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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Impressive quick start with Safale-S04
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:10 PM   #1
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Default Impressive quick start with Safale-S04

I have used Safale-S05 (i.e., US56) a lot, and really like that yeast. Excellent quality, value and convenience -- gotta love a good dry yeast. I honestly can't tell the difference between it and the Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast (except that the Wyeast liquid version requires a starter and is three times the cost!).

Anyways, I thought I would also give Safale S-04 (their English yeast) a try to see how it works.

So last night I brewed up an 11 gal batch of an oatmeal cream stout and split it into two carboys, and oxygenated both equally. In one I pitched Safale S-04 (pitched it without rehydrating first, as per the instructions on the package). In the other carboy, I built up a 1.5 L starter of Wyeast 1028 London Ale (should be about the same yeast count as the dry yeast).

Well 10 hours later, I am starting to see some activity in the Wyeast carboy. But holy cow -- the Safale carboy is starting to krausen already. Wow that's fast!

Here is what is on the Fermentis website regarding the S-04 yeast:
" A well known English ale strain noted for its fast fermentation and rapid settling. Used in the production of a wide range of ales including English ale styles."

If my fast start is any indication, I think I am really going to like this yeast! Has anyone else used it and seen similar results? What were the final results (i.e. flocculation, taste) like? I can tell already that I am going to be VERY impatient to sample these two beers.

Damn -- now I really wish I had brewed 11 gallons of a Southern English Brown instead of a big stout (that thing is going to take months to age -- I don't want to wait that long now!).

Cheers!

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Old 07-19-2007, 05:12 PM   #2
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P.S. Interestingly enough, I also brewed an American Amber a few nights ago and wanted to have it ready ASAP. So I oxygenated then pitched TWO 11 g packages of Nottingham (rehydrated) into it and -- fizzz -- nothing for 2.5 days. What gives there?? It is now fermenting slowly (at about 20C), but very little krausen after 4 days. I think it is going to go for another few days yet. Very strange for that yeast.

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Old 07-19-2007, 05:30 PM   #3
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I think you'll be happy with the S-04 in the stout. I'm drinking an oatmeal stout that I fermented w/ S-04 and it turned out great.

Your slow starting Nottingham doesn't seem normal. I've had a quick and vigorous fermentation with it every time I've used it. Maybe they had a bad lot.

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Old 07-19-2007, 05:31 PM   #4
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I am going to do a brew with US-05 very soon and I also want to keep some American ale yeast in the fridge so that I will have it availble whenever.

I have heard people say that it is a good yeast but can give some sulfur/peach flavors, so I was going to buy some WLP001 to split and keep on hand.

In your opinion should I harvest/wash the US-05, or buy some WLP001? This would wouldn't really be a sticking point but my LHBS doesn't sell US-05. With the WLP001 I plan on propagating it, splitting in half and using each half 3 times (6 total uses) so that brings the cost per 5 gallons to about the same as the dry.

I am also debating the same thing between US-04 and WLP002.

I figure if I have a supply of American, English, and hefeweizen yeast on hand that should cover me for 90% of my beers.

Also, I have used Nottingham twice, first in the high 60s...very vigorous fermentation and then again in the lower 60s and it is much, much slower.

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Old 07-19-2007, 05:44 PM   #5
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Every yeast that Fermentis puts out I have had great success with. I really liked the Weihenstephan Lager strain W-something.

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Old 07-19-2007, 05:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerrific
I am going to do a brew with US-05 very soon and I also want to keep some American ale yeast in the fridge so that I will have it availble whenever.

I have heard people say that it is a good yeast but can give some sulfur/peach flavors, so I was going to buy some WLP001 to split and keep on hand.
Keeping some dry yeast in the fridge is a VERY good idea. Never now when you might need some good, viable yeast in a hurry.

Regarding the sulfur/peach flavour in S-05, I personally have never noticed it. I have made the same recipe with S-05 and Wyeast 1056, compared side by side, and never noticed the difference in the yeast. Jamil Z is the only person I have ever heard make this claim, but clearly he could have a much more discerning palate than me...

Quote:
In your opinion should I harvest/wash the US-05, or buy some WLP001? This would wouldn't really be a sticking point but my LHBS doesn't sell US-05. With the WLP001 I plan on propagating it, splitting in half and using each half 3 times (6 total uses) so that brings the cost per 5 gallons to about the same as the dry.

I am also debating the same thing between US-04 and WLP002.
Harvesting and washing dry yeast sort of defeats the advantages of it, in my mind. It is cheap and convenient, so why bother? Also, I have heard that dry yeast isn't as pure as liquid yeast, so it could have more contaminants, meaning that propagating it isn't as reliable as with liquid yeast. But I have no experience there to speak to that claim.

Quote:
I figure if I have a supply of American, English, and hefeweizen yeast on hand that should cover me for 90% of my beers.
Yes, my thoughts exactly. I generally prefer liquid yeasts, and I have begun freezing multiple vials from fresh packs to (1) always have some yeast on hand, and (2) reduce the cost of liquid yeast. So far, it is working well. But the convenience of dry yeast is undeniable, particularly if you need yeast in a hurry. So I will probably continue to 'stock' both at home.

Quote:
Also, I have used Nottingham twice, first in the high 60s...very vigorous fermentation and then again in the lower 60s and it is much, much slower.
Yes, I have used Nottingham a four or five times now, and every start was quick and vigorous. It seems counter-intuitive to me that when I pitch two packs of it, I get a slow and lacklustre ferment. Maybe they weren't stored well before I bought them (I bought them from an LHBS that I don't know very well).

Cheers!
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Old 07-19-2007, 06:34 PM   #7
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Yeah I heard about the sulphur/peach on The Jamil Show too, maybe he had a bad pack

I think what I will do is go to LHBS and buy a tube of 001 and split it up. Save the dry pack of US-05 that I have in case of emergency. I usually have Nottingham on hand sine I can buy that at my LHBS, but having both is probably a good idea.

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Old 07-19-2007, 06:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerrific
Yeah I heard about the sulphur/peach on The Jamil Show too, maybe he had a bad pack

I think what I will do is go to LHBS and buy a tube of 001 and split it up. Save the dry pack of US-05 that I have in case of emergency. I usually have Nottingham on hand sine I can buy that at my LHBS, but having both is probably a good idea.
Yeah, splitting up liquid yeast and storing it is really easy. I typically buy a Wyeast smack pack, get it built up really good in a big starter, crash cool it, and then fill 20 or so 15 ml vials from the slurry on the bottom. The rest goes into a batch of beer. Those 20 vials get frozen and reused later. It means I have to do a step-starter (slowly building up from 15 ml to 1.5 L), but with a stir-plate it is dead easy.

Regarding dry yeast, I tend to use US-56 and Nottingham interchangeably, even though they aren't exactly the same yeast. Both are excellent and have relatively similar properties. I wouldn't go out of my way to get one or the other if I were you.
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:02 PM   #9
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I have never used dry yeast before. Do you just take the packet and pitch it into a miniwort to start? or do you have to wet it then pitch to make a starter?

- WW

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Old 07-19-2007, 07:11 PM   #10
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I use the so-4 alot and like it very much. I made an oatmeal stout with it and it was great. My LBHS only carries a few dry yeasts and that is one of them. They sell a really iffy local brand of liquid yeast that I will never use again so I switched to tghe so-4 and us-56 and am quite happy with the results. Yes it is quite fast starting and fermenting! Main ferment activity can be over in about 24 to 36 hours sometimes.

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