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Old 01-15-2009, 12:11 AM   #1
Gizmo
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Default 1st Brew ibu calculation...

Hi. I'm getting ready to brew my first batch, I've done a fair amount of research beforehand, and I'm worried about my ibu calculations. I'm using a trail version of a brew program that uses "Tinseth" for the calculation, and I noticed that it is 30+ ibu's lower than some of the other free calculators online. Is tinseth the most accurate? I'm a hophead, so I plan on using a "lot" of hops, but I'm not sure how much "a lot" is in a batch.

(random example):: with my prog, an ipa with 1.066 estimated O.G., and 2 oz (14.00 % alpha) Warrior pellet hops boiled for 60 min (in a 4 gal. boil, 5 gal batch) says 71.7 ibu's. Does that sound reasonable, or way off?
I thought maybe it was because of the lower boil volume (not extracting as much) but I don't want my first beer to be 180 ibu's lol. Any help would be appreciated. Oh, it's also estimating it using a 75% brewhouse efficiency (if that matters)

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Old 01-15-2009, 12:56 AM   #2
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Default BeerSmith ibu question...

Hey. I posted in the beginners section before I realized that there was a "software" section. Anyway, how accurate is the Beersmith (Tinseth) ibu calculator compared to others? I mean, I've looked around and see a lot of deviation with the ibu calculations on different websites. I'm just asking because I intend to use a good deal of hops (haven't made my 1st batch yet) and don't want to use too much, but I'm not sure what "too much" is.
Thanks

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Old 01-15-2009, 12:56 AM   #3
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Use Beerrecipator.com or brewsmith.

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Old 01-15-2009, 01:06 AM   #4
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I'm using "Beer Smith" (trial version). I was just wondering because my recipe on beersmith says around 70 ibu's, but on another website (tastybrew I think) the same recipe said something like 120 ibu's... I just wanted to make sure I wasn't using too much bittering hops.

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Old 01-15-2009, 01:17 AM   #5
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I think it is The Beer Recipator - Home not beerrecipator.com

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Old 01-15-2009, 01:48 AM   #6
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From what I've seen, most of the hop formulas break down once you get into the 80+ IBU range. There is even some debate as to whether it is even possible to get past that level just by boiling hops in wort, because you start hitting physical limits other than just the rate at which the hop acids can be isomerized. When you see people quoting 100+ IBU brews, a lot of the time that is just projected from a formula that works really well for more normal ranges, but it is doubtful whether the resulting number is really valid at these extremes.

I wouldn't worry about it. Brew it up and see how it tastes. If you're really worried, use less bittering hops, and then increase as needed in your second brew, but if you're a hophead you might equally well go the other way and brew it as you have planned, then decrease in your second batch if that turns out too much.

I don't think it's worth getting too hung up about the exact numbers for your first brew. This hobby is all about trying things, learning from them, then improving your results the next time around, so think of this as a data gathering exercise.

Plus it will most likely turn out to be delicious beer :-)

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Old 01-15-2009, 01:51 AM   #7
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both formulas are accurate enough. I usually use rager. Too much depends on what type of beer you are making. Beersmith should tell you the style guide on IBU's for any style you pick in the dropdown.

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Old 01-15-2009, 02:03 AM   #8
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Ohhh...... yeah, I guess you're right. I sort of remember hearing something about that a long time ago, and I've never really seen a 160 ibu beer anyway. I was just worried about it not being drinkable, but if ibu's are like, um, speed... (the faster you go, the harder it is to go faster), then I guess it'll be ok. 2 oz didn't seem like all that much to me, but I'm just a beginner. Besides, with most beers I buy, the more hops the better, so I guess if I overhop it it'll still be drinkable, by my standards anyway... I was just a little worried cause I've heard a few horror stories (taste wise) about homebrew, but most of that was probably due to lack of sanitation, which I'm well aware of the importance of. Thanks a lot

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Old 01-15-2009, 02:10 AM   #9
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All IBU calculators only provide approximations, and the only way to verify if those approximations are accurate is by analysis of the hops before the boil, and analysis of the wort after the boil. Neither of these analyses is practicable for most home brewers.
If you visit Hop Utilization Page, you can do the calculations for yourself, and verify Beersmith's accuracy.

-a.

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Old 01-15-2009, 02:10 AM   #10
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Are you seeing a difference between software packages with the same bitterness formula selected? I would think that the IBU calculations IBU for each formula are universal and are the same regardless of the software.

I've only used QBrew and now BeerSmith. I went back and looked up some of my older recipes in QBrew and the IBU's are within 1-2 points of each other on the 5 recipes that I have in both.

As long as you pick a program and an IBU formula and stick with it, I don't think that small variations are anything to be concerned with. AFAIK, people are unable to differentiate between say 19 and 20 IBU.

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