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piscator

Building a better Stout

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My first shot at Stout was with the SWOS premium refill done straight up as the recipe called for. Not bad, good in fact. Maybe a rating of 7.5 on a scale of 1-10 where ten is super. Here's the scoop.

Great flavor, medium carbonation. 1 tsp cane sugar for priming. PET 16oz bottles are rock hard and some have the bottom pushed out slightly (they stand up crooked) Almost black in color and cleared up nicely. Nice after-taste. Body is okay, but where it falls down for me is that it has none of that thick, silky texture going across the tongue that I so like in a stout.

This aspect I would like to improve. Is the Shillelagh Stout a better choice? Should I add some adjunct? Or some UME like creamy brown?

All suggestions are appreciated. Gotta go soon as this first batch Stout done to 10 of 16 remaining..

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I am assuming that all of these are done as extracts. Some of the issue may be over carbonation, IMO. Over carbing stouts can take away from the smoothness, which can happen, and seems did by the description of some of those bottles. Fixing extract Stout recipes for that creaminess can sometimes be difficult. You can try a few things like steeping some Quick Oats in a 1/2 gallon of water before boiling the water and adding the extracts. Other refill company's might offer what your looking for. Do some research, on amazon and other sites, where customers give feedback and see what people think of that specific recipe.

Also, different stouts have different mouth feel. An Oatmeal Stout is going to be much smoother than a Dry Stout. So make sure your making the recipe that fits the style you are looking for.

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+1 to what Drabbit said. What kind of commercial stout do you like? These days stouts come in a VERY wide variety. Oatmeal Stouts like DRabbit suggested are awesome and some of my favorites. Milk/Sweet Stouts will have even more of a creamy mouth feel. Take that commercial stout you like and start your search from there.

I love stouts and have brewed several. I have a few recipies that I can share with you. Just let me know what your looking for and I'll see if I can match you up with something. :stout:

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Malto dextrin or carapils can help. You can also use oats (as stated above) or flaked barley, but they need to be mashed with a base malt. Not much help to you if you don't want to try a partial mash. Some wheat malt extract might help.

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Over-carbonation may indeed be part of the answer. Next bottle, I'll pour down the middle of the mug instead of down the side and let it sit a bit. (that's hard to do).

With the Quick Oats, I assume skim off the quick oat residue? Or leave it in the wort?

The first batch was Mr. Beer refill (SWOS x2).

This is what I'd like to emulate. By Tamarack Brew Pub in Lakeside.

This has some kind of mouth feel. Nothing better.

Switchback Stout
A boastful body is the only way to describe our stout. Oats added to the grist in the mash tun accentuate the dark chocolate and caramel malts and provide smoothness by subduing the harsh and bitter characters of large amounts of roasted and black malts used to achieve the opaque color and complex character of the stout beer. Not to be taken lightly, our stout beer is bold and rich but oh so velvet smooth and further enhanced with a soft texture finish. Its Andra’s personal favorite! And she quality controls every batch.
Alcohol content approximately 6.0% abv


I don't expect to duplicate a real microbrewed recipe, just come as close as practical.

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piscator wrote:

Oats added to the grist in the mash tun ...

I don't expect to duplicate a real microbrewed recipe, just come as close as practical.

There are some things you just can't do with extracts alone. Mashing is no more difficult than steeping; you just do it longer and at more specified temperatures. For simplicity's sake, I'd try and find flaked/torrified oats and mash a quarter pound or so (for an MB size batch) with a pound of two row. The quick oats work just fine too, it's just an extra step because they need to be cooked first.

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oly wrote:

piscator wrote:

Oats added to the grist in the mash tun ...

I don't expect to duplicate a real microbrewed recipe, just come as close as practical.

There are some things you just can't do with extracts alone. Mashing is no more difficult than steeping; you just do it longer and at more specified temperatures. For simplicity's sake, I'd try and find flaked/torrified oats and mash a quarter pound or so (for an MB size batch) with a pound of two row. The quick oats work just fine too, it's just an extra step because they need to be cooked first.

This is probably where I'll go next. Steeping some quick oats and then using extracts for the rest.

If I understand correctly: a quarter pound (4oz) of something like Quaker oats, steeped in half gallon of water for half an hour or so. Then what?

How do I get down to the one-quart of water needed for the extract recipe? Filter off the oat residue or leave it in the wort? If I add a third can of HME or UME, what do you think? Another can of SWOS HME or a can of Creamy Brown UME?

By the way, pouring down the middle and letting the head fade helped, but more to go. Maybe an 8.0 rating now. Definitely cutting back the sugar to 3/4tsp next time.

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Oats have no diastatic power, so they will not convert themselves. They need to be mashed with a grain with enough diastatic power to convert itself, as well as starches from other grains. Without performing an actual mash, you will get starch from the oats which will remain in your beer, as well as some flavor and other components, but no fermentables.

I am not saying you can't steep the oats to accomplish what you want. Simply that I never have, so am unable to address that subject. There are some other members of this forum who have more knowledge of steeping unmalted grains, hopefully someone will chime in. Personally I don't much like the idea of starches remaining in the beer though, because they can provide a nutrition source for undesirable organisms.

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Try steeping 1/2 pound of Carapils or Crystal 10L for 30 minutes in a gallon of water 155F water before boiling it. If you're sure the beer has reached final gravity before you bottle it, using a bottle priming calculator should get you pretty close to the right Co2 volumes. Batch priming also gives you more consistent carbonation results since you get to gently stir the beer and sugar solution together to mix them really good before bottling.

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piscator wrote:

My first shot at Stout was with the SWOS premium refill done straight up as the recipe called for. Not bad, good in fact. Maybe a rating of 7.5 on a scale of 1-10 where ten is super. Here's the scoop.

Great flavor, medium carbonation. 1 tsp cane sugar for priming. PET 16oz bottles are rock hard and some have the bottom pushed out slightly (they stand up crooked) Almost black in color and cleared up nicely. Nice after-taste. Body is okay, but where it falls down for me is that it has none of that thick, silky texture going across the tongue that I so like in a stout.

I was in the same boat as you several months ago. Brewed up a Mr Beer stout recipe but found it lacking in both mouthfeel and taste. I ended up making several tweaks, but the best thing I did was to upgrade from the Fromunda included yeast to Safale US-05. That improved the taste immensely.

If you are wanting oatmeal, just follow the directions for "The Dubliner" that's the base recipe that I use for my stout. I also add 2 cups of Breiss Dark Malt Extract, and 2 cups of Dark Brown Sugar, and a bit of Dark Molasses. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

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bgthigfist wrote:

piscator wrote:

My first shot at Stout was with the SWOS premium refill done straight up as the recipe called for. Not bad, good in fact. Maybe a rating of 7.5 on a scale of 1-10 where ten is super. Here's the scoop.

Great flavor, medium carbonation. 1 tsp cane sugar for priming. PET 16oz bottles are rock hard and some have the bottom pushed out slightly (they stand up crooked) Almost black in color and cleared up nicely. Nice after-taste. Body is okay, but where it falls down for me is that it has none of that thick, silky texture going across the tongue that I so like in a stout.

I was in the same boat as you several months ago. Brewed up a Mr Beer stout recipe but found it lacking in both mouthfeel and taste. I ended up making several tweaks, but the best thing I did was to upgrade from the Fromunda included yeast to Safale US-05. That improved the taste immensely.

If you are wanting oatmeal, just follow the directions for "The Dubliner" that's the base recipe that I use for my stout. I also add 2 cups of Breiss Dark Malt Extract, and 2 cups of Dark Brown Sugar, and a bit of Dark Molasses. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Good find! :chug:
Here's the link: http://www.mrbeer.com/product-exec/product_id/774/nm/The_Dubliner_1

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USMCMatt wrote:

You should of used 04, not 05

Not necessarily. It depends on what you're looking for. US-05 is fine for an American stout. S-04 would be better for an English/Irish stout.

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I recently ordered supplies to try my first Irish Stout out but I ordered a lager yeast instead of the above mentioned US05 or US04 yeasts due to difficulties in keeping my home a consistent temperature. I chose a lager yeast (Saflager W-34/70 since the other was out of stock) so I could ferment it in my basement which never fluctuates... it is always 56 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do you think that would drastically affect the quality of my Irish Stout?

I don't mean to hijack this thread but I ask because my cowboy lager came out fine using the standard Mr.Beer yeast and isn't that more of an 'ale' yeast than lager?

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oly wrote:

Oats have no diastatic power, so they will not convert themselves. They need to be mashed with a grain with enough diastatic power to convert itself, as well as starches from other grains. Without performing an actual mash, you will get starch from the oats which will remain in your beer, as well as some flavor and other components, but no fermentables.

would steeping the oats in dissolved extract + hot water accomplish this?
if yes, what temp/amt of time would be best?

has anyone tried using quick oats?

im planning an oatmeal stout as well, and have been doing some research but have not found a consensus on the best way to use oats with extract based brews.
im using the Borg Brew Choc Oatmeal Stout thread as a general guideline (without the cocoa):
http://community.mrbeer.com/index.php?option=com_kunena&Itemid=124&func=view&catid=12&id=214021
The extract recipe (#2) suggests that a steep is ok, and does not call for using any base grains with the oats, nor does it call for adding any extract prior to steeping... can anyone clarify this?

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While you're correct, I suppose it's a matter of taste, I've had it both ways and the Irish always seemed like a better option to me if I was "building a better stout"

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Here is my stout recipe I'm fermenting now I hope it works.

This is a 5 gallon batch.

3.3 lbs of dark LME

3.0 lbs of amber DME

.5 lbs of black patent (steeped)

.5 pounds of chocolate malt (steeped)

1 oz Goldings (60 min)

1 oz Goldings (20 min)

WYEAST 1084

I am unsure at this moment how much sugar to use when I bottle prime. I will be using normal 12 oz glass bottles.

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bayside wrote:

oly wrote:

Oats have no diastatic power, so they will not convert themselves. They need to be mashed with a grain with enough diastatic power to convert itself, as well as starches from other grains. Without performing an actual mash, you will get starch from the oats which will remain in your beer, as well as some flavor and other components, but no fermentables.

would steeping the oats in dissolved extract + hot water accomplish this?
if yes, what temp/amt of time would be best?

No. The enzymes that convert starch to sugar are in the grain and wort, but are denatured by the boil that is performed prior to the wort being concentrated into extract.

has anyone tried using quick oats?

It looks like DRabbit has, but he may not be following this thread any longer.

The extract recipe (#2) suggests that a steep is ok, and does not call for using any base grains with the oats, nor does it call for adding any extract prior to steeping... can anyone clarify this?

Judging by the MB recipe you posted, it can be steeped, but without a mash it will leave unconverted starches in the beer. If MB's brewmaster thinks it's okay to steep, I would be inclined to respect their judgement.

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ToastedOats.jpg

Toasting Oats

Place oats on a cookie sheet in a thin layer. Toast at 325°F for 15-60 minutes turning every 5-10 minutes until desired level of toasting is acquired.

Untoasted oats have no toasted flavor.


Golden toasted oats have a nice biscuit/cracker flavor, tasting almost exactly like saltines (sans salt).


Darker toasted oats have a distinct biscuit/cracker flavor. Not quite a burnt flavor.


Place toasted oats in a brown paper bag and let rest for 2-14 days, allowing volatile chemicals and burnt smells/flavors to dissipate.

oats.jpg

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Are these oats just regular old oats like Quaker Oats or something you buy at the LHBS?

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You want to use regular old fashion oats (like the quaker in the round tube)

Don't ever use the quick or instant or the steel cut, and none of those irish oats in the metal container.

Old Fashion, Old Fashion, Old Fashion, Old Fashion Old Fashion :)

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oly wrote:

bgthigfist wrote:

piscator wrote:

My first shot at Stout was with the SWOS premium refill done straight up as the recipe called for. Not bad, good in fact. Maybe a rating of 7.5 on a scale of 1-10 where ten is super. Here's the scoop.

Great flavor, medium carbonation. 1 tsp cane sugar for priming. PET 16oz bottles are rock hard and some have the bottom pushed out slightly (they stand up crooked) Almost black in color and cleared up nicely. Nice after-taste. Body is okay, but where it falls down for me is that it has none of that thick, silky texture going across the tongue that I so like in a stout.

I was in the same boat as you several months ago. Brewed up a Mr Beer stout recipe but found it lacking in both mouthfeel and taste. I ended up making several tweaks, but the best thing I did was to upgrade from the Fromunda included yeast to Safale US-05. That improved the taste immensely.

If you are wanting oatmeal, just follow the directions for "The Dubliner" that's the base recipe that I use for my stout. I also add 2 cups of Breiss Dark Malt Extract, and 2 cups of Dark Brown Sugar, and a bit of Dark Molasses. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Good find! :chug:
Here's the link: http://www.mrbeer.com/product-exec/product_id/774/nm/The_Dubliner_1


Excellent! That's headed in the right direction. Dubliner, except for SWOS in place of the Irish variety. Another experiment in the making...

SWOS x 2
CB UME x 1
Safale US-05 (entire package)
2.75 cups boiled oats in hop sack for 7 min.
1/2 cup brown sugar
.6 tsp priming sugar.

My "weird" beer list is really growing lately. Going to be a fun summer. I'm putting an addition on the house and all this beer is going to be welcome come July and August.

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oly wrote:

The extract recipe (#2) suggests that a steep is ok, and does not call for using any base grains with the oats, nor does it call for adding any extract prior to steeping... can anyone clarify this?

Judging by the MB recipe you posted, it can be steeped, but without a mash it will leave unconverted starches in the beer. If MB's brewmaster thinks it's okay to steep, I would be inclined to respect their judgement.

the MR B recipe that was posted earlier actually called for a 5 minute boil for the oatmeal, rather than a steep.
What do unconverted starches do to a beer?
Do they cause off flavors, or poor texture, or??

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USMCMatt wrote:

You want to use regular old fashion oats (like the quaker in the round tube)

Don't ever use the quick or instant or the steel cut, and none of those irish oats in the metal container.

Old Fashion, Old Fashion, Old Fashion, Old Fashion Old Fashion :)

Conflict Alert!!!

Really appreciate all the discussion here. The quoted post above conflicts with an earlier post recommending quick oats. Please...why only the old fashioned, (so definitively stated)? Inquiring minds would like to know.

I just picked up a tube of quick oats, but can always take it back and exchange it on the next trip to town.

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bayside wrote:

oly wrote:

The extract recipe (#2) suggests that a steep is ok, and does not call for using any base grains with the oats, nor does it call for adding any extract prior to steeping... can anyone clarify this?

Judging by the MB recipe you posted, it can be steeped, but without a mash it will leave unconverted starches in the beer. If MB's brewmaster thinks it's okay to steep, I would be inclined to respect their judgement.

the MR B recipe that was posted earlier actually called for a 5 minute boil for the oatmeal, rather than a steep.
What do unconverted starches do to a beer?
Do they cause off flavors, or poor texture, or??


I remember reading somewhere that boiling starch actually converts them to fermentable sugars. Somehow breaking that polysaccharide molecule down into monosaccharide (glucose) units or dextrin.

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piscator wrote:

USMCMatt wrote:

You want to use regular old fashion oats (like the quaker in the round tube)

Don't ever use the quick or instant or the steel cut, and none of those irish oats in the metal container.

Old Fashion, Old Fashion, Old Fashion, Old Fashion Old Fashion :)

Conflict Alert!!!

Really appreciate all the discussion here. The quoted post above conflicts with an earlier post recommending quick oats. Please...why only the old fashioned, (so definitively stated)? Inquiring minds would like to know.

I just picked up a tube of quick oats, but can always take it back and exchange it on the next trip to town.

I meant that instant should never be used. you're ok with old fashion or quick but Quick Oats are just cut into smaller pieces than regular or "old fashion oats"

I've never tried the quick myself but always seem to read everywhere by people who do this all the time the old fashion seems to be the better bet and get more bang for the buck taste wise because they are larger or sometime like that.

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Dustin wrote:

Are these oats just regular old oats like Quaker Oats or something you buy at the LHBS?

Quaker Oats (not the quick oats) are the exact same thing you buy at LHBS. So it just depends on which one is more handy to buy.

The difference between quick oats and regular rolled oats is the thickness. Quick Oats are thinner and cook quicker that regular rolled oats. I have used both quick oats and LHBS bought rolled oats and have not noticed any difference in the two when it comes to brewing. I usually get my Oats at the LHBS just because no one in the family eats Oatmeal so for me it's the most convienant, but if you got them in your pantry already no sense in paying your LHBS for something you already have. :)

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Some observations:

I increased the water content in the kettle (not the keg) from 4 cups to 6 cups to better cover my rather thick "pancake" of quick-oats in the hop sack. After the water was boiling, I added in the hop sack and brought it to a boil once more.

Half the oats in the 18oz tube fit into the hop sack and that was about 2.75 cups rather than the 2 cups called for by the recipe. Also I boiled about 6-7 minutes, flipping the "pancake" several times. It is hard to leave things alone sometimes.

What came out of the hop sack during the boiling period was a milky fluid that gradually turned the water in the kettle light gray and tended to make a foamy head on the surface of the boiling water.

I did add 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar back into the plan because some reading on the subject of boiling starch to make dextrin indicated that having sugar in the mix helps convert polysaccarides (starch) to monosaccarides (dextrin) by acting as a catalyst during the boiling process. Note that the instructions say to remove the hop sack with the oats after adding and and mixing the brown sugar.

After adding in the three cans of extract, my wort contingent of the brew was about 2x larger than normal. Fortunately for me, tap water in winter in Montana comes out of the faucet at 40F, pre-refrigerated water, so to speak. I had filled the LBK above the 4.5 quart mark, and after adding the over-sized wort volume, the thermometer strip on the front read 66F. Good to go.

Filled it somewhat above the 8.5 mark and pitched the entire package of Safale US-05. Off and running.

It is now day four in the fermenting cabinet and the trub level is 2x what most premium (2x HME/UME) recipes show. Somewhat above the flat "standing" cavity, but well below spigot level. Smells delish.

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I just picked up some Coopers Stout that was on sale. Each can is 3.75 lbs of HME and was on sale for $10 plus shipping so I bought 2 cans. Each can is meant for a 5 gallon batch but I'm planning on splitting each can in half and then using some booster or dark DME as an additive for an LBK size batch.

Two questions for this stout discussion.

In order to improve body or moth feel can I add some lactose, say maybe 2 ozs?
Can I refrigerate or freeze the unused half can of HME until I can make a second batch?

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Why? 1 LBK is half a 5 gal. Why add booster or HME?
As far as the lactose, body? nah...sweetness yeppers. You want extra body? add some cara-whatever.
Can you freeze it? yeah, but why not just use cling wrap to cover the tops of the cans after you put a thin layer of cheap vodka on it?

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yankeedag wrote:

Why? 1 LBK is half a 5 gal. Why add booster or HME?
As far as the lactose, body? nah...sweetness yeppers. You want extra body? add some cara-whatever.
Can you freeze it? yeah, but why not just use cling wrap to cover the tops of the cans after you put a thin layer of cheap vodka on it?

Cara-whatever???

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yankeedag

thanks. Vodka sounds good for a seal and no lactouse. Just half the can should be fine for an LBK size batch. Going to start one tomorrow night.

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piscator wrote:

yankeedag wrote:

Why? 1 LBK is half a 5 gal. Why add booster or HME?
As far as the lactose, body? nah...sweetness yeppers. You want extra body? add some cara-whatever.
Can you freeze it? yeah, but why not just use cling wrap to cover the tops of the cans after you put a thin layer of cheap vodka on it?

Cara-whatever???

Carapills
Carahell
Carawhatever :huh:

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"bpgreen" post=243055 said:

USMCMatt wrote:

You should of used 04, not 05

Not necessarily. It depends on what you're looking for. US-05 is fine for an American stout. S-04 would be better for an English/Irish stout.

I made a couple of batches directly comparing the 04 and 05 yeasts, brewed the same day with the same ingredients otherwise.

I didn't like the 04 near as much, it took much longer to carbinate and the flavor seemed less intense. Maybe it's because I'm pushing the limits of the yeast with the ammount of fermentables I'm brewing? I'm now doing 2 cans HME, 2 cups DME, & 3 cups Brown Sugar. I have taken OG and FG measurements and I'm consistently hitting between 7 and 8% ABV.

I found the 05 to become fully carbinated by 2 weeks in the bottle and the 04 to need 4 to 6 weeks. It never quite hit the same level of carbination, but after the stout set in the glass for a bit after pouring, it tended to have a smoother mouthfeel, but some of the flavors seemed less pronounced.

I just prefer the 05.

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"bgthigfist" post=253316 said:

"bpgreen" post=243055 said:

USMCMatt wrote:

You should of used 04, not 05

Not necessarily. It depends on what you're looking for. US-05 is fine for an American stout. S-04 would be better for an English/Irish stout.

I made a couple of batches directly comparing the 04 and 05 yeasts, brewed the same day with the same ingredients otherwise.

I didn't like the 04 near as much, it took much longer to carbinate and the flavor seemed less intense. Maybe it's because I'm pushing the limits of the yeast with the ammount of fermentables I'm brewing? I'm now doing 2 cans HME, 2 cups DME, & 3 cups Brown Sugar. I have taken OG and FG measurements and I'm consistently hitting between 7 and 8% ABV.

I found the 05 to become fully carbinated by 2 weeks in the bottle and the 04 to need 4 to 6 weeks. It never quite hit the same level of carbination, but after the stout set in the glass for a bit after pouring, it tended to have a smoother mouthfeel, but some of the flavors seemed less pronounced.

I just prefer the 05.

I actually prefer US-05 to S-04, also. But for some beers, S-04 is better in terms of style. I've never seen much difference in carbonation between the two, but I tend to leave my beers at room temperature for a couple of months no matter what yeast I use, so I guess I wouldn't notice that one is finished after two weeks and one is finished after 4.

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