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Old 04-27-2013, 06:32 AM   #1
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Default Plugged recipe into 3 programs, got 3 different IBU estimates.

Tomorrow I'm brewing the White House Honey Ale that Pappers posted here.

I plugged the recipe into BeerSmith and it estimated my IBUs at 13.5.
So I plugged it into Brewtarget and it gave me 24.3.
Then I put it in Hopville and it says 32.8.
* All three are using Tinseth calculations.

Wut?

Each program has Challenger AA @ 7.00% and East Kent Goldings @ 5.00%.

I'm hopping as follows for a 4 gallon batch:
- 3/4 oz EKG @ 60
- 3/4 oz EKG @ 20
- 2/4 oz Challenger @ 5

Why the huge variation in each program? Which one seems correct?

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Old 04-27-2013, 07:07 AM   #2
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There are three difrent scales used to calculate IBU. I can't think of there names right now. They I know in beersmith you can pick which one to use. It's possible they were all set to use difrent ones.

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Old 04-27-2013, 07:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFK View Post
There are three difrent scales used to calculate IBU. I can't think of there names right now. They I know in beersmith you can pick which one to use. It's possible they were all set to use difrent ones.
Thanks, just edited my post to mention all 3 programs are using Tinseth calculations.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:13 AM   #4
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My only thought then is they are calculating using difrent algorithms and there is error in the formulas. Most people I know use beersmith but I couldn't tell you if one is more accurate than the others the third site you mentioned I tried one and or the same recipe in twice and it gave me two difrent answers so I have been using beersmith ever since.

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Conditioning - 5 gallons Oak Aged Sweet Tart Cherry melomel, 4 1 gallon variations of my Hops Mead.
Bottled - Choujiu (Chinese Rice Wine), Hefe, Godzilla IPA
Kegged - Godzilla IPA
On Deck - Choujiu (Chinese Rice Wine), Cream Soda for the wife n kids, German Style Pilsner with Michigan Hops,
Gone - to many to list.

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Old 04-27-2013, 07:17 AM   #5
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My only thought then is they are calculating using difrent algorithms and there is error in the formulas. Most people I know use beersmith but I couldn't tell you if one is more accurate than the others the third site you mentioned I tried one and or the same recipe in twice and it gave me two difrent answers so I have been using beersmith ever since.
Thanks for the info. If they were a few points off from each other I wouldn't care but almost 20 points difference is a pretty big jump.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:32 AM   #6
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Some programs don't really allow much settings, which is kinda bad since a lot of it matters in the calculations.

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Old 04-27-2013, 12:43 PM   #7
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Yes, the three different algorithms can give widely different estimates. However, if all three programs really use the same algorithm, they should all be the same. Not sure why you are getting differences.

The best thing you can do as a homebrewer is to pick one algorithm/program and use this to help dial in your brewing. This way, at least your own beers will be "internally" consistent - for example you will know what 35 IBUs tastes like in YOUR beers and you can then adjust other recipes up or down from there. Personally, I use the Rager algorithm and have been quite happy with my results.

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Old 04-27-2013, 01:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JLem View Post
Yes, the three different algorithms can give widely different estimates. However, if all three programs really use the same algorithm, they should all be the same. Not sure why you are getting differences.

The best thing you can do as a homebrewer is to pick one algorithm/program and use this to help dial in your brewing. This way, at least your own beers will be "internally" consistent - for example you will know what 35 IBUs tastes like in YOUR beers and you can then adjust other recipes up or down from there. Personally, I use the Rager algorithm and have been quite happy with my results.
Yeah, I thought they should be the same if they're all using the same calculations. I looked back to see if I entered anything differently but it all looks the same as far as I can tell.
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:35 PM   #9
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OK, looks like I found the issue... operator error. I had the equipment set to Extract, when I changed it to 5-Gal Mini-BIAB the numbers are now correct. I'm at 37.8 IBU where the original shows 37.9. Derp.

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