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Old 09-29-2012, 12:57 PM   #11
Nov 2010
Raleigh, NC
Posts: 397
Liked 46 Times on 29 Posts

It's an ester bomb! I haven't been able to control S-04 like I have with strains. Doesn't matter what I do with the swamp cooler, this yeast heats up so much during fermentation that it ruins my beers--for my palate, at least. Fermentation sure is fun to watch, though. You'd swear you are watching a blender.

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Old 09-29-2012, 02:29 PM   #12
Sep 2010
Quebec, Quebec
Posts: 1,633
Liked 67 Times on 58 Posts

Originally Posted by WDT View Post
Ok, so I'm an IPA fan and still new to the game. I recently brewed a Stone ruination clone, a dogfish head 90 clone, and used S-04 for both of them. Double pitched 2 packets. The dogfish head has a weird aftertaste and so does the ruination. I just tapped my keg of pliny the elder (s-05) and it is fan freaking tastic. So I know it's not my process.

The only mishap I had was the ruination had stalled out at 1.29 and I added energizer and let it warm up to 70 from about 62 (i know too cold). I hit my target FG, no prob after that.

Is there a sweet spot for this yeast? I have 3 more packs that I don't know what to do with because I'm convinced this yeast isn't for me.
S-04 isn't for everyone. It tends to develop a kind of bready tartness, both in the aroma and flavour, along with unique esters if fermented too warm or if pitched too warm: it's one yeast where I pitch below fermentation temperature. Some even describe the tartness as akin to that of plain yogurt. I got that once, when I pitched at 70F and used a swamp cooler.

Be aware though that even when it is fermented low, it tends to be bready. It's very often described as neutral, but I don't get neutral at all from it.

I personally like it a lot, even for bitters, but I do like biscuity/bready in my beers. If you're looking more for a neutral yeast that won't brand your beer with its signature taste, US-05 is though to beat as you saw.

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Old 09-30-2012, 12:51 AM   #13
Sep 2010
Posts: 703
Liked 22 Times on 22 Posts

I pitched a pack (rehydrated) into 64f Edworts Robust Porter and held 64 for 24 hours and then let free rise to 67f and held it thereafter, and at the 4 day mark Ill pull it from the fridge altogether to let it free rise to room temp. I really want to see how this yeast does in dark roasted beers.

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