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Old 01-13-2010, 05:46 PM   #1
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Default If you have something other than Beersmith

Here is something that I posted on Beersmith. After following up with BYO Magazine, the lady who was helping me returned my call and stated that Jamil Z said it's likely just a difference caused by different brewing software. I was curious what other brewing software rates the total IBU's as. Here is the original post I made on the Beersmith site.

Hi.

I brewed 10 gallons of Janet's Brown Ale (recipe in the October 2009 issue of BYO). I doubled everything because the recipe is for 5 gallons and I brewed 10 gallons (all grain).

The recipe in BYO states "IBU = 63."

Beersmith states "Bitterness (IBUs) 31.6"

I doubled all of the hop additions and I've checked my math. I'm sure it's something simple, but I can't for the life of me figure it out.

The recipe is for a 90 minute boil, with the first hops going in the mash and the last being the dry hop.

My OG and FG are real close to the BYO recipe. I got a little better efficiency than the 65% they base their recipes on (I got 68%).

Anyway, here are the BYO hop additions followed by what I have entered into Beersmith.

.83 oz at 6.5% alpha acid, Northern Brewer (Mash Hop)
1.04 oz at 6.5% alpha acid, Northern Brewer (60 Min)
.83 oz at 6.5% alpha acid, Northern Brewer (15 min).
1.25 oz at 6% alpha acid, Cascade (10 min).
1.25 oz at 6% alpha acid, Cascade (0 min).
1.67 oz at 9% alpha acid Centennial (dry hop)

My additions as entered into Beersmith. Remember, I doubled the amount of hops because my batch size was 10 gallons and theirs is for five gallons.

1.66 oz Northern Brewer (6.50% Alpha Acid) Mash Hop
2.08 oz Northern Brewer (6.50% Alpha Acid) 60 Min
1.66 oz Northern Brewer (6.50% Alpha Acid) 15 Min
2.50 oz Cascade (7.00% Alpha Acid) 10 min
2.50 oz Cascade (7.00% Alpha Acid) 0 min
3.34 oz. Centennial (7.80% Alpha Acid) Dry Hop

Now that I write this, I think I am on to what might be the issue. I entered the 10 min and 0 minute additions as "Aroma Hop-Steep" in Beersmith and I'll bet it doesn't consider
those additions to contribute any IBU's to the beer. Aren't hops added that late just for aroma? Why would BYO count all the hops towards IBU's, even if they use a different scale
than Beersmith uses?

I just changed the 10 min addition to be listed as a "boil hop" in Beersmith and the total recipe IBU's are now up to 41.2. Beersmith shows no IBU's contributed from the "0 minute
addition and no IBU's contributed from the "Dry Hopping." From what I remember reading, I believe that is the way it should be.

Does anyone have any idea why my #'s are so far off from theirs?

Thank you for your time.
P.S. I changed the IBU calculations formula in Beersmith to Rager and the type of hops to pellet and still came up short (47.4 IBU's).

Anyway, if you have different brewing software and could run these #'s, I would appreciate it. My Boil volume was 13.50 gallons and the OG was 1.070.
If you need the exact grain bill, let me know and I will edit this post when I have the magazine handy. Thanks.

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Old 01-13-2010, 06:35 PM   #2
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I had the same issue with my last brew. I had a Bells Two-hearted Clone kit from AHS and after I entered the ingredients into brewsmith it estimated my IBUs much lower than desired for the range of the IPA style. Now, my first problem was that AHS has never given an estimated IBU in the kits that I have bought from them which is annoying, but I have to guess that they intended it to be atleast within the IPA range. I played around with all kinds of settings to see if I was missing something. Obviously there are multiple factors that go into calculating hop alpha acid utilization rates (the big ones being boil/final volume and boil gravity) but my problem is not being able to see exactly how they calculate it. The manual says it uses the tinseth method, but when I did the calculations by hand I could never come up with the numbers beersmith did.

I was doing a partial mash so instead of going out and buying more hops, I just ended up adding the extract late (lower gravity boil = increased utilization), which increased my IBU's quite a bit. I am still learning the inner workings of Beersmith, but after messing with other pieces of software, I like it the best. I think once I move on to full boils and eventually all grain, I will be able to utilize it better. (sorry a bit off topic)

No significant IBUs are contributed from 0 min additions or dry hopping. Obviously, the majority of your IBUS are going to come from the early additions with long boil times. However, their utilization rates have to be calculated based on the boil gravity which is not clearly estimated anywhere.

I also would be interested to see how other software estimated Kedash's recipe and if anyone has a better understanding under the hood of beersmith.

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Old 01-13-2010, 10:25 PM   #3
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I just ran your hop additions through Promash, using a 10g boil and an OG of 1.070
Promash came up with estimated IBU of 60.2 using Tinseth

Edit
I just repeated using Beersmith using the same parameters, and came up with 38.5 IBU's (but I'm not totally sure that Beersmith is set up properly - so that estimate could be wrong.)
/Edit

-a.

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Old 01-13-2010, 11:04 PM   #4
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Your replies are very helpful. Thank you. Your Beersmith total is very close to my Beersmith total (and also much lower than the magazine article's stated IBU's). Since ProMash came up with something close to the article's #'s, I'm wondering if Jamil might be using ProMash. If Jamil does indeed use ProMash, we still don't know which brewing software is more accurate.

I know Jamil is a busy guy, but I've seen him reply on here before. Maybe we'll get lucky and he will chime in. In the meantime, I'll try to find out which software he uses. I do know that he uses the Rager formula. I also know IBU's can only be estimated and the only way to find out the real IBU's is to have it analyzed in a lab. I just want to know that I'm getting accurate estimates with Beersmith.

In the next day or two, let's try this with another recipe and compare Beersmith's #'s to ProMash's #'s.

Thanks again.

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Old 01-14-2010, 01:23 AM   #5
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Entering your first three hop additions into the "hops bitterness" tool in Beersmith (since I don't have the whole grain bill to add make a recipe) I get total bitterness = 45 IBU using Tinseth. (Boil volume 13.5, OG 1.070). Using Rager I get 47.1.

So why the major difference in calculations between Promash and Beersmith? Even setting both to Tinseth gives different calculations!! Not sure what other parameters need to be set to give a reliable estimate. I would think boil volume/OG would be enough to atleast be close. Those differences in estimated IBUs are disturbing.

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Old 01-14-2010, 01:27 AM   #6
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I believe I've heard somewhere before that Promash and Beersmith calculate the Mash Hop addition differently. Not sure why/how or why it would be such a huge difference.

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Old 01-14-2010, 02:22 AM   #7
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did you double the batch size on Beersmith, and set it to full boil (I'm not sure if beersmith has that setting, never used it).

It might be dropping the utilization due to a high gravity boil if it thinks it's a 5 gallon boil.

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Old 01-14-2010, 02:34 AM   #8
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doing some googling, Promash adjusts the utilization by -30% for mash hopping. Beersmith adjusts by -80%.

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Old 01-14-2010, 02:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilted Brewer View Post
I believe I've heard somewhere before that Promash and Beersmith calculate the Mash Hop addition differently. Not sure why/how or why it would be such a huge difference.
I re-ran the hop additions through Promash and Beersmith, substituting the mash hopping with a normal 60 minute boil.
With this change, Promash estimated 65 IBU vs 60.2 with mash hopping, and Beersmith estimated 56.2 IBU vs 38.5 with mash hopping.
The 65 vs 56.2 IBU is probably reasonable if you take into account that Beersmith has not been set up properly, so it certainly looks as though Promash and Beersmith treat mash hopping very differently.
I'm not going to try to guess which one is more acurate, as I have never tried mash hopping.

-a.
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:18 PM   #10
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I use a homemade spreadsheet and I use Tinseth. I ran the first four additions using a boil volume of 13.5 gal and an OG of 1.070 (at 10 gal). With an OG of 1.070 @ 10 gal the gravity at the start of the boil should be 1.052. I also used '20 min' for the Mash Hop time (that's what I use for First Wort Hopping, don't know what to use for Mash hopping).

My result was 53.8 IBU.
If I increase the Mash Hop time to '42 min' (which is 30% less than 60 min, per qvantamon's googling) I get 59.1 IBU.

I also went to the Tasty Brew Bitterness Calculator (which uses Tinseth) and ran it using the same numbers and it was within 0.1 IBUs both times.

EDIT: If I use '60 min' for the Mash Hopping I get exactly 61 IBU.

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Last edited by SpanishCastleAle; 01-14-2010 at 12:23 PM.
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