Having issues figuring out my IBUs and utilization of hops for my recipe...

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by JMG1994, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. JMG1994

    JMG1994 New Member

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    Recipe: https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/717924/new-england-ipa
    Calculator: https://www.brewersfriend.com/ibu-calculator/

    Good evening all,

    So I created a recipe for a strawberry NEIPA that my friends and I will brew during Thanksgiving. The problem that I am having is figuring out the utilization percentage for my hops and the IBUs. The in-recipe calculator is saying I should have an IBU around 40 where as the independent calculator is giving me a value over 160. Could someone help me with these issues? I am also confused to what is an allowable utilization percentage for boiling, whirlpool, and DH. It seems every place I look gives different answers. Thanks for your help in advance!

    Links to the recipe and calculator above.

    JMG
     
  2. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    IBUs are a poor substitute for perceived bitterness, but the best we've got. In NEIPAs however, they're even worse,

    From your hop schedule I'm guessing the other calculator was assuming isomerisation of the alpha acids is happening for all of those whirlpool additions. When it's probably only a smallish percentage of the first one that's going to add any iso-alpha acid.

    Also your grain bill is going to distract from the bitterness. I'd expect you'll be able to notice the bitterness, but it won't be the feature. It'll be whatever those other hops are adding, especially the dry hop.

    Edit: and the whirlpool extraction % is whatever you're happy with after you've brewed a few. I leave it at 10%, but it always tastes more like 5% to me and I throw my steeping hops in a few minutes after I've turned off the boil, so would get more than your recipe. No one really has good numbers for the whirlpool additions yet, so it's more of a suck it and see approach.
     
  3. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    In my opinion, the best thing you can do is just pick one source of info for your IBU and then taste your beer as you brew it. Then you know according to the formula you choose what is going to work best for you
     
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  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    yes ibu is a greatly debated subject and bitterness is all relative to the taster as well as the water chemistry and freshness of the hops, I've had 140 ibu beers that don't even taste bitter so as above find your own sweet spot for your tastes then you can adjust everything in the recipe editor to your liking now
     
  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    You have the 60 minute boil utilization at 19%. That's giving you a calculation that's low by 80%. Don't change utilization for the boil. It should remain constant for anything up to whirlpool, AFAIK. The whirlpool is debatable but whether you use 4% or 10% it's not going to have the impact that changing the 60 minute boil utilization.
    By copying your recipe and correcting the settings (and using 4% for WP, a figure that I've arrived at by relatively empirical means), I get 169 IBU's. I wouldn't want to drink that beer brewed as it is in the recipe. :eek::)
     
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  6. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    ^^^JA got it, 0.45oz of high AA bittering hops didn't look like much until I looked again and realized it was a 1 gallon batch. Especially for a NEIPA where you're not usually looking for much bitterness.
     
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  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Also, there are several equations for predicting bitterness, each gives different results. There are variables they don't take into account, one example near to my heart is altitude. Start with the prediction, then adjust as needed and you'll eventually find out how much hops you need.
     
  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    For a NEIPA, I wouldn't even bother with a bittering hop or maybe throw in a little just establish a little bit of a base line in terms of flavor and slightly lingering bitterness. Just start a 15 or 25 and load up the WP.
     
  9. JMG1994

    JMG1994 New Member

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    Thanks J A ! Appreciate the help. For some reason I thought that even with a 60 min boil, the acids would only partially be utilized. Hopefully this corrects it.
     
  10. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    The recipe editor incorporates all the calculations you need to formulate a recipe. It works very well and as long as you have a reasonable equipment profile figured out, the Brew function will calculate water volumes and help keep up with the process. It's a pretty sophisticated tool with a lot of pretty advanced features.
    Good luck with it. ;)
     
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  11. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    I know this has gone quiet, but I was listening to a podcast that discussed the percentage decrease for creating bitterness units during a hop stand. This one used 90/80/70C hop stands and took about a dozen samples over the first 30 or 45 minutes. The main takeaways I got were:
    • the different temperatures will create different levels of IBUs in the first 5 minutes, but they quickly level out and there's only a small difference after 15-20 minutes
    • the rate of IBU 'creation' drops of significatly between 15 & 20 minutes
    • the % decrease in IBU for a hop stand vs full boil was astoundingly high to me, around 70%, rather than the 10% I'm using in my recipes and thinking that's even overstated.
    This then went into why the IBUs are so high from a measured point of view, rather than a perceived point of view. Seems the assay used to determine IBUs is rough as guts and hasn't been updated for decades. It also captures more materials than just iso-alpha acids, including some that are likely to be perceived as less bitter. Then there was speculation that a hop stand may be creating more of these materials than iso-alpha acids.

    Yet another nail in the coffin of using IBUs as anything other than the roughest of guides to judging bitterness

    http://traffic.libsyn.com/basicbrewing/bbr11-01-18hamiltonibu.mp3
     
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