Liquid Yeast

Hop Unlock- Thiol-producing yeast

Hop Unlock is a naturally cultivated thiol-producing liquid yeast containing enzymes that can help release bound thiols from hops and malt. This results in more powerful aromas and flavours being ‘unlocked’ and can open up a much wider range of brewing options with less costly hop varieties.

Read about how Brick Brewery used this yeast to great effect in a recent brew here.

Suitable for

Brown Ales, Imperial Stouts, NEIPAs, Pale Ales, Red Ales, Stouts, West Coast IPAs

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Hop Unlock liquid pouches contain the yeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is a species that is naturally cultivated to have a strong IRC7 activity, it also produces a large amount of Beta-glucosidase that is involved with biotransformation. The yeast in itself produces a very powerful tropical ester flavor profile similar to Saturated or Sanders.

IRC7 is a gene associated with the production of Beta-lysase, this enzyme is associated with the release of bound thiols. Bound thiols occur naturally in different quantities in various hop and malts but do not contribute to the flavor of the finished product as they remain bound. If the bound thiols naturally present in wort are released it contributes to a more powerful aroma including notes of mango, guava, passionfruit and white wine notes.

Because of these enzymes Hop Unlock yeast can be used to increase your aroma in beer production. Alternatively, reduce the overall cost of hop usage by reducing the amount of hops used or by switching the hops used to less costly hops varieties.

A variety of methods can be used to increase the number of bound thiols in the wort production process:

  1. Mash Hopping- Mash hopping with hop varieties such as cascade or calypso at a rate of 3-4g/L significantly increases the amount of bound thiols in the wort and is highly recommended.
  2. Whirlpool additions with hops that have high levels of bound thiols. Apollo, Eureka, Hallertau Hallertauer, Nugget, Hallertau Perle and Idaho 7 are all hop varieties that have been tested to be high in these levels.
  3. Dry Hopping with hops that work well with a strain that has high levels of biotransformation including Mosaic, Citra, Idaho 7 and Nelson Sauvion.
  4. Including thiol precursors in the fermenting beer, there are a variety of products on the markets such as Phantasm and WHCLAB Thiol Booster that increase thiol precursor compounds within the fermenting wort add at dry hop or at high krausen for best results.
  5. Different base malts contain a high variance of bound thiols within them, we would suggest asking your maltster/wholesaler if they can get data on the level of precursor in their malt products. If they are unsure about how to test for this you can put them in touch with the WHC laboratory department.

Technical Data

Oxygenation/aeration will be needed for generation 0.
Pitch rate for the first generation is dependent on the volume of wort and the starting OG,
Intended fermentation temperature: 17-22 °C.


Strain: Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Live Cells: >1.5-3.5 billion cells per ml
ABV Tolerance: 11%
Nitrogen Demand: Very High

For more detailed information, this is a great article about the role of thiols in IPA production.



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