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Mangrove Jacks M54 CA common

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Phatwill

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Hey everyone, I'm looking for anyone with experience with Mangrove Jacks dry yeast, specifically California common M54. I made a starter to harvest some yeast to use again for my next brew session. Pitched at 68F about 12 hours ago. I see no activity at all, not even yeast floating. I'm wondering if this is typically for this strain? Using a pitch rate calculator, I should have 200 billion extra cells, so I don't think that's the problem. Any experience would be greatly appreciated. Cheers 🍺
 

Kampenken

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No activity in your starter? Ok, few things. I don't over build dry yeast, I would harvest, so don't have the full experience to reply you may be looking to hear. In my view, pitch temp was low, likely too low, but I don't want to generalize. When you typically rehydrate yeast you do that in 85-95F temp water. This may be the reason for a slow start. Next, are you using a stir plate, or periodically swirling? Finally, I'd let this go, if you have the time, for another 24-36hrs before worrying too much. Best of luck.
 
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Phatwill

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No activity in your starter? Ok, few things. I don't over build dry yeast, I would harvest, so don't have the full experience to reply you may be looking to hear. In my view, pitch temp was low, likely too low, but I don't want to generalize. When you typically rehydrate yeast you do that in 85-95F temp water. This may be the reason for a slow start. Next, are you using a stir plate, or periodically swirling? Finally, I'd let this go, if you have the time, for another 24-36hrs before worrying too much. Best of luck.
To clarify, my starter had no issues. I decanted over night and pulled it out of the frig at 6 hours prior to pitching in my fermentor. There was a lot of yeast in the flask, which is typical when I use this process. The yeast was maybe 1 degree different from the wort when pitched. It has been almost a full 24 hours and I see no signs of fermentation. I usually see full vigorous fermentations within 12 hours. My wort is only 1.052. So maybe I should have pitched rt off the stir plate. Not sure.
 
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Phatwill

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Dry yeast is best used without making a starter.
This is my usual method dry yeast or slurry. It saves me money and is a cleaner method for harvesting yeast for the next brew session. I usually see extremely quick and strong fermentations within 12 hours.
 

Kampenken

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To clarify, my starter had no issues. I decanted over night and pulled it out of the frig at 6 hours prior to pitching in my fermentor. There was a lot of yeast in the flask, which is typical when I use this process. The yeast was maybe 1 degree different from the wort when pitched. It has been almost a full 24 hours and I see no signs of fermentation. I usually see full vigorous fermentations within 12 hours. My wort is only 1.052. So maybe I should have pitched rt off the stir plate. Not sure.
Ok, so in the fermenter. I would be patient. Yeast can have their own time tables and surprise you. Leave it closed up and alone for 48-72hrs and I suspect by then it will be going. Let us know.
 

MyQuL

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I used this yeast in a pseudo Lager/steam beer and I didnt see any activity for about 3 days before it got going
 

atimmerman88

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I have a california common going now with M54 and also noticed the slow start. Took maybe 48hrs or so at 64 to get going.

It's throwing off some funky smells so I hope that's not a bad sign.
 

NothingRhymesWithCurtiss

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I have a california common going now with M54 and also noticed the slow start. Took maybe 48hrs or so at 64 to get going.

It's throwing off some funky smells so I hope that's not a bad sign.
Mine took off in less than 12 hours, but I agree on the funky smells. SWMBO said it smelled like "rotting grapefruit."

I made an all Nugget "Cal Common," (recipe here: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=594471) that was just bottled on Sunday. Initial thought is that it it's really close to Wyeast 2112, but I'll know better once it has bottle conditioned.
 

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I used the m54 yeast in a mexican cerveza with BE2, it took off after 12 hours or so. I left it to ferment for 9 days, then added 15g of citra dry hopped for 5 more days. Then I removed the hops, added finings let it sit for 3 days, fed 19 of the 21 liters into another fermenter, mixed with a hop tea of 15g of citra, 12g of galaxy, and 15g of Amarillo hops then moved that into a keg...I could have skipped the secondary part...force of habit. After 20+ days in the keg it has a strong citrus and fruitish smell without the expected bitterness from a such a strong hop profile beer. It is clear and carbonated at...I attempted...to 3.0. I like an everensce, spell check, beer. I used CO2 to carb it, and it was my first legged homebrew, so I usually bulk prime, but it seems about right. The wife and friends have no complaints and with an orange slice or drop of orange juice from an orange...it really makes the hop flavors explode. Truly best beer I have done so far. MJ mexican cerveza, m54 cali lager yeast, BE2 coopers, 21 liters, and the hops of your choice. Let the yeast clean up and your beer will always be drinkable...good...experiment and research until you find something that works. This is my 6th cerveza and 1st Mangrove Jacks. Very happy with it. Keep in mind I prefer American style chugging beer that is crisp and easy to drink. This meets that, but I was hoping my hops would replace the want or need for lime/orange, but like a blue moon the orange goes great with it.
 

mpolybius

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I brewed a California Common with M54 this weekend and also noticed the slow start. No activity in the first 24 hours and just now getting going after 36. I re-hydrated 30 min or so prior to pitching, cooled the wort to 65, oxygenated using pure oxygen, so I was surprised at the slow start. Either it's just a characteristic of this particular strain or there were low cell counts the in package. The expiration date was 12/2018 so it should have been plenty viable and bought from a reputable supplier.

The only thing I could think of was that Mangrove Jack's is a New Zealand company so I wonder if they have a production facility in the U.S. or if it is shipped from NZ which might affect the viability. It's the first yeast from Mangrove Jack's I've used so I don't have any other strain from them to compare it with.
 

appmy

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I re-hydrated 30 min or so prior to pitching, cooled the wort to 65, oxygenated using pure oxygen, so I was surprised at the slow start. Either it's just a characteristic of this particular strain or there were low cell counts the in package. The expiration date was 12/2018 so it should have been plenty viable and bought from a reputable supplier.
I just had the same exact experience. How did yours flocculate out? Mine stayed cloudy after 10+ days. After gelatin and 32 degrees it seemed to clear. Smells very fruity.
 

RM-MN

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I just had the same exact experience. How did yours flocculate out? Mine stayed cloudy after 10+ days. After gelatin and 32 degrees it seemed to clear. Smells very fruity.
What temperature did you let the beer ferment? Many strains will give a fruity odor if fermented too warm.
 

appmy

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What temperature did you let the beer ferment? Many strains will give a fruity odor if fermented too warm.
I pitched at 64 then up to 65 for the first 48 hours, then 67 for next week.
 

Weezy

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MJ in general is a notorious slow starter.

I finally gave this yeast a go last weekend. Got a session vienna lager going now. Ferm chamber at 64F for the first week. Going to raise it to 67 for week 2.
 

mpolybius

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I just had the same exact experience. How did yours flocculate out? Mine stayed cloudy after 10+ days. After gelatin and 32 degrees it seemed to clear. Smells very fruity.
No problem there with my batch that I recall. I used a secondary and cold crash but no gelatin. It's in the keg now and I had a couple over the weekend and it's quite clear. A nice flavor profile overall I would say. I kept it at 62F for the duration of the primary.
 

Lost_Arkitekt

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Yeah...I just pitched this last night at 74*F and dropped it down to 72 within a few hours and when I got up this morn, the swamp cooler (and cooler outside temps) had it down to 65*F. That's where I want to sit with it. Anyway, after 12+ hours, no activity. I rehydrated yeast and aerated the crap out of it (pump...not oxygen). This is my first MJ yeast, and out of a couple hundred batches of beer over the years, I've never had yeast take this long to get started. We'll see...
 

Lost_Arkitekt

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Update...24 hours and zero activity. Sometimes the blowoff tube will get stuck at the bottom and hold the CO2 in, and if I raise it, it will let out a bubble and keep going. Even did that, but nothing. I'm really hoping this gets started by tomorrow. If not, I'm throwing in something else so I don't lose the beer.
 

mpolybius

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Update...24 hours and zero activity. Sometimes the blowoff tube will get stuck at the bottom and hold the CO2 in, and if I raise it, it will let out a bubble and keep going. Even did that, but nothing. I'm really hoping this gets started by tomorrow. If not, I'm throwing in something else so I don't lose the beer.
Give it time - I think it will get going in the next 24 and in my experience it was the slowest start I've ever had. But the results were worth the pain. It turned into a wonderful Steam beer.
 

appmy

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It took mine about 40 hours to get going. The beer came out well, but not as I intended.

I was going for a clean Cream Ale or Steam beer, but it came slightly saison phenolic. I didn't like it but it went quickly because others loved it.

I won't be using M54 or any other MJ yeasts again. The lag times are too long for me, I don't like needlessly increasing my chances for infection when other better preforming yeasts are available.
 

Lost_Arkitekt

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It took mine about 40 hours to get going. The beer came out well, but not as I intended.

I was going for a clean Cream Ale or Steam beer, but it came slightly saison phenolic. I didn't like it but it went quickly because others loved it.
What temp were you fermenting at? I kicked it up to 65°F and it started going. Stayed around 66 to 67 for most of the time, now.

I also probably won't buy Mangrove Jack's Yeast again, either. I reached out to MJ, BrewCraft USA (distributor) and AIH (retailer) regarding this issue and no one responded. I have reached out to MJ and BC regarding MJ yeast before, and I've yet to get a response.

Good luck with your future brews!
 

Weezy

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It took mine about 40 hours to get going. The beer came out well, but not as I intended.

I was going for a clean Cream Ale or Steam beer, but it came slightly saison phenolic. I didn't like it but it went quickly because others loved it.

I won't be using M54 or any other MJ yeasts again. The lag times are too long for me, I don't like needlessly increasing my chances for infection when other better preforming yeasts are available.
Excessive phenolics is typically a result of lack of fermentation temperature control. Don't blame the test. I've used MJ a dozen times and never had a problem other than slow starts.

I froze the cal lager slurry but havent tried it as a second pitch yet.
 

appmy

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Excessive phenolics is typically a result of lack of fermentation temperature control. Don't blame the test. I've used MJ a dozen times and never had a problem other than slow starts.
I said slight, not excessive. I do temp control my fermentations, I pitched this yeast at 64F for 24 hours then let free rise and held at 66F (liquid temp not air temp).

The yeast was fine, but I think there are better options out there.
 

Weezy

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Well that's good rhen but, based on your experience, it sounds like 64 to 66 in one day is too high then. I didn't have that experience with 64 for a week. Again, don't blame the yeast.
 

Lost_Arkitekt

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Well that's good rhen but, based on your experience, it sounds like 64 to 66 in one day is too high then. I didn't have that experience with 64 for a week. Again, don't blame the yeast.
Ummm...I've been making beer for 25 years, and am a BJCP. Having a ramp of 2 degrees in a day is not going to give your beer phenolics...especially if most of the initial fermentation is gone. Or, unless the yeast is designed to give phenolics at that temp. Cut the dude some slack. He could have had bad yeast.

If it is made as a steam beer yeast, then 66 shouldn't give you any off flavors as that is right in the comfort zone of the yeast. I've brewed 2112 up to 72*F with no off flavors. Started at 66 and it worked its way up there, but still, 66 shouldn't give noticeable phenolics unless the yeast profile says that is a possibility, and I don't think the M54 does.
 

Weezy

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. Cut the dude some slack. He could have had bad yeast.
You missed the point, sweetchuck. He's categorically saying not to use MJ yeast because of one bad experience. That's not a fair statement to our fellow brewers on here; many of whom are here to learn.

It could be ferm temps, he could have underpitched, it could have been an old or bad batch of yeast. None of which was mentioned. All we got was use something else.
 

appmy

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It was not underpitched and MJ recommends 64-68F for M54.

The slow starts and long lag times are my concern, longer lag times increases the chance a wild yeast or bacteria will gain a foothold. Other yeasts get going for me in 12, 16, 20 hours...thus a better option for me.
 

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It was not underpitched and MJ recommends 64-68F for M54.
If it was an underpitch or not depends ofcourse on ones definition of underpitch.

Magrove Jack claims that M54 contains > 5*10^9 cells/g.
If you have a 5.5 gallons of 1.044 wort, pitch one packet (10g) of yeast, on the lows side of MG's density claim, you would pitch about 0.22 million cells / ml / degree plato.

Many would call that underpitch.
 

appmy

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I used two 10g packs, which at 5 billion cells per grams is still slightly less than ideal. That begs the question, what is the actual cell count in dry yeast. I have seen everything from 5 billion per gram all the way to 20 billion per gram.

Do you think it is safe to assume 20 billion per gram on Day 0, then use the calculators to estimate viability after that? It appears MJ uses the minimum of 5 billion per gram at the expiration date which is 2 years from production.

@ Weezy - Do you have a favorite MJ strain I should try? Have you used M54 before?
 

STMF

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I used two 10g packs, which at 5 billion cells per grams is still slightly less than ideal. That begs the question, what is the actual cell count in dry yeast. I have seen everything from 5 billion per gram all the way to 20 billion per gram.

Do you think it is safe to assume 20 billion per gram on Day 0, then use the calculators to estimate viability after that? It appears MJ uses the minimum of 5 billion per gram at the expiration date which is 2 years from production.
?
I would not consider two packs of 10g to be underpitch but it ofcourse depends. Three factors would be, yeast age, package storage and gravity of wort.

Like you say there are vastly diffrent numbers of how many cells are actually in a gram of dry yeast. I don't know but I think too many people take the highest number they have seen and go with that instead of the number that the yeast manufacturer publish.

I have not seen anywhere that MG claims, or suggests, that 5b/g is at the experation date. Even that would be impossible to claim since you have no idea how it was stored before you got it.
 

Weezy

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@ Weezy - Do you have a favorite MJ strain I should try? Have you used M54 before?
Sorry didn't see this earlier.

I brew 3 gallon batches so I feel very comfortable pitching single dry packs and hedging enough yeast to do the job. Even lagers.

I only used m54 once recently on a Vienna lager. Loved that beer and will use the yeast again.

My favorite is their cider yeast. I use it every year. 2.5 gallon batch.

Bavarian lager worked well too. No sulphur in two batches I've done with it. Nice malty and crisp beers.

I have a bohemian lager pack in the fridge but havent used it yet. Not sure what to use it on tbh.

I did a wheat wine with the Belgian wit. The beer was only o.k. (not the yeasts fault)

I've used Bavarian wheat on a hefe. Ir came our mite bananaey than I like burr worked fine.

I have not tried their British strains yet but vey much want to. it'd be nice to have fruity dry yeast on hand for milds add-ons a dryer one for scotch ales.

Never bothered with the West coast. I usually have us-05 slurry on hand.

I've used workhorse a couple times. It makes a good hard root beer but a lackluster beer imho. I don't see this yeast available anymore anyways.
Discontinued after the name changes?
 

Lost_Arkitekt

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So...my update. It took 36 hours (and I bumped temp 1*F) to get started, but it finished super quickly. Stayed between 64*F and 68*F.

I cold crashed for a couple days, added gelatin, waited two days, kegged and carbonated.

FUSEL HELL! This yeast rendered 10 gallons undrinkable...so bad it is like instant headache. I've been brewing for 25 years (on and off), and have NEVER had fusel alcohol...and if I did, it definitely wasn't this bad.

I contacted someone I know personally who owns a yeast company and they speculated three things for me...

1.) I didn't underpitch.
2.) Fermentation temps were perfect.
3.) There is no way that all things being equal I should have had this much fusel alcohol.

The only thing we all could come up with is that the yeast must have been pre-stressed before I used it. I MIGHT try MJ yeast again...but probably not. I got word that the distributor might not be carrying either the M54 yeast anymore or maybe not be distributing MJ at all. Either way...that doesn't give me much confidence.
 

Weezy

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sorry to hear it!

Did you hit your FG?

Fussels usually come from fermenting too warm, and overworking the yeast.
The fact that it finished fast supports that idea. But you said temp control was perfect so I don't know what it could be. If the pack was half dead you could get stressed yeast and fussels, but it shouldn't have finished so quickly.

What do you mean by 'prestressed'?
 

NothingRhymesWithCurtiss

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So...my update. It took 36 hours (and I bumped temp 1*F) to get started, but it finished super quickly. Stayed between 64*F and 68*F.

I cold crashed for a couple days, added gelatin, waited two days, kegged and carbonated.

FUSEL HELL! This yeast rendered 10 gallons undrinkable...so bad it is like instant headache. I've been brewing for 25 years (on and off), and have NEVER had fusel alcohol...and if I did, it definitely wasn't this bad.

I contacted someone I know personally who owns a yeast company and they speculated three things for me...

1.) I didn't underpitch.
2.) Fermentation temps were perfect.
3.) There is no way that all things being equal I should have had this much fusel alcohol.

The only thing we all could come up with is that the yeast must have been pre-stressed before I used it. I MIGHT try MJ yeast again...but probably not. I got word that the distributor might not be carrying either the M54 yeast anymore or maybe not be distributing MJ at all. Either way...that doesn't give me much confidence.
This is crazy to me. I wonder if you got a bad pack of yeast?

I did a few test batches with this at home (I typically use Wyeast 2112 for my Cal Common), since the small brewery I work at only uses dry yeast. No matter if I pitched a single pack of yeast into 5 gallons, or 12 packs of yeast into 60 gallons, it has performed well every time. Heck, I've even used slurry 3 times over before sacking up and buying new yeast.

My sympathies, man. Dumper batches definitely hurt the team.
 

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I brewed a cali common today and will be pitching this yeast. Do you pitch based in lagers or ales? I brewed a 3 gal batch.
 

brew703

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I'm at 52 hrs and just beginning to show signs of fermentation. I hit it with 90 sec pure oxygen and rehydrated with 1/2 tsp sugar. This yeast sure doesnt act like US05, notty or s04.
Unless this makes a damn great beer, I'll probably never use again.
 

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