Sleepy S-04 - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

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Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2010
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Hey all!:mug:

I wanted to post this in case there are any people who might have a similar situation and are worry worts (get it?).

I made an English Ale last night and managed, for the first time, to chill my wort down to 18C (64ishF) within 15 minutes of coming off the burner (WITHOUT a copper chiller!). I was psyched, aerated my wort ubber well and threw in my packet of S-04. I don't rehydrate it and always chuck it right in. I've made 3 batches of beer with S-04 and found that it usually takes off like a rocket within 5 hours or so. The starting temps of these beers were from 26-29C.

I woke up this morning, 9 hours after pitching to dead silence.

No bubbling.

No smell coming from the blow off valve.

No krausen.

Dead. Silence.

I checked the temp of my bucket and it was holding steady at 18C.

After looking online, I found out Safale recommends, when pitching dry, to pitch into wort over 20C. Deciding that these guys might know a thing or two about their own yeast, I turned on my electric carpet, warmed the brew up to 20-22C over the next 8 hours or so. I left the house at around 2:00pm, still nothing. Finally, I came back this evening at 5:00pm to slight bubbling and a more beer-ish smell coming out. After the show gets into full gear, I'll back off the temps and let it cruise back down to 16-18C to ferment.

Moral of the story: S-04 likes warmer temps for a start! (in my humble opinion). If it's slow to start and the temps are low, a slight nudge temp wise might help it.

Hope this helps!:rockin:


Well-Known Member
Sep 13, 2010
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Some people report slow starts with S-04 when used cold. For me, it was the opposite and I did pitch low (about 62-64F) and dry: 12 hours later, I was contemplating buying tube at the hardware store to put a blowoff on the carboy.

It really depends on how the yeast feel that day and how the stars are aligned, especially when using properly handled and packaged dry yeast.

In your case, I would try to drop the temperature as fast as possible though. S-04 is fruity even the low 60's, it's probably an ester bomb in the low 70's. When you pitch "hot" the fermentation temperature will tend to coast upwards more rapidly since the yeast are a lot more active, making temperature control even harder IMHO.