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I brewed this 1064 OG recipe and used my reverse flow chiller to get it down to 74F (could have gone cooler, but my starter was at 76F or so). It fermented like nuts (over 1.5 gallons of krausen before I got the fermcap-s on it). The air temperature in the room the fermenter was in was about 70 or so, but my sensor indicated the beer got up to 77F. It's now sitting at a more comfortable 68F, but for the first 24 hours, the temperature was out of control due to (I presume) the heat of the massive fermentation.

Now that the excitement has died down (as well as most of the fermentation activity), what can I expect from this beer, flavor-wise? Does anyone have any experience with a S-04 or WLP007 or similar Engish ale yeast having it's initial flurry of activity just above the temperature range for the yeast?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I had something similar with an Oatmeal Stout I used S-04 with. I fermented it a bit warm (room and pitch temp), but the yeast went totally nuts during the first three days. Overall, it didn't seem to have much bad effect. There was a minor note of fruity/floral-ness that was introduced, which wasn't present in subsequent iterations of the beer, but it was barely noticeable if you weren't looking for it. Since your fermenting room is cooler than mine was, I'd guess that you're fine.

Of course, this is anecdote, so take it with a grain of salt.

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Yeah "fruity" will probably be the most noticeable off-flavor for warm S-04. –  Graham Jun 13 '12 at 12:50
    
I'm figuring I'm safe because this beer is so loaded with hops, nobody will be able to tell, hehe. –  Dale Jun 13 '12 at 22:53
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