Author Topic: Safale S-04  (Read 4458 times)

Online TXFlyGuy

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Safale S-04
« on: November 13, 2020, 07:06:57 PM »
Will S-04 make a decent London Porter?
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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2020, 07:08:15 PM »
Will S-04 make a decent London Porter?
Depends on your recipe. I use it in porter all the time.
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Online TXFlyGuy

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2020, 07:12:19 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.
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2020, 04:44:27 PM »
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?" 

Offline Stand

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2020, 11:36:57 PM »
Marketing to us philistines is my guess.

Offline Cliffs

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2020, 11:41:33 PM »
I personally dont like s-04 at all. any other english yeast is a better alternative.

Offline Cliffs

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2020, 11:57:35 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.

Offline skyler

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2020, 01:20:46 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.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2020, 03:46:14 AM »
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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Online TXFlyGuy

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2020, 02:13:29 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.

Thanks for your input. We will ferment this one cool, just like you advise keeping the temp around 58-60 F.
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Offline denny

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2020, 03:36:46 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.

Exactly.  It's the breadines I find objectionable about it.
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Offline denny

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2020, 03:37:40 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.

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

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2020, 04:19:48 PM »
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.
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Online TXFlyGuy

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2020, 12:23:50 AM »
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.
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2020, 06:10:31 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