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-   -   Wyeast 2124 vs. Fermentis Saflager W-34/70 (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/wyeast-2124-vs-fermentis-saflager-w-34-70-a-338971/)

NigeltheBold 07-01-2012 10:12 PM

Wyeast 2124 vs. Fermentis Saflager W-34/70
 
I trying to brew something similar to a lager, but I don't have lagering capabilities. I can only ferment at 65-68 degrees. I'd like to use an actual lager yeast, not a steam beer yeast and I was looking on the Wyeast website for a suitable strain. According to many, the 2124 strain (Bohemian Lager) can ferment in the upper 60's and still produce some lager-like characteristics without harmful side effects. Just out of curiosity, I checked to see if there was a dry yeast equivalent to this strain, and I've found a couple of sources that are saying that Fermentis Saflager W-34/70 is equivalent to the Wyeast 2124. Is this accurate information? Is it equivalent, or just a good substitute?

According to Fermentis, you don't want to use W-34/70 at ale temperatures because it will produce unwanted characteristics. But if it's the same as Wyeast 2124 (which can be used at ale temps with no problems), why can't it be used at ale temps?

ISUBrew79 07-01-2012 10:26 PM

You can use the "swamp cooler" method for fermenting lagers. Put your fermenter into a large, preferably insulated, tub filled with cold water. Drop in a couple frozen 2-liter bottles into the water bath. Swap out the soda bottles with frozen bottles from the freezer every 12 hours or so. I have been able to maintain ~50 deg F temperatures this way in a 75 F ambient environment.

I live in an apartment where space is a concern, and have successfully fermented lagers this way several times.

NigeltheBold 07-02-2012 12:09 AM

I don't want to mess with the swamp cooler technique, but thanks for the advice. I just want to know if my beer will end up tasting bad if I use W-34/70 at ale temperatures.

ghpeel 07-02-2012 12:54 AM

Well if Fermentis says it's no good at ale temps I'm not sure why you'd assume any different. If you have an aversion to swamp coolers, then can you lager at all? If not, why are you trying to make a lager? And why the aversion to the lager strains that actually work at ale temps? Seems like you want to make a style that you simply don't have the gear for.

If you just want something crisp and clean but that doesn't taste like a steam beer then I'd suggest Kolsch yeast, with a 3 week rotation of the carbed bottles in the fridge before you drink.

NigeltheBold 07-02-2012 01:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ghpeel (Post 4217790)
Well if Fermentis says it's no good at ale temps I'm not sure why you'd assume any different. If you have an aversion to swamp coolers, then can you lager at all? If not, why are you trying to make a lager? And why the aversion to the lager strains that actually work at ale temps? Seems like you want to make a style that you simply don't have the gear for.

If you just want something crisp and clean but that doesn't taste like a steam beer then I'd suggest Kolsch yeast, with a 3 week rotation of the carbed bottles in the fridge before you drink.

As I said in the original post, it's supposed to be equivalent to Wyeast 2124, which is apparently decent at ale temperatures. If they're equivalent yeasts, why would one manufacturer say it's fine at ale temps and the other say it's not? Fermentis only gives a temperature range, but they don't specify what will happen if you ferment outside of that range. That's why I'm asking.

I don't have the gear to make a "real" lager, but I'd like to use what I have to get something close to a lager. I would prefer a dry yeast because it is cheaper and keeps longer. I could go ahead and just buy the Wyeast 2124, but if there is an equivalent dry yeast, I'll definitely buy that. I just wondered why Wyeast says it does fine at ale temps but Fermentis does not...

So if anyone has an actual answer to my question instead of alternative methods, I would really appreciate the input.

rockfish42 07-02-2012 01:10 AM

I used 34/70 at 65 degrees and produced essentially a steam beer, it was very reminiscent of the character I'd get from the Anchor strain.

ISUBrew79 07-02-2012 05:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NigeltheBold (Post 4217808)
As I said in the original post, it's supposed to be equivalent to Wyeast 2124, which is apparently decent at ale temperatures. If they're equivalent yeasts, why would one manufacturer say it's fine at ale temps and the other say it's not? Fermentis only gives a temperature range, but they don't specify what will happen if you ferment outside of that range. That's why I'm asking.

I don't have the gear to make a "real" lager, but I'd like to use what I have to get something close to a lager. I would prefer a dry yeast because it is cheaper and keeps longer. I could go ahead and just buy the Wyeast 2124, but if there is an equivalent dry yeast, I'll definitely buy that. I just wondered why Wyeast says it does fine at ale temps but Fermentis does not...

So if anyone has an actual answer to my question instead of alternative methods, I would really appreciate the input.

Wyeast 2124 and Saflager W34/70 both originated from the same Weihenstephan strain. However, I suspect that over time there has been a slight mutation from the original strain in the dry Saflager product. The drying process itself may have a lot to do with how that yeast performs at warm temperatures compared to a liquid strain.

When you say you can only ferment at 65-68 degrees, is that ambient air temperature or temperature of the wort? I carried out an ale fermentation once at 68-70 ambient where the actual wort temperature rose to 82 F within the first 18 hours just from the heat generated by yeast metabolism.

Without a means of temperature control, I believe it will be difficult to create a beer with clean lager character at ambient temperatures. That's not to say that you can't make a good drinkable beer, though. I will say I've never fermented with a lager yeast this way, so I'm just speculating here.

Why not go ahead and make a batch with the W34/70 and see how it performs? I'm curious to know how it turns out.

NigeltheBold 07-02-2012 06:39 PM

65-68 degrees would be the ambient (room) temperature. My fermentations usually only increase the temperature of the wort by 1-2 degrees. I appreciate the information about the two yeast strains. I'm still debating whether I should use the liquid or dry. I would hate to make a 5g batch of beer that comes out tasting really bad. If anybody else has any input about the dry vs. liquid form, please let me know. Thanks!

Wortly 07-02-2012 07:02 PM

I'm doing a 10 gallon batch from a third generation of 34/70 right now. The second generation tastes very smooth to me after 10 days ferment and 2 1/2 weeks in the fridge. I ferment in the basement and temps average in the 65 degree range.


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