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Wyeast 1968 or safale s-04?

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Hello, fellow beer fanatics! I'm relatively new to homebrewing, with five batches now under my belt. (Thanks to near-OCD cleaning, sanitation, and paying close attention to time and temperature, those were five good batches!) Anyhow, I am now putting the ingredients together for a black honey ale; I am using a recipe from "Clone Brews" (Page  99, Devil Mountain Brewing Co Black Honey Ale). Anyhow, the recipe calls for Wyeast 1968; the local homebrew shop did not carry Wyeast products, so I guessed that Safale S-04 would be somewhat close (as it is a UK-style ale yeast that I've used with good results on a red ale and a pale ale). The black ale recipe has six pounds of sugar in it (5 pounds of amber extract, one pound of honey), plus 16 ounces of crushed grain. That's a lot of stuff going into the wort, and my question is whether or not the Safale will attenuate as well as the Wyeast 1968. I don't plan to brew again until next weekend (when my primary fermenter will be empty again :), so there is plenty of time to drive an hour away to another brew shop, or order online. On the other hand, I could just brew, pitch what I have, and see what happens. What do you guys think?

juddz - do they carry white labs?  WL002 is the same as WY1968.

I personally don't like S-04, but many folks do - I'm sure your beer will be just fine.  As for attenuation, 1968 isn't exactly a high attenuator, so i would think you'd get at least the same level from S-04.

Good luck!

I believe they do carry White Labs... thanks for the advice!

for future reference:

I think S04 is rather similar to Whitbread (and I've seen it cited as the same strain online before).  It's not usually a first choice for me but I know plenty of people really like it.

So you can more or less compare this way:

1099 Whitbread
A mildly malty and slightly fruity fermentation profile; not as tart and dry as 1098 and much more flocculent. Clears well without filtration. Low fermentation temperatures will produce a clean finish with a very low ester profile.

Flocculation: High
Attenuation: 68-72%
Temperature Range: 64-75F, 18-24C
Alcohol Tolerance: 10% ABV


1968 London ESB
This extremely flocculent yeast produces distinctly malty beers. Attenuation levels are typically less than most other yeast strains making for a slightly sweeter finish. Ales produced with this strain tend to be fairly fruity. Fruitiness will increase with higher fermentation temperatures (70-74F, 21-23C). Diacetyl production is noticeable and a thorough rest is necessary. Yeast traps trub easily and autolysis during storage is accelaerated. A very good cask conditioned ale strain due to rapid and complete flocculation. Brilliantly bright beers are easily achieved without any filtration.

Flocculation: Very High
Attenuation: 67-71%
Temperature Range: 64-72F, 18-22C
Alcohol Tolerance: 10% ABV


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