Increasing fermentation temperature? SO4

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Galena
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Increasing fermentation temperature? SO4

Post by Galena » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:15 am

I am about to start my first AG brew and having some quandaries about fermentation temperatures
I have been reading about diacetyl rests etc. I understand it is mainly for lager but John Palmer also suggest it can be useful for other reasons for ales.
I will be pitching rehydrated Safale SO4 which has a temperature range according to the data sheet of 15-20 deg, however having researched a little people suggest there is quite a difference fermenting at the lower end to the upper as far as flavours go, with more esthers, perhaps too many at the upper end.
I was thinking of doing 4 days at 17 degrees and then increasing 1 degree a day up tp 19 or 20 degrees and then leaving until 14 days?

Anyone have any knowledge, experience or advice they can share on this?

Thanks

Silver_Is_Money
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Re: Increasing fermentation temperature? SO4

Post by Silver_Is_Money » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:20 pm

I think you have a decent plan there. Don't be surprised if you perceive a wee hint of lactic tartness in the end though. It seems to be in the nature of S-04, at least in my experience.

Galena
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Re: Increasing fermentation temperature? SO4

Post by Galena » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:32 pm

Silver_Is_Money wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:20 pm
I think you have a decent plan there. Don't be surprised if you perceive a wee hint of lactic tartness in the end though. It seems to be in the nature of S-04, at least in my experience.
Thanks, the recipe called for SO4 so I guess it is what it is, having been reading up on making and propagating starters I was going to change it out for WLP002 but decided not to wait for the kit to arrive and will start with liquid yeast on my next one. This is a Hooky Clone so I am keen to develop and improve it if I can, yeast being one of the main areas for me to focus. I can't wait to taste it now, the wort was rather nice.

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Re: Increasing fermentation temperature? SO4

Post by orlando » Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:52 am

As it is an Ale, rather than a Lager and a British style of Beer at that, a little ester is desirable. However SO 4 is not known as a great thrower of esters so I see no reason for worrying at fermenting at 20 for the whole fermentation. Even if I have a yeast that likes or is better for lower temperatures there is an argument for starting at 20 and then lowering to the target. This gives the yeast a head start in keeping ahead of any stray bacteria, out competing for resources available.
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Kev888
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Re: Increasing fermentation temperature? SO4

Post by Kev888 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:00 pm

It goes from fairly clean to a bit more bready as you get towards 20c. But to my taste buds the slightly tart character doesn't come through much until you go warmer. A few people don't get on with its flavour then (or in fact even at any temperature), but it isn't even vaguely something that might be considered a fault in British beers, just a slightly different character and purely a matter of personal taste.

A lot of US forums struggle with that, as many of their brewers/drinkers are used to beer with somewhat less yeast-derived character (amongst other things) and so tend towards cooler fermentations generally, which is a context that might be worth keeping in mind if you read those. Much as homebrewing is tending towards some global similarity these days, there are still national variations and traditions in our beers styles. FWIW personally i would always ferment it at the top end of your range as a minimum or probably a few degrees more, say 22c, during the more vigorous stage of fermentation. Thats because I only really use it in British styles of Ale, and such flavours are appropriate there. A local micro even goes for 24c, though partly I suspect for speed.

But if that kind of thing isn't to your taste then keep it shy of about 19c and it should be fine, unless you happen to be one of those who just generally dislikes S04 in which case the cool end is about the best you'll manage short of changing to different yeast. Thats the joy of homebrewing of course, you can do things exactly how you like them. My suggestion would be to try it at different temperatures over a few brews before you settle on any, just to decide for yourself.
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Re: Increasing fermentation temperature? SO4

Post by Bad 'Ed » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:34 pm

I used S04 quite a lot at one point, it was my default yeast. I found it to be pretty middle of the road at everything and quite forgiving unless you ran it really hot. I pretty much always fermented between 17-20 and it always turned out well.

I suspect some recipes plumb for S04 because you don't need a special yeast. Just a generic English ale one.
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