Author Topic: BeerSmith IBU Calculations  (Read 3317 times)

Offline noreaster

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
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BeerSmith IBU Calculations
« on: August 30, 2011, 07:12:00 PM »
I don't know if this is the spot for this question or not but I'll start here.

I've been brewing 5 gallon all grain batches and batch sparge for awhile now. The way I do it is I place my hop additions into the boil in a muslin bag with each hop addition going in the same bag. When I dry hop I just drop the pellets into the carboy. Things always seemed to work out fine doing it this way.

A few months ago I wanted to make a 10 gallon batch of a recipe I've made several times. My brother has the set-up to make 10 gallon batches so we brewed at his place using his equipment which includes fly sparging. I used BeerSmith to convert the original recipe to a 10 gallon batch and away we went.

He'd just recently bought a HopBlocker for his Blichmann boil kettle so we just dropped the pellet hops into the boil not using a muslin bag. He'd never dry hopped in his Blichmann fermenter so when the time came to dry hop we put the hop pellets into a muslin back, hooked them to the lid and let them hang down into the wort to dry hop. As you can tell it's about the exact opposite of how I normally do my hop additions in my process but didn't think too much of it.

When the time came to open it up and transfer it to the keg the beer didn't have the aroma of the past times I brewed in my equipment and also the taste was waaaay more bitter than when I did it using my process. We figured the hop utilization made the huge difference. The hops being lose in the boil versus in a bag let them add much more bitterness to it and the dry hops in the muslin bag restricted the effect it had on the aroma.

With all that said it got me to wondering how the BeerSmith software calulates IBU's for recipes. Does it just assume the hops is added directly into the boil and not in a muslin bag? Just curious. And now I'm also wondering just how many IBU's my beers really have. Is there an easy way to figure that out after it's made?


Offline DaveinPa

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
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  • Posts: 148
Re: BeerSmith IBU Calculations
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 03:32:27 PM »
Check out the Tools\Hops Bitterness pop up menu.  It accounts for batch volme, boil gravity and boil volume.  It also lets you chose between bitterness calculation formulas - Tinseth, Rager and Garetz.  Equipment differences are not taken into account.