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Old 02-28-2012, 07:57 PM   #1
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Default OG:IBU vs. FG:IBU

I know a lot of people talk about OG:IBU ratios in terms of making a balanced beer, and I myself consult a chart I downloaded to see how the balance stacks up. Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like FG:IBU would be a better indicator. If you take a 1.06 beer but dry it out by mashing low or using sugar instead of malt so that it gets down to 1.005, will that carry 60 IBU just as well as a 1.06 only attenuating to a maltier 1.012 or so? Is the OG:IBU just a quick way to estimate the balance, or does higher alcohol help cover/balance the bitterness?

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Old 02-28-2012, 08:04 PM   #2
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It may be a better indicator, I don't know....But you'd have to use an "anticipated" final gravity in your calculations then as opposed to an ACTUAL original gravity.

I use those charts on the fly to hop beers all the time, like for hopping the second runnings of partigylles, I take my Preboil gravity calculate my post boil/original gravity based on my evaporation rate, then pull out one of those charts and decide what I want to hop it to.

You really don't know where ACTUALLY the FG of a beer will land. There's a level of unpredictablilty based on yeast health, amount of yeast, amount of unfermentables created that would not give you an accurate final gravity prediction.

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Old 02-28-2012, 10:21 PM   #3
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That makes sense. But, I have read of people doing things like adding cane sugar after low efficiency to hit their OG to get the ratio right. This seems counterproductive to me, as it would do nothing but add alcohol, not give a maltier backbone so their IPA isn't unbalanced.

I think this also applies to something I've been thinking and reading about recently--hoppy session-strength ales. I know you can't exactly predict the FG of your brew, but could you design a recipe that's only 1.04 OG and 50 IBU (like a Stone recipe I came across) even though that ratio is way hoppy, if it's mashed at 158, so that it should finish like a 1.06 ale mashed at 152? I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel and bunk conventional wisdom with the GU:IBU ratio, but I do want to understand balance better as I start tinkering with recipes.

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Old 02-28-2012, 11:23 PM   #4
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FG might be more accurate, but it is easier to base it on OG.

I brew a lot of Belgians and am finding that hitting the right ratio can make or break a brew. I have figured out what I like using OG so if I come near my predicted FG then I know the beer will balance out.

Some beers like IPA/ APA's the ratio can vary quite a bit and still be very good. Belgians are very sensitive to the right ratio. It does not take much to throw them out of balance.

I think the ratio is a good tool to plan recipes.

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Old 02-29-2012, 01:11 PM   #5
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I have a feeling this would help a few of my beers out, does anyone have a link for a chart?

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Old 02-29-2012, 01:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdelap View Post
I have a feeling this would help a few of my beers out, does anyone have a link for a chart?
I keep one in my gallery.

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Old 02-29-2012, 01:49 PM   #7
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Thanks, I will definitely be using this!!

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