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Old 10-26-2012, 05:34 AM   #1
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Default Not loving S-04...

So far I've brewed 2 beers with Safale S-04, and unlike it's cousin US-05, I'm not loving it. It seems to give a lot of fruity flavors, and not in a good way, even at low fermentation temps. I have a Hobgoblin clone that (immature, admittedly) tastes a bit like wine mixed with coriander.

I'm trying Danstar Windsor for my 10th and newest brew (Caribou Slobber), so it'll be interesting to compare and contrast.

So now I'm wondering - since US-05 and WLP001 are the same strain, is there an identical liquid version of S-04? That way I know what to avoid.


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Old 10-26-2012, 06:21 AM   #2
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I've used s-04 in a beer that worked great. However, in two gluten free batches I made for SWMBO, they tasted like funky wine. It's been weird. I've been super diligent about cleaning and sanitizing. Even brewed a variety of other beers with out the same taste. Trying nitty on a GF right now. We will see if there is a difference.

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Old 10-26-2012, 06:24 AM   #3
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It's a strain that a lot of brewers don't particularly enjoy -- I'm one of them. There are so many wonderful English strains out there to keep in your stable of rinsed yeasts that I'll pass forever on the 04. Now the 05 is a whole different matter
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:04 AM   #4
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should be the same as Wyeast Whitbread I believe. I like S-04 for "mild" british ales. I think it struggles when starting to get into a old ale, RIS, or Barleywine style beers. Its a true British yeast so the fruit flavors are really part of that style.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:23 PM   #5
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I've always found the Whitbread yeasts (s-04, wy1098/wlp007, wy1099) to have a distinctive 'twangy' flavor when fermented warm or under pitched. I can't stand the taste of the stuff and even when fermented properly, it is too boring for my tastes. There are so many excellent English yeasts out there, that nearly anything else would be an improvement over s-04.

Also, you may want to reconsider on the Windsor yeast. IMO, it's as bad as fermenting with bread yeast and it has some of the poorest attenuation and flocculation around. Makes decent ciders though.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:22 PM   #6
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I'm in the same boat as the rest of the guys. I've used it once, probably under-pitched a bit, but definitely got those twangy notes in an American Wheat.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:25 PM   #7
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I like S-04. You have to pay attention to your temps even more so than usual, though. It gets real strange apple tones if it gets in the high 60s during fermentation.

Did you let the temps get away from you?
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:25 PM   #8
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ive used an had no problems with ester I fermented around 65F. for me it is a nice strain and floccs like a rock.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:27 PM   #9
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Yeah, surprised to see so many people not fond of S04. I know a lot of brewers that use it as their house yeast for everything from pales, IPA's to ESB's.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:36 PM   #10
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There is one beer that I use it for often. I have 12 gal sitting in a fermentor right now. My Strawberry Blond which was based on Pete's Wicked Ale recipe. It goes very well with the fruity character. I have not used it for non-fruit beers yet. It is a beast of a fermenter with very quick fermentation and a dry finish. I have always tried to keep it below 68*F and had finished fermentations in well under 2 weeks. In reality probably done a in a few days but it never hurts to leave it longer to let it clean up after itself.


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