Author Topic: Safale S-04 Low Attenuation (59%) at 60F  (Read 2071 times)

Offline BrewBama

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Safale S-04 Low Attenuation (59%) at 60F
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2019, 08:56:07 PM »
I’m not sure yet. I will have some time later today to verify by bottling (FG) hydrometer. I’ll inspect the Tilt to see the crud level.


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OK. I verified that Dave is spot on. I had a mountain of crap on the Tilt which changed the angle of the device giving a false low reading. My attenuation was normal and I hit my FG target after all. Beer tastes great — no sign of infection in taste or visual inspection. Nothing to see here.

I was sweating bullets thinking I had some wild infection, or thermometer calibration errors, or something. I was going over my cleaning and sanitation processes and thought I must have missed something.  I guess when you see hoof prints you shouldn’t think ‘zebra’ when a horse will do.

I now know that the Tilt can only be trusted to monitor rate of SG fall, temp, ferment start and completion. Experience gained.

To catch the beer to spund, I am simply going to have to watch the curve and as it begins to flatten I’ll know to transfer.





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« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 09:04:11 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Safale S-04 Low Attenuation (59%) at 60F
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2019, 02:07:48 AM »
I’m not sure yet. I will have some time later today to verify by bottling (FG) hydrometer. I’ll inspect the Tilt to see the crud level.


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OK. I verified that Dave is spot on. I had a mountain of crap on the Tilt which changed the angle of the device giving a false low reading. My attenuation was normal and I hit my FG target after all. Beer tastes great — no sign of infection in taste or visual inspection. Nothing to see here.

I was sweating bullets thinking I had some wild infection, or thermometer calibration errors, or something. I was going over my cleaning and sanitation processes and thought I must have missed something.  I guess when you see hoof prints you shouldn’t think ‘zebra’ when a horse will do.

I now know that the Tilt can only be trusted to monitor rate of SG fall, temp, ferment start and completion. Experience gained.

To catch the beer to spund, I am simply going to have to watch the curve and as it begins to flatten I’ll know to transfer.





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Thanks. My tilt has sediment on one end every time. All my beers have been finishing between 1004-1006. I thought something might be awry because none were infected or especially dry.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Safale S-04 Low Attenuation (59%) at 60F
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2019, 12:51:22 AM »
I ferment in stainless usually and do closed transfers, so my Tilts are laying in sludge when I first see them after moving the finished beer.  I have gone to ignoring actual final readings and checking by regular hydrometer for the final reading - but the Tilt tells me that it is done when the number stays the same for 2-3 days, so definitely worth it in my book.  Cheers!
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Offline BaseWerks Brewing

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Re: Safale S-04 Low Attenuation (59%) at 60F
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2019, 03:25:37 AM »
Tilts are definitely awesome for knowing when fermentation is complete.  I've continued to take hydrometer readings though for the same reasons mentioned by others.

A US-04 temp question.  I just fermented a stout at 63 degrees for the first few days and then 65 after that.  I tasted a sample, without carbonation, and noticed significant fruity esters.  It is the first time I've used this for a stout, usually Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale.  Since the esters blend well with the hops they haven't been as noticeable in the IPAs I've brewed with it before.  Does fermenting lower at 60 degrees reduce the ester production as compared to 63?
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Offline Iliff Ave Brewhouse

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Re: Safale S-04 Low Attenuation (59%) at 60F
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2019, 02:42:50 PM »
Tilts are definitely awesome for knowing when fermentation is complete.  I've continued to take hydrometer readings though for the same reasons mentioned by others.

A US-04 temp question.  I just fermented a stout at 63 degrees for the first few days and then 65 after that.  I tasted a sample, without carbonation, and noticed significant fruity esters.  It is the first time I've used this for a stout, usually Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale.  Since the esters blend well with the hops they haven't been as noticeable in the IPAs I've brewed with it before.  Does fermenting lower at 60 degrees reduce the ester production as compared to 63?

My experience with S-04 is the opposite. If I get above the mid 60s then I really start to notice the esters. I prefer it in the lower temperature range for a cleaner profile.
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Offline skyler

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Re: Safale S-04 Low Attenuation (59%) at 60F
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2019, 12:53:52 AM »
Tilts are definitely awesome for knowing when fermentation is complete.  I've continued to take hydrometer readings though for the same reasons mentioned by others.

A US-04 temp question.  I just fermented a stout at 63 degrees for the first few days and then 65 after that.  I tasted a sample, without carbonation, and noticed significant fruity esters.  It is the first time I've used this for a stout, usually Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale.  Since the esters blend well with the hops they haven't been as noticeable in the IPAs I've brewed with it before.  Does fermenting lower at 60 degrees reduce the ester production as compared to 63?

63 degree ambient temperature or 63 degree fermentation temperature? In my experience, a 63 degree fermentation temperature will give a "typical English ale" amount of esters with S-04, but the sweet spot (for me) is 58-60F, where it is cleaner. Anything over 66F is just too "homebrewy" for me with S-04 (though many other English ale yeasts are fine at 66-68F). If you are reporting ambient temperature, the fermentation temperature is probably about 6 degrees warmer than ambient. 69-71F is way too warm for that yeast to not pump out a ton of esters, IMO.

Offline BaseWerks Brewing

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Re: Safale S-04 Low Attenuation (59%) at 60F
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2020, 06:31:47 PM »
Tilts are definitely awesome for knowing when fermentation is complete.  I've continued to take hydrometer readings though for the same reasons mentioned by others.

A US-04 temp question.  I just fermented a stout at 63 degrees for the first few days and then 65 after that.  I tasted a sample, without carbonation, and noticed significant fruity esters.  It is the first time I've used this for a stout, usually Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale.  Since the esters blend well with the hops they haven't been as noticeable in the IPAs I've brewed with it before.  Does fermenting lower at 60 degrees reduce the ester production as compared to 63?

63 degree ambient temperature or 63 degree fermentation temperature? In my experience, a 63 degree fermentation temperature will give a "typical English ale" amount of esters with S-04, but the sweet spot (for me) is 58-60F, where it is cleaner. Anything over 66F is just too "homebrewy" for me with S-04 (though many other English ale yeasts are fine at 66-68F). If you are reporting ambient temperature, the fermentation temperature is probably about 6 degrees warmer than ambient. 69-71F is way too warm for that yeast to not pump out a ton of esters, IMO.

Skyler,  I am talking fermentation temperature. The esters have faded a bit has it's matured.  I would say it is at typical english ale character now.  I'm realizing that is a flavor I'm not a fan of when not in a hoppy IPA.  I made a amber with S-04 and felt the same way as I do with this beer.  I'll look at using a different yeast next time for this style or ferment lower.  I'm leaning toward US-05 as my go to dry strain when I didn't have access to liquid or a starter.
Andy K
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Offline denny

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Re: Safale S-04 Low Attenuation (59%) at 60F
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2020, 07:02:47 PM »
Can I suggest you look at Lallemand BRY97?  I far prefer it to US05
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