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Mangrove Jacks M54 CA common

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brew703

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So I brewed a cali common on 10/15. In my previous post M54 took 52 hours to get going. Once going it fermented strong for 3.5 days then slowed. I've been fermenting between 64-67 degrees. I didnt notice any off smells. Matter of fact didnt really have much of an aroma compared to some other yeasts I've used. Funny how some experience different aromas than others.

Took a gravity sample yesterday and it's at 1.017 (started at 1.055 which i was a little over). So that puts it at 69.1% attenuation. Bear in mind i brewed a 3 gal batch and pitched almost a full pack (rehydrated).

What would be the main cause of low attenuation? My PH was a little on the low side at 4.9. Mash temp was 152.
 

brew703

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Gonna probably bottle this on Saturday. It has a nice compacted yeast cake. Thinking about brewing Sunday (A session PA) and just using this yeast cake instead of dumping.
Any foreseen problems doing that?
 

kanderj

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Sorry to resurrect an old thread but this seems like an appropriate place to post this query.

I have a problem with this yeast (possibly), or perhaps my process (I'm willing to admit) in that, despite everything going pretty well during the brew day and the fermentation, the beer is throwing a noticeable off-flavour. It's not unpleasant but it's more akin to a saison or Belgian pale than a CC or steam lager.

The flavour can best be described as nutty - hazelnut or perhaps like roasted chestnut. I wouldn't say it's phenolic but I would say it's belgian. I know this off-flavour is typically associated with oxidation but I don't have a particularly oxidative process and it was already present in the fermenting beer.

I followed a recipe I have used before but did not have enough crystal/amber, so I compromised and decided to see what happened if I went for something in between a CC and a steam lager. The beer hit all of its required parameters on Beersmith except for colour, for which it was off the scale, on the low side. I'd say it pours a deep gold or pale amber.

The beer fermented well (at a constant 18C / 64F) with about a 30% overpitch of Mangrove Jacks M54 CA, hydrated in sterile water about an hour before pitching. In fact it was a very vigorous fermentation that pushed a load of the yeast through the blow-off tube and into my sanitiser air lock.

I hit the expected FG of 1.012 and it has carbonated perfectly. The OG was in the 1.050-1.052 range.

I wonder if anyone can give me some pointers about what went wrong, please. I have some ideas:

- Going halfway between pale and light brown may have thrown some complex malt flavour compounds in there which increase the graininess but without the supporting malty backbone. I think this is the most likely reason?

- The vigourous fermentation might have caused the core of the beer to be fermenting at much higher than 18/64.

- The mess that the karusen made all over the inside of the fermenter and blow off tube might have led to extended contact time between fermenting beer and and dead, dried out yeast cells. The yeast has a distinct smell and perhaps contact with dry yeast can influence the taste of the beer.

Many thanks!
 

brew703

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I'm not going to be much help here but I did use this yeast once for a CC and it turned out horrible. The taste sucked. I still have about 12 beers left that I will dump.

From what I can remember the taste for me is similar to what you described. I think it had like a burn going down my throat. It just wasn't pleasant. It took 3 days for any signs of fermentation which I recall reading is normal for this yeast. I think maybe it's just the yeast. I opened a bottle about two months ago thinking maybe it mellowed but it didn't. I couldn't even bring myself to sample it after smelling first. The aroma was just awful.

Maybe yours will mellow some after a bit of conditioning. I've wanted to try some other MJ yeast but after this one I have a hard time pulling the trigger.
 

Miraculix

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I'm not going to be much help here but I did use this yeast once for a CC and it turned out horrible. The taste sucked. I still have about 12 beers left that I will dump.

From what I can remember the taste for me is similar to what you described. I think it had like a burn going down my throat. It just wasn't pleasant. It took 3 days for any signs of fermentation which I recall reading is normal for this yeast. I think maybe it's just the yeast. I opened a bottle about two months ago thinking maybe it mellowed but it didn't. I couldn't even bring myself to sample it after smelling first. The aroma was just awful.

Maybe yours will mellow some after a bit of conditioning. I've wanted to try some other MJ yeast but after this one I have a hard time pulling the trigger.
I brewed a lot with it and all beers turned out great. This yeast is meant to be fermented on the warmer side, 20c+ maybe this was the issue with you guys? Also never experienced a long lag with this yeast, don't know what you did wrong. Maybe you got bad packages?
 

Miraculix

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Sorry to resurrect an old thread but this seems like an appropriate place to post this query.

I have a problem with this yeast (possibly), or perhaps my process (I'm willing to admit) in that, despite everything going pretty well during the brew day and the fermentation, the beer is throwing a noticeable off-flavour. It's not unpleasant but it's more akin to a saison or Belgian pale than a CC or steam lager.

The flavour can best be described as nutty - hazelnut or perhaps like roasted chestnut. I wouldn't say it's phenolic but I would say it's belgian. I know this off-flavour is typically associated with oxidation but I don't have a particularly oxidative process and it was already present in the fermenting beer.

I followed a recipe I have used before but did not have enough crystal/amber, so I compromised and decided to see what happened if I went for something in between a CC and a steam lager. The beer hit all of its required parameters on Beersmith except for colour, for which it was off the scale, on the low side. I'd say it pours a deep gold or pale amber.

The beer fermented well (at a constant 18C / 64F) with about a 30% overpitch of Mangrove Jacks M54 CA, hydrated in sterile water about an hour before pitching. In fact it was a very vigorous fermentation that pushed a load of the yeast through the blow-off tube and into my sanitiser air lock.

I hit the expected FG of 1.012 and it has carbonated perfectly. The OG was in the 1.050-1.052 range.

I wonder if anyone can give me some pointers about what went wrong, please. I have some ideas:

- Going halfway between pale and light brown may have thrown some complex malt flavour compounds in there which increase the graininess but without the supporting malty backbone. I think this is the most likely reason?

- The vigourous fermentation might have caused the core of the beer to be fermenting at much higher than 18/64.

- The mess that the karusen made all over the inside of the fermenter and blow off tube might have led to extended contact time between fermenting beer and and dead, dried out yeast cells. The yeast has a distinct smell and perhaps contact with dry yeast can influence the taste of the beer.

Many thanks!
M54 does not throw of a phenolic flavour, sounds like a proper infection to me. Had the same thing once with 3470...
 

kanderj

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Thanks for your replies, guys. This is an odd one, because I'd say it still tastes good - not 'burny' (Brew703) or unpleasant in the way of some infections. If someone served it to me and said it was a Belgian blonde I would think it was rather good. It's not a CC/steam lager though! Perhaps infection could explain a thing or two, although it is perhaps unusual to only have one single, and potentially quite nice, flavour associated with infection? Perhaps I'm wrong. I'll have to see if any of the bottles rocket!

The mess the krausen made might explain be a clue? potentially creating infection points and going back into the beer once dried/dead? The fermenter was a state once I was done :)
 

Miraculix

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Thanks for your replies, guys. This is an odd one, because I'd say it still tastes good - not 'burny' (Brew703) or unpleasant in the way of some infections. If someone served it to me and said it was a Belgian blonde I would think it was rather good. It's not a CC/steam lager though! Perhaps infection could explain a thing or two, although it is perhaps unusual to only have one single, and potentially quite nice, flavour associated with infection? Perhaps I'm wrong. I'll have to see if any of the bottles rocket!

The mess the krausen made might explain be a clue? potentially creating infection points and going back into the beer once dried/dead? The fermenter was a state once I was done :)
My 3470 infection was also quite nice to drink, nutty and clove like flavour. Infections can also give great results! But not always.....

I do not think that the dried kräusen has anything to do with it though. Something got in there via other ways.
 

kanderj

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My 3470 infection was also quite nice to drink, nutty and clove like flavour. Infections can also give great results! But not always.....

I do not think that the dried kräusen has anything to do with it though. Something got in there via other ways.
Hmm, Ok, thanks very much for your thoughts. I think I need to invest in some PBW and ox-clean and start again! Switching to stainless may help too.
 

brew703

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I rehydrated and fermented within the range noted on the package. The yeast wasn't outdated. I definitely didn't get any Belgian type flavors or aromas and it surely wasn't infected. Not sure what happened. What I do know is I will not use the yeast again.
 

Miraculix

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I rehydrated and fermented within the range noted on the package. The yeast wasn't outdated. I definitely didn't get any Belgian type flavors or aromas and it surely wasn't infected. Not sure what happened. What I do know is I will not use the yeast again.
Did you use ro or distilled water for rehydration? If you did, you basically killed the yeast this way.
 

Miraculix

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No. Used tap water that was boiled then cooled to pitch temps. Same way i do it all the time.
Ok, that's good. Well, then I also don't have a clue. I heard that years ago, some of the mj yeasts would have had bad lag times, but some where just fine and nobody knew why. Maybe you just had one of the bad ones?

I brew now almost exclusively with mj yeast and used at least 5 packs of California lager in the last 6 or 7 batches I did and all of them turned out exceptionally well, given the fact that it is always warm fermented and a lager.

So I would just give it another try. It is just too convenient to have such a nice dry yeast.
 

corax

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I might be reading too much into a small sample size, but from reading HBT threads it seems like people in the US have worse experiences with MJ yeast in general than people in Europe or the Southern Hemisphere. Maybe the US importer is not being as careful with the product as we'd like them to be?
 

Miraculix

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I might be reading too much into a small sample size, but from reading HBT threads it seems like people in the US have worse experiences with MJ yeast in general than people in Europe or the Southern Hemisphere. Maybe the US importer is not being as careful with the product as we'd like them to be?
Yes, I thought the same.

They also went through a rebranding of their whole yeast collection they got, slightly improving some (according to them) and renaming and so on.... It might be that they became aware of the problem and solved it, whatever it was. After this rebranding process, I have not heard about bad packages anymore.
 

kanderj

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I rehydrated my yeast in exactly the same way as brew703.

Re the nutty flavour, What about my theory that adding half / 1/3 as much crystal as the recipe suggested has left me in a halfway house where some less desirable grain flavours came through without providing the malty backbone that a full charge of crystal would have produced? I seem to recall in Randy Mosher's 'Tasting Beer' he talks a bit about this - the idea that different flavours, rather than stronger/weaker concentrations of the same flavour, can be produced when different concentrations of ingredients are used.
 

InspectorJon

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I posted this in a different thread but some people may be following this thread that don't see that.

I was looking on the Mangrove Jack website and they say:

"As a result of the drying process, Mangrove Jack’s Craft Series dried yeasts are not suitable for harvesting and/or repitching. For best results, always use a fresh sachet of yeast with every brew."

Has anyone had trouble repitching this yeast? It is difficult to find at the LHBS and I'd rather not pay shipping. I found one pack with a good date. I will brew a 1.75 gallon California Common batch with it and then want to use that yeast to pitch a 3 gallon batch of Doppelbock. Anyone have experience reusing this yeast?
 

Miraculix

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I posted this in a different thread but some people may be following this thread that don't see that.

I was looking on the Mangrove Jack website and they say:

"As a result of the drying process, Mangrove Jack’s Craft Series dried yeasts are not suitable for harvesting and/or repitching. For best results, always use a fresh sachet of yeast with every brew."

Has anyone had trouble repitching this yeast? It is difficult to find at the LHBS and I'd rather not pay shipping. I found one pack with a good date. I will brew a 1.75 gallon California Common batch with it and then want to use that yeast to pitch a 3 gallon batch of Doppelbock. Anyone have experience reusing this yeast?
Well, I'd 2nd the answer from the other thread you got.
 

Chetbrews

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I brewed a 2.5 gallon batch close to a month ago and used the MJ54 yeast to make a warm fermented lager. pitched the whole packet of yeast dry into my fermenter at 67-68 degrees. After 4 days, i moved it upstairs to do a diacetyl rest for around 2 weeks around 70-72 degrees. Just tried the beer and it tastes just like a german hefeweizen. Has anyone else experienced this flavor with this yeast? I am 99% sure that I used the M54 california lager strain.
 

dmtaylor

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I brewed a 2.5 gallon batch close to a month ago and used the MJ54 yeast to make a warm fermented lager. pitched the whole packet of yeast dry into my fermenter at 67-68 degrees. After 4 days, i moved it upstairs to do a diacetyl rest for around 2 weeks around 70-72 degrees. Just tried the beer and it tastes just like a german hefeweizen. Has anyone else experienced this flavor with this yeast? I am 99% sure that I used the M54 california lager strain.
Sounds like contamination. Have you brewed a hefeweizen or Belgian with the same equipment in the past?
 

Chetbrews

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Sounds like contamination. Have you brewed a hefeweizen or Belgian with the same equipment in the past?
I haven't brewed a hefeweizen in over a year and ferment in stainless steel. I will start a deep clean to see what might be the culprit.
 
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