Author Topic: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?  (Read 2125 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2022, 12:36:16 pm »
Guys:  I am updating this thread after making SEVEN batches of ale using S-04 over the course of about 8-9 weeks.  A pale ale, a bitter, a blonde ale, a dark ale, another pale ale, an American wheat and a cream ale.  The first batch of pale ale is already gone and it was delicious.  If I concentrated very hard I would pick up some slight diacetyl but that wasn't every time I drank it.  No sign of it in the bitter and the blonde ale (with Liberty) was put on tap last night... no diacetyl at all.  But I have to comment on the character that this yeast brings... it's fantastic.  It has such a nice, bready character.  No real estery nonsense going on and it drops like a rock.  I let it ferment on the lower level of my place (probably in the low 60s) for a couple days and then moved it upstairs.  I feel like S-04 is going to be my go-to dry ale yeast going forward after this run of beers.  The description on the Fermentis website says "English and American styles" and I agree with that.  A smidge more "English" than you might get in a BRY-97 or US-05, 1056, WLP001 but that's okay with me.  Cheers Beerheads.


Thanks for the follow-up.  I have to say, the few times (twice) that I have used S-04, it has been a bit of a disappointment.  I'm certainly willing to accept Brewer's error as the reason, but I have found it rather low attenuating (68% in a Stout and 68% in a Brown), a bit sludgy in the fermenter, yeasty, and lacking in the fruity/floral notes (as per Fermentis's description).  Maybe a Stout and a Brown were just awful choices for this yeast and your (lighter, less roasty) beers play to this yeast's strengths??  Not sure, but I think you are persuading me to give S-04 another shot.
The Fermentis site says the attenuation is 73-82% and I swear I laughed out loud when I read that because it's seems VERY optimistic.  I expected it to attenuate on the low side so this is not a yeast where you want to mash high, hop low, have low levels of sulfate or too much chloride, etc.  It's going to lean "malty" so you have to take that into consideration.  Maybe up your sulfate, make sure you're hopping level isn't weak and maybe even use a smidge of enzyme in the mash.  I didn't use enzyme on any of these beers but I certainly could have if I thought it was necessary.  Also, a long time ago I brewed on a "brew-on-premise" in Chicago and when it went out of business that's when I got into homebrewing.  One of the dry ale yeasts they had at this place was a brand name EDME.  Many of the batches we brewed used that yeast.  I didn't realize it at the time but this yeast created a really nice character in the beer and I always thought that the beer my friends and I made at that place were stellar.  Turns out that Edme yeast is actually S-04.   ???  Go figure.  The tastebuds don't lie.  Just smelling the aroma of a beer made with S-04 from across room is intoxicating.  I had a small amount of beer left in my glass when I went to bed last night and I just filled the glass with water and left it on the counter.  When I walked into the kitchen this morning the aroma was noticeable and when I poured it out into the sink the whole kitchen smelled amazing. 
« Last Edit: April 21, 2022, 12:39:08 pm by Village Taphouse »
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2022, 12:41:42 pm »
Guys:  I am updating this thread after making SEVEN batches of ale using S-04 over the course of about 8-9 weeks.  A pale ale, a bitter, a blonde ale, a dark ale, another pale ale, an American wheat and a cream ale.  The first batch of pale ale is already gone and it was delicious.  If I concentrated very hard I would pick up some slight diacetyl but that wasn't every time I drank it.  No sign of it in the bitter and the blonde ale (with Liberty) was put on tap last night... no diacetyl at all.  But I have to comment on the character that this yeast brings... it's fantastic.  It has such a nice, bready character.  No real estery nonsense going on and it drops like a rock.  I let it ferment on the lower level of my place (probably in the low 60s) for a couple days and then moved it upstairs.  I feel like S-04 is going to be my go-to dry ale yeast going forward after this run of beers.  The description on the Fermentis website says "English and American styles" and I agree with that.  A smidge more "English" than you might get in a BRY-97 or US-05, 1056, WLP001 but that's okay with me.  Cheers Beerheads.
This has been my experience as well. I think as long as you keep the temp in check, it's a very fine yeast.
It had been awhile since I used it and I didn't want it to ferment too warm and create esters so I did a "cool on the front end, warmer on the back end" kind of thing and it seemed to work nicely.  I am really a "lager guy" but I am looking very forward to these ales coming up.  Cheers.
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Offline denny

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Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2022, 01:02:28 pm »
That bready character is exactly why I've never been a fan of 04
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Offline denny

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Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2022, 01:04:13 pm »
Guys:  I am updating this thread after making SEVEN batches of ale using S-04 over the course of about 8-9 weeks.  A pale ale, a bitter, a blonde ale, a dark ale, another pale ale, an American wheat and a cream ale.  The first batch of pale ale is already gone and it was delicious.  If I concentrated very hard I would pick up some slight diacetyl but that wasn't every time I drank it.  No sign of it in the bitter and the blonde ale (with Liberty) was put on tap last night... no diacetyl at all.  But I have to comment on the character that this yeast brings... it's fantastic.  It has such a nice, bready character.  No real estery nonsense going on and it drops like a rock.  I let it ferment on the lower level of my place (probably in the low 60s) for a couple days and then moved it upstairs.  I feel like S-04 is going to be my go-to dry ale yeast going forward after this run of beers.  The description on the Fermentis website says "English and American styles" and I agree with that.  A smidge more "English" than you might get in a BRY-97 or US-05, 1056, WLP001 but that's okay with me.  Cheers Beerheads.


Thanks for the follow-up.  I have to say, the few times (twice) that I have used S-04, it has been a bit of a disappointment.  I'm certainly willing to accept Brewer's error as the reason, but I have found it rather low attenuating (68% in a Stout and 68% in a Brown), a bit sludgy in the fermenter, yeasty, and lacking in the fruity/floral notes (as per Fermentis's description).  Maybe a Stout and a Brown were just awful choices for this yeast and your (lighter, less roasty) beers play to this yeast's strengths??  Not sure, but I think you are persuading me to give S-04 another shot.
The Fermentis site says the attenuation is 73-82% and I swear I laughed out loud when I read that because it's seems VERY optimistic.  I expected it to attenuate on the low side so this is not a yeast where you want to mash high, hop low, have low levels of sulfate or too much chloride, etc.  It's going to lean "malty" so you have to take that into consideration.  Maybe up your sulfate, make sure you're hopping level isn't weak and maybe even use a smidge of enzyme in the mash.  I didn't use enzyme on any of these beers but I certainly could have if I thought it was necessary.  Also, a long time ago I brewed on a "brew-on-premise" in Chicago and when it went out of business that's when I got into homebrewing.  One of the dry ale yeasts they had at this place was a brand name EDME.  Many of the batches we brewed used that yeast.  I didn't realize it at the time but this yeast created a really nice character in the beer and I always thought that the beer my friends and I made at that place were stellar.  Turns out that Edme yeast is actually S-04.   ???  Go figure.  The tastebuds don't lie.  Just smelling the aroma of a beer made with S-04 from across room is intoxicating.  I had a small amount of beer left in my glass when I went to bed last night and I just filled the glass with water and left it on the counter.  When I walked into the kitchen this morning the aroma was noticeable and when I poured it out into the sink the whole kitchen smelled amazing.

AFAIK, S33 is EDME
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2022, 02:24:38 pm »
AFAIK, S33 is EDME
Don't hold me to that.  I was working on an old and converted recipe that I got from the source where the BOP recipes came from.  Someone there was kind enough to send me the recipe (for 50 liters or something) and I did the converting but the recipe called for Edme yeast.  Another brewer told me I was in luck because S-04 and Edme were the same strain.  I took it at face value.  Also, I understand we all have our preferences.  I generally do not brew stouts, IPAs or Belgians so clearly I have roped off a large number of styles and also yeast strains.  I am a fan of 'neutral', generally so S-04 and my tastebuds seem to be made for each other.  :D
« Last Edit: April 21, 2022, 02:28:18 pm by Village Taphouse »
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Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2022, 02:28:11 pm »
We have had great luck with S-04. This is the yeast that was used to brew our English Barleywine, 10.44% ABV.
This beer took home a 1st Place Gold Medal this year.
I give the yeast all the credit!

Ale production at Bel Air Brewing is rather insignificant. But when an Ale is brewed, S-04 is our go-to yeast.

Highly recommended.
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Offline denny

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Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2022, 02:46:24 pm »
AFAIK, S33 is EDME
Don't hold me to that.  I was working on an old and converted recipe that I got from the source where the BOP recipes came from.  Someone there was kind enough to send me the recipe (for 50 liters or something) and I did the converting but the recipe called for Edme yeast.  Another brewer told me I was in luck because S-04 and Edme were the same strain.  I took it at face value.  Also, I understand we all have our preferences.  I generally do not brew stouts, IPAs or Belgians so clearly I have roped off a large number of styles and also yeast strains.  I am a fan of 'neutral', generally so S-04 and my tastebuds seem to be made for each other:D

And thats what it's all about
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Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2022, 02:51:02 pm »
AFAIK, S33 is EDME
I am a fan of 'neutral', generally so S-04 and my tastebuds seem to be made for each other.  :D

It does well with the BJCP types, so that’s a good thing.
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Offline denny

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Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2022, 03:06:11 pm »
AFAIK, S33 is EDME
I am a fan of 'neutral', generally so S-04 and my tastebuds seem to be made for each other.  :D

It does well with the BJCP types, so that’s a good thing.

At least in certain circumstances
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2022, 03:31:52 pm »
I like S-04 because it starts fast, finishes fast, and drops clear. It does leave a bit higher FG by a point or three but as long as you plan for it it works out great.

Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2022, 03:51:01 pm »
AFAIK, S33 is EDME
I am a fan of 'neutral', generally so S-04 and my tastebuds seem to be made for each other.  :D

It does well with the BJCP types, so that’s a good thing.

At least in certain circumstances

I should have mentioned, this S-04 was the 5th Generation, being harvested from previous brews. I like it better than any liquid ale yeast (Wyeast) that we have used in the past.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2022, 03:51:31 pm »
I like S-04 because it starts fast, finishes fast, and drops clear. It does leave a bit higher FG by a point or three but as long as you plan for it it works out great.
Right.  I suppose that once you've been brewing for a good amount of time, these things just naturally find their way into your recipe.  I know that in the back of my mind during recipe design (and using S-04) that I didn't want to make a "just barely enough hops" kind of beer, a beer that is maybe only hopped once (although I did make beers that were hopped that way... I just shot for a higher IBU), and all of that.  I was probably more aware of the diacetyl because I absolutely hate it but making sure the yeast had taken things as far as they could go was definitely on my mind.  You're also spot-on on the quick starts.  The yeast starts quick enough and finishes fast enough that you could brew every weekend with the same blob of yeast.  Ask me how I know!   ;D
« Last Edit: April 21, 2022, 03:53:03 pm by Village Taphouse »
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Offline Iliff Ave

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Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2022, 04:05:07 pm »
04 attenuates about 1-2% less then 05 for me in similar wort compositions. Let’s not go into the peach thing in this thread please…
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2022, 04:21:55 pm »
04 attenuates about 1-2% less then 05 for me in similar wort compositions. Let’s not go into the peach thing in this thread please…
I thought it was more apricot but let's move on.   ;D
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Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Can someone refresh my memory regarding S-04?
« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2022, 04:56:09 pm »
The other thing to understand, is that with a higher gravity beer, S-04 will perform very well when over pitched.
I don't have the exact volume that we used on the Barleywine, but it was certainly close to 3 quarts of slurry or more, for a 5 gallon brew.

There was no peach, apricot, apple, or other fruity flavors with this. Pretty clean, overall. An excellent ale yeast.

The plan is to use this yeast in an upcoming Stout.

I think this yeast would work well for most any type of ale.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2022, 04:58:02 pm by Bel Air Brewing »
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