Author Topic: safale s-04  (Read 19595 times)

Offline curtdogg

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safale s-04
« on: January 21, 2016, 12:49:07 AM »
What to expect with safale s-04. I have read few things about esters produced by this yeast when the temp rises above the ideal range. I've done some research but there doesn't seem to be a general consensus.
As of now I am having a slight temperature swing where the wort is 66 degrees in the evening to overnight and then up to 72-75 in the daytime. As of now I don't have means of controlling temp. Should I expect some off flavors from the temp fluxuation?

I appreciate all the help.

Curtdogg

Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: safale s-04
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2016, 02:45:27 AM »
This is one of those either love it or hate it yeasts. Personally I like it and have had great results making some nice beers with it. It is a rather mild English yeast in that it can be pretty clean and nuetral. It can have a bready character and that is mainly what it is known for. Its super floculant so it leaves a clear beer and goes to work fast. Its character will vary and is highly temperature dependent. Around 64-66* its a nice clean nuetral ale yeast. Get it up  near or over 70 and it can become much fruitier. I havent used it in the low 60's to comment on that but overall its a pretty forgiving yeast. If you can help it try to keep it under 70. Any yeast is going to suffer with wide temp swings.  Find a cool spot of the house that stays constant like a basement or a low level closet and that might help. At least try to help keep it cool for the first 3-4 days...after that let it go.

Offline curtdogg

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Re: safale s-04
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2016, 02:58:32 AM »
This is one of those either love it or hate it yeasts. Personally I like it and have had great results making some nice beers with it. It is a rather mild English yeast in that it can be pretty clean and nuetral. It can have a bready character and that is mainly what it is known for. Its super floculant so it leaves a clear beer and goes to work fast. Its character will vary and is highly temperature dependent. Around 64-66* its a nice clean nuetral ale yeast. Get it up  near or over 70 and it can become much fruitier. I havent used it in the low 60's to comment on that but overall its a pretty forgiving yeast. If you can help it try to keep it under 70. Any yeast is going to suffer with wide temp swings.  Find a cool spot of the house that stays constant like a basement or a low level closet and that might help. At least try to help keep it cool for the first 3-4 days...after that let it go.
Thanks a lot for the info.
I do like fruit esters. I've read a few things describing wet cardboard and even plastic.

Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: safale s-04
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2016, 03:06:06 AM »
Well there are many off flavors depending on what causes them. If you ferment too warm there will be much more fruit esters. Also you can have harsh alcohol flavors from fermenting too warm...it would taste like its spiked with some moonshine or something. Plastic flavors are from Chlorine in the water and other things while wet carboard off flavors are  usually from oxidation.

Something to keep in mind is the difference between ambient temp and fermetation temp. Fermentation will produce its own heat so youndont want to stick the fermenter in a 72* room and let it go to town...it would then be fermenting way to high and could even break 80*. You want to ferment with an ambient teml i  the low 60's to keep the fermentation in the mid 60's. Basic temp control can be easier than you think but you kigbt have to get creative and be very watchful of it. Things like usung a water bath, a cooler and ice packs, a fan...etc.

Offline Philbrew

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Re: safale s-04
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2016, 03:45:10 PM »
Putting the fermenter in a plastic storage tub with 3-5 inches of water and putting an old T-shirt over the fermenter works amazingly well.
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Offline goschman

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Re: safale s-04
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2016, 04:00:24 PM »
I agree with Porterhaus' sentiments for the most part. I try to keep S04 below 68F and ideally in the mid 60s otherwise it gives a very strange estery character that I don't care for. It can go from being a pretty clean, neutral English yeast to just unappealing to me.
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Offline curtdogg

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Re: safale s-04
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2016, 05:32:29 PM »
I put a few inches of water in the bottom of the container the fermenter is sitting in. now 66 evening to only 70 afternoon. Worked great, thanks a lot

I think ill check craigslist for a cheap mini fridge.

R,
Curtdogg

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: safale s-04
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2016, 10:56:27 PM »
S04 gets really bready at warm temperatures and only slightly fruity. I could see how that could be interpreted as wet cardboard. It also produces more lactic acid than most other brewing yeast which is why it's often described as producing tangy flavors. Ferment it warm and you get an unusual sourdough-like flavor which can be off putting if you are expecting something fruity or more in line with the typically neutral American renditions of English beers. This is why most people refer to it as having a lot of off flavors at warm temperatures.

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Re: safale s-04
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2016, 08:46:49 PM »
I recently used S04 pitching at 59f, raising to 62 and then 65 for a total of 7 days at fermentation temps. It fermented very vigorously and the krausen dropped by day 3. I didn't check the FG until I kegged it and found I only got 61% attenuation. I've got the keg at 68f to see if it will finish any lower.

Keep an eye on attenuation, I've read others have had similar experiences and need to rouse the yeast, others get 80% with no issues. I also rehydrated, used nutrient and shook the carboy 5 min before pitching.  :-\

Offline curtdogg

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Re: safale s-04
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2016, 09:00:52 PM »
I recently used S04 pitching at 59f, raising to 62 and then 65 for a total of 7 days at fermentation temps. It fermented very vigorously and the krausen dropped by day 3. I didn't check the FG until I kegged it and found I only got 61% attenuation. I've got the keg at 68f to see if it will finish any lower.

Keep an eye on attenuation, I've read others have had similar experiences and need to rouse the yeast, others get 80% with no issues. I also rehydrated, used nutrient and shook the carboy 5 min before pitching.  :-\
I too had very vigorous fermentation for 3 days it continued with the airlock for 5 more days, the krausen fell out somewhere around 7 days. I haven't taken any gravity readings at all simply beacause I havnt purchased the equipment.
I'm gonna spring for a refractometer when I get a bigger pot.
As soon as the positive pressure in the air lock dies I will bottle. That should be about 14 days.
This is my second batch of beer so I'm just experimenting for now.

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: safale s-04
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2016, 12:10:41 AM »
I recently used S04 pitching at 59f, raising to 62 and then 65 for a total of 7 days at fermentation temps. It fermented very vigorously and the krausen dropped by day 3. I didn't check the FG until I kegged it and found I only got 61% attenuation. I've got the keg at 68f to see if it will finish any lower.

Keep an eye on attenuation, I've read others have had similar experiences and need to rouse the yeast, others get 80% with no issues. I also rehydrated, used nutrient and shook the carboy 5 min before pitching.  :-\

Low attenuation can also be a result of your grist and/or mash protocal. IE, if you used lots of unfermentables such as caramel/crystal /roasted/dextrin malts or mashed at a high temperature. I've always had excellent attenuation with 04, the only exception being on a sweet stout that had lots of roasted grains and was mashed at 156F.
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Offline f.stepanski

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Re: safale s-04
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2016, 01:28:06 AM »
What to expect with safale s-04. I have read few things about esters produced by this yeast when the temp rises above the ideal range. I've done some research but there doesn't seem to be a general consensus.
As of now I am having a slight temperature swing where the wort is 66 degrees in the evening to overnight and then up to 72-75 in the daytime. As of now I don't have means of controlling temp. Should I expect some off flavors from the temp fluxuation?

I appreciate all the help.

Curtdogg

You may not have a means to control temp however you could take steps to slow down temperature fluctuations..   Placing the fermenter in a large tub filled with water gives you the advantage of thermal mass.   It's one thing to impact a 5 gallon carboy, another to impact a 5 gallon carboy surrounded by 15 gallons of water. 
Black IPA & Hefeweizen on draft, fermenting an APA...

Offline curtdogg

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Re: safale s-04
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2016, 02:24:51 AM »
I did end up trying the water trick and it worked well.

I just bottled that batch on Friday night, it had some fruity esters for sure.
It was an extract batch with amber extract some Chrystal 80, northern brewer and williamette.
We shall see how it turns out.