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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Commercial Beer Reference For IBUs ?
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:26 AM   #1
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Default Commercial Beer Reference For IBUs ?

Is there a reference for IBUs of common commercial beers ? If not I think that there should be.

I mean, there should be a list of IBUs from say 10 to 60, and there should be listed a commonly available commercial beer as an example of how bitter that particular number tastes.

Because to someone who is new to brewing beer, xx IBUs is not at all helpful, however if there is a chart to consult so someone can look and quickly see "25 IBUs - hmmm -- Oh I see that WonderBrew Craptastic Ale is 25 IBUs, I know what that tastes like" it would make reading the recipes make a lot more sense.

And I know for sure it would have saved me a lot of trouble over the last couple years. I know brewing beer to a certain IBUs and tasting it yourself is part of paying your dues and all, but I think we should make an IBU reference chart and relate the IBUs to a beer that a new brewer can easily relate to. Make any easy frame of reference for otherwise confusing and seemingly meaningless numbers.

Agree ?

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Old 01-27-2009, 01:29 AM   #2
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I like the concept - where do we find said info?

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Old 01-27-2009, 03:30 AM   #3
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Budweiser is what, 12 IBUs? Heineken is ~20, Sierra Nevada Pale is 35 or something. Jever Pilsner is 40-45 (highest IBU German Pilsner?), Stone Ruination is 100+.

But you want a master list. I don't have one, but the problem is IBUs are relative to malt levels, so you can never say 25 IBUs is too low or anything like that.

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Old 01-27-2009, 03:32 AM   #4
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Exactly. I have some beers that are 20 IBUs and some that are 60. But, one is not necessarily more bitter or hoppy. It's all about the malt balance. I think we need to consider the IBU/SG ratio more than the number of IBUs. I mean, in an IPA, 57 IBUs is nothing. But in a cream ale, 30 IBUs may be too much.

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Old 01-27-2009, 03:35 AM   #5
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I can tell you Harpoon IPA is around 42 IBU's and Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA is 122 IBUs

Those are two good commercial examples for IIPAs and APA's

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Old 01-27-2009, 04:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
Exactly. I have some beers that are 20 IBUs and some that are 60. But, one is not necessarily more bitter or hoppy. It's all about the malt balance. I think we need to consider the IBU/SG ratio more than the number of IBUs. I mean, in an IPA, 57 IBUs is nothing. But in a cream ale, 30 IBUs may be too much.
I'm sure you've seen the chart/graph that gets posted from time to time that shows comparatively how malty/hoppy a beer may taste according to the SG. I think maybe they're making it with some brew software or something, people commonly post it along with their recipe or brew reports ?? You must know what I mean.

Anyway, I was thinking somehting like that would be a good place to start, just plot some reference beers out on that chart.

That way, it could account for the bitterness/hoppiness relative to the gravity and still do it in terms that someone could easily understand with no more initial study than to go taste a few beers.

Good idea ?
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:07 PM   #7
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I just had a conversation with a friend about IBUs last weekend. We were discussing Fat Squirrel and were surprised at the amount of IBUs in it (between 30-40) in this wonderful smooth brown ale.

I think what you have to do is look for clones and use THEIR IBU. Then use a BU:GU type number where you devide OG by IBU to come up with a number. Still - nothing is perfect.

No non-home brew person will ever "easily understand". LOL

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Old 01-27-2009, 01:45 PM   #8
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Flying Dog publishes the IBUs (and I think OG?) on the label for all their beers, it's usually on the bottom of the label somewhere.

But like others have said, perception of bitterness is dependent on malts.

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Old 01-27-2009, 01:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
perception of bitterness is dependent on malts.
Well put. Like my Fat Squirrel. I never ever considered that to be a Hoppy beer - it's almost to IPA level.

But for Home Brewers knowing IBU and other numbers you can get an idea. I've gone to a number of Micro breweries that will post their numbers and it's always a help.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:17 PM   #10
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BJCP style guide will list the ibus range for a particular style, and will list commercial examples of that style....For Micro brews, the brewery website will often list ingredients, OG, srm's and Ibu's for their beers...the one thing to realize is that they don't usually tell you what IBU formula they use, whether it is tinseth or the others...

And as to the ibu/gu chart...I don't know how some people are able to dot their beer on the chart, but I have a blank one in my gallery.

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