Author Topic: RVA Manchester consistent low attentuation  (Read 1371 times)

Offline sbalovich

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RVA Manchester consistent low attentuation
« on: August 15, 2020, 02:54:43 pm »
So I did a search and didn't find any info on this so I thought I'd put it out there.  Is there anyone that has consistently used RVA Manchester and had decent attenuation.  By that I mean anything above about 71% AA?  I received a FedEx pack last year with two fresh 200B cell vials and immediately slanted a bunch.  The slants are very healthy. 

I then brewed a Bitter to get a feel for the yeast (i.e. low OG and simple at about 152 mash temp).  That got down to what was expected but just that... no further.  So I brewed a NEIPA OG of 1.058, Oxygenated with pure 02 and pitched 1/2 of the cake expecting a bit of an overpitch but not too bad.  taking what I had learned from the Bitter I mashed lower than normal for a NEIPA at 152 again.  I ended up having to krausen that beer to get it to a respectable FG of 1.016.  The RVA stopped at 1.024.  Period... like stopped.  I always pitch at 64 and keep it there for 48 hours then bump to 70 one degree each day.  I have a spike conical with glycol so I'm usually spot on with temp control.  I've dumped my yeast and started over from slant twice (very healthy slants) and still have the same issue.

I' have taken much pride in being able to control my fermentation variables in process control and never have I had to help a yeast forward like this one.  Just curious if anyone else has seen this with RVA.  I just had to Krausen a double IPA which after a week has stuck at 1.030 (three days) from 1.076.  When I use London III or Conan I invariably get 78% up to 85% from them every time. 

Once again just curious of others' experience with it and perhaps I'll be leaving this one to just Bitters.  It's a great flavor yeast... love the vanilla wafer flavor... but I don't like the higher FG.

Thanks in advance for info/experience!

Scott~
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Offline Bob357

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Re: RVA Manchester consistent low attentuation
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2020, 04:36:55 pm »
Sounds like my experience with Mangrove Jack's M15 Empire Ale yeast. It's attenuation rate is listed as 71 to 75%, but I consistently see 67% when using it, even with lower mash temperatures. The only way I've managed to get more out of it is by using simple sugars. I love it for bitters.
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: RVA Manchester consistent low attentuation
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2020, 04:53:33 pm »
Did you plate for singles before taking the culture to slant?  One should always plate for singles and pick the healthiest looking (large, round, dome-shaped, and creamy white) well-isolated colonies to ensure that one is not slanting petite mutants.  Petites have defective respiratory metabolic pathways.  You mentioned that you acquired the original yeast culture last year.  How old are the slants?

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: RVA Manchester consistent low attentuation
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2020, 05:03:57 pm »
Here is an example of what I am talking about.  The plate was streaked from 40ml of autoclaved 1.020 wort that was inoculated with the dregs from a bottle of Southern Tier IPA.  I selected the largest two colonies in the lower right-hand quadrant to slant.  Those colonies are almost guaranteed to be healthy clonal selections. 




Did you notice the lack of anything other than yeast?  That is a sign that a brewery has good quality control.  It does not always look that way.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2020, 05:06:22 pm by Saccharomyces »

Offline sbalovich

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Re: RVA Manchester consistent low attentuation
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2020, 05:12:14 pm »
Sounds like my experience with Mangrove Jack's M15 Empire Ale yeast. It's attenuation rate is listed as 71 to 75%, but I consistently see 67% when using it, even with lower mash temperatures. The only way I've managed to get more out of it is by using simple sugars. I love it for bitters.

I have been adding some dextrose lately to sort of provide what I thought was an insurance policy to get to my desired FG and that has helped in the simpler beers for sure.  Not much I can do though when it get's cranky and stops at .030 I suppose.  Not that I've had it stop like that with my Bitters though... They usually finish around .014 with RVA Man which is perfect for me.  I love this yeast for Bitters too... I'm certainly not giving up on it!  Thanks though... I'm starting to feel like perhaps it's not just me missing something.  :-)
"There are many ways to brew successfully, so don't be fooled into thinking there is only one way to do it.  The goal isn't to learn to brew like me; It's to use my experiences as an example so you can develop your own personal style on your system"-  Gordon Strong

Offline sbalovich

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Re: RVA Manchester consistent low attentuation
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2020, 05:23:53 pm »
Here is an example of what I am talking about.  The plate was streaked from 40ml of autoclaved 1.020 wort that was inoculated with the dregs from a bottle of Southern Tier IPA.  I selected the largest two colonies in the lower right-hand quadrant to slant.  Those colonies are almost guaranteed to be healthy clonal selections. 




Did you notice the lack of anything other than yeast?  That is a sign that a brewery has good quality control.  It does not always look that way.


This is fantastic information!  Thank you!  I've re-slanted the yeast once and I keep them on agar agar in autoclaved Mineral Oil in tubes.  So all in all the latest slants are about 5 months old in the fridge in the garage.  I brought up the latest crop about a month ago.  The slants stay at room temp until I see nice white creamy spreading then I add the Mineral Oil, cap them and store them. 


This, of course, doesn't mean I'm doing it right... I'll certainly be plating first from now on.  I really appreciate the information sharing.  I may be grabbing mutants.

For what it's worth I started seeing the low attenuation from the culture that came out of the original bottle on the second beer.  The first was a Bitter that got to where I'd expect it to.  I guess I need to get some more (up here to Alaska!) and give it another go because I really do like the yeast attributes other than the lower attenuation I've gotten.

Thanks again!

Scott~
"There are many ways to brew successfully, so don't be fooled into thinking there is only one way to do it.  The goal isn't to learn to brew like me; It's to use my experiences as an example so you can develop your own personal style on your system"-  Gordon Strong

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: RVA Manchester consistent low attentuation
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2020, 05:33:49 pm »
I used to religiously use a 4-quadrant streak for singles.  Now, I use a 3-way streak because I usually achieved good colony separation by the third overlapping streak.

Mineral oil is not necessary for slants.  It can help to extend the life of slants, but it is a pain in the backside.  A better practice for amateur brewers is to subculture a new master from an old master every six months to a year.  One can make working slants at the same time, but that can be a headache after the number of cultures in one's bank exceeds three or four.  I brewed once a month and had more than 12 cultures in my bank, so I would subculture a new master and then innoculate 20 to 40ml of autoclaved wort with yeast from the slant that was just subcultured.   Some strains will last more than a year on slant without subculturing.  Others need to be subcultured once every 6 months.  It is one of those things that one learns by working with different strains. I kept several cultures alive on slant for 10 years in my first bank.  However, that was a different period of time when pure cultures were much less readily available than they are today and many of the strains were brewery cultures that I isolated myself.  Today, for me, it does not pay to maintain strains that I can get from my LHBS.  I only maintain strains that are isolates from breweries or strains that I pay big dollars to obtain from culture collections.  For example, Lallemand is now charging $200.00 for two slants of one of the Siebel cultures. The NCYC charges more than $200 per culture on slant.  However, for me, yeast culturing and studying yeast is a major part of the hobby.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2020, 05:14:59 am by Saccharomyces »

Offline sbalovich

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Re: RVA Manchester consistent low attentuation
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2020, 05:37:04 pm »
I'll take note of that.  Now my obsessiveness has taken over and it's a research project.  I believe it's worth having more sent and determining a more thorough vetting procedure before I slant for sure.  I really appreciate the info!

S~
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Offline sbalovich

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Re: RVA Manchester consistent low attentuation
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2020, 06:37:38 pm »
I used to religiously use a 4-quadrant streak for singles.  Now, I use a 3-way streak because I usually achieved good colony separation by the third overlapping streak.

Mineral oil is not necessary for slants.  It can help to extend the life of slants, but it is a pain in the backside.  A better practice for amateur brewers is to subculture a new master from an old master every six months to a year.  One can make working slants at the same time, but that can be a headache after the number of cultures in one's bank exceeds three or four.  I brewed once a month and had more than 12 cultures in my bank, so I would subculture a new master and then innoculate 20 to 40ml of autoclaved wort with yeast from the slant that was just subcultured.   Some strains will last more than a year on slant without subculturing.  Others need to be subcultured once every 6 months.  It is one of those things that one learns by working with different strains. I keep several cultures alive on slant for 10 years in my first bank.  However, that was different period of time when pure cultures were much less readily available than they are today and many of the strains were brewery cultures that I isolated myself.  Today, for me, it does not pay to maintain strains that I can get from my LHBS.  I only maintain strains that are isolates from breweries or strains that I pay big dollars to obtain from culture collections.  For example, Lallemand is now charging $200.00 for two slants of one of the Siebel cultures. The NCYC charges more than $200 per culture on slant.  However, for me, yeast culturing and studying yeast is a major part of the hobby.

That makes total sense and I'm quite sure it will become more of a part of my hobby now as I value more pure cultures.  As you may imagine getting that RVA strain here in AK direct from the folks at RVA in Virginia was not cheap considering it was summer and the distance.  However I really was intrigued by the different boddington strains that were supposedly available.  I grabbed a few more of their more interesting strains too and I didn't want to simply keep them in Mason jars. I've got a few PC strains and vault strains in tubes now and I simply don't maintain stuff, like you mentioned, that I can get easily from Seattle to here. 

Oh and the Mineral oil is totally a PITA.  I wholly agree.  Hey thanks again for all of the fantastic information... it all really makes a lot of sense.  This really helps me!

S~
« Last Edit: August 15, 2020, 09:49:35 pm by sbalovich »
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: RVA Manchester consistent low attentuation
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2020, 05:40:26 am »
That makes total sense and I'm quite sure it will become more of a part of my hobby now as I value more pure cultures.  As you may imagine getting that RVA strain here in AK direct from the folks at RVA in Virginia was not cheap considering it was summer and the distance.  However I really was intrigued by the different boddington strains that were supposedly available.  I grabbed a few more of their more interesting strains too and I didn't want to simply keep them in Mason jars. I've got a few PC strains and vault strains in tubes now and I simply don't maintain stuff, like you mentioned, that I can get easily from Seattle to here. 

Oh and the Mineral oil is totally a PITA.  I wholly agree.  Hey thanks again for all of the fantastic information... it all really makes a lot of sense.  This really helps me!

S~

While RVA may be a newcomer in the yeast propagation world, all of the strains on that list have been available from one or both of the major yeast propagators for years. For example, the Manchester strain is Wyeast 1318. Personally, unless a new propagator has a unique strain, I stick with one of the major players. A lot of yeast propagators have come and gone since I started t brew in 1993. Wyeast and White Labs have stood the test of time for a reason.

I am waiting for RVA to receive a cease and desist order from one of breweries named in their catalog. One may propagate a brewery’s yeast culture, but one cannot profit from its name. The inclusion of brewery names tells me that whoever owns RVA is either young or inexperienced when it comes to intellectual property. That is a trademark infringement. It is the reason why the big two do not include the source of a strain without permission.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: RVA Manchester consistent low attentuation
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2020, 08:24:20 am »
Sounds like my experience with Mangrove Jack's M15 Empire Ale yeast. It's attenuation rate is listed as 71 to 75%, but I consistently see 67% when using it, even with lower mash temperatures. The only way I've managed to get more out of it is by using simple sugars. I love it for bitters.

+1

It looks to me like RVA borrowed most of their strains from White Labs, and a few from Wyeast.  Liquid strains that likewise consistently quit attenuating "early" often in the 64-69% attenuation range similar to M15 include WLP002 and WY1968.  The latter two are touted as Fullers strains but some folks out there have serious doubts. 

Citation of any brewery of origin based solely on Kristen England's ancient listing on MrMalty.com is largely questionable.  I don't include source breweries on my own enhanced and constantly maintained list.  Using that old data for marketing is of course very unwise for multiple reasons.

I can't be sure why the OP is getting attenuation consistent with those two strains WLP002 and WY1968. as it's obvious RVA borrowed from one of those for a different product RVA 131 Chiswick.  Other ideas:

Has calibration of hydrometers and mash thermometers been checked recently?!  Worth consideration.

Or how about mash pH?  Try mashing at 5.6 instead of 5.3-5.4.  Lots of debate out there currently whether the ancient texts were specifying optimal mash pH as measured at room temp vs. at mash temp.  There is a real difference in pH between temperatures of approximately 0.20-0.25.

Pitch rate in my experience is overemphasized and doesn't affect attenuation as often feared, i.e., I'm confident pitch rate isn't the problem.

Could also be a mixup in labeling of the slant, maybe the OP received RVA 131 instead of 132 Manchester.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2020, 08:27:41 am by dmtaylor »
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: RVA Manchester consistent low attentuation
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2020, 09:09:36 am »
Could also be a mixup in labeling of the slant, maybe the OP received RVA 131 instead of 132 Manchester.

It could also be how RVA is propagating.  How long are they propagating a yeast culture before going back and growing a new seed culture?  How are their seed stocks being maintained? Where are they selecting their cultures for shipment with respect to the yeast cake?  Strains mutate over time.  That is why I always plate for singles when slanting from a liquid culture. It is a bottleneck that eliminates poor performing yeast cells from the culture.

Offline sbalovich

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Re: RVA Manchester consistent low attentuation
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2020, 10:02:12 am »
Great discussion!  I can tell you that I had to wait a bit before RVA sent me my yeast as, going back through the email chain, they had to grow up yeast specifically for my order.  I did order a few other strains though for what it's worth.  So, if they did happen to grow the Manchester for me I'm speculating it was from seed culture.  Maybe that wasn't the culture they needed to grow though as 132 is a popular yeast.

I consistently check my gear and Dave I agree with you that is always good to check.  As a matter of fact I initially suspected mis-calibration.  Two things that discount that in my mind is that I brew with other yeasts and don't have that issue and the other is I calibrate my digital PH meter, hydrometer and digital refractometer pretty often.  I also have analog backups for the refractometer to compare.  I have an electric HERMS system that watches mash temp (into and out of the tun) and I also have a thermapen that I double check with. 

PH now... that is interesting.  I consistently craft my water to have a mash PH of 5.2'ish for my NEIPA's and the Bitters that I've done (which attenuated to what I expected) the mash PH was higher.  Gears are turning on that suggestion now.  :-)

As for the control of the bottles I received from RVA absolutely I could have 131.  Totally possible.  After all the great info in this thread I'm going to reach out to RVA and see if I can't get some more bottles as I'm really interested in their local cultures too.  I'll be incredibly controlled in the processing of my slants with this batch and document everything well.  I spoke with Mike Tonsmeire (Sapwood Cellars) via email, (he's been incredibly helpful!) and he and Scott use RVA Manchester as a house yeast and they don't seem to have any attenuation issues.  This might speak to a process variable on my part or perhaps I've propagated a mutant strain.  Either way... I'm going at it again with more meticulousness!

Thanks for the great discussion!  I'll certainly post back here with my results.

S~
« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 10:06:03 am by sbalovich »
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Offline eriksimoes80

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Re: RVA Manchester consistent low attentuation
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2020, 09:58:58 am »
Here is an example of what I am talking about.  The plate was streaked from 40ml of autoclaved 1.020 wort that was inoculated with the dregs from a bottle of Southern Tier IPA.  I selected the largest two colonies in the lower right-hand quadrant to slant.  Those colonies are almost guaranteed to be healthy clonal selections. 




Did you notice the lack of anything other than yeast?  That is a sign that a brewery has good quality control.  It does not always look that way.

Amazing!

This is the first time that I read that information. How exactly do you transfer those two colonies to the slant? Remove them from the plate for a tube with water and then inoculate in the slants?

Offline denny

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Re: RVA Manchester consistent low attentuation
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2020, 10:52:32 am »
Here is an example of what I am talking about.  The plate was streaked from 40ml of autoclaved 1.020 wort that was inoculated with the dregs from a bottle of Southern Tier IPA.  I selected the largest two colonies in the lower right-hand quadrant to slant.  Those colonies are almost guaranteed to be healthy clonal selections. 




Did you notice the lack of anything other than yeast?  That is a sign that a brewery has good quality control.  It does not always look that way.

Amazing!

This is the first time that I read that information. How exactly do you transfer those two colonies to the slant? Remove them from the plate for a tube with water and then inoculate in the slants?

When I used to do it, I just used a loop to pick up the colonies I wanted to, then put them on a prepared slant.
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