Not sure that I can discount anything, I'm befuddled over this. I've done three batches lately, the Maibock ale with MJ M44, an English Mild with S04, and a honey wheat porter with MJ Bavarian Wheat, in that order, all in different fermenters with the same water source. The English Mild came out fine. The honey wheat with MJ is giving that same off-flavor (although nowhere near as pronounced, but still noticeable), which I've read can also be caused by the stress of underpitching. I'm more likely to believe that MJ doesn't take well to direct pitching, over me having an infection for the first time ever in two separate fermenters that just so happen to be the first batches I've done with this yeast. At the same time I'm really not willing to buy the yeast again (their datasheets say it's not advisable to harvest their yeast) to give it another shot with rehydration.If you can discount the latter in your process, sounds like a bacterial infection. You also killed off roughly half your yeast in the process of pitching directly on the wort. I know a lot of brewers pitch dry yeast like this and make good enough beer this way but it's not exactly the best form for pitching a healthy, viable yeast count.
So 35 days after pitching M44 I bottled my 1.089 OG American Honey that FG 1.008. Tasting notes are AWESOME! Very clean complex. It has slight toffee and coffee. Honey is nice a subtle mouth feel is a little dry as you'd expect from the FG. So far I'm very impressed with this yeast in leu of the delayed start. I'll let you know in another month or so how they turn out fully carbed.
I have had the same experience with M44, as well as with other Mangrove yeast strains, they have a long lag time and are maybe not the healthiest from get go. I decided to take no chances with my latest brew of O.G. 1.051 and rehydrated 2 packs of M44, then pitched that into a 2 liter starter (1 day before brewday). When I pitched the yeast into the wort the day after, it took the yeast only 2 hours and 40 minutes to show the first bubble activity and few hours later (4-5 hours) it was bubbling in the most active manner. The shortest lag time I've experienced so far. This is gonna be the way I´ll treat my dry yeast from now on.No I don't tend to rehydrate, I read an article that said hydrating can wash off FAN. I acquired the yeast from farmhouse and they are usually always sold out so I assume it was quite fresh. Also I'm sure I over pitched with 2 packs @ 1.064 og.
Can you keep us posted please? I have a pack or two of this (and other dry yeast) in the fridge... so curious about dry but too afraid to use it, at least when i have a lhbs with really fresh white labs and imperial liquid down the road a bit.Re-resurrection of a zombie: fermented two identical grain bills of 1.054 wort with M44 in each. The first I pitched one pack dry sprinkled on top no O2. The second I pitched two packs rehydrated and hit it with ~30 sec O2. The first (dry pitch) showed signs of fermentation at ~30 hours. The second (rehydrated) showed sign of fermentation ~ 18 hours. I figure the first wort was slightly underpitched and the second slightly overpitched.