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Old 08-17-2012, 04:53 PM   #1
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Default S-04 Slow Fermentation?

This is my second batch - a Ska Hopus Moderandi clone that uses S-04 dry yeast. For this batch, I've really tried to watch the temperature and per suggestions from this forum have kept the fermentation temp between 60-64 degrees in a water/ice bath (i.e. swamp cooler). Its been a week of straight bubbles in the fermentor (although much slower now at day 7), after the first 2 days of inactivity. Just curious if this is typical for this yeast and temperature? My first batch bubbled furiously for 2 days at 74F and then stopped.

Here's my process:
day 1: Started at 70F in the fermentor. OG: 1.065. Cooled to 58F before pitching yeast (no rehydration).
day 2: came home from work and fermentation had not started. Fermentor was still at 58F - did not get a big spike in temp like I thought. Probably too cool to start. Warmed slowly to 62F.
day 3: Bubbling good at 62F
days 4-9: Kept at mostly 62, but in range of 62-64F. Bubbling good for days 4-7 and then slower on days 7-9.

I had a hard time with temp control at first, over estimating the amount of ice I would need. In my basement, ended up using just 1 16oz frozen bottle every 12 hours to keep at 62-64F.


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Old 08-17-2012, 05:19 PM   #2
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Not sure about your current situation, but S04 is known for going off like a rocket. It ferments super fast then drops out like a brick.


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Old 08-17-2012, 05:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zachattack View Post
Not sure about your current situation, but S04 is known for going off like a rocket. It ferments super fast then drops out like a brick.
That's what I thought...am a little concerned.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:24 PM   #4
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The airlock is just a valve designed to relieve pressure inside the fermenter, not an indicator of fermentation.

Also, for a somewhat big beer like yours(1.065) 9 days is not slow, last beer I brewed(OG 1.066) it took it like 12 days.

Reason: grammar
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirk View Post
The airlock is just a valve designed to relieve pressure inside the fermenter, not an indicator of fermentation.
But, doesn't a constant bubbling indicate CO2 is being produced, hence fermentation? What else would cause the bubbling?

Based on what I've read about S-04 going off strong to start, I'm a little concerned that its been quietly bubbling along for a week. But, I did have the temps way too low to start and have kept them on the low end (62F) for the week - so that prob explains it.

Edit: Oh I see - Fermentation could have stopped, but there is still a build up of CO2 in the fermentor that slowly bubbles out over days.

Reason: Lightbulb went off
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slcdawg View Post
But, doesn't a constant bubbling indicate CO2 is being produced, hence fermentation? What else would cause the bubbling?

Based on what I've read about S-04 going off strong to start, I'm a little concerned that its been quietly bubbling along for a week. But, I did have the temps way too low to start and have kept them on the low end (62F) for the week - so that prob explains it.

Edit: Oh I see - Fermentation could have stopped, but there is still a build up of CO2 in the fermentor that slowly bubbles out over days.
I bet it's done. Check the SG if you're unsure.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:09 PM   #7
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Everybody loves the entertainment value of a furious and violent fermentation with huge blow off, etc. But that isn't necessary for good beer, by any means. And more often than not, I think, that kind of action is predominant at the higher temps that are apt to give unwanted results. And it's often hard to know just what kind of action you'll get for any given combination of pitching rate, yeast strain, wort, temps, and possibly other factors that are harder to quantify.

But as long as the fermentation process is moving along, there's not much to worry about.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:33 PM   #8
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I'm curious to hear others' experiences with S04 at low temp?
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:27 AM   #9
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I'm curious to hear others' experiences with S04 at low temp?
My experiences are positive- I like it below 64 degrees for the flavor. It still ferments out within about 48 hours or so, and leaves a nice clear beer because it drops out into a tightly compacted yeast cake. I don't like it above about 68 degrees, as it gets estery but weirdly so and not "good estery" like many other English yeast do.


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