Mangrove Jack's M54 Californian Lager Yeast best practices?

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ebbelwoi

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I've done a lot of reading about M54, and I've decided to give it a shot. Seems like some people have had consistent success with it, while others have not.

I'm doing a 10-liter batch of a Helles Export.
estimated OG: 1.052
targeted FG: 1.012
50/50 Maris Otter/Pilsner
mash temp: 63C, 145F
hops: Tettnanger at FWH, 30min, 5min
ambient temp: 16C, 61F
fermenter: HDPE tank

I've read that lag times can be long for M54. Should I rehydrate? Chill the wort overnight to below the usual fermentation temp? Make a starter even?

Any other thoughts?

Thanks.
 
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RM-MN

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Some people get too worried about lag time. The major possible problem is that a bacteria might get started before the yeast get well established and contribute an off flavor. Do good sanitation and it shouldn't be a problem, just be patient. I expect to see no airlock activity for 24 to 36 hours from pitching and have not had problems. I have not tried that exact yeast though.

At least one major manufacturer does not suggest rehydrating their yeast anymore. It seems that it can create as many problems as it can solve. I do try to chill below the usual fermentation temperature before pitching the yeast. That creates a little more lag but avoids any potential for off flavors by pitching too warm and having runaway temps from the yeast activity. Starters are not recommended for dry yeasts.
 

NTexBrewer

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Today, I brewed a 5.5 gallon batch of Cream Ale and used M54.

I used two packs of M54

I recently heard about Go-Ferm and its use for activating dry yeast. I used a flask with 500ml of 110 degree water on my stir plate spinning just fast enough to mix things well, ie no vortex. Spun the Go-Ferm for 15 minutes and then added the two packs of yeast for 15 minutes. I oxygenate my wort with oxygen 3/4 liters/min for 60 seconds.

I’ll update if using Go-FERM helps with the lag. I have some Airlock activity already but that may just be oxygen gassing off.

ebbelwoi, did you ever brew the beer? If so how was it, what was the attenuation, lag time etc.

326A5E5E-A331-47D2-9BB0-0A1266ACB6BD.jpeg
 
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ebbelwoi

ebbelwoi

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I've come close a couple of times, but still haven't gotten around to trying the M54. After seeing this about w34/70, especially the fermentation profile and sensory profile, I figured I might as well just go with that for my warm-fermented lagers:

 

NTexBrewer

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Giving an update.

brewed a cream ale, 5 gallon batch with 2 packs of M54. See above for how I rehydrated the yeast.

Recipe
52% 6-row
35% Pale Ale Malt 3.5 lovibond
13% flaked maze

1oz cluster 6.5 AA at 60 minutes
1 oz cluster 6.5AA at flameout

mashed at 152 but was probably more like 150
OG 1.048
FG 1.008
83.3% attenuation
5.25%

60 Seconds pure oxygen before pitching

Fermented at 69 degrees. I never had a lag which may be due to using GoFerm and rehydrating the yeast.

Fermented for 7 days and the cold crashed. Added gelatin and packaged on day 13.

Got third place for light lagers and ales in The Limbo Challenge.
I would say this yeast is best suited for a Cream Ale or Cali Common as it does give off some fruity esters.
 
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ebbelwoi

ebbelwoi

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Congrats on the results!

Actually, I got around to trying this about a week ago. I had about 2 liters of wort leftover, so I put it in a soda bottle and added 2.5g of M54. I had bubbles and airlock activity within a few hours, without any other additions or rehydration.

The main batch was fermented with w34/70, and is about finished at 6 days. The M54 nano-batch is on Day 5 and looks like it's going to need a little more time. Both were fermented around 65F.
 

hibitchka

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I read a lot here about M54 lag phase and I can tell you that my story is different. I brew my batch of Flekovska 13° which is famous Czech dark lager from Prague oldest brewery U Fleku build in 1499. Double Decoction mash. On Sunday night I pitched rehydrated M54 and used yeast nutrient. Right now after almost 48 hours at 18 °C it's almost finished. Only Kveik was faster then M54. I split batch to two fermentors. One with M54, second with Saflager S-189. It will be interesting to compare the differences.
 
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ebbelwoi

ebbelwoi

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I did a split batch of German Pils recently with S-189 and M54. My wife and I both strongly preferred the S-189 batch. Please post your results when they're ready!

@hibitchka, what was your pitch rate?
 

hibitchka

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I did a split batch of German Pils recently with S-189 and M54. My wife and I both strongly preferred the S-189 batch. Please post your results when they're ready!

@hibitchka, what was your pitch rate?
Batch was 23 litres and one sachet M54
 
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ebbelwoi

ebbelwoi

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Batch was 23 litres and one sachet M54
You said it was a split batch. Was the M54 batch about 11.5L then?

I've used M54 two or three times, both at about a 1g/L pitch rate, and haven't had lag problems.
 

Miraculix

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I have used or many times, usually without any problems, just dump it in at room temperature and all is good. However, use lager pitch rate, ie 2packs per 4gallons, otherwise you might get stuck fermentation at the end.
 

hibitchka

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You said it was a split batch. Was the M54 batch about 11.5L then?

I've used M54 two or three times, both at about a 1g/L pitch rate, and haven't had lag problems.
No, I have Brewzilla 65, for me the batch is around 50 litres. So I split it to two. One 23 L (M54), second 27 L (S-189). It means that my pitch rate (M54) is 0,43 g/L
 

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