Has anyone tried S-189?

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The weather in Utah right now is absolutely perfect for lagers, my garage is at a constant 50 degrees. I was doing some reading on the Fermentis website and there was a PDF that mapped out the yeast characteristics by strain. All the usual strains were there, but there was one that I've never seen or heard of. Apparently it's a dark lager strain suited to bock's. Denny provided a link to buy it from a smaller brewing company over on the Northern Brewer board, but other than that, I can't find any reviews on this stuff. Any help would be appreciated!

P.S. been lurking the board for a while now, you guys have helped me so much!
 

FREUNDOFBIER

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Hi Danger,

You might be under their craft or industrial brewing sections. AS you said, you won't find it at a homebrew supply shop.

However, they do have two other lager yeasts, Saflager S-23 and Saflager W-34/70. The 34/70 is supposedly more of a true lager least where the S-23 is closer to an ale yeast (for making Californian common/steam beer). With the garage temps posted, no reason to think that you could not use 34/70 an obtain clean lager performance.

I have not used either of these yeast strains however i have used fermentis' T-58, S-05 and S-04 and have been extremely pleased with the quality and value of these yeasts.

That's all i got,

FOB
 
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DangerChristensen
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You might be under their craft or industrial brewing sections. AS you said, you won't find it at a homebrew supply shop.
I know it's an industrial yeast, but it is actually available in homebrewer sized packs. Denny provided a link over on the NB forum here.

I'm just wondering if anyone has actually tried it. I love all of Fermentis' yeasts. I have a Maris Otter/Cascade SMaSH in the garage that's a Cali. Common using S-23 (test tube samples are amazing. As per the advice found on this forum I fermented at 60 because S-23 actually gives off tons of fruit flavors at true lager temps) S-05 is my go to yeast for anything that isn't completely driven by the yeast profile. The amount of ready to pitch yeast for the price is unbeatable.

Anyway, I was just looking for opinions before I spend the time and money on a brew with it.
 

osagedr

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I just had a dozen packages of S-189 shipped to me from American Brewmaster. I am looking forward to trying it soon--supposed to be good for malty lagers. Apparently the strain is equivalent to WLP 885 Zurich Lager. I love W-34/70 but thought I would give this strain a try.
 

944play

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I've used it twice, with awful results both times. Slow to start, a flabby texture and a very strong apple ester in the finished beer.

The yeast may have been old or infected, since it was clearly repackaged from a 500g brick by a homebrew store. I might try it again, but definitely not with a full batch of triple-decocted doppelbock or double pilsner.
 
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944play said:
I've used it twice, with awful results both times. Slow to start, a flabby texture and a very strong apple ester in the finished beer.

The yeast may have been old or infected, since it was clearly repackaged from a 500g brick by a homebrew store. I might try it again, but definitely not with a full batch of triple-decocted doppelbock or double pilsner.
Where did you get the yeast from? LHBS or some online source? It seems like Fermentis doesn't quite have their lager yeasts dialed in. I absoluetly love S-23 but not for normal lagers, just california commons. I've heard nothing but bad things about it from people who've used it as instructed.
 

944play

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DangerChristensen said:
Where did you get the yeast from?
American Brewmaster.

I've been so chuffed with 2308 that it would take a lot for me to try or even point someone towards much else, let alone something that let me down in the past.
 

osagedr

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I absoluetly love S-23 but not for normal lagers, just california commons. I've heard nothing but bad things about it from people who've used it as instructed.
I used S-23 in a pils that turned out great. I fermented in the mid-50s though. I have another pils lagering that I used S-23 with fermented in the mid-40s--just wanted to see if it was a fruity as everyone thinks. Didn't taste fruity to me after the d-rest, but we'll see how it turns out.

Overall I have had great luck with Fermentis dry lager yeasts so far. Hopefully S-189 is as good as I expect.
 

Keith_Mahoney

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I used S-23 in a pils that turned out great. I fermented in the mid-50s though. I have another pils lagering that I used S-23 with fermented in the mid-40s--just wanted to see if it was a fruity as everyone thinks. Didn't taste fruity to me after the d-rest, but we'll see how it turns out.
Let us know how it turns out.
I recently did my first lager and used S-23 for it. There is something that is just not right about the beer but I can't put my finger on it. It may be recipe based but it tastes too sweet maybe even though it finished at 1.013.
I used 1/3 Pilsner, 1/3 Munich and 1/3 Vienna, 28 IBU (lowest ever for me). Pitched at 45 and let it rise to 50. On day 19 the krausen fell and I let it rise to 65 for 2 days before taking to days to lower it to 42 before kegging for lagering.
 

osagedr

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I've had great experiences with S-189 the handful of times I've used it. First beer I made with it was a Dorty; has won a couple of golds in good competitions; repitched the slurry into two kits I was making for a friend; they turned out excellent and were multiple medal winners as well. Used it in a Vienna lager about six weeks ago; repitched slurry from that into a Helles; pitched the third generation into a Doppelbock this past weekend; it took off really quickly and has produced a giant krausen despite being pitched cold and fermented at 47. By comparison, the 2206 slurry I repitched into the other half of the doppelbock still was not going after three and a half days.

To anyone looking at using this yeast, my advice would be to make sure you rehydrate it at first use, then be sure to take advantage of using multiple generations. It won't go down into the mid-40s as easily as W-34/70, but if you pitch a lot it should be okay in the upper mid-40s. I usually warm up my lagers at the end of fermentation to help ensure they finish strong and don't have diacetyl.

Overall, I consider this yeast to be a winner. I wouldn't hesitate to use it or any other Saflager offering.
 

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Getting ready to try the s189 for the 1st time myself. Will be making a starter with two packs in a 2 1/2 gal starter for a 24 gal batch of a Cr Ale. If all tastes good will pitch slurry in a helles.
 

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Made the starter 3 hours ago. Used 2 packs in 2 1/2 gal starter. Already fermenting! Brewing on thursday!
 

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Brewed last night. split the active starter between five carboys. Airlock was already starting to push the water after only about 30 mins from shaking the wort to oxygenate. Will see how the ferment is progressing today after work. So far this fermentis dry yeast seems very fast at starting activity right out of the pouch!
 

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The weather in Utah right now is absolutely perfect for lagers, my garage is at a constant 50 degrees. I was doing some reading on the Fermentis website and there was a PDF that mapped out the yeast characteristics by strain. All the usual strains were there, but there was one that I've never seen or heard of. Apparently it's a dark lager strain suited to bock's. Denny provided a link to buy it from a smaller brewing company over on the Northern Brewer board, but other than that, I can't find any reviews on this stuff. Any help would be appreciated!

P.S. been lurking the board for a while now, you guys have helped me so much!
I used it [S-189] in several beers. It is not a lager yeast I liked. I used it in a low gravity lager and then in a hellesbock. I don't think that it needs to be used in anything dark exclusively. It was rather well attenuating in all-malt wort, with about 80-81% ADF in the maibock. I felt that the body was a little lacking and there was a rather subtle green apple ester that I didn't find appealing. In time that was reduced, and I needed gelatin to clarify as the suspended yeast was exceedingly bitter even in modest amounts. Beyond that, it was otherwise unobtrusive and fairly clean without much other ester contribution even in the 1.072 hellesbock.

Compared to 34/70, it was cleaner, but I have no issues with some ester profile in my lagers as long as it's not a fruit salad. I like the subtle contributions and complexity a little ester provides.

Sometimes I think the idea of a "clean" lager are overstated. It's not devoid of esters. There should be some esters, as that's what makes a complex beer. The "clean" should compared to a warm fermented ale, not to surgical grade perfection. Esters also play nicely with hops, e.g. Heady Topper, Stone, Lagunitas, Surly beers, which all use English style yeasts with hops.
 

Warrior

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I used it [S-189] in several beers. It is not a lager yeast I liked. I used it in a low gravity lager and then in a hellesbock. I don't think that it needs to be used in anything dark exclusively. It was rather well attenuating in all-malt wort, with about 80-81% ADF in the maibock. I felt that the body was a little lacking and there was a rather subtle green apple ester that I didn't find appealing. In time that was reduced, and I needed gelatin to clarify as the suspended yeast was exceedingly bitter even in modest amounts. Beyond that, it was otherwise unobtrusive and fairly clean without much other ester contribution even in the 1.072 hellesbock.

Compared to 34/70, it was cleaner, but I have no issues with some ester profile in my lagers as long as it's not a fruit salad. I like the subtle contributions and complexity a little ester provides.

Sometimes I think the idea of a "clean" lager are overstated. It's not devoid of esters. There should be some esters, as that's what makes a complex beer. The "clean" should compared to a warm fermented ale, not to surgical grade perfection. Esters also play nicely with hops, e.g. Heady Topper, Stone, Lagunitas, Surly beers, which all use English style yeasts with hops.
I will let you know what I tihnk of the yeast in about 5 weeks. Still slowly fermenting but most of the ferment is done after 9 days. Will move into the walk in to condition for two weeks before kegging. Will then condition in the keg about another two weeks. I've read where this yeast does better as second and third generations. Will be trying the 2nd gen in a helles followed by maybe a bock for third.
 

Warrior

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Been drinking the Cr Ale from this yeast for a couple of weeks now. As most lager yeast ferments it hit just the right flavor about 5 weeks after fermentation. I have a O-Fest 2nd gen from the Cr Ale and a Bock cold conditioning right now. Will see how they taste around Christmas time. This will be a true test to see how the malt flavors come through with this yeast.
 

Warrior

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Drinking the O-fest right now. Seems drier than I'd like it to be. Think I will try the 34/70 next. Want some more malt character than what the S-189 is producing.
 

tgolanos

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Glad I found this thread, had some good information. I just bought a bunch of stuff to brew with over the holidays but my LHBS was out of the other Saflager yeasts. I grabbed 2 packs of 189 to try out on a Bohemian Pils. I'm interested to see how it works.
 

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Subb'd.

I am trying an IPL with this strain. Will be posting the results in a couple of months.
 

tgolanos

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So I just pitched this yeast into a Munich Helles (didn't do a Bohemian like originally planned). After re-hydrating and priming it I actually had to move it to a larger jar because it was ready to start flowing out of my measuring cup. First time I've had to move a re-hydrated yeast since I started brewing!

Let's see how this goes...
 

Big Monk

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It's supposedly THE dry yeast for dark lagers.
 

Warrior

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Just tasted the Bock I made with the S189. Like the Fest I made drier than I like. Will try the 34/70 dry next time.
 

TheMadKing

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I'm currently fermenting a German Pils with this yeast, so I'll report back my results as well. I used 1 rehydrated pack in a 1.051 Pils, and it had a lag time of about 36 hours, which is longer than I like but not worrisome for a dry lager yeast.

I'm hoping for a dry hoppy pils, so we'll see how it goes.
 

Warrior

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I did make a Czech Pils with this strain and was very happy with it! If you looking for a crisp, clean but drier beer, this is the dry lager yeast to use. Just split my walk in cooler in to two rooms now. One for 52 deg Lager ferments and the other for 36 degree cold conditioning. Will be making another Czech Pils with the 189.
 
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