A new take on the classics

By Shana Solarte

Aug 19, 2022

Thiols, thiols, thiols. Lately it feels like all we talk about is thiols. Luckily recipes are the most fun part of doing all this thiol research and development. Here we’ll talk a bit about thiols and how they relate to lagers.

Why Thiolize a lager?

Our R&D team designed our Thiolized® lager strain, Lunar Crush, with an eye toward innovation. Brewers are constantly coming up with new and exciting ways to generate buzz around both classic and never-before-seen styles of beer—take the controversial Cold IPA, for example. Our hope is that brewers will find interesting uses for a lager strain capable of biotransforming thiol precursors, maybe even using it to develop entirely new takes on the old school.

What to expect from a thiol-forward lager

Unlike IPAs and NEIPAs, lager recipes tend to keep the malt and hop bills rather simple. One of our perennial recommendations for any Thiolized yeast is to keep your recipe simple and let the yeast volatiles shine. We’ve written this recipe with simplicity in mind so that intense thiol aromas have little competition in the finished product.

Flavor-wise, expect this recipe to produce a light, easy-drinking beer with a clean finish. Thiol aromatics will include passion fruit, grapefruit peel, and guava overlaying a lightly bready malt character.

We think this style will appeal to those who love a classic pale lager but are looking for something new. This kind of intense tropical flavor in a lager isn’t super typical without a lot of dry hopping with highly sought-after hop varieties, so we expect the use of thiols to really bring fruit-forward lagers into the spotlight. Give this recipe a try and let us know what you think.

Thiolager Recipe

Vital Statistics

  • Batch size 1 barrel (~31 gallons)
  • Boil time 60 minutes
  • IBUs 21.6
  • SRM 2.8
  • OG 11.5°P (1.046)
  • FG 2.4°P (1.010)
  • ABV 4.85%

Raw Materials

  • Pilsen malt
    55lb (100%)
  • Saaz hops (3.5% AA) (T90)
    16oz | Mash 60 minutes*
  • Hallertau Mittelfrüh hops (4% AA) (T90)
    1.6oz | Boil 30 minutes
  • Hallertau Mittelfrüh hops (4% AA) (T90)
    1.6oz | Boil 10 minutes
  • Hallertau Mittelfrüh hops (4% AA) (T90)
    3oz | Boil 5 minutes
  • Yeast
    Lunar Crush (OYL-403) @ 14 million cells/ml


Single infusion mash at 148°F (63°C) with 1.25 qts/lb water to grist ratio (2.6L/kg). Target 5.2 – 5.3 mash pH. Knock out at 50°F (10°C) and ferment at 52°F (11°C) for 2 weeks. Ramp up to 68°F (20°C) for 1 week.

*Expect approximately 30% AA utilization when mash hopping.


Barley germinating at Sugar Creek Malt.
Barley germinating at Sugar Creek Malt.

Understanding terroir is the first step in understanding how to unlock thiol potential in beer. Our R&D team has run hundreds of trials that include testing various lots and varieties of malt and hops to collect sensory data, which helps us understand each ingredient’s thiol potential. Our tests have shown that while there are some varietal and regional consistencies, thiol precursors vary from lot to lot. Some of our most successful trials have been the result of testing different lots from our local maltsters and hop farms.

Knowing exactly where your raw materials come from is an incredibly important tool when it comes to consistent brewing as well as predicting thiol potential. For example, one variety of two-row malt is going to have different diastatic power and protein when grown in one part of the country vs another. It even varies each crop year. The same is true for thiol precursors that come from your raw materials. Knowing and trusting your source to provide the information you need to stay consistent is key in quality control.

Empty lager glass

Sometimes a beer is so good, it’s hard to get a photo of it til it’s gone.


Since Lunar Crush is still indeed a lager strain, take the usual precautions when brewing lagers: account for additional conditioning time and be mindful of your rests and crash timing. This strain exhibits the same behavior as its parent strain, Mexican Lager (OYL-113).

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