Mangrove Jack Belgian Ale yeast review.

Hi Brewers,

In my previous post I mentioned that I would review the entire range of Mangrove Jack's craft series yeasts. So here it is, the second yeast that I experimented in great detail 'MJ Begian Ale (M41)'. The reason it took me time to write this review is because a Belgian Quadruppel was conditioning for about 4 months.

(Image courtsey - Imake Ltd, Mangrove Jack's)
I used this yeast with 4 pilot batches of the following styles

  1. Belgian Single (Enkel/Patersbier)
  2. Belgian Dubbel
  3. Belgian Trippel
  4. Belgan Quadrupel
The OG of these beers ranged from 1.040 to a massive 1.110 depending on the style profile. Great attention was given to the recipe so that a predictable flavor profile could be achieved from the malts, while the yeast added its own uniqueness and complexity.

I. Krausen

This yeast produces krausen proportional to the grist of malts used, meaning more malts will result in a higher and bigger krausen. To give a clear idea, Belgian Enkel gave a krausen of not more than 1 cm thick while the Quadrupel gave an inch thick krausen. In most of the batches the krausen lasted for about 10-14 days with yeast rafts still afloat even after cold crash. Not a very flocculant strain but conditioning will definitely clear out the beer. I recommend a minimum of 2 weeks of cold conditioning to get good clarity in the beer.

II. Temperature range

This is the most important factor if you are fermenting a Belgian style ale. Some brewers prefer to steadily raise the temperature by 0.5-1C per day, others prefer to stress the yeast by fluctuating and following various high-low temperature regimes, while a few brewers like to keep steady fermentation temperatures. I have personally tried each of these methods with this M41 Belgian strain and I personally feel the first method (to raise 0.5-1C per day) worked out the best!
The company has suggested a range between 18 - 28C. For me 24C was the perfect fermentation temperature. I would recommend (for enkels and dubbels) pitch at 20C and then over a period of 4 days raise the temperature to 24C , hold it there till the end of fermentation. For higher abv Trippels and Quads, adequately pitch at 18C and over a period of 10 days raise the temperature to 24C. This will prevent formation of higher alcohols while retaining the spiciness and phenols from the yeast.

III. Apparent Attenuation

Depending on the grain bill and percentage of specialty malt used, the apparent attenuation was between 82 - 86%. Lower mash temperature will make the beer more fermentable.

IV. Primary Fermentation

For wort with OG less than 1.060, primary fermentation was completed within 8 days. For the Tripple it took a total of 12 days to get a stable FG. The Quadrupel had stuck fermentation on day 10 but it restarted soon after I gently shook the fermenter (I think I had underpitched the yeast) and was completed in 20 days with a stable FG.
Now coming to my favorite part "Yeast profile".
A balance between plenty of phenols and esters play a role to make the beers very interesting. Spicy notes will reassure you the true Belgian character of this yeast. For the Enkel and Dubbel I got hints of peaches and plums on the palate, in the Trippel I noticed cloves and pepper like flavor (not overwhelming, but definitely present). The Quadruppel after ageing for 4 months was very decent. Slight alcoholic warmth noticeable with raisin and dry dark fruit like flavors; enjoyable on a cold winter night!

V. Conditioning

Enkel and Dubbel can be served after 2-4 weeks of cold conditioning. Trippel and Quadrupel will require minimum 3 months of cellar conditioning (10-14C) to get the best profile. I would also recommend opening a bottle every 3-4 weeks to keep a check on how the beer is maturing.

Do let me know what you experience using this yeast! Always happy to compare notes. Cheers till next time!

8 comments:

  1. How does this yeast compare to the Safale T-58 yeast that we normally use for Belgian beers ?
    Any preferences ?
    From the description I assume that the Phenols are more prominent in Mangrove Jacks yeast as compared to Safale T58.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. M41 definitely has more phenols than T58, but the esters balance it out thus rounding up the flavour profile. With M41 its more of a subtle spiciness on the palate but a prominent aftertaste(eg. plums, peaches, raisin, dry fruit etc as I mentioned), while with T58 I noticed spicy notes upfront.
      In terms of alcohol tolerance, both yeasts could go head on.
      Preferences :
      Trappist style ales - M41
      Wit Beers - T58

      Delete
  2. Bought this strain from brewof at a discount price 299/-, used it in 8L wort, uptill 24 hour i don't see any activity in my airlock, is my yeast dead or is it slow.
    I am using DME=1.5 Kg, black malt = 100g, belgium candy sugar = 100g, og around 14brix, yeast = 1/2 pack

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Generally you should wait for 2 days. Stick a torch on the fermenter wall to see if any bubbles are rising up. If they are rising up, then there is some small leak somewhere, and hence the airlock doesn't bubble.

      But if there is nothing after 2 days, re-pitch.

      Delete
    2. Thank you @Sapan, will see it. And another question, if the yeast is not working, can i pitch another yeast like S-04, which i currently have.

      Delete
    3. Yes. If first pitch does not work please repitch with a different yeast. Should be fine. The flavors may be affected a bit, since S04 is not a Belgian yeast, but otherwise no harm in pitching different types of yeast.

      Delete
    4. @Sapan, just as you have said, there is a leak in my fermenter, i open it and found about 1/4 inch of krausen, transfer the whole thing in a 20 liter mineral water carboy and then i have some airlock activities. It seems that i don't need to repitch. The smell of the beer is also great (compare to S04) in just 2 days.

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

Please mention your email ID, if you have any queries, so I can contact you.