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Old 02-09-2012, 03:05 PM   #1
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Default Suggestions for Lager Dry Yeast? S-23 or ???

Hi all,

I have 2 lagers in my list to brew soon, a Vienna and a German Pilsner, but at this time, I won't be able to make a yeast starter using a liquid yeast as I have always done. My question is, what are my options for a lager dry yeast? I was thinking using 2 packs of Saflager S-23 for each brew (both have estimated OGs of approximately 1.050), but I have heard awful things about his yeast as being too fruity and too estery for clean lagers like the ones I'm brewing.

Does anybody have experience with S-23 with the styles mentioned above, or have another recommendation?

Your opinion/help is much appreciated.

Cheers!

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Old 02-09-2012, 03:14 PM   #2
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No experience with S-23. Love 34/70 though. 2 packets per 5 gallons. Next week I'll be pitching the same yeast for the 7th time. The first pitch was a 5 gallon batch of Dortmunder, a starter if you will. Subsequent pitches were for 10 gallon batches. Saving a pint of thick yeast slurry & repitching can save you a lot. So basically those 2 packets will have brewed 65 gallons of beer. Cheers!!!

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Old 02-09-2012, 03:24 PM   #3
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I have used S-23 on a couple of batches, W-34/70 on most of my lagers, and S-189 on a few, although that was recently so I don't have an idea of taste yet.

W-34/70 is a champ. It ferments well down into the mid-40s and powers right through to FG. It's clean and neutral IMO.

I was hesitant to use S-23 due to some reviews, but I love both of the beers I have made with it (both Bohemian pilsners). One was fermented warm (around 55 ambient), and one was fermented cold (around 45 ambient). The cooler fermentation batch slowed down near the end so I had to raise the temp to achieve FG, but it was delicious.

S-189 (hard to find) was very slow out of the package (over two weeks to hit FG around 50 degrees), but the next batches that were re-pitched fermented out quickly, which tells me the yeast were not that healthy out of the package (I aerate with pure O2 through a 0.5 micron stone).

It would be really hard for you to go wrong with W-34/70. Two packages of 34/70 (or three packages if you plan to push the temperature way down) rehydrated as per the product sheet instructions into your pilsner, then grab 200 ml or so of your slurry when you rack for lagering after your d-rest to re-pitch into your Vienna lager.

In theory you don't need to aerate when you pitch your dry yeast, but I always do. Definitely aerate for your re-pitched slurry.

Good luck!

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Old 02-09-2012, 03:34 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot, it looks like 34/70 is the way to go. I have a fridge with a temp controller, so I plan to primary both around 52-54F, so it looks like 2 packages for each would be enough.

I read somewhere that 34/70 does not need a D-rest, is that true or better do it anyway?

Also, do I really need to add yeast slurry to my secondary for lagering? I've never done that before with my lagers using liquid yeast, but I guess I could try if highly recommended. Is it easy to do?

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Old 02-09-2012, 06:52 PM   #5
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I always raise the lagers up to 58-60F just to make sure the yeast is done so I guess you could call it a D-Rest. I've never detected diacetyl in any of them.

The yeast slurry we're talking about replaces the 2 packs you plan to pitch in the 2nd beer. Use the yeast slurry instead of the 2 packs & save yourself the cost. I use a pint canning jar that has been sanitized in starsan and store the yeast in the fridge until it's ready to use it again. If you brew within a couple of weeks there's no need to make a starter. Just pitch the slurry right out of the fridge. A pint is good for an average (~1.050) 10 gallon batch of lager so for 5 gallons you just need a 1/2 pint. Cheers!!!

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Old 02-09-2012, 07:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamiltont View Post
I always raise the lagers up to 58-60F just to make sure the yeast is done so I guess you could call it a D-Rest. I've never detected diacetyl in any of them.

The yeast slurry we're talking about replaces the 2 packs you plan to pitch in the 2nd beer. Use the yeast slurry instead of the 2 packs & save yourself the cost. I use a pint canning jar that has been sanitized in starsan and store the yeast in the fridge until it's ready to use it again. If you brew within a couple of weeks there's no need to make a starter. Just pitch the slurry right out of the fridge. A pint is good for an average (~1.050) 10 gallon batch of lager so for 5 gallons you just need a 1/2 pint. Cheers!!!
Got it, thanks. I would use the slurry, except I will brew both in the same day back to back, and have them fermenting simultaneously. But next time, perhaps, I will be able to use the slurry.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:24 PM   #7
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34/70. I've tried them all, and done side-by-side comparisons with liquid lager yeasts as well. Highly recommended by me.

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Old 02-09-2012, 07:37 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the feedback. I'm convinced. I will let you know how they turn out, but it's going to be a while. After the D-rest, I plan to leave both lagering at around 40-44F for while because I won't be available to keg them for another 4 months! That brings me to another question. Would it be OK to lager for 4 months? Never went that far, maximum I have lagered was for 45 days.

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Old 02-09-2012, 09:03 PM   #9
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Time-wise, as long as you are careful not to oxidize, you'll be fine... should make a great beer...

As to the yeast? Either 34/70 or S23 will work great. I have used both strains commercially (the Weihenstephan strain from a different supplier, in liquid form) and they make great beers. The Weihenstephan strain I have used for Maibock, Bavarian Dunkel and Marzen... S23 I have used on Bo. Pilsner, Marzen, Doppelbock and Schwarzbier. I currently have an S23 fermented Marzen on tap that I believe to be the best beer I have ever made at home.

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Old 02-09-2012, 10:16 PM   #10
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I actually really like S-23. I know it get's a lot of hate around here but both times I've used it the yeast produced very clean beers. I think the trick is warm fermentation. Like low 60's. It's no bohemian lager (which is my favorite lager yeast) but in a pinch, like when you can't make a starter, it's still makes a great beer.

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