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More Beer Recipes / OG


Nov 2, 2013
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Hello -

I'm not sure if this is another post or not. I looked but had no luck. I did read a few posts on using BS and adjusting for Brewhouse Efficiency but I don't think this is the same thing. Maybe I'm wrong.

In any event I have an AG recipe from Morebeer. When I enter the recipe in the gravity/ABV in BS is significantly higher than what Morebeer says it should be.

As in MB says about 1.076 and 8%. When I popped that recipe in I'm getting around 1.080 and 9%.

So I'm wondering 2 things here. Why is MB's calculations so vastly different? And are there settings that maybe I need to do to adjust?

I get similar numbers regardless of which profile I use.

Any help is much appreciated.


If you can post the Beersmith Recipe here and the information from MB, we'll be able to figure it out.  Without that information, we'd just be guessing.
I think I found the issue. While getting the recipe to paste it here I adjusted the Mash. So for example if I had it set for BIAB/Full Body it changed my numbers quite a bit.

I was just popping in recipes and adjusting my pre-boil time and volumes along with pot size. But never did much with the mash section. Sure that is what I'm missing.

Curious to what others get with this recipe though:

#13 Two Row
#1 carapils
6oz crystal 40
#1 corn sugar late addition
2oz magnum 90 minutes

Hi Charlie,

You have posed an unanswerable question. Let me explain why. There are many many variables and how they are accounted for is different between the two.

The alcohol content of your beer will depend solely one the starting and finishing gravities. BUT....

The starting gravity will depend on your losses and your mash efficiency. If you really want to get niggly it also depends on your malt supplier as their may be subtle differences in yield. No-one can tell you what your mash efficiency or losses will be because it is specific to your equipment, your technique and how on your game you are.  Beersmith does a pretty good job of ball parking this and can be fine tuned a bit with the total efficiency. This number in itself is not static and requires adjustment depending on the recipe.

Generally lower gravity beers are more efficient in the mash process mostly due to sparge efficiency. Your grain crush will also significantly change your yield. You should also consider that hops suck up wort and need to be accounted for in the final volume going into the fermentor.

I estimate though experience that I need to use 68% efficiency in Beersmith for high gravity beers and around 70% for medium 1.060-1.070ish and 72% for stuff around 1.050. A big double IPA with lots of hops is likely to have a dismal efficiency of 65% or possibly even less. The only way to figure this out is to brew on your system and meticulously measure everything. There are no shortcuts.

Lastly, even when it is in the fermentor there is still quite a lot of variability in the attenuation of the yeast. If you go to White Labs site and look at the profiles you will see they don't give a single number but quite a broad range. Beersmith does a pretty good job of estimating attenuation (which is also related to the grain bill, mash temperature and oxygen content as well as the specific yeast, viability and pitch rates) but it is important to understand these numbers are not set in stone.

I have used the More Beer to compare with Beersmith on the same recipe and they come out slightly different because they treat all the above variables differently. Which one is correct? You have to brew the beer to find out! I think you can be more accurate in Beersmith as there is more fine tuning available to you, but you have to have the right numbers going in to get the right numbers coming out. The last batch of beer I hit my OG exactly and was within 0.08gal of the volume. It has taken me 9 months of fine tuning to get the numbers to work out.

So the only way for you to answer your question is for you to brew more and take lots of measurements  :)

I understand what you are saying and thank you for your detailed response.

I'm not looking for efficiency and other item issues. That I completely understand in terms of hops, water loss, high gravity and yadda yadda.

I'm merely asking about why entering in a recipe from somewhere else is initially vastly different. Specifically the ABV.

As I said above my mash settings were not entered and that played a big roll. If I adjust that it comes close to what MB says.

In any event I will set my mash settings and go from there. I understand it will be a long process to perfect my set-up and ect.


Hi Charlie,

I will answer (part) of your question in this post unlike the previous one.

When I plug the numbers you provided into my BS profile I get:

OG 1.081
FG 1.012
ABV 9.2%
99.6 IBU
6.4 SRM

I used WLP001 with a 3 liter starter.

This is very different to either of the results you got, but I can assure you for me it will be very close to what I would get. A recipe given as absolute weights will turn out differently for everyone who makes it.

The better way of looking at a recipie is like this:

2-row 84.6%
Cara-Pils 6.5%
caramel 40L 2.4%
Corn sugar 6.5%
OG 1.076
FG 1.016
ABV 8.0%

You can then adjust your recipe with your profile until the numbers match, Which on my profile comes out to:

2-row 84.6%            12lbs5oz
Cara-Pils 6.5%        15oz
caramel 40L 2.4%    6oz
Corn sugar 6.5%    15oz
OG 1.076
FG 1.016
ABV 8.0%

I hope this helps.