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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Whitbread Ale Yeast

I just finished bottling my first brewing effort with a yeast I have not previously used.  The yeast in question is Safale s-04 which is billed as a dry version of the famed Whitbread Brewery's in-house strain of yeast.

Like other Fermentis products, this yeast goes to work quick.  Just dump the envelop in the fermentor and you will see noticeable activity within the hour.   A large head of yeast did not develop and after four days the yeast had dropped. On day eight I bottled.  The beer came out crystal clear.  The final gravity was 1004!  This yeast had fermented my beer nearly to water! Further, in spite of not forming a large yeast head, a very thick yeast cake had formed in the bottom of the fermentor.  I probably could have saved some for repitching.

The flavor is excellent.  It has a almost lager-like tartness with a pleasant grainy base. Obviously, it is light bodied but did not seem watery.  I look forward to drinking this once it is fully conditioned.

What may pose a problem for me is carbonation. I had decided that with this beer I would once again go the traditional route and not prime the beer before bottling.  Just bottle it and wait three months for it to carbonate and condition naturally.  However, with a final gravity of 1004, I worry that there is not enough fermentable material left for it to carbonate. I shall find out. I will either have an awesome Real Ale, or some great tasting flat beer.

Deer Reader, I shall keep you informed.

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