine Gun, 850 rounds per minute.

Surprised you've never seen that before
Was going to say the same thing!

Well...never used this yeast before, and never used this yeast as a 2nd gen at this temp (66 degrees).
It is not a bubbling effect in the quart jar, it's more like one long Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp. Non-stop. It will be interesting to see how long this lasts.
Yes, this is a first for me.
Recall that 99% of my brews are lagers, at temps from 40 to 55 degrees.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: denny on December 29, 2020, 09:17:02 am
Here is a phenom, never before witnessed in 3 decades of brewing.

A blow off tube is installed, terminating in a quart jar of water.

The bubbles are not one every 2, 3, or even 4 seconds. The bubbles are non-stop, in a continuous stream. Like a Browning .50 Cal Machine Gun, 850 rounds per minute.

Surprised you've never seen that before
Was going to say the same thing!

Well...never used this yeast before, and never used this yeast as a 2nd gen at this temp (66 degrees).
It is not a bubbling effect in the quart jar, it's more like one long Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp. Non-stop. It will be interesting to see how long this lasts.
Yes, this is a first for me.
Recall that 99% of my brews are lagers, at temps from 40 to 55 degrees.

I've seen it happen many times with many different yeasts.  It has nothing to do with S04 specifically.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Cliffs on December 29, 2020, 09:54:39 am
you want to see crazy co2 production, try kveik, the stuff makes my blow off tube hiss
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on December 29, 2020, 10:51:33 am
you want to see crazy co2 production, try kveik, the stuff makes my blow off tube hiss

Dang!

Well, the S-04 has now settled down a bit, going from a continuous stream of CO2, to big burps at 7 second intervals.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on January 14, 2021, 07:03:39 pm
For those interested, this ale turned out spectacular. It will be entered in the upcoming Bluebonnet, in Dallas, Texas.

An APA and a BGA will be the two entries. This yeast was a 2nd gen, and fermented more quickly than I'm used to. I am surprised how clean this ferment is, without the bready, fruity off flavors that I try to avoid.

Being hop forward, it is slightly like a Sierra Nevada, but much more subtle in character. A beer that those of us who are not IPA drinkers will enjoy!

Can't wait to see what the judges have to say.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: dmtaylor on January 14, 2021, 08:13:19 pm
My recent brew is so dang clean, I'm seriously inclined to call it a Classic American Pilsner (or however Gordon rephrased it in 2015).  Yes, it is truly very clean and lager-like, even fermented warm at average 69 F.

Cheers all.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on January 15, 2021, 07:30:25 am
My recent brew is so dang clean, I'm seriously inclined to call it a Classic American Pilsner (or however Gordon rephrased it in 2015).  Yes, it is truly very clean and lager-like, even fermented warm at average 69 F.

Cheers all.

That is what I was thinking...almost lager-like. The ferment was at 66-68 degrees, and I did not want to hit 70+.

Overall, very happy with S-04.

Brewed a London Porter, and now the APA with this yeast.
Title: Safale S-04
Post by: BrewBama on January 15, 2021, 07:35:12 am
I’ve fermented quite a few batches with S-04 and though very clear, lager-like would not be the term I would use to describe the pint.

...but then again, is lager-like from an English strain desirable?


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Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on January 15, 2021, 09:42:25 am
I’ve fermented quite a few batches with S-04 and though very clear, lager-like would not be the term I would use to describe the pint.

...but then again, is lager-like from an English strain desirable?


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Lager Like - adj., having a clean refreshing taste. Void of off flavors, such as bread and/or fruit. Suitable for ales and lagers in brewing various styles of beer.

In my examples, both the APA and the BGA, the cleanliness makes for a refreshing, easy to consume beverage. The drinkability and the refreshing quality are critical components of the style (from BJCP).

The judging is in about 6 to 8 weeks. As soon as the scorecards come in, you will be the second to know what the judges think.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: dmtaylor on January 15, 2021, 10:10:07 am
is lager-like from an English strain desirable?

It is if you want to make a pseudo-lager at 69 F!  I'm very happy with my result even though it is NOTHING like I intended.
Title: Safale S-04
Post by: BrewBama on January 15, 2021, 10:27:46 am
is lager-like from an English strain desirable?

It is if you want to make a pseudo-lager at 69 F!  I'm very happy with my result even though it is NOTHING like I intended.
I’m not trying to pour cold water on your brew. If you enjoy it that’s great.

...but I guess that’s kinda my point. If it’s what you intended then that’s fantastic. If it’s not, then that’s a bit different. It could be a very pleasant surprise, but it could be the opposite or varying degrees in between.


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Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: dmtaylor on January 15, 2021, 10:45:24 am
Of course. I got lucky that I enjoy lagers.

The real reason I stopped back in here is... I found the esters now. As the beer warms, there is an eensy-weensy bit of Juicy Fruit gum. Very very slight. But thats what it is - Juicy Fruit. So its not a perfect lager-like ale. But pretty dang close.

I will never use this yeast for an English style again if I want esters. I will however never hesitate to use this yeast for any clean styles, especially if/when this yeast might be on sale or cheaper than other options. And fermentation temperature seems to make little or no difference, which can be a big benefit.

English, no it isnt.  Great yeast anyway, you bet it is.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: erockrph on January 15, 2021, 11:10:11 am
Of course. I got lucky that I enjoy lagers.

The real reason I stopped back in here is... I found the esters now. As the beer warms, there is an eensy-weensy bit of Juicy Fruit gum. Very very slight. But thats what it is - Juicy Fruit. So its not a perfect lager-like ale. But pretty dang close.

I will never use this yeast for an English style again if I want esters. I will however never hesitate to use this yeast for any clean styles, especially if/when this yeast might be on sale or cheaper than other options. And fermentation temperature seems to make little or no difference, which can be a big benefit.

English, no it isnt.  Great yeast anyway, you bet it is.
I've been following this thread struggling to find some reason to give S04 another try, and the Juicyfruit ester thing just gave me a thought. I typically pitch a full pack of dry yeast for a 2.5 gallon batch. Maybe the lack of esters and doughiness comes from overpitching? If I pitch at a much lower rate (like 2 grams for a 2.5 gallon batch instead of 11g), maybe that might bring out the esters a bit - especially if I ferment in the upper 60s. Not sure I've convinced myself yet, but I might try this sometime.

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Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: denny on January 15, 2021, 11:49:40 am
Of course. I got lucky that I enjoy lagers.

The real reason I stopped back in here is... I found the esters now. As the beer warms, there is an eensy-weensy bit of Juicy Fruit gum. Very very slight. But thats what it is - Juicy Fruit. So its not a perfect lager-like ale. But pretty dang close.

I will never use this yeast for an English style again if I want esters. I will however never hesitate to use this yeast for any clean styles, especially if/when this yeast might be on sale or cheaper than other options. And fermentation temperature seems to make little or no difference, which can be a big benefit.

English, no it isnt.  Great yeast anyway, you bet it is.
I've been following this thread struggling to find some reason to give S04 another try, and the Juicyfruit ester thing just gave me a thought. I typically pitch a full pack of dry yeast for a 2.5 gallon batch. Maybe the lack of esters and doughiness comes from overpitching? If I pitch at a much lower rate (like 2 grams for a 2.5 gallon batch instead of 11g), maybe that might bring out the esters a bit - especially if I ferment in the upper 60s. Not sure I've convinced myself yet, but I might try this sometime.

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Overpitching is certainly a possibility to explore.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: dmtaylor on January 15, 2021, 01:59:48 pm
Of course. I got lucky that I enjoy lagers.

The real reason I stopped back in here is... I found the esters now. As the beer warms, there is an eensy-weensy bit of Juicy Fruit gum. Very very slight. But thats what it is - Juicy Fruit. So its not a perfect lager-like ale. But pretty dang close.

I will never use this yeast for an English style again if I want esters. I will however never hesitate to use this yeast for any clean styles, especially if/when this yeast might be on sale or cheaper than other options. And fermentation temperature seems to make little or no difference, which can be a big benefit.

English, no it isnt.  Great yeast anyway, you bet it is.
I've been following this thread struggling to find some reason to give S04 another try, and the Juicyfruit ester thing just gave me a thought. I typically pitch a full pack of dry yeast for a 2.5 gallon batch. Maybe the lack of esters and doughiness comes from overpitching? If I pitch at a much lower rate (like 2 grams for a 2.5 gallon batch instead of 11g), maybe that might bring out the esters a bit - especially if I ferment in the upper 60s. Not sure I've convinced myself yet, but I might try this sometime.

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Overpitching is certainly a possibility to explore.

Indeed.  By most standards, I underpitch.  This time around I used 1/4 pack in 1.25 gallons, which equates to 1 whole pack for 5 gallons.  For me this would be an overpitch.  For others, it's right in line with what they would use.  Initially I pitched just 1/10 pack but it didn't have any activity after 36 hours so I added a little more.  Then it took off just a few hours later.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Saccharomyces on January 15, 2021, 02:08:15 pm
That yeast culture is definitely the same as Wyeast 1098, which was tied with Wyeast 1056 in popularity in my area when I first started to brew.  It may not come across as estery, but it does when drank at a club cookout where the majority of beers were fermented with either 1056 or 1098.  Juicy fruit and tartness are definitely there with 1098.  However, I never encountered breadiness until the culture arrived in the form of S-04.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on January 15, 2021, 02:42:58 pm
My few taste samples have been at 32 degrees F, and that might have an impact. But this is certainly not a lager yeast! Lager-like, maybe. But I can taste the "Aleness" in it. No, not fruity, or very estery, similar to 1056.

By the standards on this forum, I overpitch every brew. Again, no bread taste here.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on January 15, 2021, 02:46:33 pm
Of course. I got lucky that I enjoy lagers.

The real reason I stopped back in here is... I found the esters now. As the beer warms, there is an eensy-weensy bit of Juicy Fruit gum. Very very slight. But thats what it is - Juicy Fruit. So its not a perfect lager-like ale. But pretty dang close.

I will never use this yeast for an English style again if I want esters. I will however never hesitate to use this yeast for any clean styles, especially if/when this yeast might be on sale or cheaper than other options. And fermentation temperature seems to make little or no difference, which can be a big benefit.

English, no it isnt.  Great yeast anyway, you bet it is.

I'm with you here, this S-04 is a fine yeast. Brewed a London Porter, and an American Pale Ale with this.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: dmtaylor on January 15, 2021, 02:50:11 pm
That yeast culture is definitely the same as Wyeast 1098, which was tied with Wyeast 1056 in popularity in my area when I first started to brew.  It may not come across as estery, but it does when drank at a club cookout where the majority of beers were fermented with either 1056 or 1098.  Juicy fruit and tartness are definitely there with 1098.  However, I never encountered breadiness until the culture arrived in the form of S-04.

S-04 is more closely related to 1026, 1028, 1187, 1318, 1469, and 1728 than it is to 1098.  Reference the right hand branches of:

http://beer.suregork.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Brewing_yeast_tree_Oct_2019.pdf
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Saccharomyces on January 16, 2021, 07:46:31 am

S-04 is more closely related to 1026, 1028, 1187, 1318, 1469, and 1728 than it is to 1098.  Reference the right hand branches of:

http://beer.suregork.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Brewing_yeast_tree_Oct_2019.pdf

S-04 is on the same sub-tree; therefore, it shares a relatively close common ancestor with 1098.  What is interesting is that several of the cultures on that sub-tree are acid producers.  Wyeast 1026 and 1098 are both acid producers and so is S-04.  There two true top-croppers on the sub-tree as well.  What is further interesting is that Wyeast 1318 groups so closely with Wyeast 1098.   That grouping adds credence to Northern Brewer's claim that  Wyeast 1318 is not the original Boddington's culture.  Wyeast 1098 is without a doubt a Whitbread culture.  It appears that Whitbread acquired Boddingtons around 1969.   Having spent way too much time reading the culture descriptions in the NCYC catalog,  I know that Whitbread had a sizeable culture collection at one point, so the culture known as Wyeast 1318 could have been substituted for the original Boddington's culture. 

What is interesting about Boddington's is that they owned the Hull Brewery. That is where Peter Austin allegedly acquired the Ringwood mixed culture.  For those who do not known, Peter Austin was a major player in craft brewing in Great Britain as well as the East Coast of North America. The brew houses that Alan Pugsley installed in the United States were based on the brew house used at the Ringwood Brewery.   I can honestly say that I would have never taken up brewing without Peter Austin's influence.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on January 18, 2021, 09:29:37 am
Here is what makes this yeast different from most other yeasts we have used...after cold crashing, it sediments into an incredibly thick cake. Think cold-peanut-butter.
Has this been your experience? This makes harvesting a bit more challenging. This viscosity does not allow the yeast to run, so it requires a small shovel or very large spoon to extract from the fermenter.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: fredthecat on January 20, 2021, 03:15:30 pm

S-04 is more closely related to 1026, 1028, 1187, 1318, 1469, and 1728 than it is to 1098.  Reference the right hand branches of:

http://beer.suregork.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Brewing_yeast_tree_Oct_2019.pdf

S-04 is on the same sub-tree; therefore, it shares a relatively close common ancestor with 1098.  What is interesting is that several of the cultures on that sub-tree are acid producers.  Wyeast 1026 and 1098 are both acid producers and so is S-04.  There two true top-croppers on the sub-tree as well.  What is further interesting is that Wyeast 1318 groups so closely with Wyeast 1098.   That grouping adds credence to Northern Brewer's claim that  Wyeast 1318 is not the original Boddington's culture.  Wyeast 1098 is without a doubt a Whitbread culture.  It appears that Whitbread acquired Boddingtons around 1969.   Having spent way too much time reading the culture descriptions in the NCYC catalog,  I know that Whitbread had a sizeable culture collection at one point, so the culture known as Wyeast 1318 could have been substituted for the original Boddington's culture. 

What is interesting about Boddington's is that they owned the Hull Brewery. That is where Peter Austin allegedly acquired the Ringwood mixed culture.  For those who do not known, Peter Austin was a major player in craft brewing in Great Britain as well as the East Coast of North America. The brew houses that Alan Pugsley installed in the United States were based on the brew house used at the Ringwood Brewery.   I can honestly say that I would have never taken up brewing without Peter Austin's influence.

cool post, i've read some books from 90s homebrew authors, and have a vague idea of how this whole homebrewing and small scale commercial (craft/micro) brewing happened, but only vague. i might start searching out the long story. but i can imagine a fair bit of the initial things would have had to have been created entirely from scratch. ie. single digit BBL kettles and fermentors?

im googling those names now.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: denny on January 21, 2021, 08:29:56 am

S-04 is more closely related to 1026, 1028, 1187, 1318, 1469, and 1728 than it is to 1098.  Reference the right hand branches of:

http://beer.suregork.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Brewing_yeast_tree_Oct_2019.pdf

S-04 is on the same sub-tree; therefore, it shares a relatively close common ancestor with 1098.  What is interesting is that several of the cultures on that sub-tree are acid producers.  Wyeast 1026 and 1098 are both acid producers and so is S-04.  There two true top-croppers on the sub-tree as well.  What is further interesting is that Wyeast 1318 groups so closely with Wyeast 1098.   That grouping adds credence to Northern Brewer's claim that  Wyeast 1318 is not the original Boddington's culture.  Wyeast 1098 is without a doubt a Whitbread culture.  It appears that Whitbread acquired Boddingtons around 1969.   Having spent way too much time reading the culture descriptions in the NCYC catalog,  I know that Whitbread had a sizeable culture collection at one point, so the culture known as Wyeast 1318 could have been substituted for the original Boddington's culture. 

What is interesting about Boddington's is that they owned the Hull Brewery. That is where Peter Austin allegedly acquired the Ringwood mixed culture.  For those who do not known, Peter Austin was a major player in craft brewing in Great Britain as well as the East Coast of North America. The brew houses that Alan Pugsley installed in the United States were based on the brew house used at the Ringwood Brewery.   I can honestly say that I would have never taken up brewing without Peter Austin's influence.

cool post, i've read some books from 90s homebrew authors, and have a vague idea of how this whole homebrewing and small scale commercial (craft/micro) brewing happened, but only vague. i might start searching out the long story. but i can imagine a fair bit of the initial things would have had to have been created entirely from scratch. ie. single digit BBL kettles and fermentors?

im googling those names now.

In the early days, craft breweries repurposed dairy equipment.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: jeffy on January 21, 2021, 10:35:24 am

S-04 is more closely related to 1026, 1028, 1187, 1318, 1469, and 1728 than it is to 1098.  Reference the right hand branches of:

http://beer.suregork.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Brewing_yeast_tree_Oct_2019.pdf

S-04 is on the same sub-tree; therefore, it shares a relatively close common ancestor with 1098.  What is interesting is that several of the cultures on that sub-tree are acid producers.  Wyeast 1026 and 1098 are both acid producers and so is S-04.  There two true top-croppers on the sub-tree as well.  What is further interesting is that Wyeast 1318 groups so closely with Wyeast 1098.   That grouping adds credence to Northern Brewer's claim that  Wyeast 1318 is not the original Boddington's culture.  Wyeast 1098 is without a doubt a Whitbread culture.  It appears that Whitbread acquired Boddingtons around 1969.   Having spent way too much time reading the culture descriptions in the NCYC catalog,  I know that Whitbread had a sizeable culture collection at one point, so the culture known as Wyeast 1318 could have been substituted for the original Boddington's culture. 

What is interesting about Boddington's is that they owned the Hull Brewery. That is where Peter Austin allegedly acquired the Ringwood mixed culture.  For those who do not known, Peter Austin was a major player in craft brewing in Great Britain as well as the East Coast of North America. The brew houses that Alan Pugsley installed in the United States were based on the brew house used at the Ringwood Brewery.   I can honestly say that I would have never taken up brewing without Peter Austin's influence.

cool post, i've read some books from 90s homebrew authors, and have a vague idea of how this whole homebrewing and small scale commercial (craft/micro) brewing happened, but only vague. i might start searching out the long story. but i can imagine a fair bit of the initial things would have had to have been created entirely from scratch. ie. single digit BBL kettles and fermentors?

im googling those names now.

In the early days, craft breweries repurposed dairy equipment.
The Pugsley systems had a bricked-in mash tun and used open fermenters.  Shipyard had one in Orlando, at the airport, for a while.  They had a clean, temperature controlled room for the fermenters.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Fire Rooster on January 21, 2021, 12:04:07 pm
Brewing tomorrow using S-04 dated Sep 2023.
SEP 2023 ? Struck while the iron was hot, ordered 9 more (received, all are SEP 2023) to store in fridge.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on January 23, 2021, 08:40:01 am
Brewing tomorrow using S-04 dated Sep 2023.
SEP 2023 ? Struck while the iron was hot, ordered 9 more (received, all are SEP 2023) to store in fridge.

I will make this one of my two “House Yeasts”, the other being the ubiquitous W-34/70.

Using these I will be able to brew everything and anything that I care to drink!
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Fire Rooster on January 23, 2021, 09:37:46 am
Brewing tomorrow using S-04 dated Sep 2023.
SEP 2023 ? Struck while the iron was hot, ordered 9 more (received, all are SEP 2023) to store in fridge.

I will make this one of my two “House Yeasts”, the other being the ubiquitous W-34/70.

Using these I will be able to brew everything and anything that I care to drink!

Also ordered 9 US-05 packets, because they also are dated SEP 2023.
Guess for 2021 my house yeasts are S-04, and US-05.
I like using Nottingham in the winter, but I keep getting packets with a short fuse.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: fredthecat on January 23, 2021, 03:51:44 pm
Brewing tomorrow using S-04 dated Sep 2023.
SEP 2023 ? Struck while the iron was hot, ordered 9 more (received, all are SEP 2023) to store in fridge.

I will make this one of my two “House Yeasts”, the other being the ubiquitous W-34/70.

Using these I will be able to brew everything and anything that I care to drink!

Also ordered 9 US-05 packets, because they also are dated SEP 2023.
Guess for 2021 my house yeasts are S-04, and US-05.
I like using Nottingham in the winter, but I keep getting packets with a short fuse.

im eager to try out BRY97, the highly recommended alternative to S05. I used S05 for years because it was just.. there and supposedly "neutral". but it just wasnt all there with some brews, there was just something just a tiny bit less than perfect with it for me.

ive got bry97 right now, but it'll be late winter before i brew with it. ill post results.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Fire Rooster on January 29, 2021, 04:06:30 am
Brewing tomorrow using S-04 dated Sep 2023.
SEP 2023 ? Struck while the iron was hot, ordered 9 more (received, all are SEP 2023) to store in fridge.

I will make this one of my two “House Yeasts”, the other being the ubiquitous W-34/70.

Using these I will be able to brew everything and anything that I care to drink!

Also ordered 9 US-05 packets, because they also are dated SEP 2023.
Guess for 2021 my house yeasts are S-04, and US-05.
I like using Nottingham in the winter, but I keep getting packets with a short fuse.

im eager to try out BRY97, the highly recommended alternative to S05. I used S05 for years because it was just.. there and supposedly "neutral". but it just wasnt all there with some brews, there was just something just a tiny bit less than perfect with it for me.

ive got bry97 right now, but it'll be late winter before i brew with it. ill post results.

S-04 and US-05 were selected because (1) they're popular (2) have best by/exp dates of SEP-2023
(3) capable of lows temps in basement (4) have a wide temp range.

I don't possess the experience/knowledge to determine if yeast is truly responsible for certain tastes.
Was it the mash temp & time, boil length, grains, hops, water, fermentation temp & time,
bottle conditioning temp and time, yeast, I dunno.  Many times it was strongly believed something was fact,
when in actuality it was false.   Although I can say, the beers are beginning to get really good with attention to detail.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Saccharomyces on January 30, 2021, 03:18:52 am
The Pugsley systems had a bricked-in mash tun and used open fermenters.  Shipyard had one in Orlando, at the airport, for a while.  They had a clean, temperature controlled room for the fermenters.

The Peter Austin and Partners systems that Alan Pugsley installed near me were basically replicas of the original Ringwood brewery in Hampshire England.  They had direct-fired, bricked-in kettles, wood clad mash tuns and hot liquor backs, hop percolators (a Peter Austin hopback design), and fish tail-equipped open fermentation vessels (even the yeast propagator was an open fermenter). They all used the multii-strain Ringwood yeast culture that Peter Austin acquired when he worked at the Hull Brewery in Northern England. It is a high O2 demand Yorkshire-style yeast culture.  Ringwood makes really good beer in the right hands, but it is a mean and cruel mistress in the wrong hands. 

If it had not been for these Pugsley-installed breweries, I would have never started to brew.  Their impact on craft brewing on the East Coast cannot be ignored.  The largest Peter Austin and Partners system in Maryland was installed in the Wild Goose Brewery in Cambridge, Maryland, which is on the Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) Peninsula.  There is very little doubt in my mind that Dogfish Head Brewing exists because of the Wild Goose Brewery.  Their house strain is derived from Ringwood.  It has Ringwood written all over its ester and diketone profile.

Here is a article about brewing at Geary's that shows the kettle, mashtun, and one of the open fermentation vessels:

http://wouldbebrewmaster.blogspot.com/2015/10/brew-day-geary-summer-ale-clone.html

Even the top of the mash tun on a Peter Austin and Partners system is insulated with wood.

Here is Peter Austin's Wiki Page:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Austin_(brewer) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Austin_(brewer))
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Saccharomyces on January 30, 2021, 03:37:22 am
By the way, do not ferment US-05 cold.  BRY-96 and Chico by extension is best used above 65F.  I have never gotten peach from that strain because I do not ferment ales below 18C.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on January 30, 2021, 09:52:08 am
By the way, do not ferment US-05 cold.  BRY-96 and Chico by extension is best used above 65F.  I have never gotten peach from that strain because I do not ferment ales below 18C.

The head brewer (J. Morrison, Siebel graduate) at the Hoffbrau in Addison, Texas, used Wyeast 1056 as their house yeast. He would ferment it cold (not sure the actual temp, but below 60 degrees), and have the beer on tap as a lager.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: Saccharomyces on January 30, 2021, 12:21:30 pm
The head brewer (J. Morrison, Siebel graduate) at the Hoffbrau in Addison, Texas, used Wyeast 1056 as their house yeast. He would ferment it cold (not sure the actual temp, but below 60 degrees), and have the beer on tap as a lager.

However, the strain can become unstable with unpredictable results below 18C.  There are better strains for cold ale fermentation than BRY-96.
Title: Re: Safale S-04
Post by: clibit on February 10, 2021, 01:41:57 pm

S-04 is more closely related to 1026, 1028, 1187, 1318, 1469, and 1728 than it is to 1098.  Reference the right hand branches of:

http://beer.suregork.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Brewing_yeast_tree_Oct_2019.pdf

S-04 is on the same sub-tree; therefore, it shares a relatively close common ancestor with 1098.  What is interesting is that several of the cultures on that sub-tree are acid producers.  Wyeast 1026 and 1098 are both acid producers and so is S-04.  There two true top-croppers on the sub-tree as well.  What is further interesting is that Wyeast 1318 groups so closely with Wyeast 1098.   That grouping adds credence to Northern Brewer's claim that  Wyeast 1318 is not the original Boddington's culture.  Wyeast 1098 is without a doubt a Whitbread culture.  It appears that Whitbread acquired Boddingtons around 1969.   Having spent way too much time reading the culture descriptions in the NCYC catalog,  I know that Whitbread had a sizeable culture collection at one point, so the culture known as Wyeast 1318 could have been substituted for the original Boddington's culture. 

What is interesting about Boddington's is that they owned the Hull Brewery. That is where Peter Austin allegedly acquired the Ringwood mixed culture.  For those who do not known, Peter Austin was a major player in craft brewing in Great Britain as well as the East Coast of North America. The brew houses that Alan Pugsley installed in the United States were based on the brew house used at the Ringwood Brewery.   I can honestly say that I would have never taken up brewing without Peter Austin's influence.
Whitbread acquired Boddington's Brewery in 1989. I was a big fan of Bodds from the late 70s into the mid 80s but the Whitbread takeover diminished it and then AB Inbev completely wrecked it.