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Old 03-01-2010, 02:44 AM   #1
Feb 2010
Nutley, New Jersey
Posts: 113
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Tinseth, Rager, Hopville, Garetz, Daniels, Mosher, etc....
Which one is best to use or should it be some combination?

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Old 03-01-2010, 02:47 AM   #2
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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The best advice I can give you is to use the own that you feel that you "know", if that makes sense. For example, I use Tinseth. I know what 50 IBUs tastes like with that scale, using Beersmith. Now, in Rager it might not be the same. But I can make my beers shooting for what I'm familiar with, and be happy with the results.

I don't think there is a "best" formula. What's best for me may not be what works well for you.
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:05 AM   #3
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Jan 2010
Baltimore, MD
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The ProMash developers seem to think that Rager is better for partial boils while Tinseth is better for full wort boils. I have no idea why.

I'd have to go with Yooper, though. It's just a way of approximating flavor, and flavor is relative to the drinker.

Just use whatever formula and stick with it long enough to find out what 35 or 15 or 80 IBUs under that formula tastes like to you.

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Old 03-01-2010, 03:15 AM   #4
Nov 2008
Kansas City
Posts: 3,654
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A few issues back in Zymurgy Gordon Strong had an article describing the beer camp at Sierra Nevada that NHC winners went to.

He had three beers analyzed in their lab and posted the IBUs along with predictions from several formulas. On two of them Tinseth was closest (by a long shot) and on third it was the second closest (just behind the first).

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Old 03-01-2010, 03:20 AM   #5
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Jul 2006
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I've heard that Tinseth works best for brewing small batches (i.e., homebrew sized brew lengths). However, I completely agree with Yooper when it comes to original recipe formulation. I also use Tinseth because I'm comfortable with it, and not necessarily because it's the most accurate.

When using recipes by other brewers, it's a bit trickier. For a recipe that only gives hops in ounces and total IBUs, it's helpful to know the algorithm that brewer used. Better recipes will include AA% for each hop variety.
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Old 03-30-2010, 05:50 PM   #6
Feb 2010
Nutley, New Jersey
Posts: 113
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Wow thanks all! I will recalculate IBUs using the different formulas when I'm drinking the results of a batch to see what each "means" as far as bitterness.

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Old 03-30-2010, 08:49 PM   #7
Feb 2009
Alexandria, VA, USA
Posts: 2,057
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BBR did several measurements of actual IBUs as well as computing the estimates with various forulas.

Mark's Hefeweizen:
Extract, 1 oz Tettnang 4.5% @60mins
Avg of all the estimates: 15
StdD: 2
Rager: 17
Garetz 12 (Garetz always had the always lowest values)
Mosher 14
Tinseth 15
Daniels 17 (Daniels always had the highest values)
Actual measured IBUs: 7

Belgian Brunette
60 min .5 Styrian Goldings 6% and .85oz Hallertau 5.3%
Avg: 26
StD: 4
R: 30
G: 22
M: 23
T: 23
D: 30
Actual: 18
(Note: Beer was 6 months old)

Vanilla Porter
60min, 15 min, 5 min
Avg: 24
StD: 4.9
R: 27
G: 18
M: 23
T: 22
D: 31
Actual: 27

6pack Simcoe
15, 5 mins, flameout, dry-hop
Avg: 41
StD: 17.5
R: 37
G: 15
M: 42
T: 48
D: 63
Actual: 34

Late-hop Simcoe
Malt extract
10.1 minute boil
2.5 oz @15min, 1 @5, .5 @flameout, 1 oz Amarillo dry-hop
Avg: 38
StD: 19
R: 37
G: 10 (They corrected this later--18 after checking the numbers)
M: 38
T: 39
D: 64 (Corrected: 74)
Actual: 34

10 gal
18 oz cascade
2 @90 60 30 25 20 15 10 5 1
Avg: 85
StD: 21
R: 91
G: 57
M: 83
T: 78
D: 116
Actual: 77
On deck: Little Bo Pils, Bretta Off Dead (Brett pale)
Secondary: Oude Bruin, Red Sky at Morning (Sour brown ale)
On tap: Saison Duphunk (sour), Amarillo Slim (IPA), Earl White (ginger/bergamot wit)
Bottled: Number 8 (Belgian Strong Dark Ale), Eternale (Barleywine), Ancho Villa (Ancho/pasilla/chocolate/cinnamon RIS), Oak smoked porter (1/2 maple bourbon oaked, 1/2 apple brandy oaked)

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Old 03-30-2010, 10:06 PM   #8
Oct 2009
Boston, MA
Posts: 214
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I've always liked the suggestion (that was made above) to just pick one and stick with it. All of the formulas are just different approximations of utilization, so none are objectively "correct". By using the same formula each brew, though, you can get a sense of what to expect from your recipes.

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Old 03-31-2010, 08:30 PM   #9
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Jan 2010
Baltimore, MD
Posts: 833
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Thanks for posting that information. Really interesting stuff!

I hope one day someone will do something similar but do multiple trials with the same recipe. That would hopefully allow them to average out variables in the brewing process.

It looks like Daniels really stinks if you're dry hopping!

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Old 02-15-2011, 09:24 AM   #10
Apr 2008
Christchurch, NZ
Posts: 39
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I work in the lab at a major brewer and tested a batch of my homebrew the other day (unfortunately i only have one beer to test atm). i have included my tested result along with various other calculations

Tested: 44.2
Tinseth: 55.0
Rager: 70.8
Garetz: 42.7

I think I will use Garetz from now on but that doesn't mean it is better for everyone it all depends on equipment.

P.s I did a full 25L boil to get a 23L batch size (had to add a bit of top up water)

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