In defence of Safbrew S33 yeast

0001439_safbrew-s-33-115-gThere.  I’ve said it…

I used S33 on my latest oatmeal and coffee porter – and whilst it’s not displaying any Belgian craziness so far, it certainly did the job I asked it to:  i.e. taking a 1063 wort down to 1013 in under two weeks.

There are some things to be aware of, though, and these are things that I think helped me out a lot:

  • Don’t expect WLP001 or US-05 performance – you aren’t going to get to 1009.  It just ain’t going to happen
  • It won’t get below 1020 if the temperature is below 20C and certainly not if it fluctuates.  This yeast looks like it’ll stall out at the first opportunity, so cosset it and keep it comfy
  • Although I said it’s not Belgian crazy, it is estery.  I’ll report back further on that as the porter develops and ages
  • Don’t expect rapid flocculation: even though the bottles are looking clear, there’s still a certain cloudiness near the bottom.  You WILL need to cold condition for a while.  Even the corny keg is not clear yet (8 days later)
  • I have no plans to use this  yeast in anything other than “dark” strong beers.  Not IPAs, Not Bitters or anything else like that.  I am, however, very keen on putting it though it’s paces with stouts and maybe even fruit beers

So there you go.  Give S33 a whirl and see how you get on…I’d love to hear your experiences, so comments are welcome…

The Winter Wheat? @ErdingerWB – Dunkel

20150101_194311So that’s Christmas and New Year all done with, then.  Doesn’t last long, does it?  All that preparation, anticipation and expenditure…then, in the wink of an eye it’s gone.

Christmas never seems to depart with the same brash, bombastic and over-blown style that it arrives in…it just seems to slink away under the cover of new year to hunker down and dig in, to preparation for the full-frontal assault that it’ll steam-roller us with in 10 ten or so months time…

But hey, it was Christmas and I was too damn bone-idle (and busy) to blog…so now its my turn to blast out a great stack of reviews, ephemera and other assorted stuff and nonsense.

First off we’ll start with Erdinger Dunkel…and I confess it’s the first Dunkel I’ve ever tried, being a relative newcomer to the world of wheat.

Pouring a pleasant portery hue this looks quite inviting.  The head isn’t quite what it was with your standard wheat, but it’s sticks around for long enough.

I’d describe the carbonation as exuberant, but that’s in the style and is belchily entertaining.

On the nose, it’s pretty much like a standard wheat – soft rounded maltiness,with a little graininess and an overtone of more generously kilned malts; it’s nice and works well for me.

The taste is whopping great amounts of malt and sweetness with an excellent follow on of heavy cream and dark malts. There’s little in the way of bitterness (as expected) but which is good as it’d certainly get in the way of the excellent tasty creaminess and spice.

I reckon I prefer a more standard wheat bear, but that’s just a personal note and this really is an excellent beer all the same.  Very much recommended.