Yeast: Saflager S-23 (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) Properties: This bottom fermenting yeast is originating from the VLB (Berlin) in Germany and is known under the code RH. The strain is used by Western European commercial breweries and has been reported to produce lagers with some fruity and estery notes. Sedimentation: high. Final gravity: medium.
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When prepared as a starter with wort, it works as well as liquid yeast if not better. I had vigorous fermentation in less than 24 hours at 50 degrees.
This yeast has consistently produced excellent results for me. And when it didn't work I can honestly say it was because of something I did wrong in the brewing process. I did a comparison with W32/70 using the same wort of OG1.047. S-23 had an FG of 1.013 while W32/70 finished lower at 1.010, and as such S-23 was a little maltier with "fruity and estery notes" making this yeast an excellent choice for Marzens, fest bier and Vienna lager. Personally I see no advantage of using more expensive liquid yeast for producing lagers of excellent quality.
I pitched 3 of these packets into a 1.035 Gravity wort for a starter and got a really strong reaction, doubled volume, pitched the other three in the finished wort along with the starter into 10 gallons of a DoppleBock. I had what I thought was an excellent fermentation for over 11 days until it settled out and I let the beer go another 25 days at 53 deg. F. I raised the temp each day after that time 3 deg. per day until I hit 65 deg. F. and let that go for one full day. I then crashed it to 33 deg. F and tested gravity, which was still 3 1/2 points off my final gravity assumptions of 1.013, I was still at a 1.042. Hmmm not sure if it was the yeast or something else?
Have enjoyed all brews sine I started 3 years ago.
Been using Saflager S-23 for about 15 years now. No blow off, always works. Only downside is wait time. I usually give it about 6 months after bottling, and it really improves after a year.