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Author Topic: Fermentis S-04. How quick is too quick?  (Read 3030 times)

Offline fakr

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Fermentis S-04. How quick is too quick?
« on: October 06, 2011, 07:56:29 PM »
it didn't look like my 1.084 OG IPA was fermenting at all for the first 24 hours, then over the next 24 hours the air lock bubbled like crazy, and then this evening stopped completely.  I took an SG from the spout and it's showing 1.040.

is this normal for this type of yeast?  

if fermentation stopped at 1.040, then it looks like I'm going to have to make a starter and pitch again as I don't want to drink beer that sweet.  I was expecting around 1.020 or so.
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Offline Richard

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Re: Fermentis S-04. How quick is too quick?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 08:04:15 PM »
S-04 is really fast - 3 days is normal, and I've seen less even with higher OG brews. Sounds like you're right on schedule.

My concern with your brew-day as described was that potentially the mash hadn't quite worked out. I would take a sample and taste it for sweetness, you may have ended up with a sizeable quantity of unfermentables in the wort. If it's heavy on maltotriose you may be stuck with what you got. I'd try rousing the yeast (give the carboy a damn good shaking) and see if anything picks up. It may just be that the yeast flocculated after its initial feeding frenzy. English yeast is extremely flocculant, and sometimes has issues with high OG beers without rousing.
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Offline fakr

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Re: Fermentis S-04. How quick is too quick?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 08:16:38 PM »
Thanks Richard, I will rouse the yeast.  I will note that while taking a SG from my hydrometer tube, the wort was still producing CO2. it was forming a head on the surface and I could see CO2 rising...so maybe I'll wait the 3 days before jumping to conclusions.

by the way, I mashed this time around using a big bag that held 12lbs snuggly.  probably not the most ideal as the grain probably didn't have a chance to really swim around in the water.  I did the same procedure with sparge water, and let it soak for another 10 minutes before removing it.

That will be the last time using that technique.  I just didn't want to use my mash tun without getting the proper shank and fitting for my ball valve. didn't want to chance my mash tun leaking.
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Offline Richard

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Re: Fermentis S-04. How quick is too quick?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 09:00:22 PM »
If it's only two days I'd wait a week and rouse daily - that's a real high OG, and the weather is getting on the cold side. Might have just been a cold day caused the yeast to floc.
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Offline fakr

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Re: Fermentis S-04. How quick is too quick?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 09:13:05 PM »
so a good shake daily for a week it is.

I think I'm going to try the Krausening technique in the secondary, to finish up fermentation and clean up the beer.  

I'm very excited about this beer and hope it turns out.
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Offline sdixon

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Re: Fermentis S-04. How quick is too quick?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2011, 09:50:26 PM »
Yeah, I just used S-04 for the first time and thought something was wrong when fermentation all but stopped after 3 days. It was my small beer I just brewed OG 1.040, after the 3 days 1.014. Wracked into secondary, but it's not really working anymore. Tasted ok though :-)
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Offline Richard

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Re: Fermentis S-04. How quick is too quick?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2011, 09:53:21 PM »
Good job :)

FYI many of us here don't bother with secondary unless you're racking onto fruit or aging for more than a couple of weeks; even dry-hopping in primary seems to work just fine. Otherwise it's just another carboy to clean.
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Bulk Aging: Silence of the Lambics (Pitched 13/05/2012).
Owed: JQ LSA x 1, Kyle Stout x 1 & IPA x 1.