Marshall Bishop of trinitybrewers.com is known in the homebrewing world for his painstaking journey trying to recreate Treehouse Brewing’s famous Julius IPA. Marshall spent a year exploring different yeast combinations, grains, and hop combos in an effort to get as close to the real thing as possible. I respect his hustle as I went through a very similar arc in trying to perfect the NEIPA in general. If you want to read my own advice, you can check it out here. You should also check out my write-up on brewing Treehouse’s 2023 homebrew recipe.
I actually brewed Marshall’s clone 4-5 years ago. This was long before I had the knowledge/equipment I do now. Re-reading it for the first time is eye-opening. Marshall was way ahead of his time in terms of IPA knowledge back in 2017. So much of this is on par with what I do now. I can tell at a glance that he’s really onto something, even if I had no idea at the time.
Depending on the equipment you have, your process may slightly differ. I would likely make some minor adjustments to adapt this to my own preferred fermentation schedule and preferences. I would also probably slightly increase his dry hopping rates based on Treehouse’s recent recommendations and my own personal trials.
I’m a firm believer that many famous craft beers have evolved over time. The Julius that we drink today is probably not the exact same Julius from 5 years ago. Breweries continue to tinker and perfect their own recipes to meet the ever-changing demands and palates of beer customers. What was groundbreaking then may not be now.
Marshall’s website is no longer accessible so I got his permission to republish his hard work here. It’s far too valuable and interesting to be lost in the internet archives. I like to think I share his passion and obsession with brewing. Below is a carbon copy of Marshall’s original 11-gallon recipe, photos, tasting notes, and progress in his own written words. I tried to reorganize everything as best I could while preserving his own work and words. I hope you enjoy it and please give him a shoutout!
Julius IPA Clone Recipe
As written by Marshall:
It took a whole year to put this recipe together. Tons of wasted hops (not really wasted because we drank some awesome beer along the way) went into making this my mostly final work-in-progress clone recipe for the ever-popular Julius IPA from Treehouse Brewing.
I started with the color and grain, then worked on the hop combinations, and finally had to nail down the yeast esters. I know what you’re thinking…a Bavarian yeast? Dude, you’re crazy. Well, that’s the beauty of homebrewing – I feel like this is the closest representation of Julius that I’ve ever seen.
After a year of not drinking any Treehouse beers, and sampling hazy IPAs and IIPAs from all over the country, I finally got a porch bomb full of Treehouse. When I opened the Julius and took a sip, the flavors hit me like a ton of bricks. “This is a freakin hefe!” I thought to myself.
So here’s where I go ahead and tell you why I did the stuff I did. I’ve spent the last year using every combination of American and English yeast available to me trying to replicate the Treehouse flavor. There is a noticeable bubblegum, with some melon, and even general fruit esters that I never believed were a result of the malt or hop combo.
Yes, I do believe Treehouse gets much better hops than homebrewers have access to – but I also believe that with no oxygen ingress and careful dry hopping, we can at least get close. Disclaimer – I’m sure the malt bill isn’t exactly what Treehouse is using, but for the purposes of homebrewing and recreating something it tastes so damn close. For many of you who’ve followed this recipe’s development you know I’ve added and taken away many malts. This is what I’ve rested on as my interpretation…for now.
I’ve decided that the water chemistry plays a bigger part in the final beer than I’d ever thought. The chloride and sulfate ratios are slowly being raised as I brew more and more, but I like them where they are for now. The most recent version was as soft as a Treehouse core IPA.
I’d almost say dry hopping is the most important part of this beer (Not anymore), but it’s a combination of things.
Here’s what I do know:
I like a bigger whirlpool now, but I’m whirlpooling at 108°F for at least 30 minutes (up to 60) instead of 180°F. I also feel like the commercial version is a lot less hop forward than I ever imagined. the Treehouse Brewing crew has made what I’d consider a Golden Triangle of hops, malt, and esters. The more I dig into Julius, the more I think it’s the most beautiful beer ever designed.
If you dry hop in vinyl bags you won’t get the correct hop exposure to your wort and your utilization will suffer. I’ve also found that even though Julius probably isn’t double dry hopped,
if you want major aroma you’ll want to keg hop for a few days and then transfer to a serving keg. I don’t keg hop at all anymore.
A single dry hop in the fermenter is plenty for this beer. The most important thing is to keep the beer away from oxygen at any expense. The first thing to go is your aroma, the second is hop saturation/flavor as your juicy alpha acids will oxidize and turn to bitter flavors, and then it’s all downhill from there. You do not want an oxidized IPA with a pound of hops in it.
ABV – 6.2%
IBU – Around 70 perceived?
SRM – 5.9
92% SafAle S-04
5% SafAle T-58
3% SafAle WB-06
See details below for all specifics and quantities.
Sulfates – 150ppm
Chloride – 100ppm
Calcium – 20ppm
Magnesium – 20ppm
Estimated Mash pH – 5.2
- Aroma – Similar to Julius, tropical fruits with bready malts carry this beer over the top.
- Taste – Follows the nose with loads of citrus up front. Easily drinking with solid hop coating through the back of the tongue.
- Mouthfeel – Soft and full typical of northeastern IPAs.
Yeast Notes and Fermentation Timeline
Thanks to HomebrewTalk forum user Isomerization running some pretty awesome DNA tests on yeasts and dregs from Treehouse cans, we have a pretty solid idea of what different yeasts are in each of the Treehouse core offerings. The trick now is ratios and esters. I chose to do this:
Day 1 – S-04/T-58/WB-06: 92%/5%/3% – pitch all day 1 at regular pitching temp 72ºF
Day 2 – Reduce temperature to 64ºF
Day 8 – Raise temp to 70ºF and dry hop
Day 10 – Cold crash for 2 days and keg or bottle
To be sure I wasn’t crazy thinking I tasted a hefeweizen yeast…I went ahead and stepped some yeast up from cans of Treehouse’s ‘house’ IPAs. The beer you see pictured in the glass next to the yeast is totally unhopped and unbittered. It’s a simple 100% Pilsner malt beer with the Treehouse yeast. I’d say it’s fruitier than most NEIPAs that I’ve tried that are chewy yeast bombs.
|1.056 – 1.075
|1.01 – 1.018
|40 – 70
|6 – 15
|2.2 – 2.7
|5.5 – 7.5 %
|Pale Malt, 2-Row (Rahr)
|Golden Promise (Simpsons)
|Aromatic Malt (Briess)
|Whirlpool @ 108°F for 30 min
|Whirlpool @ 108°F for 30 min
|Tertiary (cold crash)
|45°F or serving temp
Frequently Asked Questions
Per Marshall: The first temp drop is to shock the yeast a bit and calm fermentation. Since esters are volatile, my hopes are that the drop in temp will slow fermentation just enough to not blow off my esters.
Assuming 23 grams of yeast per 10-gallon batch (2 dry packs). Weigh the totals using a jewelry scale to determine the percentages based on 23 grams of total weight. For example, 21.1g S-04, 1.1g T-58, .7g WB-06. If you prefer to pitch more, use the same ratios based on 31.5 grams or 3 packs.
Ferment in a pressure-capable device. Seal and pressurize your fermenter prior to crashing to avoid suck-back. Transfer to a fully purged keg. Read more here.
I use 88% lactic acid during the mash.
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