Isolated Yeast (Tree House): How to Identify and Characterize?

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NJGeorge

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I have to ask, while I recognize how amazing this thread is, and how long it has been going, are people really still trying to figure out the “special TH yeast?” I have failed to recognize the special/magical yeast character that treehouse used to have, in every beer I’ve had by them over the past two years. It’s completely possible that my palate has changed, but I almost can’t even understand what everyone in this thread is looking for.

I’m not sure if they have changed what they used to do, but it’s kind of unrecognizable from what it once was. So all of these yeast blends and temperature modifications, so on and so forth… Are great, but it’s almost like I can’t identify what we’re even trying to replicate at this point.

When this thread first started it made a lot of sense to me, but I can’t really find that yeast character that used to be there, in any of the beers that they’re currently making.

Are you guys actually drinking these beers and still finding this character present? Also, there’s no doubt they’re using tons of hops, and in my experience when using that many hops it does mask the yeast character somewhat. So, so, soooo many tests have shown that S-04 Is clearly the dominant yeast that they are using, so I just have a hard time thinking that we’re actually going to nail some thing here.

I’m really not trying to be negative or discouraging here, but I just feel like many of the people in here think they’re (TH) doing something Much more special than they actually are.
Yea I agree. The only beers I really get their signature character from is their double IPA's 8.2% +. I have to really try to concentrate to pick it out in the smaller beers and to me now its just a hint. All it is is isoamyl acetate. IE stronger in higher gravity beers naturally. Could be a function of thier malt as they have said that is one of their secrets. Malt/hop combos.

Our palates have been exposed to so many good hoppy beers since 2017 so that doesn't help as well. That's why TH was so special back then (Monson days). Were basically shooting in the dark chasing the yeast and yes maybe it is SO4 stressed with very good quality malt and hops.

For the ones that are big fans, we should focus on making a beer very similar to Julius, Green and Haze and not just chasing the yeast with random recipes. That's my plan going forward. I was told by one of the old brewers there to start very simple and make small tweaks from there until you finally get to a product you love. Basically simple malt bill and only a couple different hops with a yeast of your choice.

Its all about the process as well, and honestly you guys with buckets etc. will never get there. You really need a conical with proper temp control to get there. Yes you'll still make good beer, but being able to cool, dump yeast, rouse hops, dump hops then keg is where its at. You have more control.

I'm all for starting a new thread where we try to get as close as possible to the mentioned beers etc. instead of chasing "magic" yeast.
 

HopsAreGood

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Yea I agree. The only beers I really get their signature character from is their double IPA's 8.2% +. I have to really try to concentrate to pick it out in the smaller beers and to me now its just a hint. All it is is isoamyl acetate. IE stronger in higher gravity beers naturally. Could be a function of thier malt as they have said that is one of their secrets. Malt/hop combos.

Our palates have been exposed to so many good hoppy beers since 2017 so that doesn't help as well. That's why TH was so special back then (Monson days). Were basically shooting in the dark chasing the yeast and yes maybe it is SO4 stressed with very good quality malt and hops.

For the ones that are big fans, we should focus on making a beer very similar to Julius, Green and Haze and not just chasing the yeast with random recipes. That's my plan going forward. I was told by one of the old brewers there to start very simple and make small tweaks from there until you finally get to a product you love. Basically simple malt bill and only a couple different hops with a yeast of your choice.

Its all about the process as well, and honestly you guys with buckets etc. will never get there. You really need a conical with proper temp control to get there. Yes you'll still make good beer, but being able to cool, dump yeast, rouse hops, dump hops then keg is where its at. You have more control.

I'm all for starting a new thread where we try to get as close as possible to the mentioned beers etc. instead of chasing "magic" yeast.
Very well said. I could not agree with you more.
 

Mousetrapbrewery

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Yea I agree. The only beers I really get their signature character from is their double IPA's 8.2% +. I have to really try to concentrate to pick it out in the smaller beers and to me now its just a hint. All it is is isoamyl acetate. IE stronger in higher gravity beers naturally. Could be a function of thier malt as they have said that is one of their secrets. Malt/hop combos.

Our palates have been exposed to so many good hoppy beers since 2017 so that doesn't help as well. That's why TH was so special back then (Monson days). Were basically shooting in the dark chasing the yeast and yes maybe it is SO4 stressed with very good quality malt and hops.

For the ones that are big fans, we should focus on making a beer very similar to Julius, Green and Haze and not just chasing the yeast with random recipes. That's my plan going forward. I was told by one of the old brewers there to start very simple and make small tweaks from there until you finally get to a product you love. Basically simple malt bill and only a couple different hops with a yeast of your choice.

Its all about the process as well, and honestly you guys with buckets etc. will never get there. You really need a conical with proper temp control to get there. Yes you'll still make good beer, but being able to cool, dump yeast, rouse hops, dump hops then keg is where its at. You have more control.

I'm all for starting a new thread where we try to get as close as possible to the mentioned beers etc. instead of chasing "magic" yeast.
I’d love to find a way to replicate green!
 

NJGeorge

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Two Row, Carafoam, and maybe some Vienna or Crystal 10. Shoot for 7.5% Mash PH 5.2-5.4
Water of your choice lol water is a whole different subject. Galaxy, Amarillo, touch of Simcoe. Don't use too much Galaxy. Use enough in the boil and 6-8oz dry hop depending on batch size. 5.0 PH into the fermenter. So4/London Fog with a pinch of T-58 12-24 hour post initial pitch. Ferment at 66. I did this once and it remined me of Very Green.
 

Clyde McCoy

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Are you guys actually drinking these beers and still finding this character present? Also, there’s no doubt they’re using tons of hops, and in my experience when using that many hops it does mask the yeast character somewhat. So, so, soooo many tests have shown that S-04 Is clearly the dominant yeast that they are using, so I just have a hard time thinking that we’re actually going to nail some thing here.

I’m really not trying to be negative or discouraging here, but I just feel like many of the people in here think they’re (TH) doing something Much more special than they actually are.
Fully agree with this and other posts of yours. I will add that I would love to see someone (else) test more strains to see if anything else produces a banding pattern matching S-04. I did ~100 PCRs: nearly all matched S-04, a handful matched T-58, and a few were somewhat ambiguous (possibly WB-06).

Nate's recipe says "ferment at 66°F" in agreement with their FV controller.

In regards to recent Tree House quality, I enjoy their beers but I don’t understand the world record high ratings either...
 

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Also, there’s no doubt they’re using tons of hops, and in my experience when using that many hops it does mask the yeast character somewhat.
I hear you and i'm starting to think myself that perhaps that is a major part of their secret technology, they have the most amazing hops to choose from.
I've been chasing this dragon for a while but haven't come close at all with neither of the yeasts mentioned.
What am I chasing? I love that subtle bubble gum thing, it make's the fruity esters more candy like, but so far all my attempts have just been trampled by other flavors and there is no "juice" coming through, which is another character I associate with Tree House, they are intensely fruity.
Another aspect is their sheer drinkablity, the perfect bitterness that's assertive but does not linger at all yet being sweet at the same time.

Just curious can anyone here tell if those single malt attempts they have been brewing have that similar sharp bitter upfront with a nice mid pallet sweetness? I'd like to think malt bill plays a big role in their older DIPA's I've tried, yet they do not have a super deep orange color I associated with more sweet malty beers or recipes with more vienna or crystal type malts.
 

HopsAreGood

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@Clyde McCoy Are you familiar with Equilibrium? I’d love to find out, if possible, what yeast they use. It’s hard for me tell if the unique character in most of their IPAs is from their hopping processes or from their yeast. Or possible a combination of the two.

Anyway, I don’t really know exactly how difficult it is for you to run these tests, but if you’re at all interested and willing,
I’d be happy to send you a number of different EQ beers.

For all I know you may be able to get them locally, but my offer still stands. I’m happy to send you a bunch of them if you’d like.

I should add that as far as I know the yeast that they use is unknown. I’ve never seen them say what it is, but often times in the descriptions of their beers they reference “Their ale yeast.” If someone knows what it is then please share ...
 
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couchsending

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@Clyde McCoy Are you familiar with Equilibrium? I’d love to find out, if possible, what yeast they use. It’s hard for me tell if the unique character in most of their IPAs is from their hopping processes or from their yeast. Or possible a combination of the two.

Anyway, I don’t really know exactly how difficult it is for you to run these tests, but if you’re at all interested and willing,
I’d be happy to send you a number of different EQ beers.

For all I know you may be able to get them locally, but my offer still stands. I’m happy to send you a bunch of them if you’d like.

I should add that as far as I know the yeast that they use is unknown. I’ve never seen them say what it is, but often times in the descriptions of their beers they reference “Their ale yeast.” If someone knows what it is then please share ...
That melon character in all their beers is technically and off flavor. That’s caused by heavy dry hopping and acetaldehyde.

I know people rave about their beers but I’ve only had one (or maybe 6) that wasn’t either oxidized to all hell or reeked of nothing but melons.
 

HopsAreGood

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That melon character in all their beers is technically and off flavor. That’s caused by heavy dry hopping and acetaldehyde.

I know people rave about their beers but I’ve only had one (or maybe 6) that wasn’t either oxidized to all hell or reeked of nothing but melons.
How many of their beers have you actually had? Serious question.

I have no idea why your experience oxidation issues, and they’ve openly stated that in some of their core beers they dry hop around 3 pounds per barrel. I’ve never had one oxidized beer from them, and 3 pounds per barrel is hardly “Heavy.”


I’ve personally never picked up acetaldehyde nor heard anyone else ever mentioned this.

I’m not trying to challenge you here but just curious why that’s what you think those flavors come from.
 
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couchsending

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How many of their beers have you actually had? Serious question.

I have no idea why your experience oxidation issues, and they’ve openly stated that in some of their core beers they dry hop around 3 pounds per barrel. I’ve never had one oxidized beer from them, and 3 pounds per barrel is hardly “Heavy.”


I’ve personally never picked up acetaldehyde nor heard anyone else ever mentioned this.

I’m not trying to challenge you here but just curious why that’s what you think those flavors come from.
I've had 6 or 7 different beers of theirs. You haven't experienced the weird melon character in their beers? Tons of people complain about it, not just me. Other Half has had the same issue as well.
That over ripe melon character is what acetaldehyde presents as in the presence of high dry hopping loads. It doesn't present as what you'd normally think acetaldehyde tastes/smells like. Some people describe it as pumpkin guts, others melon. It's caused by poor yeast health. I've had 100% Citra beers from them that were straight melon. Literally no other flavor or aroma that I would associate with Citra.

1 of the 6 different brands I've had from them wasn't oxidized (brownish/orange in color and that oxidized hop aroma/flavor) or reeked of melon. That one beer was great. It was a 5% pale ale, can't remember the name. They had really bad QC issues with cans for a while last year.
 

HopsAreGood

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I've had 6 or 7 different beers of theirs. You haven't experienced the weird melon character in their beers? Tons of people complain about it, not just me. Other Half has had the same issue as well.
That over ripe melon character is what acetaldehyde presents as in the presence of high dry hopping loads. It doesn't present as what you'd normally think acetaldehyde tastes/smells like. Some people describe it as pumpkin guts, others melon. It's caused by poor yeast health. I've had 100% Citra beers from them that were straight melon. Literally no other flavor or aroma that I would associate with Citra.

1 of the 6 different brands I've had from them wasn't oxidized (brownish/orange in color and that oxidized hop aroma/flavor) or reeked of melon. That one beer was great. It was a 5% pale ale, can't remember the name. They had really bad QC issues with cans for a while last year.
Unfortunately you’ve had a very small sample size. I’m not sure where you live but if you’re not close you may have had some issues with the shipping/handling/cold storage of the beers. I can’t say for sure.

They also opened a much larger/newer brewery so it’s possible some of the cans you got may have fallen victim to those types of growing pains.

I live about an hour and a half from the brewery and I’ve had endless fresh beers of theirs over the past several years. Hard to even put a number on it.

They call that melon character “Rainbow Melon” and also refer to it as ” EQjuice. These are obviously just marketing words for brand building, but that flavor is something they are specifically striving to attain. It’s definitely more prevalent in some of their beers than others. I can absolutely see how some people may not like it because it certainly is unique.

If you know anything about the guys that run the brewery, then you’ll know that their whole scientific themed branding is no joke. The one guy is like an MIT grad former government engineer. Listen to their CBB podcast from a couple years ago and you’ll get an idea.

My only point in saying this is that if that flavor is in fact coming from a mixture of acetaldehyde and heavy dry hopping, then they are well aware of that and must be doing it on purpose.

I have a hard time believing that that’s what’s happening, but obviously I can’t say for sure.

I’ve always been under the impression that they either use a unique yeast or blend of yeast, and then incorporate whatever technical type hopping processes they always talk about, to get their end result. I’m pretty confident that the unique flavor profile they have is not just coming from the hops, so there must be something else coming into play… Whether it be the yeast or “Intentional” acetaldehyde.

Some of the best beers I’ve ever had I’ve been from equilibrium. I would put them right up there with treehouse, Trillium, etc.… There’s a reason why they are so popular. But again, I can see how certain people may not like what they put out.
 
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couchsending

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Unfortunately you’ve had a very small sample size. I’m not sure where you live but if you’re not close you may have had some issues with the shipping/handling/cold storage of the beers. I can’t say for sure.

They also opened a much larger/newer brewery so it’s possible some of the cans you got may have fallen victim to those types of growing pains.

I live about an hour and a half from the brewery and I’ve had endless fresh beers of theirs over the past several years. Hard to even put a number on it.

They call that melon character “Rainbow Melon” and also refer to it as ” EQjuice. These are obviously just marketing words for brand building, but that flavor is something they are specifically striving to attain. It’s definitely more prevalent in some of their beers than others. I can absolutely see how some people may not like it because it certainly is unique.

If you know anything about the guys that run the brewery, then you’ll know that their whole scientific themed branding is no joke. The one guy is like an MIT grad former government engineer. Listen to their CBB podcast from a couple years ago and you’ll get an idea.

My only point in saying this is that if that flavor is in fact coming from a mixture of acetaldehyde and heavy dry hopping, then they are well aware of that and must be doing it on purpose.

I have a hard time believing that that’s what’s happening, but obviously I can’t say for sure.

I’ve always been under the impression that they either use a unique yeast or blend of yeast, and then incorporate whatever technical type hopping processes they always talk about, to get their end result. I’m pretty confident that the unique flavor profile they have is not just coming from the hops, so there must be something else coming into play… Whether it be the yeast or “Intentional” acetaldehyde.

Some of the best beers I’ve ever had I’ve been from equilibrium. I would put them right up there with treehouse, Trillium, etc.… There’s a reason why they are so popular. But again, I can see how certain people may not like what they put out.
No I'm not close. I've had them shipped to me in the winter (I don't bother shipping beer when it's warm, they get totally screwed) but also purchased them in MN when they've done drops there. All the beers have been less than 30 days old.
 

HopsAreGood

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No I'm not close. I've had them shipped to me in the winter (I don't bother shipping beer when it's warm, they get totally screwed) but also purchased them in MN when they've done drops there. All the beers have been less than 30 days old.
Well then I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe you just had some bad luck. It’s obviously possible that they may have had a little bit of a QC control issue at some point, but I’ve never had one can that had any issues.

I’m picking up a ton of fresh cans tomorrow and would be happy to send a few to you, just because I think whatever you tried wasn’t up to the normal level. Something sounds off about them.

Even if do you think they’re disgusting, I’d still be curious as to your feedback. Lol.
 

NJGeorge

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@Clyde McCoy Are you familiar with Equilibrium? I’d love to find out, if possible, what yeast they use. It’s hard for me tell if the unique character in most of their IPAs is from their hopping processes or from their yeast. Or possible a combination of the two.

Anyway, I don’t really know exactly how difficult it is for you to run these tests, but if you’re at all interested and willing,
I’d be happy to send you a number of different EQ beers.

For all I know you may be able to get them locally, but my offer still stands. I’m happy to send you a bunch of them if you’d like.

I should add that as far as I know the yeast that they use is unknown. I’ve never seen them say what it is, but often times in the descriptions of their beers they reference “Their ale yeast.” If someone knows what it is then please share ...
I've done starters with can dregs and have gotten strong banana like a hefe aromas. They once responded to my insta comment about yeast and they said its their proprietary yeast blend. I don't know if you remember but a few years back Nate showed up to their brewery and theirs a pic of that on their insta.

In the beginning of the pandemic I also experience a bunch of oxidation issues. But yes I agree, some of their beers are amazing. Just saw someone post on insta about jjjuce machine and said its straight up melon and done like it. I don't mind it and kind of like that over ripe tropical fruit.

TH yeast does remind me a bit of over rip mango and banana. Anyone know of any yeast that produces mango type esters? Again, this also could be a major contributor from their hop selections.
 

NJGeorge

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Well then I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe you just had some bad luck. It’s obviously possible that they may have had a little bit of a QC control issue at some point, but I’ve never had one can that had any issues.

I’m picking up a ton of fresh cans tomorrow and would be happy to send a few to you, just because I think whatever you tried wasn’t up to the normal level. Something sounds off about them.

Even if do you think they’re disgusting, I’d still be curious as to your feedback. Lol.
Ugh Dude what time are you coming back!? and which way are you taking back to your neck of the woods? Would love to meet and snag a couple 4 packs haha
 

HopsAreGood

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I've done starters with can dregs and have gotten strong banana like a hefe aromas. They once responded to my insta comment about yeast and they said its their proprietary yeast blend. I don't know if you remember but a few years back Nate showed up to their brewery and theirs a pic of that on their insta.

In the beginning of the pandemic I also experience a bunch of oxidation issues. But yes I agree, some of their beers are amazing. Just saw someone post on insta about jjjuce machine and said its straight up melon and done like it. I don't mind it and kind of like that over ripe tropical fruit.

TH yeast does remind me a bit of over rip mango and banana. Anyone know of any yeast that produces mango type esters? Again, this also could be a major contributor from their hop selections.
Interesting. I’ve never experienced the oxidation issues but I guess it’s a thing. I can totally see how the EQ profile is hit or miss for a lot of people, but that’s kind of what makes it interesting. Like treehouse, they have a truly defining character that most other breweries don’t. This is why I’m interested to see what they may or may not be doing with their yeast.

In my gut I feel they have to be doing something to get that character and flavor, And I doubt they’re just using some cookie-cutter neutral yeast.
 

HopsAreGood

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Ugh Dude what time are you coming back!? and which way are you taking back to your neck of the woods? Would love to meet and snag a couple 4 packs haha
I’m picking up at 12:30 so should be back to my area around 2:30 or so. I may stop to grab something to eat but should be back somewhere around 2:30ish. I’m picking up 12 different 4 packs so I could hook you up with 3 four packs...one can of each if you like. Or whatever you want really. Up to you. DM me if you’re serious.
 

NJGeorge

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I’m picking up at 12:30 so should be back to my area around 2:30 or so. I may stop to grab something to eat but should be back somewhere around 2:30ish. I’m picking up 12 different 4 packs so I could hook you up with 3 four packs...one can of each if you like. Or whatever you want really. Up to you. DM me if you’re serious.
Great meeting you man! Thank you again. That pale ale Tachyon is amazing. Better than any TH pale I've had. Very unique. Same thing with the Spartacus one. Very solid beer. I know they use a lot of oats and wheat on some of the beers, but I think the Tachyon one is mostly pale malt and they don't list the hops. Very ripe mango forward. Love it. Might try to make a yeast starter with some of the dregs again.
 

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Did anyone here try the new Queen Machine series from Tree House yet? How did they taste?
I found it interesting they note they exploring "concentrated lupulin pellets" I figure this is cryo hops and wondering if that means they never used those before.
 

NJGeorge

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Did anyone here try the new Queen Machine series from Tree House yet? How did they taste?
I found it interesting they note they exploring "concentrated lupulin pellets" I figure this is cryo hops and wondering if that means they never used those before.
I tried the loral one. Couldn’t pick out the loral really. Tasted like every other TH double ipa. Not impressed. I recently got a bunch of different beers. They unfortunately sat out warm for a day so maybe this is contributing to it, but so far this haul has been underwhelming. Alter ego meh, juice project citra chinook meh juli ish meh, hello cape and mass meh. My wife’s said my homebrews are better haha
 

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I recently received some brews as well from TH. Got Jjjjuliussss, Juice Project Citra and Nelson, Green and One. It’s been so long since I’ve had TH, I remember the very first time having Julius and Green back in the day and was blown away. Probably because the beer was something I’ve never seen or tasted before. Now, there are so many other great breweries producing these IPAs. I get a lot of peach from their beers and many of them taste the same to me. When I crack one of their beers I don’t get the in your face hops smell that fills the room like some other beers do. However, I do appreciate the color, the mouthfeel, the assertive bitterness (which I feel isn’t from hop burn or over dry hopping). It’s hard for me to pick out the different hops used because I feel it’s muddled by yeast.

I will say, their Bright beers are a wonderful showcase of hops. It’s been awhile and I haven’t done my research but I think they use American Ale yeast with these. You get great pungent hops aroma and flavor.
 

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I recently received some brews as well from TH. Got Jjjjuliussss, Juice Project Citra and Nelson, Green and One. It’s been so long since I’ve had TH, I remember the very first time having Julius and Green back in the day and was blown away. Probably because the beer was something I’ve never seen or tasted before. Now, there are so many other great breweries producing these IPAs. I get a lot of peach from their beers and many of them taste the same to me. When I crack one of their beers I don’t get the in your face hops smell that fills the room like some other beers do. However, I do appreciate the color, the mouthfeel, the assertive bitterness (which I feel isn’t from hop burn or over dry hopping). It’s hard for me to pick out the different hops used because I feel it’s muddled by yeast.

I will say, their Bright beers are a wonderful showcase of hops. It’s been awhile and I haven’t done my research but I think they use American Ale yeast with these. You get great pungent hops aroma and flavor.
I actually feel the opposite in regards to the market. I think it’s flooded with IPA’s that aren’t very good. Breweries are jumping on this style and pushing out poor beer because they know anything labeled hazy will sell. The last haul I got from TH was a level higher than anything else I’ve had in a long time. The only beer I wasn’t impressed with was Hello Mass. and Hello Cape Cod fell off extremely fast, but was amazing first the first two weeks.

I had to run up to Vermont a couple weeks ago but didn’t have time to make a lot of stops. Hill Farmstead is a great example of what an IPA should taste like. Super clean w/a ton of hop expression. I was also super impressed with River Roost. They stole the show that weekend.
 

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Been reading this thread ever since it came out, and it's really interesting. This theard made a bit of a stir in the industry when it started, at least for us interesseret in microbiology.

I am a professional brewer in Copenhagen, I used to work for a small craft brewery that is now a very large craft brewery. I just quit there to start my own brewery. And in that regard, I worked at a brewpub and we were producing some of the best rated IPA's in the country. For years we used S-04 as our house strain for almost everything. And we always had this somewhat hot and boozy alcohol flavor and S-04 really mutes hop aroma rather than accentuating it. We tried every permutation of recipes and mashing and fermentation techniques over the years, and never really got it to work - at least in the way we wanted. I recognize S-04 quite easily now, and that is why I'm quite confident in saying that I doubt that Tree House is using S-04 as their base yeast. Having had a few of their beers, I didn't recognize the flavor as S-04 at all. However I'm also sure it's not something like London Ale III, but it's not far off.
We ended up having to assault the beers with dry-hopping to overcome this muting effect and it never really went our way. Only when we switched to LAIII derivatives and other English strains did we get more hop aroma and flavor.

Just thinking of the logistics, if Tree House was using a dry yeast blend, then they have to pitch fresh yeast every time, otherwise their blend would get out of balance after the first fermentation. That means maybe 5-10 kg of dry yeast pr. Tank (I forget their biggest tank size but I believe the GEA brewhouse is around 80 hL). That's a massive cost, something I really can't see them doing for every brand. Them doing it every now and then is possible, but for every IPA they make or even the majority? No way. The cost of yeast pr batch would be enormous.

However, it seems like that from other threads and articles that they do indeed use a mixed yeast culture for Julius, which seems reasonable, as it started life as a homebrew recipe from what I know.

Just throwing another thought out there; I know of at least 2 breweries that intentionally add different yeasts post fermentation, in order to screw up the blend so that people can't easily culture up their dregs and to keep their real yeast "secret". I'm not saying TH are doing that, it's just worth mentioning that it happens. Contamination in the brewery is also possible.

Anyway, just throwing some professional S-04 experience out there.
 

TBryerton

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Been reading this thread ever since it came out, and it's really interesting. This theard made a bit of a stir in the industry when it started, at least for us interesseret in microbiology.

I am a professional brewer in Copenhagen, I used to work for a small craft brewery that is now a very large craft brewery. I just quit there to start my own brewery. And in that regard, I worked at a brewpub and we were producing some of the best rated IPA's in the country. For years we used S-04 as our house strain for almost everything. And we always had this somewhat hot and boozy alcohol flavor and S-04 really mutes hop aroma rather than accentuating it. We tried every permutation of recipes and mashing and fermentation techniques over the years, and never really got it to work - at least in the way we wanted. I recognize S-04 quite easily now, and that is why I'm quite confident in saying that I doubt that Tree House is using S-04 as their base yeast. Having had a few of their beers, I didn't recognize the flavor as S-04 at all. However I'm also sure it's not something like London Ale III, but it's not far off.
We ended up having to assault the beers with dry-hopping to overcome this muting effect and it never really went our way. Only when we switched to LAIII derivatives and other English strains did we get more hop aroma and flavor.

Just thinking of the logistics, if Tree House was using a dry yeast blend, then they have to pitch fresh yeast every time, otherwise their blend would get out of balance after the first fermentation. That means maybe 5-10 kg of dry yeast pr. Tank (I forget their biggest tank size but I believe the GEA brewhouse is around 80 hL). That's a massive cost, something I really can't see them doing for every brand. Them doing it every now and then is possible, but for every IPA they make or even the majority? No way. The cost of yeast pr batch would be enormous.

However, it seems like that from other threads and articles that they do indeed use a mixed yeast culture for Julius, which seems reasonable, as it started life as a homebrew recipe from what I know.

Just throwing another thought out there; I know of at least 2 breweries that intentionally add different yeasts post fermentation, in order to screw up the blend so that people can't easily culture up their dregs and to keep their real yeast "secret". I'm not saying TH are doing that, it's just worth mentioning that it happens. Contamination in the brewery is also possible.

Anyway, just throwing some professional S-04 experience out there.
For a typical brewery I would agree that using fresh yeast every time probably isn’t cost efficient. For a brewery that probably averages $10,000+ of can sales an hour out their front door, I don’t think it’s an issue.
 

TheHairyHop

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For a typical brewery I would agree that using fresh yeast every time probably isn’t cost efficient. For a brewery that probably averages $10,000+ of can sales an hour out their front door, I don’t think it’s an issue.
They started very very small. I don’t think this logic applies
 

TBryerton

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They started very very small. I don’t think this logic applies
I don’t think this conversation has anything to do with how they started. The point being argued is that a company brewing a large quantity of beer can’t justify the cost of using new yeast for each batch. My argument is that their sales can justify it.

And to your point, yes they started very small, to the extent they weren’t much larger than some home brewers in terms of quantity. So as a home brewer, if you could make a much better beer by using fresh yeast each batch, wouldn’t you?? I would bet a high % of home brewers are not harvesting yeast.
 

TheHairyHop

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I don’t think this conversation has anything to do with how they started. The point being argued is that a company brewing a large quantity of beer can’t justify the cost of using new yeast for each batch. My argument is that their sales can justify it.

And to your point, yes they started very small, to the extent they weren’t much larger than some home brewers in terms of quantity. So as a home brewer, if you could make a much better beer by using fresh yeast each batch, wouldn’t you?? I would bet a high % of home brewers are not harvesting yeast.
Small breweries have a very strong motivation to minimize cost. The more yeast you need to buy actually makes it ultimately cost less per unit sold, thereby impacting your profit less. The smaller your batch, and the less yeast required, actually ends up costing more per unit and affecting your bottom line more. Small Treehouse would have a larger motivation to repitch than large Treehouse.
 

TBryerton

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Small breweries have a very strong motivation to minimize cost. The more yeast you need to buy actually makes it ultimately cost less per unit sold, thereby impacting your profit less. The smaller your batch, and the less yeast required, actually ends up costing more per unit and affecting your bottom line more. Small Treehouse would have a larger motivation to repitch than large Treehouse.
Considering their business model when they first started, I completely disagree. And the science throughout this entire thread backs me up. Tree House has even confirmed it’s a yeast blend, so I’m not sure why this is an argument.
 

Clyde McCoy

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Been reading this thread ever since it came out, and it's really interesting. This theard made a bit of a stir in the industry when it started, at least for us interesseret in microbiology.

I am a professional brewer in Copenhagen, I used to work for a small craft brewery that is now a very large craft brewery. I just quit there to start my own brewery. And in that regard, I worked at a brewpub and we were producing some of the best rated IPA's in the country. For years we used S-04 as our house strain for almost everything. And we always had this somewhat hot and boozy alcohol flavor and S-04 really mutes hop aroma rather than accentuating it. We tried every permutation of recipes and mashing and fermentation techniques over the years, and never really got it to work - at least in the way we wanted. I recognize S-04 quite easily now, and that is why I'm quite confident in saying that I doubt that Tree House is using S-04 as their base yeast. Having had a few of their beers, I didn't recognize the flavor as S-04 at all. However I'm also sure it's not something like London Ale III, but it's not far off.
We ended up having to assault the beers with dry-hopping to overcome this muting effect and it never really went our way. Only when we switched to LAIII derivatives and other English strains did we get more hop aroma and flavor.

Just thinking of the logistics, if Tree House was using a dry yeast blend, then they have to pitch fresh yeast every time, otherwise their blend would get out of balance after the first fermentation. That means maybe 5-10 kg of dry yeast pr. Tank (I forget their biggest tank size but I believe the GEA brewhouse is around 80 hL). That's a massive cost, something I really can't see them doing for every brand. Them doing it every now and then is possible, but for every IPA they make or even the majority? No way. The cost of yeast pr batch would be enormous.

However, it seems like that from other threads and articles that they do indeed use a mixed yeast culture for Julius, which seems reasonable, as it started life as a homebrew recipe from what I know.

Just throwing another thought out there; I know of at least 2 breweries that intentionally add different yeasts post fermentation, in order to screw up the blend so that people can't easily culture up their dregs and to keep their real yeast "secret". I'm not saying TH are doing that, it's just worth mentioning that it happens. Contamination in the brewery is also possible.

Anyway, just throwing some professional S-04 experience out there.
How heavily were you dry hopping? Tree House has an IIPA (Live Free) that is "dry-hopped with over eight pounds per barrel." I'd bet their base IPAs start at 3-4 lbs/bbl and increase from there.

As for the strains, you really don't find these convincing?

Screen Shot 2021-09-26 at 11.39.07 PM.png


Screen Shot 2021-09-26 at 11.39.19 PM.png


Screen Shot 2021-09-26 at 11.46.09 PM.png
 

Northern_Brewer

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As for the strains, you really don't find these convincing?
Personally I think it's quite plausible that in the early days as a small brewery they effectively outsourced yeast management/QC to Fermentis, but then building the new facility allowed them the lab facilities to bring it in-house with potentially a different strain. There's plenty of other breweries that have followed a similar path.
 

Mousetrapbrewery

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I just made an Irish Stout with S-04 and the smell and taste reminds me of walking into the treehouse and getting the smell of yeast. I’m very confident they use S-04, it’s just how they use it and with what else. I remember reading that someone made a starter with either T-58 or WB-06 and the smell was bubblegum. Has anyone tried to underpitch S-04 and use starters for the other two later in the fermentation?
 
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