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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: Village Taphouse on January 28, 2022, 09:19:07 am

Title: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Village Taphouse on January 28, 2022, 09:19:07 am
Guys:  Getting back to brewing after a break.  I ordered some ingredients and also some yeast.  To get my supply back up quickly I chose to make some ales with S-04 (a "pub ale", a blonde, maybe a pale ale).  I have had diacetyl issues in the past with English ale yeasts (1469 and 1968 specifically) and I want to avoid that here.  I plan to pitch one 11.5g packet into 5 gallons of [approx] 1.048 gravity wort and ferment it around 65° and then warm it up so it can finish and possibly drive off any diacetyl.  It's been awhile since I used S-04 but I have used it and I like its profile.  Is there anything else that I'm forgetting about using this yeast properly?  Does it typically produce diacetyl or no?  I use liquid yeast the vast majority of the time so I'm in a bit of a gray zone.  Cheers and thanks. 
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: stpug on January 28, 2022, 09:34:34 am
Diacetyl isn't "driven off", it's reduced by the (healthy) yeast.  All yeast produce diacetyl which they'll reduce at the tail end of fermentation at various rates based on activity level of the yeast (i.e. warmer temps = more activity) as well as level of yeast still in suspension (i.e. high floccing yeast can take longer to reduce which is why some folks choose to "rouse" the yeast at/near FG).
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Iliff Ave on January 28, 2022, 10:12:20 am
I don't use it very often any more but I still like it. It starts to taste a bit funky to me when you start to ferment above the mid 60s so I shoot for the low 60s usually.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Village Taphouse on January 28, 2022, 10:23:08 am
Right.  I want to keep fruity esters down as much as possible.  I typically use ale yeasts in the 62-65° range and then ramp them up towards the end.  Last fall I had 1056 going and I made three batches and then had to abandon all brewing so there may have been another 2-3 batches I would have made with it.  I'll get caught up with S-04 and then I have some WLP940 for some warmer weather Mexican-style lagers.  Thanks guys.  Much appreciated. 
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: dmtaylor on January 28, 2022, 01:02:21 pm
I get zero esters from S-04, even fermented warm in the low to mid 70s F.  It is super clean and a little sulfury, like a lager yeast.  But I do not get any diacetyl from it.  I will be experimenting more with it in future as a room-temperature substitute for warm "lagers" due to the complete lack of esters.  Also...

It seems to me and others (on HBT.com) that S-04 has changed in recent months.  Maybe Fermentis changed their source or cleaned up something in their process, because people who swear it used to be fruity are now saying well no, now today it is performing a little differently and is very clean.  So...... if you haven't used it in a while, you might be surprised at just how clean it is now.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Village Taphouse on January 28, 2022, 01:31:13 pm
I get zero esters from S-04, even fermented warm in the low to mid 70s F.  It is super clean and a little sulfury, like a lager yeast.  But I do not get any diacetyl from it.  I will be experimenting more with it in future as a room-temperature substitute for warm "lagers" due to the complete lack of esters.  Also...

It seems to me and others (on HBT.com) that S-04 has changed in recent months.  Maybe Fermentis changed their source or cleaned up something in their process, because people who swear it used to be fruity are now saying well no, now today it is performing a little differently and is very clean.  So...... if you haven't used it in a while, you might be surprised at just how clean it is now.
Interesting.  I have not used it in awhile but the last time I used it in a handful of batches and the character was very nice.  I have never NOT liked it.  US-05 on the other hand... I have has issues.  I feel like everyone will get a different character based on their variables... pitch rate, ABV, fermentation temp, yeast health, etc.  I will report back after I sample the beers with it.  I'm not a big ester-head so your news is encouraging. 
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: ynotbrusum on January 28, 2022, 01:53:03 pm
I used it in an ordinary bitter last summer and fermented under pressure and was amazed how clean it was - like an English Lager, essentially.  I thought the pressure fermentation was the reason, but it sounds like it is just the yeast's nature now.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Village Taphouse on January 28, 2022, 02:12:22 pm
I used it in an ordinary bitter last summer and fermented under pressure and was amazed how clean it was - like an English Lager, essentially.  I thought the pressure fermentation was the reason, but it sounds like it is just the yeast's nature now.
Its floccing character is another reason I chose it.  Clear bitters, "pub ales", etc?  Yes, please.   :D
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: denny on January 28, 2022, 04:15:53 pm
I used it in an ordinary bitter last summer and fermented under pressure and was amazed how clean it was - like an English Lager, essentially.  I thought the pressure fermentation was the reason, but it sounds like it is just the yeast's nature now.
Its floccing character is another reason I chose it.  Clear bitters, "pub ales", etc?  Yes, please.   :D

I'm curious what the criteria are that made you choose this over BRY97
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Village Taphouse on January 28, 2022, 04:20:53 pm
I used it in an ordinary bitter last summer and fermented under pressure and was amazed how clean it was - like an English Lager, essentially.  I thought the pressure fermentation was the reason, but it sounds like it is just the yeast's nature now.
Its floccing character is another reason I chose it.  Clear bitters, "pub ales", etc?  Yes, please.   :D

I'm curious what the criteria are that made you choose this over BRY97
I used BRY-97 last spring in some ales and I liked it just fine.  These beers I'm making now are leaning a little more "british" so I'm just mixing it up a little bit. 
Title: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: BrewBama on January 28, 2022, 04:22:58 pm
I use S-04 when I want a faster ferment and a bit higher FG. I like it in English styles. It has low esters and drops like a stone. If you want fast and clear, this is your man.

I like Bry-97 for a bit slower even ferment and a bit lower FG. I use it in American styles and, with a bit of enzyme, a pseudo lager. It is my go-to.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Village Taphouse on January 28, 2022, 06:09:46 pm
I use S-04 when I want a faster ferment and a bit higher FG. I like it in English styles. It has low esters and drops like a stone. If you want fast and clear, this is your man.
Muh neighbor!  :D  I might throw an American Wheat in there too. 
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Village Taphouse on April 21, 2022, 11:59:40 am
Guys:  I am updating this thread after making SEVEN batches of ale using S-04 over the course of about 8-9 weeks.  A pale ale, a bitter, a blonde ale, a dark ale, another pale ale, an American wheat and a cream ale.  The first batch of pale ale is already gone and it was delicious.  If I concentrated very hard I would pick up some slight diacetyl but that wasn't every time I drank it.  No sign of it in the bitter and the blonde ale (with Liberty) was put on tap last night... no diacetyl at all.  But I have to comment on the character that this yeast brings... it's fantastic.  It has such a nice, bready character.  No real estery nonsense going on and it drops like a rock.  I let it ferment on the lower level of my place (probably in the low 60s) for a couple days and then moved it upstairs.  I feel like S-04 is going to be my go-to dry ale yeast going forward after this run of beers.  The description on the Fermentis website says "English and American styles" and I agree with that.  A smidge more "English" than you might get in a BRY-97 or US-05, 1056, WLP001 but that's okay with me.  Cheers Beerheads.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Megary on April 21, 2022, 12:24:05 pm
Guys:  I am updating this thread after making SEVEN batches of ale using S-04 over the course of about 8-9 weeks.  A pale ale, a bitter, a blonde ale, a dark ale, another pale ale, an American wheat and a cream ale.  The first batch of pale ale is already gone and it was delicious.  If I concentrated very hard I would pick up some slight diacetyl but that wasn't every time I drank it.  No sign of it in the bitter and the blonde ale (with Liberty) was put on tap last night... no diacetyl at all.  But I have to comment on the character that this yeast brings... it's fantastic.  It has such a nice, bready character.  No real estery nonsense going on and it drops like a rock.  I let it ferment on the lower level of my place (probably in the low 60s) for a couple days and then moved it upstairs.  I feel like S-04 is going to be my go-to dry ale yeast going forward after this run of beers.  The description on the Fermentis website says "English and American styles" and I agree with that.  A smidge more "English" than you might get in a BRY-97 or US-05, 1056, WLP001 but that's okay with me.  Cheers Beerheads.

Thanks for the follow-up.  I have to say, the few times (twice) that I have used S-04, it has been a bit of a disappointment.  I'm certainly willing to accept Brewer's error as the reason, but I have found it rather low attenuating (68% in a Stout and 68% in a Brown), a bit sludgy in the fermenter, yeasty, and lacking in the fruity/floral notes (as per Fermentis's description).  Maybe a Stout and a Brown were just awful choices for this yeast and your (lighter, less roasty) beers play to this yeast's strengths??  Not sure, but I think you are persuading me to give S-04 another shot.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Iliff Ave on April 21, 2022, 12:27:48 pm
Guys:  I am updating this thread after making SEVEN batches of ale using S-04 over the course of about 8-9 weeks.  A pale ale, a bitter, a blonde ale, a dark ale, another pale ale, an American wheat and a cream ale.  The first batch of pale ale is already gone and it was delicious.  If I concentrated very hard I would pick up some slight diacetyl but that wasn't every time I drank it.  No sign of it in the bitter and the blonde ale (with Liberty) was put on tap last night... no diacetyl at all.  But I have to comment on the character that this yeast brings... it's fantastic.  It has such a nice, bready character.  No real estery nonsense going on and it drops like a rock.  I let it ferment on the lower level of my place (probably in the low 60s) for a couple days and then moved it upstairs.  I feel like S-04 is going to be my go-to dry ale yeast going forward after this run of beers.  The description on the Fermentis website says "English and American styles" and I agree with that.  A smidge more "English" than you might get in a BRY-97 or US-05, 1056, WLP001 but that's okay with me.  Cheers Beerheads.
This has been my experience as well. I think as long as you keep the temp in check, it's a very fine yeast.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Village Taphouse on April 21, 2022, 12:36:16 pm
Guys:  I am updating this thread after making SEVEN batches of ale using S-04 over the course of about 8-9 weeks.  A pale ale, a bitter, a blonde ale, a dark ale, another pale ale, an American wheat and a cream ale.  The first batch of pale ale is already gone and it was delicious.  If I concentrated very hard I would pick up some slight diacetyl but that wasn't every time I drank it.  No sign of it in the bitter and the blonde ale (with Liberty) was put on tap last night... no diacetyl at all.  But I have to comment on the character that this yeast brings... it's fantastic.  It has such a nice, bready character.  No real estery nonsense going on and it drops like a rock.  I let it ferment on the lower level of my place (probably in the low 60s) for a couple days and then moved it upstairs.  I feel like S-04 is going to be my go-to dry ale yeast going forward after this run of beers.  The description on the Fermentis website says "English and American styles" and I agree with that.  A smidge more "English" than you might get in a BRY-97 or US-05, 1056, WLP001 but that's okay with me.  Cheers Beerheads.


Thanks for the follow-up.  I have to say, the few times (twice) that I have used S-04, it has been a bit of a disappointment.  I'm certainly willing to accept Brewer's error as the reason, but I have found it rather low attenuating (68% in a Stout and 68% in a Brown), a bit sludgy in the fermenter, yeasty, and lacking in the fruity/floral notes (as per Fermentis's description).  Maybe a Stout and a Brown were just awful choices for this yeast and your (lighter, less roasty) beers play to this yeast's strengths??  Not sure, but I think you are persuading me to give S-04 another shot.
The Fermentis site says the attenuation is 73-82% and I swear I laughed out loud when I read that because it's seems VERY optimistic.  I expected it to attenuate on the low side so this is not a yeast where you want to mash high, hop low, have low levels of sulfate or too much chloride, etc.  It's going to lean "malty" so you have to take that into consideration.  Maybe up your sulfate, make sure you're hopping level isn't weak and maybe even use a smidge of enzyme in the mash.  I didn't use enzyme on any of these beers but I certainly could have if I thought it was necessary.  Also, a long time ago I brewed on a "brew-on-premise" in Chicago and when it went out of business that's when I got into homebrewing.  One of the dry ale yeasts they had at this place was a brand name EDME.  Many of the batches we brewed used that yeast.  I didn't realize it at the time but this yeast created a really nice character in the beer and I always thought that the beer my friends and I made at that place were stellar.  Turns out that Edme yeast is actually S-04.   ???  Go figure.  The tastebuds don't lie.  Just smelling the aroma of a beer made with S-04 from across room is intoxicating.  I had a small amount of beer left in my glass when I went to bed last night and I just filled the glass with water and left it on the counter.  When I walked into the kitchen this morning the aroma was noticeable and when I poured it out into the sink the whole kitchen smelled amazing. 
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Village Taphouse on April 21, 2022, 12:41:42 pm
Guys:  I am updating this thread after making SEVEN batches of ale using S-04 over the course of about 8-9 weeks.  A pale ale, a bitter, a blonde ale, a dark ale, another pale ale, an American wheat and a cream ale.  The first batch of pale ale is already gone and it was delicious.  If I concentrated very hard I would pick up some slight diacetyl but that wasn't every time I drank it.  No sign of it in the bitter and the blonde ale (with Liberty) was put on tap last night... no diacetyl at all.  But I have to comment on the character that this yeast brings... it's fantastic.  It has such a nice, bready character.  No real estery nonsense going on and it drops like a rock.  I let it ferment on the lower level of my place (probably in the low 60s) for a couple days and then moved it upstairs.  I feel like S-04 is going to be my go-to dry ale yeast going forward after this run of beers.  The description on the Fermentis website says "English and American styles" and I agree with that.  A smidge more "English" than you might get in a BRY-97 or US-05, 1056, WLP001 but that's okay with me.  Cheers Beerheads.
This has been my experience as well. I think as long as you keep the temp in check, it's a very fine yeast.
It had been awhile since I used it and I didn't want it to ferment too warm and create esters so I did a "cool on the front end, warmer on the back end" kind of thing and it seemed to work nicely.  I am really a "lager guy" but I am looking very forward to these ales coming up.  Cheers.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: denny on April 21, 2022, 01:02:28 pm
That bready character is exactly why I've never been a fan of 04
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: denny on April 21, 2022, 01:04:13 pm
Guys:  I am updating this thread after making SEVEN batches of ale using S-04 over the course of about 8-9 weeks.  A pale ale, a bitter, a blonde ale, a dark ale, another pale ale, an American wheat and a cream ale.  The first batch of pale ale is already gone and it was delicious.  If I concentrated very hard I would pick up some slight diacetyl but that wasn't every time I drank it.  No sign of it in the bitter and the blonde ale (with Liberty) was put on tap last night... no diacetyl at all.  But I have to comment on the character that this yeast brings... it's fantastic.  It has such a nice, bready character.  No real estery nonsense going on and it drops like a rock.  I let it ferment on the lower level of my place (probably in the low 60s) for a couple days and then moved it upstairs.  I feel like S-04 is going to be my go-to dry ale yeast going forward after this run of beers.  The description on the Fermentis website says "English and American styles" and I agree with that.  A smidge more "English" than you might get in a BRY-97 or US-05, 1056, WLP001 but that's okay with me.  Cheers Beerheads.


Thanks for the follow-up.  I have to say, the few times (twice) that I have used S-04, it has been a bit of a disappointment.  I'm certainly willing to accept Brewer's error as the reason, but I have found it rather low attenuating (68% in a Stout and 68% in a Brown), a bit sludgy in the fermenter, yeasty, and lacking in the fruity/floral notes (as per Fermentis's description).  Maybe a Stout and a Brown were just awful choices for this yeast and your (lighter, less roasty) beers play to this yeast's strengths??  Not sure, but I think you are persuading me to give S-04 another shot.
The Fermentis site says the attenuation is 73-82% and I swear I laughed out loud when I read that because it's seems VERY optimistic.  I expected it to attenuate on the low side so this is not a yeast where you want to mash high, hop low, have low levels of sulfate or too much chloride, etc.  It's going to lean "malty" so you have to take that into consideration.  Maybe up your sulfate, make sure you're hopping level isn't weak and maybe even use a smidge of enzyme in the mash.  I didn't use enzyme on any of these beers but I certainly could have if I thought it was necessary.  Also, a long time ago I brewed on a "brew-on-premise" in Chicago and when it went out of business that's when I got into homebrewing.  One of the dry ale yeasts they had at this place was a brand name EDME.  Many of the batches we brewed used that yeast.  I didn't realize it at the time but this yeast created a really nice character in the beer and I always thought that the beer my friends and I made at that place were stellar.  Turns out that Edme yeast is actually S-04.   ???  Go figure.  The tastebuds don't lie.  Just smelling the aroma of a beer made with S-04 from across room is intoxicating.  I had a small amount of beer left in my glass when I went to bed last night and I just filled the glass with water and left it on the counter.  When I walked into the kitchen this morning the aroma was noticeable and when I poured it out into the sink the whole kitchen smelled amazing.

AFAIK, S33 is EDME
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Village Taphouse on April 21, 2022, 02:24:38 pm
AFAIK, S33 is EDME
Don't hold me to that.  I was working on an old and converted recipe that I got from the source where the BOP recipes came from.  Someone there was kind enough to send me the recipe (for 50 liters or something) and I did the converting but the recipe called for Edme yeast.  Another brewer told me I was in luck because S-04 and Edme were the same strain.  I took it at face value.  Also, I understand we all have our preferences.  I generally do not brew stouts, IPAs or Belgians so clearly I have roped off a large number of styles and also yeast strains.  I am a fan of 'neutral', generally so S-04 and my tastebuds seem to be made for each other.  :D
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on April 21, 2022, 02:28:11 pm
We have had great luck with S-04. This is the yeast that was used to brew our English Barleywine, 10.44% ABV.
This beer took home a 1st Place Gold Medal this year.
I give the yeast all the credit!

Ale production at Bel Air Brewing is rather insignificant. But when an Ale is brewed, S-04 is our go-to yeast.

Highly recommended.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: denny on April 21, 2022, 02:46:24 pm
AFAIK, S33 is EDME
Don't hold me to that.  I was working on an old and converted recipe that I got from the source where the BOP recipes came from.  Someone there was kind enough to send me the recipe (for 50 liters or something) and I did the converting but the recipe called for Edme yeast.  Another brewer told me I was in luck because S-04 and Edme were the same strain.  I took it at face value.  Also, I understand we all have our preferences.  I generally do not brew stouts, IPAs or Belgians so clearly I have roped off a large number of styles and also yeast strains.  I am a fan of 'neutral', generally so S-04 and my tastebuds seem to be made for each other.  :D

And thats what it's all about
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on April 21, 2022, 02:51:02 pm
AFAIK, S33 is EDME
I am a fan of 'neutral', generally so S-04 and my tastebuds seem to be made for each other.  :D

It does well with the BJCP types, so that’s a good thing.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: denny on April 21, 2022, 03:06:11 pm
AFAIK, S33 is EDME
I am a fan of 'neutral', generally so S-04 and my tastebuds seem to be made for each other.  :D

It does well with the BJCP types, so that’s a good thing.

At least in certain circumstances
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: BrewBama on April 21, 2022, 03:31:52 pm
I like S-04 because it starts fast, finishes fast, and drops clear. It does leave a bit higher FG by a point or three but as long as you plan for it it works out great.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on April 21, 2022, 03:51:01 pm
AFAIK, S33 is EDME
I am a fan of 'neutral', generally so S-04 and my tastebuds seem to be made for each other.  :D

It does well with the BJCP types, so that’s a good thing.

At least in certain circumstances

I should have mentioned, this S-04 was the 5th Generation, being harvested from previous brews. I like it better than any liquid ale yeast (Wyeast) that we have used in the past.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Village Taphouse on April 21, 2022, 03:51:31 pm
I like S-04 because it starts fast, finishes fast, and drops clear. It does leave a bit higher FG by a point or three but as long as you plan for it it works out great.
Right.  I suppose that once you've been brewing for a good amount of time, these things just naturally find their way into your recipe.  I know that in the back of my mind during recipe design (and using S-04) that I didn't want to make a "just barely enough hops" kind of beer, a beer that is maybe only hopped once (although I did make beers that were hopped that way... I just shot for a higher IBU), and all of that.  I was probably more aware of the diacetyl because I absolutely hate it but making sure the yeast had taken things as far as they could go was definitely on my mind.  You're also spot-on on the quick starts.  The yeast starts quick enough and finishes fast enough that you could brew every weekend with the same blob of yeast.  Ask me how I know!   ;D
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Iliff Ave on April 21, 2022, 04:05:07 pm
04 attenuates about 1-2% less then 05 for me in similar wort compositions. Let’s not go into the peach thing in this thread please…
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Village Taphouse on April 21, 2022, 04:21:55 pm
04 attenuates about 1-2% less then 05 for me in similar wort compositions. Let’s not go into the peach thing in this thread please…
I thought it was more apricot but let's move on.   ;D
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on April 21, 2022, 04:56:09 pm
The other thing to understand, is that with a higher gravity beer, S-04 will perform very well when over pitched.
I don't have the exact volume that we used on the Barleywine, but it was certainly close to 3 quarts of slurry or more, for a 5 gallon brew.

There was no peach, apricot, apple, or other fruity flavors with this. Pretty clean, overall. An excellent ale yeast.

The plan is to use this yeast in an upcoming Stout.

I think this yeast would work well for most any type of ale.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Megary on April 21, 2022, 05:08:59 pm
The other thing to understand, is that with a higher gravity beer, S-04 will perform very well when over pitched.
I don't have the exact volume that we used on the Barleywine, but it was certainly close to 3 quarts of slurry or more, for a 5 gallon brew.

There was no peach, apricot, apple, or other fruity flavors with this. Pretty clean, overall. An excellent ale yeast.

The plan is to use this yeast in an upcoming Stout.

I think this yeast would work well for most any type of ale.

It certainly depends on what type of Stout you are looking for, but BRY-97 makes a far better (American or Irish) Dry Stout than S-04.  I’ll die on this hill.   :)
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Iliff Ave on April 21, 2022, 05:10:39 pm
The other thing to understand, is that with a higher gravity beer, S-04 will perform very well when over pitched.
I don't have the exact volume that we used on the Barleywine, but it was certainly close to 3 quarts of slurry or more, for a 5 gallon brew.

There was no peach, apricot, apple, or other fruity flavors with this. Pretty clean, overall. An excellent ale yeast.

The plan is to use this yeast in an upcoming Stout.

I think this yeast would work well for most any type of ale.
The peach/apricot thing is in reference to 05. This has been covered in painful detail. It’s my fault. I mentioned as a comparison point to 04. Nothing else.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on April 21, 2022, 05:19:45 pm
The other thing to understand, is that with a higher gravity beer, S-04 will perform very well when over pitched.
I don't have the exact volume that we used on the Barleywine, but it was certainly close to 3 quarts of slurry or more, for a 5 gallon brew.

There was no peach, apricot, apple, or other fruity flavors with this. Pretty clean, overall. An excellent ale yeast.

The plan is to use this yeast in an upcoming Stout.

I think this yeast would work well for most any type of ale.
The peach/apricot thing is in reference to 05. This has been covered in painful detail. It’s my fault. I mentioned as a comparison point to 04. Nothing else.

Ok, good to know. I have some S-05 in my fridge. Never used it before. It was purchased with the thought it was the Chico Ale Yeast strain.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Iliff Ave on April 21, 2022, 07:11:27 pm
The other thing to understand, is that with a higher gravity beer, S-04 will perform very well when over pitched.
I don't have the exact volume that we used on the Barleywine, but it was certainly close to 3 quarts of slurry or more, for a 5 gallon brew.

There was no peach, apricot, apple, or other fruity flavors with this. Pretty clean, overall. An excellent ale yeast.

The plan is to use this yeast in an upcoming Stout.

I think this yeast would work well for most any type of ale.
The peach/apricot thing is in reference to 05. This has been covered in painful detail. It’s my fault. I mentioned as a comparison point to 04. Nothing else.

Ok, good to know. I have some S-05 in my fridge. Never used it before. It was purchased with the thought it was the Chico Ale Yeast strain.
It is for me but apparently not for a lot of others. You’ll have to form your own opinion and not let others tell you.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: denny on April 22, 2022, 08:44:57 am
The other thing to understand, is that with a higher gravity beer, S-04 will perform very well when over pitched.
I don't have the exact volume that we used on the Barleywine, but it was certainly close to 3 quarts of slurry or more, for a 5 gallon brew.

There was no peach, apricot, apple, or other fruity flavors with this. Pretty clean, overall. An excellent ale yeast.

The plan is to use this yeast in an upcoming Stout.

I think this yeast would work well for most any type of ale.
The peach/apricot thing is in reference to 05. This has been covered in painful detail. It’s my fault. I mentioned as a comparison point to 04. Nothing else.

Ok, good to know. I have some S-05 in my fridge. Never used it before. It was purchased with the thought it was the Chico Ale Yeast strain.

It's a variety of the Chico strain. 05, 1056, and 001 all have the same heritage but produce different results.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Steve Ruch on April 24, 2022, 08:59:07 am
I've gotten anywhere from 72% attenuation with S-04 in an attempt to recreate a 200 year old porter to 82% in a barleywine that got me the best score I ever received. And 75% in a best bitter and an export stout.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on April 24, 2022, 10:41:41 am
I've gotten anywhere from 72% attenuation with S-04 in an attempt to recreate a 200 year old porter to 82% in a barleywine that got me the best score I ever received. And 75% in a best bitter and an export stout.

How did your Barleywine do in the competition? S-04 makes a great Barleywine (English).
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Steve Ruch on April 25, 2022, 08:06:33 am
I've gotten anywhere from 72% attenuation with S-04 in an attempt to recreate a 200 year old porter to 82% in a barleywine that got me the best score I ever received. And 75% in a best bitter and an export stout.

How did your Barleywine do in the competition? S-04 makes a great Barleywine (English).
I entered it and got mid 30s with the notation that it was too hoppy for style. I entered it again the next year and got scored a 42 and second in BOS.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on May 01, 2022, 06:13:43 am
I've gotten anywhere from 72% attenuation with S-04 in an attempt to recreate a 200 year old porter to 82% in a barleywine that got me the best score I ever received. And 75% in a best bitter and an export stout.

How did your Barleywine do in the competition? S-04 makes a great Barleywine (English).
I entered it and got mid 30s with the notation that it was too hoppy for style. I entered it again the next year and got scored a 42 and second in BOS.

Cool! This backs up what Denny said about the beer improving and doing better in competitions with age.
Our Winter Warmer (English Barleywine - 10.44% ABV) was brewed over a year ago, March, 2021. It will be entered in the 2023 Bluebonnet.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: ScallyWag on May 01, 2022, 10:46:53 am
So you guys who are aging barleywines for a year or 2 (or more), what temperature are you storing them at for the interim? 

I've got some I made about 6 months ago, my first time attempting this style, and I've got about half of the bottles in a fridge at 35 degrees, and the other half in my basement fermenting area which is currently about 60, and will reach about 63 in August before declining into the mid-50s next winter (which is about where the bottles started out 6 months ago).

I've tried a few bottles already, and they're pretty good now... but I'll try not to drink them all too early.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: denny on May 01, 2022, 11:17:38 am
So you guys who are aging barleywines for a year or 2 (or more), what temperature are you storing them at for the interim? 

I've got some I made about 6 months ago, my first time attempting this style, and I've got about half of the bottles in a fridge at 35 degrees, and the other half in my basement fermenting area which is currently about 60, and will reach about 63 in August before declining into the mid-50s next winter (which is about where the bottles started out 6 months ago).

I've tried a few bottles already, and they're pretty good now... but I'll try not to drink them all too early.

For me, coolish room temp.  Maybe around 60F.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on May 01, 2022, 11:18:18 am
So you guys who are aging barleywines for a year or 2 (or more), what temperature are you storing them at for the interim? 

I've got some I made about 6 months ago, my first time attempting this style, and I've got about half of the bottles in a fridge at 35 degrees, and the other half in my basement fermenting area which is currently about 60, and will reach about 63 in August before declining into the mid-50s next winter (which is about where the bottles started out 6 months ago).

I've tried a few bottles already, and they're pretty good now... but I'll try not to drink them all too early.

Initially, the temp was 31 F. For many months. Now it is stored at 35-38 F.

Watched a long interview with Charlie Bamforth. He discussed the negative impact of elevated temperature on beer over long term storage. It convinced me to keep the beer cold, real cold, regardless of how long you want to age / store it.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Steve Ruch on May 02, 2022, 07:58:49 am
So you guys who are aging barleywines for a year or 2 (or more), what temperature are you storing them at for the interim? 

I've got some I made about 6 months ago, my first time attempting this style, and I've got about half of the bottles in a fridge at 35 degrees, and the other half in my basement fermenting area which is currently about 60, and will reach about 63 in August before declining into the mid-50s next winter (which is about where the bottles started out 6 months ago).

I've tried a few bottles already, and they're pretty good now... but I'll try not to drink them all too early.

Initially, the temp was 31 F. For many months. Now it is stored at 35-38 F.

Watched a long interview with Charlie Bamforth. He discussed the negative impact of elevated temperature on beer over long term storage. It convinced me to keep the beer cold, real cold, regardless of how long you want to age / store it.
It also depends on what storage capacity you have. Currently I brew beer in the 4-6% range, a month's worth at a time, so no long tome storage issues.
I don't know when (if) I'll ever have the ability to age anything at low temperature.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: ScallyWag on August 15, 2022, 02:13:27 pm
Guys:  I am updating this thread after making SEVEN batches of ale using S-04 over the course of about 8-9 weeks.  A pale ale, a bitter, a blonde ale, a dark ale, another pale ale, an American wheat and a cream ale.  The first batch of pale ale is already gone and it was delicious.  If I concentrated very hard I would pick up some slight diacetyl but that wasn't every time I drank it.  No sign of it in the bitter and the blonde ale (with Liberty) was put on tap last night... no diacetyl at all.  But I have to comment on the character that this yeast brings... it's fantastic.  It has such a nice, bready character.  No real estery nonsense going on and it drops like a rock.  I let it ferment on the lower level of my place (probably in the low 60s) for a couple days and then moved it upstairs.  I feel like S-04 is going to be my go-to dry ale yeast going forward after this run of beers.  The description on the Fermentis website says "English and American styles" and I agree with that.  A smidge more "English" than you might get in a BRY-97 or US-05, 1056, WLP001 but that's okay with me.  Cheers Beerheads.


Thanks for the follow-up.  I have to say, the few times (twice) that I have used S-04, it has been a bit of a disappointment.  I'm certainly willing to accept Brewer's error as the reason, but I have found it rather low attenuating (68% in a Stout and 68% in a Brown), a bit sludgy in the fermenter, yeasty, and lacking in the fruity/floral notes (as per Fermentis's description).  Maybe a Stout and a Brown were just awful choices for this yeast and your (lighter, less roasty) beers play to this yeast's strengths??  Not sure, but I think you are persuading me to give S-04 another shot.
The Fermentis site says the attenuation is 73-82% and I swear I laughed out loud when I read that because it's seems VERY optimistic. 

So, VillageTaphouse:  what attenuations were you getting from this most recent group of S-04s?  (I see Steve Ruch was getting 72% to 82%, with a 75% noted in there.)  Given the recent change in this strain that some are alluding to, I was wondering if older experiences of AA% are still reliable. 

I had no intention of trying S-04 in the near future, but now maybe I might.

ETA: also, I just saw Dave [dmtaylor] mention on another thread that he is consistently getting 78%-80% recently.  Might have to try a few generations of this.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: tommymorris on August 15, 2022, 05:20:35 pm
I just brewed an Amber Ale and a bitter with S04.  Bother we’re mashed at about 151F for 60 minutes. Both had approximately 8% caramel malts, 91% base malts, and 1% roasted malts for color. Both had 83% apparent attenuation.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: dmtaylor on August 16, 2022, 04:55:42 am
I just got 82% on my last batch with S-04, went from 1.073 to 1.013.  This was a Munich based beer that I mashed at 150 F for 65 minutes.  A different batch before that got 78%.  This is a good yeast.  Unlike some other yeasts, this one drops crystal clear after a few days; however I do have a chill haze on the current batch, not sure why, it does clear as it warms.

Still no fruitiness, no diacetyl, no sulfur, nothing off.  Very neutral, like you wish US-05 was but isn't.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: ScallyWag on August 16, 2022, 08:11:10 am
I just brewed an Amber Ale and a bitter with S04.  Bother we’re mashed at about 151F for 60 minutes. Both had approximately 8% caramel malts, 91% base malts, and 1% roasted malts for color. Both had 83% apparent attenuation.

Wow, nice!  That's very close to where I'd be hoping for (and I would likely be a % or three less on the Crystal). 

Thanks, Tommy.  I will have to do a series of split-batch comparisons with it.  This could potentially simplify my yeast arsenal in a good way.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: denny on August 16, 2022, 08:19:21 am
I think people put too much emphasis on yeast attenuation rating. It's simply a way of comparing one yeast to another and doesn't necessarikky have my bearing on the attenuation you can expect. I've had the experience of the same yeast giving me both 65 and 85%. I feel it's as least, if not more, dependent on wort.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: Megary on August 16, 2022, 09:33:53 am
I think people put too much emphasis on yeast attenuation rating. It's simply a way of comparing one yeast to another and doesn't necessarikky have my bearing on the attenuation you can expect. I've had the experience of the same yeast giving me both 65 and 85%. I feel it's as least, if not more, dependent on wort.
Agree.
I've used S-04 twice, both times in a Stout.  I got 68% each time.   ;D
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: tommymorris on August 16, 2022, 10:02:57 am
I think people put too much emphasis on yeast attenuation rating. It's simply a way of comparing one yeast to another and doesn't necessarikky have my bearing on the attenuation you can expect. I've had the experience of the same yeast giving me both 65 and 85%. I feel it's as least, if not more, dependent on wort.
Agree.
I've used S-04 twice, both times in a Stout.  I got 68% each time.   ;D
That’s why I tried to describe the co tent of my wort with info about the ingredients and mash temp.

I just want the beer to taste good.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: dmtaylor on August 16, 2022, 10:25:27 am
I think tracking the average attenuation of S-04 in particular, and how it's clear to many that it's changed, over time, helps prove that it's not the same yeast strain today as it was 10-20 years ago.  There can be merit in paying attenuation to such things.  Not to every little anecdote, of course, but the overall trend of many people & many batches.
Title: Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
Post by: BrewBama on August 16, 2022, 05:24:50 pm
I got 76% the last time I used s-04 in a Summer Ale (Apr ‘21).