Author Topic: Safale S-04  (Read 867 times)

Offline TXFlyGuy

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #15 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.

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #16 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.

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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

Offline tommymorris

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2020, 02:09:05 PM »
S-04 gives me an odd flavor. I can’t nail it but it’s nicht gut as far as I’m concerned.

I am going to try Lallemand London to see how I like it.
You have quite a few choices for English dry yeasts. I like Mangrove Jacks M36. I want to try the new Lallemand Verdant IPA yeast.

Since you typically pitch more than one pack you could easily try Nottingham + Windsor. That is supposedly a symbiotic mix.

I like the flavor of the Lallemand London. The attenuation is quite low. But, that didn’t seem to affect the taste.

Offline denny

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2020, 04:05:24 PM »
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

Maybe you shouldn't have to, but why not if you get the results you want?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2020, 08:52:47 PM »


Maybe you shouldn't have to, but why not if you get the results you want?
Related to this point, for those who have done so, what are the results of a "clean" low-temp S04 fermentation? I can't say that I've ever been impressed enough with it to say "if it didn't have this doughy flavor I'd really want to use it". To me, there are better clean ale strains and better British ale strains. I don't see a niche that a cleaner version of S04 would fill.


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Offline TXFlyGuy

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2020, 10:43:16 PM »
Stand by, I'll let you know. We just finished up a big brew day, and pitched the S-04 yeast.
It will ferment at 56 F.

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2020, 06:40:51 PM »
Maybe you shouldn't have to, but why not if you get the results you want?

That is a good question.  In my world, I select a strain based on how it performs at normal fermentation temperatures for its species. For ale, that means that the strain should perform well at 20C (68F).  If one has to hold the internal temperature of an ale fermentation below 68F in order to achieve one's desired results, then a different yeast strain should be identified.  If one is looking for a squeaky clean fermentation, one should use a strain that can achieve that result without having to ferment at lower than normally accepted temperatures.  For example, British cultures are not usually squeaky clean because they have been selected for producing flavorful beers at lower gravities than most Americans are used to drinking.  As one increases gravity, one increases higher alcohol and ester production because what controls higher alcohol and ester production is combination of genetics and wort composition. 

Temperature is often falsely seen as the reason for estery beer.   However, that is treating the symptoms, not the problem.  I covered this information in detail in "Have You Seen Ester," but I will cover it here in less detail here.  What reducing fermentation temperature does is slow metabolism, especially during the exponential growth phase where it increases the replication period.   Where yeast genetics play a role in ester production is in the creation of alcohol o-acetyltransferase.  There are two alcohol o-acetyltransferase (ATTase) enzymes; namely, AATase 1 and AATase 2, which are encoded via two different genes ATF1 and ATF2.  Where wort composition plays a role is carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio.  The amount of nitrogen that is available after dissolved oxygen is consumed determines the amount of acetyl CoA that is formed during the growth phase (higher gravity wort not only has more carbon, it has more nitrogen). Acetyl CoA is formed by combining acetic acid with coenzyme A; therefore, more acetyl CoA translates to higher acetic acid-based (acetate) esters. Many of the esters that we find objectionable in beer are acetate esters. For example, outside of Hefeweizen and Belgian styles, isoamyl acetate is unwelcome.  Isoamyl acetate is the condensation reaction between isoamyl alcohol and acetic acid.  Very few of us find ethyl acetate welcome in a beer. Ethyl acetate is the condensation reaction between ethanol and acetic acid.

How does one reduce ester production without holding fermentation temperature artificially low?  The first place to start is selecting the appropriate yeast culture for the task at hand.  After the appropriate yeast culture has been selected, one should select the lowest protein barley available.  To further increase C:N, one can resort to using a percentage of flaked maize or gelatinized corn grits or even go as far as to use a brewing sugar.  I am almost certain the higher-gravity versions of IIPA contain a percentage of sugar.

Finally, Anheuser-Busch ferments with a starting gravity of 1.080 at 13C/55F.  A fermentation temperature of 13C is not particularly low for a high-gravity lager fermentation, especially one that will be a very lightly flavored beer where any defect sticks out like a sore thumb after dilution with water.  The reason that it is possible in large part is the C:N ratio of the grist, which contains a large portion of adjuncts that dilute the overall nitrogen level of the wort.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 04:51:45 PM by Saccharomyces »

Offline denny

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2020, 06:52:39 PM »
I think you're gonna had to define what you mean by "artificially low" temps.  Do you mean anything other than conventional room temp, say 70F or so?  Since we have so many ways to control fermentation temp now, does it really matter?  I can easily ferment at any temp from 35 (yeah, not really fermentation temp) up to 100F, so why not take advantage of that to control yeast character?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline TXFlyGuy

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2020, 08:21:08 PM »
I think you're gonna had to define what you mean by "artificially low" temps.  Do you mean anything other than conventional room temp, say 70F or so?  Since we have so many ways to control fermentation temp now, does it really matter?  I can easily ferment at any temp from 35 (yeah, not really fermentation temp) up to 100F, so why not take advantage of that to control yeast character?

We ferment in freezers, Inkbird temp controlled. Our Fermenters have thermo-wells, so we get accurate readings of the beer temp.
I have fermented in the mid to upper 30’s before.
My S-04 is chugging along very happily at 56 F.

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2020, 09:31:59 PM »
We ferment in freezers, Inkbird temp controlled. Our Fermenters have thermo-wells, so we get accurate readings of the beer temp.
I have fermented in the mid to upper 30’s before.
My S-04 is chugging along very happily at 56 F.

If that is an internal temperature, then yes, it qualifies as an artificially low temperature for an ale yeast.  If it is an ambient temperature, then we have no idea as to what the internal temperature is in the fermentation.  Fermentation is an exothermic process; therefore, internal and ambient temperature often differ.

Offline TXFlyGuy

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2020, 09:49:27 PM »
We ferment in freezers, Inkbird temp controlled. Our Fermenters have thermo-wells, so we get accurate readings of the beer temp.
I have fermented in the mid to upper 30’s before.
My S-04 is chugging along very happily at 56 F.

If that is an internal temperature, then yes, it qualifies as an artificially low temperature for an ale yeast.  If it is an ambient temperature, then we have no idea as to what the internal temperature is in the fermentation.  Fermentation is an exothermic process; therefore, internal and ambient temperature often differ.

Yes, with the thermo-well, we get internal temp readings. Not ambient temp.
Artificial? Not sure what you mean, as the Fermentis website lists the temp range for the S-04 as 59 F - 68 F. I like to ferment my ales a bit cooler.
The S-04 is quite happy at 56 F.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 09:51:28 PM by TXFlyGuy »

Offline BrewBama

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Safale S-04
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2020, 11:03:48 PM »
I think you're gonna had to define what you mean by "artificially low" temps.

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.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 11:30:52 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline TXFlyGuy

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2020, 12:46:38 PM »
With regards to ferment temps, we have always gone on the cold side, especially with lagers, employing temps that would be considered at the bottom extreme of the yeast's range, and sometimes even a few degrees below that.

The results have always been stellar. But that's just my personal data point (s), going back to 1990.

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2020, 01:51:32 PM »
Yes, with the thermo-well, we get internal temp readings. Not ambient temp.
Artificial? Not sure what you mean, as the Fermentis website lists the temp range for the S-04 as 59 F - 68 F. I like to ferment my ales a bit cooler.
The S-04 is quite happy at 56 F.

It sounds like you do not like ale flavors. That is okay.  Lager appears to be your thing. However, Saccharomyces cerevisiae should not need to be subjected to what are lager fermentation temperatures to produce a desired result. That is the message I want to drive home to up and coming brewers who now think that they need a fermentation chamber to keep ale fermentations below the normal ale temperature band.  In essence, this practice is what I was talking about when I said that amateur brewers have gotten into the habit of tricking a yeast culture into doing the task at hand instead of picking the correct culture for the job at hand.  Every ale yeast culture that we have today was selected under pressure over a period of hundreds of years before the invention of mechanical refrigeration, which means that most perform well in the 18C (65F) to 22C (72F) range, internal (the Kviek cultures take the lower and upper temperature bounds to a new limit).  It was mechanical refrigeration and the introduction of a pure yeast culture (Carlsberg Underhefe No.1) combined with the Carlsberg flask that ushered in the lager revolution and modern brewing, which pretty much wiped out ale brewing in the United States at one point. I guess what I saying is that if one wants squeaky clean beers, one should stick with lager brewing and cryotolerant yeast strains like the Saaz family of lager strains.  While there are neutral to a point strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae like BRY-96 and all of its descendents, they still produce above taste threshold esters.

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Safale S-04
« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2020, 02:40:35 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 04:56:34 PM by Saccharomyces »