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IBU confusion

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BrewQwest:
I greatly apologize if this subject has been discussed elsewhere, but a search came up empty. Many of you veteran brewers have gone out of your way sharing your recipes.  My confusion is derived from the IBU's many of the recipes claim to have.  I use BeerSmith for my software.  I can only set it for one type of IBU calculations at a time.  I am in the process of getting the ingredients for Denny's Rye IPA.  Where in all of these recipes do I find which scale was used for IBU's?  Tinseth gives me a much less IBU and ratio than Rager does. Depending upon the style, there can be a great disparity between those two scales.  Do I assume Tinseth unless the recipe notates Rager?  Or the other way around?  Denny, if you see this, do you use Tinseth or Rager?  Is there a common default scale for these recipes you have all so unselfishly uploaded?  Thank you all !!   cheers!!

dbeechum:
BQ,

Don't worry about the numbers strictly. What you want to do is choose a methodology and stick with it. Learn what 50 IBUs means for you and keep that number in your head.

BrewQwest:
thank you for such a quick response.  But could you elaborate a little more by what you mean?  In your response, the 50 IBU's you refer to would be different dependent upon the style wouldn't it?  Or am I missing a point here which could be very beneficial and educational to me?  ... cheers!!

hopfenundmalz:
Unless the formula used to extimate the IBU's is listed, you don't know which one was used.  Promash has Rager for the default, but BeerSmith and Beertools use Tinseth as the default.

I think Drew was stating that you should be consistant and get a feel for what your brewing system produces.  One way to try and calibrate your beer is to brew a beer clone for one that has published values, oh lets say like Sierra Neveda Pale Ale (37 IBU's from the website).  Then do a side by side tasting to see if your clone has more or less bitterness than the comercial example.  Adjust your brewing accordingly.

I was lucky and had some of my beers analyzed in a lab.  Tinseth was the most accurate for my system (convered half barrels with false bottoms).   

jgourd:

--- Quote from: BrewQwest on August 30, 2010, 05:09:36 PM ---thank you for such a quick response.  But could you elaborate a little more by what you mean?  In your response, the 50 IBU's you refer to would be different dependent upon the style wouldn't it?  Or am I missing a point here which could be very beneficial and educational to me?  ... cheers!!

--- End quote ---

Different beer styles have established intervals of IBUs, color, gravity, etc.  But I'm a believer in brewing according to my tastes.  So for example, I might brew an American Pale Ale that has a tad more IBUs than normal and might play into the IPA range.  But that's just a personal choice.  But IBUs are IBUs.  They are strictly determined by the hops and when they are introduced into the kettle (mash hops, first wort hops, sometime during the boil, etc).  Whether you use Rager or Tinseth, I agree that you should figure out what 50 IBUs means to you and your system.  Now I have heard that the Tinseth formula is better for full volume boils and Rager for partial boils.  But I've always used Tinseth personally.

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