S-23, S-33, and T-58...

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FatDragon

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Pre-emptive tl;dr because I'm long-winded: With 1 pack of S-23, 2 of S-33, and 1 of T-58, how should I ferment two 20L buckets of 1.050 Vienna lager wort in a single fermentation chamber?

As the father of a toddler, I sometimes have to sneak in a brewday wherever I can. In that spirit, I started a wonky 24-hour brewday last night and I've started to realize I went in a bit underprepared. I did an overnight mash last night, sparged this morning, and I'll be boiling tonight. The brew is a double batch (40L) of ~1.050 wort, 7kg Vienna and 1kg Munich, intended to be a Vienna lager, more or less. Of course, I looked at my yeast this morning and realized I have exactly four packets, one S-23, two S-33, and one T-58, none of which are strains I've ever used and none of which is particularly fresh. I can't get any other yeast before it's time to pitch, so I'm stuck choosing from these three options.

I'll probably take a small portion of the wort and boil it separately for a couple minutes to create some mini-starters after rehydrating the yeast while I boil the rest of the wort tonight, so I'm not particularly worried about yeast health, though the pitch rate won't necessarily be optimal. However, I'm stressing a bit over what yeast strain/s to use. Both fermenters will be in the same chest freezer fermentation chamber so they'll be fermenting at the same temperature, and they'll have two weeks to ferment and go through a diacetyl rest, if necessary, before I leave them lagering for a month and a half while I'm out of the country. I'm not against using different strains in the different fermenters, but they'll need to work at the same temperatures.

If I think I can get away with it, I'd probably just split the pack of S-23 between the two fermenters, since it's supposed to be a lager and that's the lager yeast among the three (well, closest to a lager yeast, as it's reputed to ferment more like an ale yeast than most lager strains). However, I recognize that's a pretty massive underpitch. On the bright side, I'd be using a warm lager fermentation schedule, so half a pack per 20L isn't as bad as it would be at lower temperatures.

Neither S-33 nor T-58 has a particularly good reputation, and they don't really seem all that much like what I intend with a Vienna lager, but I'm willing to be adventurous. From some research, it sounds like T-58 might be a bit more amenable than S-33 to the warm-fermented lager schedule I would use if one batch uses S-23. S-33's low attenuation doesn't sound like it would give me the refreshing summer beer I'm going for, but then T-58's esters don't really sound like they'd hit the spot either.

So, in summation: HELP!
 
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Miraculix

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Sorry but cannot give you any info on the yeast as I have not used them. But I wanted to commend on your over night mash. I tried this twice with a weissbier, both have turned into Berliner weisse over night (they turned sour).

So if you like this, over night mash is great. If not, don't do it!
 

Miraculix

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Pre-emptive tl;dr because I'm long-winded: With 1 pack of S-23, 2 of S-33, and 1 of T-58, how should I ferment two 20L buckets of 1.050 Vienna lager wort in a single fermentation chamber?

As the father of a toddler, I sometimes have to sneak in a brewday wherever I can. In that spirit, I started a wonky 24-hour brewday last night and I've started to realize I went in a bit underprepared. I did an overnight mash last night, sparged this morning, and I'll be boiling tonight. The brew is a double batch (40L) of ~1.050 wort, 7kg Vienna and 1kg Munich, intended to be a Vienna lager, more or less. Of course, I looked at my yeast this morning and realized I have exactly four packets, one S-23, two S-33, and one T-58, none of which are strains I've ever used and none of which is particularly fresh. I can't get any other yeast before it's time to pitch, so I'm stuck choosing from these three options.

I'll probably take a small portion of the wort and boil it separately for a couple minutes to create some mini-starters after rehydrating the yeast while I boil the rest of the wort tonight, so I'm not particularly worried about yeast health, though the pitch rate won't necessarily be optimal. However, I'm stressing a bit over what yeast strain/s to use. Both fermenters will be in the same chest freezer fermentation chamber so they'll be fermenting at the same temperature, and they'll have two weeks to ferment and go through a diacetyl rest, if necessary, before I leave them lagering for a month and a half while I'm out of the country. I'm not against using different strains in the different fermenters, but they'll need to work at the same temperatures.

If I think I can get away with it, I'd probably just split the pack of S-23 between the two fermenters, since it's supposed to be a lager and that's the lager yeast among the three (well, closest to a lager yeast, as it's reputed to ferment more like an ale yeast than most lager strains). However, I recognize that's a pretty massive underpitch. On the bright side, I'd be using a warm lager fermentation schedule, so half a pack per 20L isn't as bad as it would be at lower temperatures.

Neither S-33 nor T-58 has a particularly good reputation, and they don't really seem all that much like what I intend with a Vienna lager, but I'm willing to be adventurous. From some research, it sounds like T-58 might be a bit more amenable than S-33 to the warm-fermented lager schedule I would use if one batch uses S-23. S-33's low attenuation doesn't sound like it would give me the refreshing summer beer I'm going for, but then T-58's esters don't really sound like they'd hit the spot either.

So, in summation: HELP!
One hint, check the warm fermented lager thread, people have used s23 there!
 

eric19312

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I’ve not used any of these yeasts. But you asked so here is what I’d do. S23 in one fermentor, warm ish lager. Do your vitality starter to get it a head start.

T58 in the other fermentor. Call it a Belgian. Boil up a half kilo or so of table sugar and add that to the fermentor, could even add the sugar in a couple days after pitching.
 
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FatDragon

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One hint, check the warm fermented lager thread, people have used s23 there!
I've read some of that, and the consensus seems to be that S-23 is a lager yeast that likes to be fermented almost like an ale yeast and is comparatively estery for a lager. I can deal with that, I think.

The overnight mash was insulated well enough that it never approached souring temperatures. The all-day sparge, on the other hand... If it ends up a bit sour, well, I like kettle sours...

I decided to go with one batch of 23 and one of 58, since it should play nicer with warm fermented lager temps, which are still a bit low for many ale yeasts.
 
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FatDragon

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I’ve not used any of these yeasts. But you asked so here is what I’d do. S23 in one fermentor, warm ish lager. Do your vitality starter to get it a head start.

T58 in the other fermentor. Call it a Belgian. Boil up a half kilo or so of table sugar and add that to the fermentor, could even add the sugar in a couple days after pitching.
Interesting idea with the sugar. I might give it a try. I'll think about it for a day or two before deciding.
 

Miraculix

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I've read some of that, and the consensus seems to be that S-23 is a lager yeast that likes to be fermented almost like an ale yeast and is comparatively estery for a lager. I can deal with that, I think.

The overnight mash was insulated well enough that it never approached souring temperatures. The all-day sparge, on the other hand... If it ends up a bit sour, well, I like kettle sours...

I decided to go with one batch of 23 and one of 58, since it should play nicer with warm fermented lager temps, which are still a bit low for many ale yeasts.
Ah, ok this should work. Mine wasn't insulated at all :D

But it was a happy mistake. The wheat beer finished a bit too sweet for my liking and now the tartness balances this really nicely.
 

thehaze

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I have not used S-23, but have used the other 2.

T-58: I have had relative success with T-58, which is fruity, but mostly peppery and spicy. It makes pleasent, albeit not very complex Belgian style beers. But works well at high temps. and also attenuates very well, if you treat it right. Ferments pretty fast, faster than US-05. Make sure to mash low ( the yeast provides quite a nice, full mouthfeel ) and use some plain sugar in the boil. You should be able to get attenuation over 75% and towards low 80%. From memory, I got 75% attenuation with 85% base malt and the rest were Crystal malts and some flaked whatever in a late summer brew and 81% again with a Dark Strong Ale, with a complex mix of lightly roasted malts and crystal malts. Sugar was used in both brews.

Downsides: powdery, bad flocculator, but sedimentaiton is OK, though a bit loose.

S-33: Low flocculating, low attenuating English yeast with a bit of mouthfeel. I mashed low and used sugar with this yeast and got around 68% attenuation. Works well in Pale ales and IPAs. Not very estery. Sedimentation in bottle is low. Ferments in 2-3 days. Just 2 months ago, I fermented a 4.6% Session IPA with this yeast and hopped with Motueka, Enigma, Idaho 7 and something else, I cannot recall, and it turned very well. Hazy, but good.

Both are rather unremarkable when compared with liquid yeast counterparts, but they do make beer. And I believe with the right grain bill, mash. temp, fermentation, hopping schedule?, etc. you can make delicious beers with these yeast. Not world class, but not dumpers either.
 
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couchsending

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They are all weird strains

T-58 has to be mashed really low in order to get it to attenuate. Your overnight mash might have worked in that respect. It’s really peppery in the mid 60s, a lot more fruit above 70.

Let us know how they turn out.
 

Northern_Brewer

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T-58 is a close cousin of S-33/Windsor, and can be regarded as a POF+ version of the latter, albeit not a very phenolic one by the standard of other POF+ yeasts. T-58 is certainly very active in biotransformation of hop flavours, I've not tested S-33/Windsor in that regard. They're all part of the Gallone Mixed group of yeasts, so they are not particularly related to either of the main two groups of brewing yeasts, they're closer to the baking yeasts and some distilling yeasts.
 
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FatDragon

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Let us know how they turn out.
I will if I remember to do so. These will be lagering for six weeks while I'm out of the country before going in bottles, so I doubt I'll be cracking the first bottle of either batch until the third week of August at the earliest. I'm not expecting great things, but I hope they'll turn out alright.

I still haven't done any sugar in the T-58 batch, but that's mostly because I was too busy to recall that I was even considering it. I think I'll go ahead with it tonight if I remember. There should be no great harm in adding it a bit late - it might even help since the temp was quite low the first few days of fermentation so a sugar addition might rouse the yeast if it got sleepy.

Oh, and as the vitality starters go, it was my first time doing them and almost certainly won't be the last. The T-58 one was crazy active. You could watch it churning for an hour or two before it slowed down a bit shortly before pitching. The S-23 one was a bit more easygoing, but it still had a constant krausen and produced a modest amount of CO2 - evidenced by the hiss if I tightened the lid on the spring water bottle it was in and then opened it a few minutes later - so it was alive too. I'll probably start them later in the future, though, so I can get the wort closer to fermentation temps before pitching. I tossed these ones in around 25C, though the ferm chamber did the rest of the job within a few hours, but I wonder if adding active yeast at that temperature might have been a bad idea.

Anyway, all concerns aside, it'll be beer, and with the huddled masses here starving for anything more flavorful than Tsingtao, I'm sure I can give it all away to friends and neighbors if it ends up undrinkable by my standards. Worst case scenario, we recently moved into a first-floor apartment with a yard so if it's truly undrinkable it'll provide good nutrition to our vegetable garden.
 

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S-23 is quite ester-y, but compliments darker malts well. I liked in in my warm-ish fermented amber lager. Started it at 58° and rose to 62° (or maybe it was 64°, can't remember off the top of my head) over the course of a week. Left it there for another week, gelatin fined, and kegged. It turned out very clear after a couple weeks spent lagering in the keg.
 
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FatDragon

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I went for it with a sugar addition to the T-58 batch a couple nights ago - a half kilo of cane sugar cooked with a cup of water and a sprinkling of di-ammonium phosphate as per the recipe from @SnickASaurusRex on the forums, probably around the 260-270 color range from the 36th post on that thread. I've been slowly ramping up the temperature from 12.5C on day one to 17C today, about half a degree a day. I'll probably bump it another half degree each day for the next few days to ensure the fermentation finishes and there's no diacetyl before dropping it down to 1C for six weeks of lagering while we're stateside. The adventure continues...
 
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FatDragon

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Ended up lagering for about nine weeks because my wife and I both had to hit the ground running when we came back from the States, and I made a classic newbie mistake. During the vacation, I left the new chest freezer ferm chamber plugged directly into the wall socket with the dial set to "refrigerate". I decided to skip the STC-1000 because one blip in the power grid (virtually guaranteed over a Wuhan summer) would turn off the STC and - by extension - the freezer. When I came back, the bottled beers that were chilling in the freezer had some frozen condensation on them, but the beer inside was completely unfrozen so I figured the same would be true of the fermenters.

Nope.

On bottling day (or should I say, bottling nap time - I had to get my bottling equipment cleaned and sanitized, two beers bottled, and then the equipment cleaned again during my son's nap time), I discovered that both batches were partially frozen. I'm currently using thick-walled plastic jerry cans with food-grade liners to ferment, so running warm water over the walls of the fermenters only thawed a small amount of the ice out, and nap time bottling meant I couldn't wait too long, so I ended up bottling two batches of Eisbier, 15-16 liters each for 21-22 liters in, so about 75-80% of my normal bottling volume. Granting that some of the alcohol was almost certainly left in the ice, each beer was probably bottled at about 15-20% stronger than I brewed it. Unfortunately, between the ice and my fermenters, I picked up a moderate amount of yeast into the bottling bucket on each batch, but we'll live with that. I gave the S-23 batch 130g of table sugar and the T-58 150g, both a bit more than I usually add but I wanted fairly high carbonation. Actually, with the lower volume, here's hoping that I didn't overprime them!

I haven't been doing hydrometer samples much lately, so I can't say anything about OGs, FGs, or ABV% for either beer. I didn't think to taste the S-23 batch out of the fermenter. I did taste the T-58 one with the added sugar a week or so into fermentation. It's definitely got a bit of Belgian character to it - the main thing I picked out was clove. I liked the uncarbed samples, so that's a good start. With summer still only slightly on the wane here, they should be carbed up enough to chill a sample bottle of each in a couple days for testing around Friday. I'll give my thoughts of the finished products, and decide whether or not to chuck the yeast cakes, when that happens.
 
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FatDragon

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Tried one of each over the weekend. Both had carbed up nicely.

The S-23 batch was . . . beer. If I had a checklist of itches that I want to scratch by drinking different kinds of beer - hoppiness, maltiness, roastiness, etc. - I'm not sure this one would check any of them off, unless I got generous and added 'carbonation' to the list. It's drinkable and inoffensive, but it has nothing going for it. I'll probably try squeezing a lemon into the next one or something to get a little character. On the bright side, drinking this makes me feel better about the blonde I made a few months ago with 50g of late lemondrop and a bit of osmanthus flowers. The blandness of this beer makes those light flavor contributions stand out a lot more in comparison.

On the other hand, the T-58 batch - which I'll remind anyone reading was dosed with half a kilo of homemade amber candi syrup (or something like it) a week into primary - is quite tasty. I've never gone in much for lighter Belgian beers: singles, Belgian blondes and ambers, etc. I was introduced to Belgian beer with a Chimay Blue and have a hard time justifying the price if I'm getting anything less than a tripel because there's often little difference in price between a wit and a quad here in China, so I want to get something memorable for my money. This beer, however, is making me rethink my position on lighter Belgian beers. Granted, with the ice concentration it's probably north of 6% so it's not a session beer, but the phenolic bite in a simple beer of moderate strength is really nice. It's not as dry and peppery as a saison, which I like but don't always want. It's just an easygoing beer, nicely fizzy, fairly well-balanced, and with enough phenols to give it a bit of character so that every sip makes me remember, "Oh yeah... I like that."
 
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