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Old 03-08-2011, 05:18 AM   #1
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Default bitter & malt balance

Anyone have any suggestions on how to determine bitter and malt balance before brewing?

i know there are IBU calculators, but how can i combined my IBU calculations with knowing how much malt I have AND make those two numbers mean something in relation to each other so i know how to adjust my recipe to get my beer to taste how i want.

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Old 03-08-2011, 05:23 AM   #2
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Use the AHA guidelines. or this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanJ View Post
You will be fine at that ibu amount with such a low gravity, the beer will just be very malty. I refer to this graph occasionally. Save a few for aging as they usually get better with age.

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Old 03-08-2011, 05:26 AM   #3
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amazing, thank you!

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Old 03-08-2011, 05:27 AM   #4
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If you have the means to calculate your target original gravity and IBUs, you can use this chart http://www.brewsupplies.com/hops-gravity.htm to determine the balance between bitterness and maltyness

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Old 03-09-2011, 01:09 AM   #5
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**** the pale ale I just made falls to the left of the extra malty region. I dry hopped and altho i know that doesn't technically bring up my alpha bitterness, maybe it will push my beer back into a reasonable range? (it was a small beer with an OG of 1.048.)

Altho i am sure i have to reserve judgment for when its done conditioning, its weird my beer may be so far off balance because I followed a recipe that seemed well recommended. Although i did use 1lb crystal 20 instead of .5 lbs of crystal 10... but i added some more hops too, didn't think that would make a huge difference

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Old 03-09-2011, 02:18 AM   #6
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Having the bitterness balance your intended recipe is more of an art than a science. The table shown above doesn't mention wich formula was used to calculate the IBU (Tinseth, Rager, Garetz ?) and a 1.040 beer that is all pilsner malt won't need the same bitterness to balance it out than a 1.040 beer with 2 pounds of crystal malt.

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Old 03-09-2011, 02:49 AM   #7
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rwabdu, what jfr1111 says makes a lot of sense. The balance of flavors is much more than just a ratio of gravity and IBU numbers. The types of malts used and how they are mashed has a huge impact. Beyond simple raw IBU numbers the types of hops have a big effect as well. Some hops come across as sharper tasting than others.

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Old 03-09-2011, 03:43 AM   #8
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oh good! ok, i was a little bummed out that my beer might come out lousy. I tasted it when i bottled and thought it tasted pretty good un-carbonated. .. just have to wait and see. thanks for all the help !

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Old 03-09-2011, 11:09 AM   #9
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Read Ray Daniels' Designing Great Beers. He gets into the OG:IBU ratio of different styles.

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Old 03-09-2011, 02:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwabdu View Post
oh good! ok, i was a little bummed out that my beer might come out lousy. I tasted it when i bottled and thought it tasted pretty good un-carbonated. .. just have to wait and see. thanks for all the help !
Do you use brewing software ? In my experience, it's pretty hard to go wrong bitterness wise if you follow the suggested figures for the style you are brewing. Also, stick to a formula (I prefer Tinseth) so you will know how 30 Tinset IBU feels. If you keep switching formulas, you can't develop a palate for the values.

Looking at recipes in the database will also help you in your quest to designing good beers.
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