Scaling a Beer Recipe in BeerSmith – Brewing Other People’s Recipes

by Brad Smith on October 9, 2015 · 2 comments

FoamingScaling a beer recipe is a powerful feature in BeerSmith that can be used for adapting another recipe to your equipment, creating a larger or smaller recipe or even adjusting your efficiency numbers. Most often you are scaling a recipe to match your equipment setup – but this article is going to cover several possible uses. Note that scaling is available on both the desktop and mobile versions of BeerSmith.

Uses for Beer Recipe Scaling

In its simplest form, scaling a beer recipe is done to adjust the ingredients to make a smaller or larger recipe. However, the BeerSmith scale recipe command is a bit more powerful than that as it also allows you to match a recipe to vastly different brewing systems while maintaining color, bitterness and original gravity.

Note that I have a video that covers basic recipe scaling you can watch here.

Some sample uses for the scale recipe command include:

  • Taking a recipe from the cloud site and scaling it to match your equipment for immediate brewing (go to Cloud Search view to find a recipe then make a local copy of it before scaling)
  • Scaling from a pilot batch to a full size batch
  • Adjusting the brewhouse efficiency of an all grain batch while keeping the same original gravity
  • Changing from one equipment setup to another without changing the OG, color or bitterness
  • Doing a “proportional” scale where you scale the ingredients up proportional to the change in recipe volume

Scaling from One Equipment Profile to Another

scaleThe most common use for scaling a recipe is to move from one equipment profile to another. For example you may have found a good recipe in a BeerSmith cloud search or received one from a friend. You want to scale it to match your equipment profile.

This is the safest way to change the volume as well – you can go from a 5 gallon (19 liter) to 10 gallon (38 liter) profile or even from a small volume pilot batch to a commercial size multi-barrel brew.

You do need to have an equipment profile set up for the equipment you are going to – in most cases this will be your personal equipment profile for your brewing system.

  • To scale a recipe, simply open the recipe and select the Scale Recipe button which is on the large ribbon for BeerSmith desktop or near the bottom for BeerSmith mobile. This will show the scale recipe dialog.
  • Next select the equipment profile you want to scale to by clicking on the “Equipment” selector – this will bring up your list of equipment profiles.
  • Finally you have the option (using the checkbox near the bottom) to maintain the OG, Color and bitterness of the original recipe. In most cases you will want to do this. If you uncheck this box, the program will do a simple scaling based on batch volume of all the ingredients. However this may not maintain the same characteristics as each equipment profile has different hop utilization and other characteristics.
  • Press the OK button and all of the ingredients as well as mash profiles, carbonation and other features will be adjusted to match the new equipment
  • The recipe is now ready to brew using the new equipment profile!

 Other Scaling Options

The next most common use of scale recipe is to adjust the efficiency for a brew. For example lets pretend we brew a recipe but come in very low on our original gravity. The next time we can adjust the recipe to use more grains by lowering the efficiency using the scale recipe command.

In this case we just bring up the scale recipe dialog and adjust only the efficiency number, but leave the equipment the same. Lowering it will scale the recipe grains used up to match the new efficiency number. Raising efficiency will force it to use less grain.

Another use is to scale a recipe only by batch volume. This is rarely done since the program won’t adjust the other equipment factors like the various losses and volumes used. However you can scale ingredients to match a different batch volume without altering the other equipment parameters. In this case you scale the recipe but change only the batch volume without changing the equipment or other parameters.

That’s a quick summary of recipe scaling in BeerSmith. Note that I have a video tutorial on scaling as well as one on creating an equipment profile here.

Thanks for joining me on the BeerSmith Home Brewing Blog. You can grab a trial version of BeerSmith from Be sure to sign up for my newsletter or my podcast (also on itunes…and youtube…and streaming radio station) for more great tips on homebrewing.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Benoit October 19, 2015 at 11:58 am

I never thought to use the scaling function to adjust efficiency! This will help on some of my recipes that came in low.

Thank you, Brad!


Zvi Klein October 21, 2015 at 5:56 am

“Scale Rcipe” function hlep me to do some trials to fix the “new run” including efficiency
Thank you ,

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