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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > IBU number
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:30 AM   #1
SexPanther13
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Default IBU number

So I'm trying to calculate hops for a beer I'm just making up and I need some comparison examples for IBU to bitterness in real life, because it's just a number. Can anyone list some common beers and their relative IBUs to give me an idea of what kind of bitterness I'd be getting into? Or link me to a similar post/web page. Thanks.

PS right now with the hops I'm calculating a 44 IBU. Is that high?

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Old 03-04-2010, 02:33 AM   #2
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Nevermind I found something.

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Old 03-04-2010, 02:38 AM   #3
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This all depends on your tastes and what style beer it is. If it's a stout with 44 IBU's, you probably won't taste it much. If it's a pilsner with 44 IBU's, you'll taste it a lot. What style beer are you making? 44 IBU's is generally not a whole lot for most American style beers.

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Old 03-04-2010, 02:41 AM   #4
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I was going to create an English Ale. I want it bitter but not IPA bitter.

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Old 03-04-2010, 02:45 AM   #5
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This is a tough request and is an issue that I myself have been frustrated trying to figure out. Part of the issue is that there are multiple algorithms for estimating IBUs (e.g. Rager, Tinseth, Garetz) - each will give you a different estimate depending on when the hops are added. So the EXACT SAME hop schedule can give you 50 IBUs on one, but only 35 on another.

Another issue is that the same hop schedule brewed on your system will end up with a different bitterness on my system (not to mention a commercial system) due to water chemistry, kettle size/geometry, yeast, etc.

I guess what I am trying to say is that the only way to really get a handle in this is to brew some beers using a consistent IBU estimation algorithm (I use Rager) and figure it all out relative to to your system. For example, after brewing a bunch of beers, I now know what 25, 35, and 45 IBUs tastes like coming out of my system. I could tell you that Bass Ale is 20 IBUs, but someone else will tell you its more like 30. And we'd both be right because we're comparing it to our own system.

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Old 03-04-2010, 02:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLem View Post
This is a tough request and is an issue that I myself have been frustrated trying to figure out. Part of the issue is that there are multiple algorithms for estimating IBUs (e.g. Rager, Tinseth, Garetz) - each will give you a different estimate depending on when the hops are added. So the EXACT SAME hop schedule can give you 50 IBUs on one, but only 35 on another.

Another issue is that the same hop schedule brewed on your system will end up with a different bitterness on my system (not to mention a commercial system) due to water chemistry, kettle size/geometry, yeast, etc.

I guess what I am trying to say is that the only way to really get a handle in this is to brew some beers using a consistent IBU estimation algorithm (I use Rager) and figure it all out relative to to your system. For example, after brewing a bunch of beers, I now know what 25, 35, and 45 IBUs tastes like coming out of my system. I could tell you that Bass Ale is 20 IBUs, but someone else will tell you its more like 30. And we'd both be right because we're comparing it to our own system.
Thanks, that's good to know, I just assumed it was all the same. I guess I'll just have to do it all trial and error.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:29 AM   #7
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I also find it helpful to think of bitterness in terms of the IBU/OG ratio.
http://www.brewsupplies.com/hops-gravity.htm

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