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Anyone used Safale 04 yeast?

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Danek

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I'm currently brewing two batches of Bells Two Hearted IPA. They're identical save for the yeast used - one is US 05, the other is Safale S-04, as I thought it'd be informative to try a side-by-side comparison. The US 05 batch is fermenting very visibly (big krausen, airlock farting like crazy). But the S-04 batch looks dormant - there are a few particulate specs on the surface of the wort, but nothing that looks like krausen, and the airlock isn't bubbling. I thought I might just have had a bad batch of yeast, so yesterday (one week after first pitching) I pitched a second sachet of S-04. After 36 hours there's no change. I'm not too worried about the lack of airlock activity as the fermenter lid may not be airtight. But I'd be interested to hear from anyone who's used this yeast before - does it sound like my yeasties have a problem, or is the S-04 just a less demonstrative strain of yeast?
 

david_42

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My notes on Safale-04 range from "18 hr start" to "Exploded". I'd check the gravity, you might have had a stealth ferment.
 

delboy

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I'd go for the lid not being an airtight seal, in my experience S 04 takes off very quick and can be finished in a matter of days (could have finished it in 36 hrs).

I think you'll find a big difference in the character of the beer between the two yeasts, the US 05 is much more suited to the style where as the S 04 is better for milds and the like.
 

ajf

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If I pitch S-04 at about 4 PM, then it's always fermenting happily by 6.AM the next day.
What is the fermentation temperature? It may have trouble starting if the temp is too low.
It is also possible that it all sank to the bottom of the brew and got buried by trub. Giving the wort a stir should get it going if this is the case.


I agree, you will probably find a big difference in the character of the beers, but the S-04 is great for English Bitters.


-a.
 

Desert_Sky

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I have S-04 fermenting BierMuncher's OctoberFAST right now actually. It took off last night and just went crazy, and is still going strong at about 2 bubbles a second this morning. Be careful, normally I don't have to worry about temperature too much, but this one rose up to 72 this morning from 65. Had to throw a wet towel around it to cool it off some.
 

DAAB

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With proper treatment i'd expect S04 to take off within a few hours or less and it can ferment out very quickly. I'd check the gravity, I wouldn't be supprised if it was close to finishing. You'll probably see it starting to clear in a day or so, it's exceptionally flocculant.

It does benefit from good aeration before pitching.
 

Desert_Sky

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Yep, I'm guessing mine will be close to finished by this evening. Just over 36 hours
 

mrfocus

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I used it after having WAY too much trouble with Wyeast 1968 (London ESB) which is SO flocculant you can't even imagine. It has been fermenting 6 days and was probably done after 5 (extract and steep).
 
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Danek

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I took a gravity reading when I added the dry hops just now, and you guys were right - the S-04 had stealth-fermented, all the way down to 1.012. I'm amazed at the difference in krausen between the two types of yeast. The US-05 had an inch of ugly crap on it for days, whereas the S-04 had nothing. Still, as long as the yeasties are doing their thing, it's all good. Thanks for the advice guys.
 
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Danek

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Bobby_M said:
I'd recommend rehydrating either yeasts next time, if you haven't.
Actually, this was the first time I rehydrated my dry yeast - which I did specifically because of your experiment - and the US-05 exploded. The English yeast was quieter and more reserved, but what do you expect - it's English, after all. :D
 

keithd

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Heh, being in Korea I've used S-04 exclusively given that I don't trust liquid yeast shipped here. I source from B3, but I figure dry yeast can handle the extended transit better.

And so far, it's performed stellar as long as I've done my part. I've usually seen 12-18 hr lag times. My last batch was my first explosive ferment - a 1.096 5 gallon batch, pitched 1 packet, 24 hours later and I'm scrounging for vinyl tubing to jam into the airlock as the 3 piece keeps popping apart!

So it's worked for me, and the beer is good. :mug:
-keith
 

RLinNH

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I just pitched my First Saf Ale04 last night around 9:30. I did a Starter with the Rehydrated Yeast earlier in the Morning, and at about 3 in the afternoon, the Starter was Ripping away. I kid you not, when I added the yeast starter to the 1.061 Oatmeal Stout I brewed last night, I had airlock activity within 5 minutes. This morning I have my Blow Off tube set up on the Carboy, and this Batch is Angrily Fermenting away. Great Yeast as I have not used any sort of dry yeast in about 7 years. With this experience with this yeast, I won't be so anal anymore about using only Liquid Yeasties.:mug:
 
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