Author Topic: IBU Calculations  (Read 1391 times)

Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: IBU Calculations
« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2022, 08:36:06 am »
For me, I have calibrated my taste buds to my IBU calculations in my spreadsheet.  I don't care whether an analysis of IBU gets the same number that I calculated or not- I just want my beer to taste the way I prefer.  In addition to that, I use homegrown hops and assume some %aa numbers when I design my recipes so I've learned to trust my taste buds and intuition about my hops.

This is the practical answer. If you know your beers, brewed using the calculations available, are more bitter than you desire... reduce the hops and ignore the calculations. Brewing beer, especially at the homebrew level, is as much about art as it is science. Sometimes you have to push one aside in favor of the other to achieve the results you like.

Yep. That's the plan going forward. Backing off the hops by 10, maybe 15%. Or more if needed.
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Offline chinaski

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Re: IBU Calculations
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2022, 01:39:54 pm »
For me, I have calibrated my taste buds to my IBU calculations in my spreadsheet.  I don't care whether an analysis of IBU gets the same number that I calculated or not- I just want my beer to taste the way I prefer.  In addition to that, I use homegrown hops and assume some %aa numbers when I design my recipes so I've learned to trust my taste buds and intuition about my hops.

How it tastes and if you like it are all that really matter. Having some sort of IBU reference is helpful for future batches.

True. If you like it, that is all that matters. As this beer was brewed for a competition, I want the judges to like it!
Yes, having a reference is a good thing.
Of course you want the judges to like it and consider it in style.  I think that the best approach is to compare your beer to examples that you know are "to style" by drinking and evaluating them with your palate rather than comparing chemical analysis results.  A beer could hit all of the analytical targets for a style and still not be all that wonderful at the judging table.

Offline denny

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Re: IBU Calculations
« Reply #32 on: May 17, 2022, 02:00:21 pm »
For me, I have calibrated my taste buds to my IBU calculations in my spreadsheet.  I don't care whether an analysis of IBU gets the same number that I calculated or not- I just want my beer to taste the way I prefer.  In addition to that, I use homegrown hops and assume some %aa numbers when I design my recipes so I've learned to trust my taste buds and intuition about my hops.

How it tastes and if you like it are all that really matter. Having some sort of IBU reference is helpful for future batches.

True. If you like it, that is all that matters. As this beer was brewed for a competition, I want the judges to like it!
Yes, having a reference is a good thing.
Of course you want the judges to like it and consider it in style.  I think that the best approach is to compare your beer to examples that you know are "to style" by drinking and evaluating them with your palate rather than comparing chemical analysis results.  A beer could hit all of the analytical targets for a style and still not be all that wonderful at the judging table.

Exactly!
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: IBU Calculations
« Reply #33 on: May 17, 2022, 09:34:21 pm »
Your alkalinity is high for a pilsner. You said you don't measure pH. I didn’t  see anything about acid or acidulated malt to neutralize  the alkalinity.

My pilsners improved and achieved that crisp snappy bitterness when i got tge alkalinity down. Now i use RO water, and some CaCl2, some CaSO4. Target 80-90 ppm SO4 for a northern German Pils, less if i want a southern Bavarian Pils.

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Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: IBU Calculations
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2022, 05:17:40 am »
Your alkalinity is high for a pilsner. You said you don't measure pH. I didn’t  see anything about acid or acidulated malt to neutralize  the alkalinity.

My pilsners improved and achieved that crisp snappy bitterness when i got tge alkalinity down. Now i use RO water, and some CaCl2, some CaSO4. Target 80-90 ppm SO4 for a northern German Pils, less if i want a southern Bavarian Pils.

Water adjustments have been made, a couple times in the past.

Here was the previous water profile (ppm) after adjustments:

Calcium - 50
Magnesium - 7
Sodium - 5
Sulfate - 75
Chloride - 60
Bicarbonate - 0
Total Hardness - 154
Alkalinity - 0

This particular beer scored the highest of my entries (42 points) in a recent competition, even though it did not win. 5D.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: IBU Calculations
« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2022, 05:22:02 am »
I really do think that a little dash of acid is going to improve your pilsner.  You won't need acid for most other beer styles, only very pale yellow ones.
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Offline HighVoltageMan!

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Re: IBU Calculations
« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2022, 05:53:43 am »
I really do think that a little dash of acid is going to improve your pilsner.  You won't need acid for most other beer styles, only very pale yellow ones.
Once again, I have to concur. German beers are delicate and pH plays a huge role in the final product. Proper pH at pitch and in the finish will create a smoother, cleaner and more pleasant finish. A German Pils with 40-45 IBU should be pleasant beer and exceptionally smooth. Proper finish pH is the foundation of the smooth finish. Avoid alkaline water. Total alkalinity should be 25ppm or lower.

If your serious about producing a competitive beer, you should be hawkish on every detail. Brewing without a pH meter from mash to pitch and relying on mash calculators alone is a handicap. Checking finish pH is only necessary if you suspect a problem, but it should be check at least a couple of times when you first start checking it to get a baseline.

Your competing against people who pull out all the stops to produce a world class beer, especially in bigger comps. Winning once or twice can be luck, winning consistently requires a little more effort.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2022, 05:57:49 am by HighVoltageMan! »

Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: IBU Calculations
« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2022, 09:29:20 am »
I really do think that a little dash of acid is going to improve your pilsner.  You won't need acid for most other beer styles, only very pale yellow ones.
Once again, I have to concur. German beers are delicate and pH plays a huge role in the final product. Proper pH at pitch and in the finish will create a smoother, cleaner and more pleasant finish. A German Pils with 40-45 IBU should be pleasant beer and exceptionally smooth. Proper finish pH is the foundation of the smooth finish. Avoid alkaline water. Total alkalinity should be 25ppm or lower.

If your serious about producing a competitive beer, you should be hawkish on every detail. Brewing without a pH meter from mash to pitch and relying on mash calculators alone is a handicap. Checking finish pH is only necessary if you suspect a problem, but it should be check at least a couple of times when you first start checking it to get a baseline.

Your competing against people who pull out all the stops to produce a world class beer, especially in bigger comps. Winning once or twice can be luck, winning consistently requires a little more effort.

Yes, I agree. A mash pH meter is on my list.

edit: At the same time, we have had a number of beers make it to the Best Of Show round at a national competition...Munich Helles, Festbier, Marzen, all without any water treatment. Other than filtering to remove any solids and chlorine, etc.

We do pull out all the stops, within our ability, with every beer that is brewed. For competitions, and personal consumption. It is a hobby, but a very serious hobby.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2022, 09:16:46 am by Bel Air Brewing »
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