Yeast Comparison: Saflager W-34/70 vs. Saflager S-189
by Marshall Schott via Brulosophy
In general, lager beer is known for emphasizing malt and occasionally even hops while any yeast derived character is kept to a minimum. Over the years, various lager strains have been made commercially available to brewers, affording us the ability to tweak our beers to the specs we so desire. Noted by Fermentis as being the most popular lager strain in the world sourced from the famed Weihenstephaner Institute, Saflager W-34/70 is used by breweries the world over to craft delicious lager styles. It’s a strain I’ve developed quite a fondness for over the last few years, finding it to be incredibly versatile and easy to use. Perhaps due my affection for W-34/70 and otherwise biased tendency toward liquid yeast, I only recently heard of another dry lager yeast offering from Fermentis that goes by Saflager S-189.
According to the manufacturer, S-189 was sourced from the Hürlimann Brewery out of Zürich, Switzerland. Brewing a wide array of classic lager styles such as Helles, Festbier, and Bock, Hürlimann was founded in 1836 by Albert Hürlimann who, at least according to a mostly reliable source, led the world in the scientific study of yeast, a fact that made using S-189 all the more interesting to me. Would yeasts from different sources used to make similar styles of beer in different regions demonstrate differences in fermentation characteristics or potentially produce their own unique character?
To evaluate the differences between Saflager W-34/70 and Saflager S-189 lager yeasts when used to ferment a split batch of the same wort.
Since these were lager strains and I didn’t want anything getting in the way of the character each might impart, I decided to brew my simple Vienna Lager for this xBmt.
My Simple Vienna Lager
|Batch Size||Boil Time||IBU||SRM||Est. OG||Est. FG||ABV|
|5.5 gal||60 min||22.2 IBUs||9.7 SRM||1.053||1.012||5.3 %|
|Name||Cat.||OG Range||FG Range||IBU||SRM||Carb||ABV|
|Vienna Lager||7 A||1.048 – 1.055||1.01 – 1.014||18 – 30||9 – 15||2.5 – 3||4.7 – 5.5 %|
|Vienna Malt (Weyermann)||10 lbs||96.97|
|Pale Chocolate Malt||5 oz||3.03|
|Hallertauer Mittelfrueh||43 g||60 min||Boil||Pellet||3.7|
|Hallertauer Mittelfrueh||15 g||15 min||Boil||Pellet||3.7|
|SafLager German Lager (S-189)||DCL/Fermentis||73%||48°F – 56°F|
|Saflager Lager (W-34/70)||DCL/Fermentis||75%||48°F – 59°F|
|Mash In||150°F||60 min|
|Water Profile: Ca 75 | Mg 1 | Na 10 | SO4 84 | Cl 70 | pH 5.5|