Author Topic: Hop Utilization  (Read 692 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Hop Utilization
« on: February 09, 2014, 08:40:36 AM »
After most likely severely over-hopping a one gallon batch, I downloaded BeerSmith and have a MUCH better idea on how hop amounts affect IBU's. So my questions are...

1) How closely do you all follow the IBU's indicated in BeerSmith? Pleased with the results in general?

2) If I don't do a 60 minute (or even 45 minute) addition, is it necessary to do an extract boil that long? i.e. If the longest hop addition is 30, can I just boil for 30?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Hop Utilization
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 08:56:19 AM »
After most likely severely over-hopping a one gallon batch, I downloaded BeerSmith and have a MUCH better idea on how hop amounts affect IBU's. So my questions are...

1) How closely do you all follow the IBU's indicated in BeerSmith? Pleased with the results in general?

2) If I don't do a 60 minute (or even 45 minute) addition, is it necessary to do an extract boil that long? i.e. If the longest hop addition is 30, can I just boil for 30?


1/  I set my own IBU levels, and let Beersmith (or other software) help me with the amounts to achieve that - NOT the other way around.

2/ If you're using all extract, no it's not necessary. I used to do 15 minute boils with all extract to test different hop varieties. It sounds like you don't want an overly bitter beer, so you could add those hops incrementally from 15 minutes down to zero minutes.
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Offline leejoreilly

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Re: Hop Utilization
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2014, 09:06:31 AM »
I find that the Bitterness Ratio shown in BeerSmith as probably as valuable to me as the IBU calculation. I'm usually more interested in the balance between malt and hops than just a bitterness octane rating.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Hop Utilization
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2014, 09:10:12 AM »
I find that the Bitterness Ratio shown in BeerSmith as probably as valuable to me as the IBU calculation. I'm usually more interested in the balance between malt and hops than just a bitterness octane rating.

+1.  Agreed - BU/GU ratio is pretty important. 100 IBUs of Chinook would seem a lot more harsh than 100 IBUs of Mt Hood.
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Hop Utilization
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 09:23:36 AM »
Good information, thank you! FWIW, the BU/GU for my "mistake" is apparently 2.3!

Offline duboman

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Re: Hop Utilization
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2014, 10:19:50 AM »
I agree with all of the above as well, the only thing I will add is that occasionally the default AA value in BS is not actually the AA value of the hops you are using. Be sure to note the difference if any when you input your hops as the AA value can differ from season to season and hop to hop.
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Online mabrungard

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Re: Hop Utilization
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2014, 10:36:14 AM »
Remember, any under or over hopped batch is fine for blending with others. No dumping.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Hop Utilization
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2014, 10:36:35 AM »
Speaking of BU/GU ratios, here's a pretty decent chart of ratios as they correlate to beer styles. Keep in mind that the chart claims to show the midpoint of each BJCP style. For example, in IPAs I generally like to push the upper limit (personal preference)on the various IPA styles - I like a 1 to 1.2 ratio. But it'll get you in the ballpark . After that, you just need to experiment to find out what you prefer in a given beer   :

http://www.tc.umn.edu/~rohw0009/homebrewing/calculator/bvcalc.htm

EDIT -  Scroll down a little to see the chart.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 12:21:33 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Hop Utilization
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2014, 12:16:35 PM »
I find that the Bitterness Ratio shown in BeerSmith as probably as valuable to me as the IBU calculation. I'm usually more interested in the balance between malt and hops than just a bitterness octane rating.

+1.  Agreed - BU/GU ratio is pretty important. 100 IBUs of Chinook would seem a lot more harsh than 100 IBUs of Mt Hood.

+2 - and 100 IBU of FWH or whirlpool hops would seem a lot less harsh than a traditional 60-minute bittering addition.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Hop Utilization
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2014, 09:30:05 PM »
Fl,

The way I understand it, the amount of hops pulled from a bale to analyze for acid is minimal. THAT sample on THAT day was X % acids. Saying that the little ounce or pound bag that we buy is X% is just a generalized idea.

There are varying calculations for determining the level of IBUs in the wort post boil. I don't know which one your software uses, mine has options. Tinseth or Rager, I use Tinseth in spite that he's an Orygonian.

I would guess that my actual hops are what the package says they are, give or take 10%. My projected target IBU in the wort is probably within 10% of what the computer says, plus the 10% variance from the hops. Minus who knows how much that is lost in fermentation due to off gassing and attaching to yeast and dropping out.

I can honestly say that I have no idea how many IBUs are in my finished beers. The only way to know would be to send it to the lab.

So, saying that our beer has X amount of IBUs is technically inaccurate if it's based only on an IBU calculator. But, if you use a calculator, change the drop box AA numbers to what your package says, measure accurately, add them at precise times, chill the same way each brew, etc... you will have a good baseline to work from to make adjustments in the future.

In the end, I don't sweat the small stuff. I call it what the calculator says. Works for me.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Hop Utilization
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2014, 07:41:32 AM »
I find the calculators in beersmith are effective but like Jim said, using a calculator and basing it on whatever AAU listing is on your hop package will only be an approximation.

The most important thing, IMO, about using beersmith is to adjust the equipment profile to match yours and make sure you adjust the right variables on each recipe. That will make a difference in how useful the software is. For extract there are fewer variables to adjust but you still need to set your equipment profile correctly.
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Hop Utilization
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2014, 08:04:46 AM »
Fl,

The way I understand it, the amount of hops pulled from a bale to analyze for acid is minimal. THAT sample on THAT day was X % acids. Saying that the little ounce or pound bag that we buy is X% is just a generalized idea.

There are varying calculations for determining the level of IBUs in the wort post boil. I don't know which one your software uses, mine has options. Tinseth or Rager, I use Tinseth in spite that he's an Orygonian.

I would guess that my actual hops are what the package says they are, give or take 10%. My projected target IBU in the wort is probably within 10% of what the computer says, plus the 10% variance from the hops. Minus who knows how much that is lost in fermentation due to off gassing and attaching to yeast and dropping out.

I can honestly say that I have no idea how many IBUs are in my finished beers. The only way to know would be to send it to the lab.

So, saying that our beer has X amount of IBUs is technically inaccurate if it's based only on an IBU calculator. But, if you use a calculator, change the drop box AA numbers to what your package says, measure accurately, add them at precise times, chill the same way each brew, etc... you will have a good baseline to work from to make adjustments in the future.

In the end, I don't sweat the small stuff. I call it what the calculator says. Works for me.

Just to add to it, they only spot check something like 1 bale in 5 or 10.

For all grain on my half barrel system, Tinseth is pretty good for beers less than somewhere around 70 IBU calculated. All of the calculators overestimate at higher IBU levels. I know, some of my beers were tested. When you see some brewery advertise 200+ IBU, you can say it was a calculation, not measured.
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Offline james

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Re: Hop Utilization
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2014, 09:07:48 AM »
Fl,

The way I understand it, the amount of hops pulled from a bale to analyze for acid is minimal. THAT sample on THAT day was X % acids. Saying that the little ounce or pound bag that we buy is X% is just a generalized idea.

There are varying calculations for determining the level of IBUs in the wort post boil. I don't know which one your software uses, mine has options. Tinseth or Rager, I use Tinseth in spite that he's an Orygonian.

I would guess that my actual hops are what the package says they are, give or take 10%. My projected target IBU in the wort is probably within 10% of what the computer says, plus the 10% variance from the hops. Minus who knows how much that is lost in fermentation due to off gassing and attaching to yeast and dropping out.

I can honestly say that I have no idea how many IBUs are in my finished beers. The only way to know would be to send it to the lab.

So, saying that our beer has X amount of IBUs is technically inaccurate if it's based only on an IBU calculator. But, if you use a calculator, change the drop box AA numbers to what your package says, measure accurately, add them at precise times, chill the same way each brew, etc... you will have a good baseline to work from to make adjustments in the future.

In the end, I don't sweat the small stuff. I call it what the calculator says. Works for me.

Just to add to it, they only spot check something like 1 bale in 5 or 10.

For all grain on my half barrel system, Tinseth is pretty good for beers less than somewhere around 70 IBU calculated. All of the calculators overestimate at higher IBU levels. I know, some of my beers were tested. When you see some brewery advertise 200+ IBU, you can say it was a calculation, not measured.

You're right on the number of bales they check on both bit my memory escapes me which is which.  One of the tests is the USDA stems and seeds check and the other is for lab analysis. 

Bales should be reasonably uniform though, the hops get moved around enough they get mixed up pretty well during all the steps from picking to baling.

Also pellet hops should have a more accurate AA% on them because 5-15 bales are blended to produce the pellets.  They also can go and retest them after thr fact easily. 

Online Jimmy K

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Re: Hop Utilization
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2014, 09:15:18 AM »
Sampling every fifth or tenth bale seems like a highly accurate sampling rate compared to many other ag product sampling procedures. And remember, they're analyzing the consistency as well as AA. A lot of statistics goes into designing ag sampling procedures.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Hop Utilization
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2014, 10:55:34 AM »
.  One of the tests is the USDA stems and seeds check

Hmm... Surprised more guys from old dorm don't work at USDA ...
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