Man, do I love me some Safale S-04 - Home Brew Forums

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Old 01-09-2011, 06:03 PM   #1
anchorandoak
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I brewed 3 gallons of Irish Red Ale yesterday and wanted to comment on this yeast. I was using an all new set up, new pot, new mash tun, new everything and despite all the things I screwed, this yeast is amazing!

What went wrong:
-Was shooting for a post-boil volume of 3 gallons, ended up with 3.5 gallons instead. Now I have 3.5 gallons of Irish Red that comes in at a measly 16.5 IBUs.
-Missed my OG by a long shot

What went right:
-My decision to use Safale S-04!

I was at my LHBS picking up some new gear when I decided to pick up some ingredients for an Irish Red that I had saved on my phone when I realized that the only yeast he sold was dry yeast. I have grown accustomed to using the Wyeast that I order from Northern Brewer. The idea of having to go through the hassle of making a starter sort of made me not want to brew at all yesterday, but I decided not to bother with a starter and just pitch it dry. I know this is like a sin and probably punishable by a permanent ban from HBT, but I remember I used to do this all the time when I first started brewing (because I didn't know any better) and never had a problem. So I brewed everything as usual and pitched this stuff dry. I kid you not, my airlock looked like a hot tub in less than 5 hours. The last time I used a Wyeast activator pack it took close to 24 hours to see anything going on in my airlock (I know, I know...this is not the only way to measure the progress of fermentation).

I will be using this yeast from now and I will probably be pitching it dry and without a starter until I can find a single reason not to.

thank you all and have a wonderful day.

I <3 Safale S-04

 
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:10 PM   #2
smizak
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Well, you'll be limited by dry yeast selection. If you make a proper starter and pitch the correct amount of liquid yeast, you'll experience similar results. I recently brewed a lager and had active fermentation in 8 hrs, and that was at 50F.

IMO, S-04's ester profile is too much for me. Even when it's pitched cool, the aroma is always slightly solvent-like. To each his own.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:25 PM   #3
redgum
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There's no need to make a starter with dry yeast; actually I recall hearing somewhere that doing so is a bad idea with dry yeast. But you DO need to rehydrate dry yeast and not just sprinkle them in dry.

Fermentation is off to a rolling start much quicker if you rehydrate and it's much better for yeast health.

I don't mind that yeast either. It's a great alternative to liquid for a variety of styles and I do tend to keep a couple of packets on hand when I get the urge to brew something and don't have liquid on hand.

 
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:29 PM   #4
Yooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smizak View Post
IMO, S-04's ester profile is too much for me. Even when it's pitched cool, the aroma is always slightly solvent-like. To each his own.
My experience is totally different! I pitch and ferment cool, and I get a "clean" aroma from it. I like it for IPAs and APAs, even. I love the way my beer is crystal clear and very neutral when I use S04.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:39 PM   #5
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I have to agree with Yoop on this one. I'm sure I pitch warm compared to you guys since I'm in Houston and don't have a fermentation chamber set up. S-04 still comes out nice and clean for me.

I think it's the same as WLP 002. I know s-05 is the same as WLP 001.

 
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:48 PM   #6
elkdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenshead View Post
I have to agree with Yoop on this one. I'm sure I pitch warm compared to you guys since I'm in Houston and don't have a fermentation chamber set up. S-04 still comes out nice and clean for me.

I think it's the same as WLP 002. I know s-05 is the same as WLP 001.
I think it's closer to WLP007- the Dry English (Whitbred) strain. It's a higher attenuator than the 002. Good yeast, for sure.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:55 PM   #7
ghpeel
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Love that yeast. I also perceive it as fairly clean. I've used it for non-English styles (wheat beers, cider, graff) and it ferments fairly clean and fast. Got a SN Tumbler clone going in my primary right now with that yeast.

Then again I love English beer, so maybe if you really don't like that style, then the slight English flavour of s-04 is to much for you.
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:37 PM   #8
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elkdog: You're right, that's the one I was thinking of--my bad.

 
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:42 PM   #9
FatherJack
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I love S-04. I recently botched a batch with liquid yeast and used S-04 as a backup. I didn't rehydrate or make a starter and within 4 hours it was bubbling.

I'm still a newbie though and don't know about the differences in yeast since I've mostly used S-04 so far.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:46 PM   #10
Wiezer
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Mar 2010
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Safale S-04 instructions:

http://www.fermentis.com/FO/pdf/HB/E...le_S-04_HB.pdf

 
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