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Old 05-03-2010, 01:42 PM   #1
StarCityBrewMaster
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I have been building beers with BrewMasters brew builder for the last couple of batches I've done. First of all what a neat concept to come up with and a very user friendly way to mix and match ingredients to make up your own beer for free. Of course when you punch in your recipe you also get all the expected readings (OG, FG, IBUs, SRM, & ABV) which is nice as well. I also have beersmith but have forgotten about it just because I can draw up my recipe and then order it straight from their site.

Now I am finding that the biggest difference between Beersmiths numbers and Brewmasters is in IBUs.

Beersmith is usually 10 IBUs higher than what Brewmasters shows. Which one is closer to being accurate in your opinion? A beer that is 40 IBUs and a beer that is 50 is a beer that is noticeably different if I'm not mistaken?
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:35 PM   #2
StarCityBrewMaster
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anyone.....
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Primary 1: Winter Tropics Pale Ale
Primary 2: Appy IPA
Primary 3: Truly Triple Hopped IPA

Secondary 1: Air
Secondary 2: Air

Bottled: Edworts IPA, Nierra Sevada, Stork Blue Celebration Ale
On Deck: Maroon Effect Amber, Blonde, IPA, APA

 
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:49 PM   #3
weirdboy
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I haven't played with the brew builder thing on BMW for a long time, but I seem to recall it doesn't have nearly the array of settings that Beersmith does for setting your boil kettle size, etc.

Also, just throwing in a few malts for my IPA recipe from Beersmith into the BMW tool, I see that it's not calculating the same OG given the same efficiency and volume. BMW is .006 higher than Beersmith for my recipe. That will have an impact on hop utilization; higher gravity wort will tend to extract lower IBUs for the same volume and hops.

One more thing that springs to mind is that maybe BMW updates their potential extract for the grains, and alpha acid % based on what's in the inventory, whereas Beersmith just uses an estimate.

 
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:49 PM   #4
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Beersmith is a little more complex in terms of its ability to calculate IBUs. Beersmith just plain knows more about your system than the Brew Builder does, which makes a difference. The Brew Builder uses the Tinseth method of calculating the IBUs, and uses the exact formula for determining the IBUs. We also use the AA% from what is listed on the website, compared to the estimates that Beersmith uses, but of course you can change them in Beersmith.

Everything else the Brew Builder calculates will match Beersmith assuming all of the inputs are the same. If you have the same efficency, volume, average attenuation of the yeast and gravity for each grain match in both programs the OG, FG, SRM, ABV will all match exactly.

Thanks,

Ed

Edit: Also remember that IBUs are just a mathematical guess. If you are used to tasting a 40 IBU beer as calculated by the Brew Builder, then you know what that tastes like. If you want to go hoppier then you can have an idea of what a 50 IBU beer would taste like. Consistency is the key, because if you jump back and forth between 2 or more programs, then you can never get that good idea of what the IBU formula spits out and what your tastes are .
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:07 PM   #5
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I have the same happen with Brewtarget (the free calculator found in the computer program part of these boards). I chalk it up to the fact that BMW sets the batch size as the boil size and doesn't consider that you start with more and evaporate to the batch size. This means that the SG is higher and hops utilization is calculated to be less. The other programs take into account evaporation and then take the average boil volume for calculation (larger than the final batch size and hence a lower SG) and utilization is increased.

This is confusing. nvermind.
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