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Old 01-15-2014, 09:37 PM   #1
DrKeiser
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Default High Gravity Beer IBU Ratio Question

I have a quick question about high gravity brewing. I recently brewed a beer with an OG of 1.087. If the beer ferments out to 1.015 then the beer should have a ABV around 9.45%. Is 110 IBUs enough for a beer of that gravity?

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Old 01-15-2014, 09:39 PM   #2
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It would help to know what style of beer.

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Old 01-15-2014, 09:43 PM   #3
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Sounds good for something like an American Barleywine. For someone who's not a hop-head, you could make the IBU's much lower and still have a very nice beer. Like Cluck said, the style will dictate what the IBU's "should" be...but I say that if you like the taste of it, you're answer doesn't really matter.

I would try to find a high gravity/high IBU beer, buy/drink it, and see what you think. I'm sure there are many better informed individuals here that could recommend such a beer. Happy Brewing!

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Old 01-16-2014, 01:41 PM   #4
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Default Style of Beer

My mistake, the OG of the beer was 1.087 so I named it 187 IPA and included it in my beers. I will remember to be more specific next post. I am trying to make a double IPA or imperial IPA, whatever you would like to call it. The IBU to OG ratio is around 1.33. I use beersmith for all of my recipes and according to that program, IPAs are supposed to contain 40-70 IBUs. I know that as gravity increases, the number of IBUs should as well. I am just worried that at the gravity that I am making the beer (8.5% to 9.5%), 110 IBUs will not give it a hop bite at all. Any thoughts?

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Old 01-16-2014, 01:52 PM   #5
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The ratio for an IIPA should be around 1.13 according to Designing Great Beers--though you are over this, it is still your beer so do it, but you can be sure you will get plenty of hop bite. It is not so much simply raising IBU's as the gravity goes up. You settle on a certain IBU:gravity ratio for the style and as the gravity goes up it takes more hops for the ratio. It takes more IBU's to maintain that ratio, but it's the balance that matters. Very strong Belgian and Scotch Ales have very high gravities and very low IBU's. For example Belgian Dark Strong has 1.075 to 1.110 OG and only up to 35 IBU. Wee Heavies go up to 1.130 and also top out at 35 IBU's.

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Old 01-16-2014, 02:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cluckk View Post
The ratio for an IIPA should be around 1.13 according to Designing Great Beers--though you are over this, it is still your beer so do it, but you can be sure you will get plenty of hop bite. It is not so much simply raising IBU's as the gravity goes up. You settle on a certain IBU:gravity ratio for the style and as the gravity goes up it takes more hops for the ratio. It takes more IBU's to maintain that ratio, but it's the balance that matters. Very strong Belgian and Scotch Ales have very high gravities and very low IBU's. For example Belgian Dark Strong has 1.075 to 1.110 OG and only up to 35 IBU. Wee Heavies go up to 1.130 and also top out at 35 IBU's.
Thanks Cluckk, your response makes a lot of sense and puts my mind at ease. I just did an IPA similar to Founders Centennial and while it was a great beer, I felt that it needed more hop bite. I have never brewed a beer with this high of a gravity and am getting anxious.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:47 PM   #7
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You have far more daring tastes than I do. I find most hop monsters to be painful and not my mug of beer.

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Old 01-16-2014, 11:27 PM   #8
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If it comes out on the SUUUUUUUUUUUUPER hoppy side, sit a bunch away in a closet for a year and see how it mellows. I give this advice having NEVER had the patients to do it myself, so take it with a grain of salt.

To save on cost and depression, maybe make a smaller batch on the first brew. If it's good, make more. If not, drink some...and hide the rest.

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Old 01-16-2014, 11:32 PM   #9
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Oops. I forgot you already brewed it. At any rate, I look forward to hearing how this turns out!

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Old 01-17-2014, 11:57 AM   #10
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Pics and tasting notes to come!

Thanks again,
DrKeiser

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