So, this isn’t a new idea – Chalie Papazian brings it up multiple times in his book The Complete Joy of Homebrewing Fourth Edition: Fully Revised and Updated, and Brülosphy has at least a half a dozen different posts about using SafLager 34/70 (http://www.fermentis.com/brewing/homebrewing/product-range/) at different temperatures. But when you first try it, it feels like you’ve unlocked some sort of crazy secret – I made a great tasting “lager” without any temperature control!
My first attempt at this was with a Blonde “Ale”. I decided to give 34/70 a try at ambient room temperature just to see what I ended up with. And the result was excellent. Instead of an ale pretending to be a lager, I had actually made something that was a lager. I haven’t done a side by side comparison like Brülosphy has http://brulosophy.com/2016/04/18/fermentation-temperature-pt-5-lager-yeast-saflager-3470-exbeeriment-results/ , but I can say that the end result was a good tasting beer. Did it pick up some “off” flavours? Nothing that was unpleasant 🙂 Which would you prefer – an ale pretending to be a lager, or a lager that was a little fruitier than normal?
For my lastest Blonde Ale I used US-05, and it’s a good tasting beer, but each time I taste it I keep wishing I’d used 34/70. I made the switch because the last batch spiked to 28C during fermentation (summer is approaching) so I figured I’d switch to something with a higher temperature tolerance. But nex time I’m going back to 34/70 and I’ll ferment under pressure in the storage area (19C).
Incidently the recipe was as basic as it gets: 2-row with a small dose of caramalt, about 1/2 oz Magnum during the boil, and a late addition of about an ounce of “noble” hops. I know that I’ll forever be tweaking this, but the constant will be 34/70.