3-yeast test: Mangrove M02, Lalvin 71b, Nottingham

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giuzep89

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Hey everyone,
I keep asking questions all over but haven't contributed enough myself. I decided to test 3 different yeasts to find out which one I like best to brew a simple apple cider. Here's some data.
- Juice from a local orchard, it's a mix of a few different apples, unfiltered and pasteurized, no additions.
- Original gravity 1.052
- Each yeast is used for 10 liters of juice
- Yeast 1: Mangrove Jack's M02 (4.3g)
- Yeast 2: Lalvin 71b (2.2g)
- Yeast 3: Lalbrew Nottingham (5g)
- 6.6g of pectinase in each carboy

I disinfected everything thoroughly, added the juice in the 3 carboys, oxygenated vigorously with a stirring wand on an electric drill, pitched yeast and added pectinase.
The yeasts started being active within a very short time, you could see them colonize the musts rapidly. I used the recommended pitching rates on every package, but i must say that with 2.2g per 10 liters the 71b is lagging behind compared to the other 2. But I'm not worried since it always picks up and works like a beast.
More updates and taste test later!
 

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Chalkyt

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It will be interesting to follow this. I am waiting for some preservative free commercial juice to arrive from Victoria where the growing conditions have been better than here in NSW (my apples are slow this year due to a cold summer and lots of rain). Plus my apples are somewhat waterlogged and a bit short on flavour, although I haven't checked the SG yet as they are ripening quite slowly. The juice will be 60% Pink Lady and 40% Granny Smith . I have used this blend in the past to produce a reasonable cider.

The plan is to compare the new Fermentis AS2 with Cote des Blancs with and my normal go-to S04.

Watch this space!
 
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giuzep89

giuzep89

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At some point I'll have to try the S04 as well. Heard great things about it almost everywhere.

Nutrient: I forgot to mention that I added 1.2g of Wyeast beer yeast nutrient in each carboy 24 hours after pitching the yeast. I use this blend because it's easy to find here in the Netherlands, and it's worked like a charm every time I used it

Update on fermentation: the 71b is producing a lot of sulfur smell. It never does when I use it, but I pitched "too much" in the past because of misreading the label. This time, using exactly what's recommended on the packet, it had a much longer lag phase and it also started smelling suphury. I'm not concerned at all since I know it'll go away, but to me this is a clear sign that 2.2g for 10 liters is too little. Whenever I used 5g for 10 liters I got a faster and cleaner fermentation without any sulphur smell
 
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giuzep89

giuzep89

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Preliminary results:
All three yeasts finished at 1.000. This is a quick taste test done while racking.

1) Lalvin 71b: this is my least favorite of the three. It's not too bad but it's quite dull both in aroma and flavor. Very smooth but as I understand, because it partly metabolizes malic acid, it has significantly reduced the acidity of the juice, and that made the resulting cider quite flat. The apple character is not that present, it's not just a matter of acidity. Probably won't be using it again.
2) Mangrove M02: tastes great, and after brewing several batches with it, it still doesn't disappoint. It always keeps a very fruity flavor, and it has a slight champagne-y note that makes a very rich and complex cider. It's a fantastic cider yeast in my opinion.
3) Nottingham: this is probably the winner of this round, at least according to my own personal taste. Although it finished dry like the other two, it has a sweet, almost nutty aroma to the nose and a round, full-bodied flavor which almost tastes like residual sweetness. Moreover, it has a somewhat creamier mouthfeel (but not too much) which I personally like in a cider. I wouldn't necessarily say it's better than Mangrove in all aspects, but based on this test, I like it a little better.

I'll probably post another update when trying the actual finished products, which is probably a more reliable test, but so far I'd say my favorite is the Nottingham, followed by Mangrove Jack's and Lalvin.
More to come!
 

Chalkyt

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Interesting... My juice turned up a few days ago so I have three equal samples comprising 2:1 Granny Smith: Pink Lady under way, each with a different yeast but the same pitching rates. Fermentation has started with S04, AS2, and Red Star (Cote de Blanc). So far the noticable differences after two days are that S04 has already taken off. C de B is starting but slowly, and AS2 has just started but so far only showing a bit of "sparkle" on the surface. The temperature is a more or less constant 13C - 15C.

So, I will watch your posts with interest. I also used Mangrove Jack M02 last year and was very happy with the result. I haven't used C de B or AS2 before so am comparing them with S04 as my "reference" yeast.
 
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giuzep89

giuzep89

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Interesting... My juice turned up a few days ago so I have three equal samples comprising 2:1 Granny Smith: Pink Lady under way, each with a different yeast but the same pitching rates. Fermentation has started with S04, AS2, and Red Star (Cote de Blanc). So far the noticable differences after two days are that S04 has already taken off. C de B is starting but slowly, and AS2 has just started but so far only showing a bit of "sparkle" on the surface. The temperature is a more or less constant 13C - 15C.

So, I will watch your posts with interest. I also used Mangrove Jack M02 last year and was very happy with the result. I haven't used C de B or AS2 before so am comparing them with S04 as my "reference" yeast.
I'd also like one day to pick and juice the apples myself, and also to try and ferment at a lower temperature as you're doing!
 

Chalkyt

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In my previous post I got the blend back to front. It is actually made up of 2 x Pink Lady to 1 x Granny Smith, not that it matters at this stage as I simply wanted the same blend across each of the three batches. I really can't rely on my apples for a consistent juice this year as the yield is quite poor, although I will make up a blend of whatever I get once I decide on the "best" yeast from the current "trials". The PL SG was 1.055 and the GS 1.048 which is pretty much what you would expect. The overall trial blend is 1.052 with an initial pH of 4.0 (now adjusted with malic acid down to 3.6 as I haven't used any sulphite for preservation). The original blend TA was 5g/L and now is 7g/L which seems to be about right.
 
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