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Old 09-10-2010, 01:53 AM   #1
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Default S-04...Done in 2 Days?!?

I'm making this Extra Special Bitter from BMW:

http://www.brewmasterswarehouse.com/recipe/2bc9fa39/shoultzmeyer-brewery-extra-special-bitter

Pretty typical looking bitter. I pitched dry yeast directly onto wort on Tuesday about 5pm. 7pm I have a head of foam about 1/2" thick. Next morning, Wednesday, a nice fat krausen, lock (on Better Bottle) chugging away briskly. Get back from work today (48 hours after pitching) and nothing on the surface and lock is not bubbling at all. Basement temp of about 73 F. Is it possible for fermentation to be nearly complete in just 48 hours? I'm probably going to transfer to a secondary on Saturday and age for two weeks prior to bottling.

Should I harvest some of this super powerful yeast because of its outstanding performance? Or is this typical of S-04?

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Old 09-10-2010, 01:55 AM   #2
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That's pretty typical of S04, especially in a warm fermentation. I have a feeling that if your basement is 73 degrees, the fermentation temperature was actually much higher. Did you pitch the yeast at a high temperature? That would also explain a fast fermentation.

I like S04 at 64-68 degrees. I don't ferment it any higher than that, and it still finishes up quickly and leaves a very clear beer.

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Old 09-10-2010, 02:13 AM   #3
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Yeah, pitched at probably 85F or so. Should I postpone transfer to secondary or go ahead and move it on Saturday (4 days from pitching)?

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Old 09-10-2010, 02:14 AM   #4
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I have a honey porter that I pitched 04 into Monday afternoon.

Tuesday showed signs of fermentation.

Nothing Wednesday. Fermented at 69-70 degrees.

Doesnt seem like this is unusual

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Old 09-10-2010, 02:28 AM   #5
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I pitched s-04 onto a stout with an OG of 1.073 (I know interesting yeast choice) and fermented at 65 degrees and it was still done for the most part 4 days after pitching (It still bubbled every couple minutes for the next week or so). Let it sit for a few days before going to secondary, or follow the other crowd's argument and just let it sit in your primary for two more weeks and then bottle.

It's up to you.

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Old 09-10-2010, 02:55 AM   #6
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i'd be alarmed if s-04 took longer than that at that temp. let it sit on the yeast for at least 11 days, then move it onto the next step

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Old 09-10-2010, 07:32 AM   #7
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I pitched S-04 on a 1.072 porter a couple weeks ago at 66F and it dropped to 1.016 in 4 days. it was probably THE most violent fermentation i've experienced. I had a huge enexpected mess in my fridge.

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Old 09-10-2010, 10:38 AM   #8
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I can't say whether this is "typical" or not as I haven't done enough batches with S-04 to determine either way but I have had activity like this with that yeast.

I normally pitch at 74º and ferment at 68º and I have had activity in primary within a couple of hours of pitching. Like you, I have also seen that activity drop within a couple of days.

I do like the yeast and I think I will make it my "house yeast". It is clean and flocculates like nobody's business. Gets down to business quickly and plows through any beer within a matter of days.

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