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Old 11-25-2008, 08:56 PM   #1
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Default fermentables vs. ABV

is there any easy way to ballpark ABV based on fermentables added, before you start...like say i make a brew with only 6 lbs. of malt extract, how does that equate to ABV (i realize there are many factors, I am just looking for an estimate) it seems many recipes that are 5% ish, call for about 6-7 lbs. of malt extract....
thanks

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Old 11-25-2008, 09:00 PM   #2
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If you think there is even a remote chance that you'll ever brew a second batch of beer, the best $20 you can spend today is on BeerSmith...It comes with a 20 day free trial. Put a buck in a jar every day during your trial, and you'll have it paid for. It calculates all of that for you. Beer Tools has a free online version...but I didn't think it was as user friendly.

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Old 11-25-2008, 09:48 PM   #3
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I have used Beer Recipator (Google it), I like it, very easy to use, and has a nice summary sheet you can print and file away. Plus, ITS FREE!!!

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Old 11-25-2008, 09:58 PM   #4
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Beer recipator is workable, but beersmith is well worth the $20.

Use the trial, I'm sure you'll agree. If not, no harm done.

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Old 11-26-2008, 01:24 AM   #5
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i was going to buy beersmith tommarrow (payday) but i just wanted to know if there was a quick easy way to estimate...like i stated...my buddy ALWAYS uses 6 lbs. of malt in his brews and he always shoots for like 5% ish...
where i like to get silly and shoot for around 6.5-8% everytime....but last brew i dropped the hydrometer right before the first reading, so i was F'd....anyway, so i just wanted an easy way to estimate...can anyone hook me up...
thanks

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Old 11-26-2008, 01:32 AM   #6
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According to BeerSmith (for a 5 gallon batch):

Each 1 lb of LME will result in an SG increase of .007.
Each 1 lb of DME will result in an SG increase of .009.

Also, keep this formula in mind:

ABV = (OG - FG) x 131

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Old 11-26-2008, 01:32 AM   #7
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A quick google search gave me this:

The best way to illustrate and conceptualize this in your mind is to think about a one-pound bag of DME. DME has a PPG of 44, or 44PPG. If you dissolved a one-pound bag of DME in on gallon of water it the resulting gravity would be 1.044 SG (specific gravity). Subsequently, an easier way to use this number is to ignore the gallon part of the equation. Before you add the water to your 1 pound of DME, that dry bag has 44 points in it (or 44 points per pound). Using easy math you can see that if you put that 44-point bag (one pound) in 2 gallons the 44 points would be diluted to a gravity reading of 1.022SG. Likewise, you can put that same 44 points into half a gallon and the resulting gravity would be 1.088SG (44/0.5 is 88). But the total points are always the same regardless of gravity readings. (22*2=44, 44*1=44 and 88*0.5=44)

How do we translate PPG numbers into 5-gallon batches? It may be easier if we think of recipe formulation in reverse. Lets say you want to make a 5-gallon batch of 1.044 OG. A specific gravity of 1.044 can be taken to mean 44 points per gallon. So in a 5 gallon batch there is actually 5*44=220 total points. So to make that beer you need to get 220 total points of malt in there. If you were to make it entirely using DME, which is 44PPG, then you would need 5 pounds. 220 total points divided by 44 points per pound (ignore the gallon part of PPG because you already accounted for the gallons by calculating total points). 5 pounds makes sense because if 1 pound of DME in one gallon makes a 1.044 gravity wort, then it would take 5 pounds in 5 gallons to make the same strength beer.

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Old 11-26-2008, 01:45 AM   #8
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Also, keep this formula in mind:

ABV = (OG - FG) x 131[/QUOTE]

My hydrometer has a little graph inside that says simply subtract the FG from the SG. After reading books, I knew that it wasn't right and to use the formula. Plus after having a few of my IPA's, I was feeling really good and 4.4% does not do that to me!

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