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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Fermentis Saflager: s-23 vs. w-34/70
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:22 PM   #1
ChrisS68
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Default Fermentis Saflager: s-23 vs. w-34/70

The other day, while shopping at the LHBS for my next batch, I came across some Fermentis yeast which, apparently, the LHBS recently started carrying. I picked up both varieties of Saflager they had: S-23 and W-34/70.

There appears to be a bit of information on on the W-34/70 strain. Interesting that Wyeast calls it "Bohemian Lager" while White Labs calls it "German Lager".

There doesn't seem too be much info on what the S-23 is. Fermentis does say that it can produce fruity, estery notes.

So, I assume that the w-34/70 would be a better choice for a Czech Pilsner. Is this correct? What sort of beer would the s-23 be good for? I know that fruity and estery aren't normally associated with Pilsners, but some can have a bit of a floral note. Does anybody familiar with the strain know of a commercial beer that might be an example?

Added: The 34/70 says one packet for 20-30 liters, while the s-23 says one packet at room temp, and two packets at 51-59 degrees. I usually pitch about 65 degrees then move it to the fridge. Of course, 5 gallons is only about 19 liters. Should I assume that one packet of the w-34/70 would be adequate? How about with the s-23?Thanks!

Chris

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Old 01-24-2009, 06:52 PM   #2
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In my experience, S-23 made the 2 worst beers I've ever made. Disgustingly, undrinkably fruity. I klnow others have had good results with it, but I'l never use it again. OTOH, I use S-189 dry lager yeast frequently and I love that stuff. My single experience with 34/70 was also good.

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Old 01-25-2009, 03:29 PM   #3
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I had a chance to use both. S-23 gives a bit of fruity notes indeed. Used it twice. Pitched 2 packs per 5 gallons and fermented it around 50F. One was helles, the other was german pilsner. In helles fruitinnes is (still drinking it) obvious but not overhelming and there are no much hops to hide it. No maltinnes at all. In pilsner - it's still in conditioning phase and it seem to be ok considering higher hops aroma. Both times I used it out of convenience since I didn't have proper liquid yeast on hands. I don't think I'll be using it again, may be for bottling b/c it has pretty good floculation.
Dry W-34/70 - it was a disaster. I used the one which was repackaged from a bigger package (500gr) and I think it was not done properly. I used it for octoberfest. Yeast was not healsy and probably contaminated. I rehidrated and pitched it 2 packs per 5g. It had very long lag time, gave me some nasty phenolic overtones. Attenuation and floculation was not good either. May be the problem was that it was repackaged. If you get it in a normal Fermentis package it could be completely different story. Give it a try and please share your experience.

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Old 01-25-2009, 03:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny View Post
OTOH, I use S-189 dry lager yeast frequently and I love that stuff. My single experience with 34/70 was also good.
Denny, where did you get it from. I'd be willing to give it a try.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:10 PM   #5
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Swiss Lager Yeast - Saflager S-189, 11 g American Brewmaster
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:27 PM   #6
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I've made quite a few lagers, but only used dry yeast for the occasional bottling after long lagering periods. If I had to choose, I would use the 34/70 based on everything I've read. This implies it's the same as WLP-830 and Wyeast 2124. And I would use 2 packs rehydrated per 5 gallons and pitch cold.

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Old 02-03-2009, 10:03 PM   #7
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Just a little bit of an update and a question.
Okay, didn't really pitch cold - kinda went with my normal process. Got the wort down to 65 degrees and pitched two packets of rehydrated 34/70. BTW, rehydration didn't really go as I would have expected. In my experience with other yeast, the yeast usually do a pretty good job of soaking up the water in 30 minutes or so before stirring into a slurry. With this yeast, it didn't seem to want to rehydrate. Instead it just kinda sat in a clump on top of the water. Going by their instructions, I calculated that the water temp should be about 73 degrees, which seemed kinda low. Oh well. After 30 minutes was up the wort was ready, so I decided to just go ahead and stir it up really well and pitch it. As I said, the wort was about 65 degrees when I pitched, and I immediately moved it to the basement where it's 50 - 55 degrees.

Took a peek at about the 12 hour mark, and didn't see any activity. When I got home from work (somewhere about 24 hours) there was pretty steady bubbling, about once every 2-3 seconds. Activity stayed steady for 5 days or so before beginning to slow down. This evening is 7 days. I checked it this morning and airlock activity was about non-existent. I figure I'll wait until the weekend before doing a gravity check.

Wow, maybe I was a little heavy on the details...

So, on to my question:
is this yeast known to be a fast finisher? I know airlock activity is not necessarily an indicator. I've done a few lagers using Superior, which I think is supposed to be relatively fast, but I've never had one go through its paces near this fast. Like I said, I guess I'll find out this weekend.
Thanks!

Chris

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Old 02-03-2009, 11:54 PM   #8
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What was your OG? I've had lagers finish that fast... especially medium gravity lagers. Did you do a d-rest?

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Old 02-04-2009, 02:04 AM   #9
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OG was about 1.052. Fermentables consist of 6 pounds of Briess dry Pilsen extract. Haven't done a d-rest yet as airlock activity was done as of this morning.

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Old 02-04-2009, 02:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
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OG was about 1.052. Fermentables consist of 6 pounds of Briess dry Pilsen extract. Haven't done a d-rest yet as airlock activity was done as of this morning.
7 days is OK on a 1.052 lager. Yeah, it's a little fast, but not that unusual. It's too late for a d-rest now. They should be done near the end of primary fermentation, not after. Just taste for diacetyl when you pull your gravity sample. Maybe you don't have any.
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