Safale S-04: The Versatile British Ale Yeast

Safale S-04 is a popular dry option for all types of beers from the British isles. It is known for its high tolerance, ranging from 9-11%. This makes it suitable for producing beers with a higher alcohol content.

One of the key factors to consider when using Safale S-04 is the fermentation temperature. It is recommended to keep the temperature between 15-20°C (59-68°F). This range is fairly standard for many yeasts. At this temperature, I have personally found that there is low discernable ester production, resulting in a cleaner flavor profile.

In terms of characteristics, Safale S-04 is a cold-tolerant and fast-acting yeast. It has a slightly lower attenuation compared to other yeasts like US-05, which means it does not fully ferment all available sugars. This results in a slightly sweeter finish in the .

One notable difference between Safale S-04 and US-05 is the flavor profile. Safale S-04 tends to be more fruity and minerally, especially when fermented at lower temperatures (58º F – 64º F). On the other hand, US-05 is known for its cleaner flavor profile, particularly when fermented at moderate ale temperatures (65º F – 69º F).

Another characteristic of Safale S-04 is its high flocculation, meaning it tends to settle quickly and produce beers with good clarity. However, it is worth noting that this yeast can also produce beers with unequal clarity, adding to its unique character.

In terms of aroma, Safale S-04 exhibits an earthy English character, which complements the fruity flavors. This combination of flavors and aromas makes it a popular choice for recreating traditional British beer styles.

Safale S-04 is a versatile and reliable dry yeast option for brewers looking to produce beers with a British influence. Its alcohol tolerance, fermentation temperature range, and unique flavor profile make it a favorite among homebrewers and professionals alike. Whether you're brewing a classic English ale or experimenting with your own recipe, Safale S-04 is a yeast that can deliver excellent results.

safale 04

What Is S04 Yeast Used For?

S-04 yeast, also known as SafAle S-04, is a popular dry yeast strain commonly used in the production of various types of beers, particularly those from the British Isles. This yeast strain is highly flocculant, meaning it has a strong tendency to clump together and settle at the bottom of the fermentation vessel, resulting in beers with a distinctively clear appearance.

The primary purpose of using S-04 yeast is to ferment the wort (unfermented beer) during the brewing process. As the yeast consumes the sugars in the wort, it produces alcohol and carbon dioxide, which are crucial for beer production.

Here are some key characteristics and uses of S-04 yeast:

1. Flocculation: S-04 yeast is highly flocculant, which means it forms compact clumps that quickly settle to the bottom of the fermentation vessel. This property makes it ideal for producing beers with excellent clarity.

2. Flavor profile: S-04 yeast imparts a slightly fruity and earthy English character to the beer. This unique flavor profile is highly desirable for brewing various traditional British beer styles, such as English ales, stouts, porters, and bitters.

3. Aroma: Along with its distinct flavors, S-04 yeast also contributes to the overall aroma of the beer. The earthy and fruity notes provided by this yeast strain can enhance the sensory experience of the finished beer.

4. Widely used: S-04 yeast is a favorite choice among brewers who aim to create authentic British-style beers. It is frequently used by both commercial and home brewers due to its reliable performance and ability to produce consistent results.

5. Versatility: While S-04 yeast is commonly associated with British beer styles, it can also be used to ferment other beer styles, such as American ales or certain Belgian beers. However, it is important to note that the resulting flavors may deviate from the intended characteristics of these styles.

S-04 yeast is highly regarded for its ability to produce beers with a clear appearance, as well as its unique fruity and earthy flavors. Whether you're brewing a classic British ale or experimenting with other beer styles, S-04 yeast can be a reliable choice to achieve the desired characteristics in your brew.


Safale S-04 is a highly versatile dry yeast that is widely favored for brewing various types of beers from the British Isles. It exhibits a remarkable alcohol tolerance of 9-11%, making it suitable for producing beers with moderate to high alcohol content.

One of the notable features of Safale S-04 is its fermentation range, which suggests an optimal temperature range of 15-20°C (59-68°F). At these temperatures, the yeast demonstrates low ester production, resulting in a clean and crisp flavor profile.

Compared to another popular dry yeast, US-05, Safale S-04 shows a slightly different behavior at different temperature ranges. At lower temperatures (58º F – 64º F), S-04 tends to attenuate less and produce more fruity and minerally notes, adding a unique character to the beer. On the other hand, US-05 is known for its cleanliness at moderate ale temperatures (65º F – 69º F).

When it comes to clarity, Safale S-04 is highly flocculant, meaning it settles and clears quickly, resulting in beers of unequalled clarity. The flavors of S-04 can be described as slightly fruity, with an earthy English character, while the aromas also exhibit similar characteristics.

Safale S-04 is a reliable and popular choice for brewers looking to create a wide range of British-style beers. Its cold-tolerance, fast fermentation, and unique flavor profile make it a favorite among homebrewers and professionals alike.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.