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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > S-04 and sourness?
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:00 PM   #1
deathtomacro
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Default S-04 and sourness?

Here's the stats:

Going for an English IPA
Mashed 10.5lbs of malt. Mashed at155F-156F Got 80% efficiency.

Hour and fifteen boil. Wort chilled to 62-64 degrees.
Pitched re-hydrated S-04 yeast and throughout fermentation the "fermometer" read 66-68F.
I go crazy sanitizing everything. My standards for sanitation never change from batch to batch. It was brewed on a Sunday and from when fermentation started (about five hours later) 24 - 30 hours go by and it was over. I didn't mess with it. I left to sit until the following Saturday, when I was planning on dry hopping it. I pulled a sample of beer and it's a little green tasting. Nice fruity esters and then this sourness. It's not pervasive. More than "slight" and less than "overbearing".

Aside from the sour tinge, I was concerned with it having such a high final gravity.
OG-1.060
FG-1.020
I know this strain leaves a higher FG, but come on!

It was still cloudy, so I know there are still a good bit of proteins and yeast in suspension that could be lending to the off flavor. Maybe I'm just tasting a really green beer?


Should I try to rouse the yeast back into suspension to try to get it to ferment out a little more?

Do you guys think this sourness at then end will taper off with time and cold conditioning?

Thanks for your help!


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Old 02-28-2011, 07:29 PM   #2
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I've had a bit of what I assume is the same flavor you're describing, also when using s-04. I'm unsure of the cause, but I do think it has been fading slowly over time.


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Old 02-28-2011, 07:50 PM   #3
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Maybe tartness is a better word for it than sour. I've gotten this bit of tartness from Fermentis T-58 as well as their WB-06. Of course, their S-05 is super clean.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:55 PM   #4
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S-04 is notorious for this flavor. I call it the s04 "twang" as it reminds me of a funky greek yogurt. I don't use s-04 for that reason. Lower ferment temps will reduce it a bit, though I have to sample an s-04 beer that was completely devoid of this character. Some people will tell you it's just part of the yeast flavor or that you had a batch batch and s04 makes a very clean tasting beer. I have a hard time believing that!
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:00 PM   #5
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I must say, that is quite disheartening.
Well, maybe two ounces of saaz will help hide that flavor. Probably not.
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:38 PM   #6
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That is really interesting. Every now and then I run an extract kit, and the most recent was a cooper's stout. Instead of the coopers yeast and dextrose, I added DME and used S-04. It finished suprisingly high (like around 1.020). Unfortunately I then overcarbed it a bit. It seems that there is a sourness that I associated with the overcarbing, but it seems to hang around even after all the CO2 is knocked out.

I know that some sourness or tartness is desirable in a stout, but this seems just a little more than I enjoy. I just assumed that my overcarbing was the sole source of this flavour, but your post has me wondering. I wonder if Coopers adds some sourness assuming that you are using a relatively neutral yeast like what they attach to the cans, and the S-04 just put it over the top.

I still have several packets left, and I will be using them in my next few batches. I'm sure that in some recipes a slight, balanced tartness would be really desirable.

Thanks for your post, it gives me something else to think about when I'm selecting my yeast.

You are right about s-04 being a monster early on though. I had blowoff in under 12 hours on the last beer I made.
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:55 PM   #7
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i will never use s-04 again due to this flavor. i've ruined two beers with that yeast. i know a ton of people love it but the extra few bucks for a good liquid yeast is WELL worth it IMHO.
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:56 PM   #8
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I'm finding bits and pieces about the tartness/sourness on other forums. There's too much from others having the same kind of results for it be an infected batch. Hmm...
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:08 PM   #9
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Liquid yeast is not necessarily the answer.

I used S-04 and then did another ESB once again with whitbread/1099 and fermented it at 64*F according to the stickon therm on the side of my bucket. Both still had that tartness/twang. Pitched a huge starter, etc. It does subside with time but yuck. Do not use this in a Bitter/ESB etc. Stick with the Fullers strain from wyeast/whitelabs. It is much cleaner and more like the ESB's I have tasted
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:48 PM   #10
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Electron, thanks for that info!


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