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Old 11-07-2011, 06:29 PM   #1
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Default Saflager S-23 Report

When I first started lagering I was searching for my "House Strain" Much in like how I did for my ales. Of course for my ales I stick to 3 for my "safe bets". My favorite Safale 05, followed by 04, and then nottingham. Unless I'm looking for something special I generally stick to these because they are the cleanest and have yet to disappoint.

On to the topic at hand. I've been doing many lager's trying to find my go-to strain and I've settled on the S-23. I was first a little aprehensive about this yeast because I've read some off reports. But since I'm a huge fan of dry yeast I gave it a try. I pitched it into a black lager that I was working on and 2 months later I had one of the best beers I have ever brewed. It was so good that the following week I brewed the exact same receipe and it turned out equally as great.

I then moved to a light lager, and threw in the S-23 and the same great result. Next I tried a Red lager as an experiement. Awesomeness!

I tried other strains such as (White Labs - WLP840) and (Wyeast - 2035 & 2272) with not as much success. It wasn't bad, just not great.

On to my setup. I don't have a lagering set-up. What I work with is this. My basement stays at 55 degrees ambient. So if I ferment a lager it's at that temp. Maybe the other strains are better at other temps, but I know that the S-23 is great at the only temp I can ferment at. I only need one hydrated packet. Within 8 hours it's bubbling away and it's slowing down after 5 days. I give it a 3 days D-Rest at 65 degrees then move it to my house fridge that's at a constant 38 degrees for 2 - 3 weeks. Lagering temps are done in a secondary.

It's a fast turn around (For a lager) and produces a great tasting beer. If you are thinking about using this yeast I recommend these temps because I have had much success. I just figured that I'd give my 2 cents about this strain because all I've read are reports of people creating "bubble gum" beer with this. I have yet to have a bad turn out with my current method. Happy brewing people.. Feel free to ask any questions or comment.

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Old 11-07-2011, 07:58 PM   #2
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Love S-23 for it's clean profile. Great for light lagers in the summer. I usually ferment it @ 50 degrees and I've always been happy. And being a dry yeast, means I can skip the HUGE starters and simply use two packages.

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Old 11-07-2011, 08:35 PM   #3
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I like s-23, but the last 2 German pilsners I did I used s-35/70, and I liked that too. I'll be brewing a Baltic Porter soon and plan to use 3 11g packs of s-23 for that.

I chill to my fermenting temp 50F and pitch, without the d-rest, and it works great.

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Old 11-07-2011, 10:21 PM   #4
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Have used S-23 a few times. Really like W-34/70. Give it a shot before you settle on S-23 as your house strain; maybe S-189 as well. In my experience you can push the temps down further with W-34/70 than S-23--of course that won't matter to everyone.

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Old 11-08-2011, 02:29 AM   #5
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I love S-23. I ferment it at 60 degrees and it's never done me wrong. It's great to work with too, no starter just pitch two packs at around 70 degrees and it's off bubbling in just a few hours. Super clean and very flocculant as well. I know Denny is extremely opposed to it, but I almost always have a steam in the pipeline using this stuff. To each his own I guess!

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Old 11-08-2011, 05:13 PM   #6
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I'll never settle on a certain yeast. I've heard good things about W-34/70. But I have yet to try it. I guess I was just giving my experience on S-23 because all I read was bad things about it and I have yet to experience that. As seen by a couple replies other people like this yeast as well. This is my attempt at trying to give a heads up and not be afraid of this strain. I was previously a little hesitant based on what I read.

Also, I have had good luck with just using one packet at 55. I know that some people will argue that that may be a little low on the cell count, esp without a starter, but like I said I have yet to have a bad experience and the brew tastes great.

(One side note. From what I previously read low primary temps [52 and down] is where I have started hearing mixed reviews. 55 - 58 seems to be a safe temp zone for the S-23)

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Old 12-13-2011, 01:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerChristensen
I love S-23. I ferment it at 60 degrees and it's never done me wrong. It's great to work with too, no starter just pitch two packs at around 70 degrees and it's off bubbling in just a few hours. Super clean and very flocculant as well. I know Denny is extremely opposed to it, but I almost always have a steam in the pipeline using this stuff. To each his own I guess!
How long is your ferment time before the beer drops clear at these temps? I'm trying to settle on a yeast for my house beer, and I've narrowed down to S-04 or S-23. This is for a session beer, OG 1.035. 2 row, pale chocolate and crystal 60. Continuous hopped 2 oz of northern brewer to a BU:GU of .73

I can ferment at 55-60F.

Since the beer is so small, I'm looking for a quick turnaround. Will S-23 work well?

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Old 12-13-2011, 01:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franc103 View Post
How long is your ferment time before the beer drops clear at these temps? I'm trying to settle on a yeast for my house beer, and I've narrowed down to S-04 or S-23. This is for a session beer, OG 1.035. 2 row, pale chocolate and crystal 60. Continuous hopped 2 oz of northern brewer to a BU:GU of .73

I can ferment at 55-60F.

Since the beer is so small, I'm looking for a quick turnaround. Will S-23 work well?

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I've used both S-04 and S-23 at that temp and been happy with the results (you are pushing the very bottom end of S-04 but if your ambient is that range then your ferm temp should be in the very low 60s so you are safe, but I wouldn't go much cooler).

Are you hoping the yeast will contribute a cleaner lager character or a more estery English character? That will determine which of these you use. I've found S-04 drops super clean quickly; as I recall S-23 took more time to clear. Others may have had different experiences.
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