... 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.
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