Author Topic: Recipe formulation  (Read 670 times)

Offline JohnnyC

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Recipe formulation
« on: October 12, 2015, 04:09:47 PM »
I like to create my own recipes and I research other recipes for ideas. For example, if I want to brew an Porter, I'll look at different recipes to see what types of grains and hops others are using and formulate my recipe. My questions is why do I see recipes calling for 2.83 # of x malt? Why do we need to get down to adding 2# 13.28 ounces of a malt. I have made a red that had 2 oz. of black malt for color, but not got down to .xx of an ounce on anything. Can anyone smarter than me shed some light on why some recipes list malt amounts down to that precision?

Offline a10t2

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Re: Recipe formulation
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2015, 04:12:27 PM »
Probably either conversion from kilograms, or scaling someone else's recipe for batch size and/or efficiency.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Recipe formulation
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2015, 04:18:25 PM »
I normally fudge up or down to get to whole ounces.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Recipe formulation
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2015, 04:23:03 PM »
Agreed with Sean - those reasons are the most likely. I sometimes go to tenths of a lb or oz but not past that. I like to round when possible.
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Offline case thrower

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Re: Recipe formulation
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2015, 02:26:28 AM »
I have a recipe for a 5# batch that calls for .5# of whatever grain.  I'm brewing a 2.75 gallon batch so I'm using a multiplier of .55 to get it down to my batch size.  My result is .275#.  The LHBS store I frequent (Grape & Granary in Akron, Ohio) has a scale that measures out to 1/100th of a pound.  So it's no problem to go in and ask for .28# of whatever.  Is it something that's going to make a difference?  Probably not.  Does it work for me?  Yeah, it does.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Recipe formulation
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2015, 01:51:35 PM »
One reason that you get some odd numbers would be if it was a commercial recipe scaled down. Breweries like to use whole bags in the brew house, that way they don't have parts of bags laying around. Divide X number of 50 or 55 lb bags down to Homebrew sized batches and you get some strange modulus numbers.

Example.
A brewery uses 2 bags of a European specialty malt for 10 barrels.

55*2 Lbs*6 Gallons/(10 bbl*31gallon/bbl)=2.129 lbs.

Scaling Homebrew recipes up utilizes some rounding to hit a full bag.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Recipe formulation
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2015, 02:03:57 PM »
I'd also add that expressing ounces in a decimal format usually requires some rounding to avoid cluteringly long weights. One ounce is 0.0625 pounds. Is it easier to read a recipe calling for one ounce that lists thirteen ounces as 0.83 lb. or 0.8125 lb.? Rounding makes it an easier read.

Additionally, when using beersmith (and probably other brewing software) the software doesn't make it easy to input by the ounce and rounds a little over or under to get close. I usually have to enter an ounce as 0.07lb. to get close to accurate in beersmith. I'm lazy and continue to use those rounded numbers when I post up recipes. 0.83 lb. in beersmith is 13.3 ounces. That could easily be the explanation.

I strongly doubt anybody is measuring out 0.28 ounces for a porter. It's either a rounding issue in the recipe or scaling down a pro recipe.
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Offline Stevie

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Recipe formulation
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2015, 02:14:50 PM »
Beersmith allows pounds and ounces in displaying a recipe. It's in the settings. My scale is easier to read in pounds with decimals than pounds and ounces so I don't use it, but the option is there if you want it. It doesn't change entering, which I guess is another shortcoming.

Edit - actually weights can be entered in pounds and ounces. Format is ##lb ##oz.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2015, 02:41:58 PM by Steve in TX »

Offline case thrower

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Re: Recipe formulation
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2015, 05:31:17 PM »
Beersmith allows pounds and ounces in displaying a recipe. It's in the settings. My scale is easier to read in pounds with decimals than pounds and ounces so I don't use it, but the option is there if you want it. It doesn't change entering, which I guess is another shortcoming.

Edit - actually weights can be entered in pounds and ounces. Format is ##lb ##oz.

Yeah, when I'm putting recipes into the software, I'd much rather add 1/3 pound of whatever using .33 pounds than 5.28 ounces.  I'm using Brewtarget software and at the same time I'm putting grains in pounds, I can also input hops using grams.  And most recipes these days give quantities in both pounds and kilograms.
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Offline norcaljp

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Re: Recipe formulation
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2015, 07:21:30 PM »
I'd also add that expressing ounces in a decimal format usually requires some rounding to avoid cluteringly long weights. One ounce is 0.0625 pounds. Is it easier to read a recipe calling for one ounce that lists thirteen ounces as 0.83 lb. or 0.8125 lb.? Rounding makes it an easier read.

Additionally, when using beersmith (and probably other brewing software) the software doesn't make it easy to input by the ounce and rounds a little over or under to get close. I usually have to enter an ounce as 0.07lb. to get close to accurate in beersmith. I'm lazy and continue to use those rounded numbers when I post up recipes. 0.83 lb. in beersmith is 13.3 ounces. That could easily be the explanation.

I strongly doubt anybody is measuring out 0.28 ounces for a porter. It's either a rounding issue in the recipe or scaling down a pro recipe.

You can just type 1 oz, for example, in the amount field and Beersmith will automatically convert it to whatever scale you're displaying. I do that for hops all the time, instead of calculating 28.35 grams for each ounce myself, I just type 2 oz and it does the rest. As others have stated you can also adjust the units that Beersmith displays to whatever you like. I have grains set to display lbs and oz and hops in grams.

You can also set the number of decimal points units will display to. If you prefer something more accurate you can set that. I set mine to match what my scales display.

Go into Tools > Options > Units to adjust these settings to display how you prefer. You can adjust these settings for a variety of different items.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Recipe formulation
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2015, 02:22:58 PM »
You're right. I don't know how I went all this time not knowing I could do that.
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