I pitched about a cup of decanted starter S-04 slurry into a 1.061 OG American IPA 8 days ago at 65 degrees. The gravity has been stuck at about 1.028 since pitch day + 48 hours, when the krausen dropped see my other question here...

I have heard a few things since then, such as S-04 isn't meant to have a starter (even though I was trying to split one satchet between two 5 gallon batches), according to "Yeast" by White/Zainasheff, you can try to pitch champagne yeast to drop it further, and from some, that the beer is just 'done'.

The only other time I bottled a beer with this high of a finishing gravity I got bottle bombs. I obviously don't want that, and would like to be able to drink this IPA, as other than this bunk yeast, it is a pretty good beer (80% MO, 10% munich, 10% vienna) with some great hop additions.

Also, my hydrometer is about 2-3 points off, but I calibrated for this in my #'s above.

As it happens, I have another s-04 cake available, as this beers twin finished at about 1.017 (similar original gravity)

Questions- -can a beer finish this high and not have enough residual sugar to blow if bottled? -should I pitch champagne yeast, rack to the other yeast cake, bottle as-is, keg (to hopefully avoid bottle bombs...I have a few serving issues doing it this way though), or let it sit another week?

2 Answers 2


Yes, it certainly can finish that high depending on your recipe and technique. I have a bourbon vanilla imperial porter recipe that finishes in the 1.026-28 range. But it certainly won't hurt your beer to let it sit another week or so and see what happens.


If by twin, you mean the same wort batch so it has the same fermentability, I'd let it sit a while longer. I'd also consider bumping the temperature up a few degrees and give the carboy a swirl to try to rouse the yeast to get them to finish the job. I just had the same thing happen to me on a cider I'm trying and that got them going again.

  • similar wort, did separate mashes. (the twin had 2-row instead of MO, some biscuit, and a little less Munich). Tried rousing the yeast and brought ambient temp up from 62 to 66 degrees 2 days after I pitched, when I first noticed the krausen dropped. Saw some activity, but as pointed out in the other thread, it may have just been CO2 escaping due to the temp change.
    – Pietro
    Sep 24, 2012 at 16:40
  • definitely raise the temperature a little.
    – mdma
    Sep 24, 2012 at 16:42
  • raise it again, you mean? 70-72 degrees?
    – Pietro
    Sep 24, 2012 at 16:57
  • Whoops, sorry, I didn't look at the krausen question. But, yea, looking at a fact sheet for S-04, it's comfortable up to 75F. Referencing this question (homebrew.stackexchange.com/questions/6350/…), you shouldn't get too many issues, even if you raised it too much. But yea, I'd think 70 degrees would help it and shouldn't cause any yeast problems.
    – fire.eagle
    Sep 24, 2012 at 18:40
  • Should I rouse the yeast as well? I'm guessing since this strain flocs so tightly, I might need to actually disturb the cake on the bottom with a gravity theif or spoon, then rouse, with a temp raise. Will report back in a week.
    – Pietro
    Sep 24, 2012 at 18:52

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