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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2006 * Archive through November 14, 2006 * Calculating IBU's with the 'Recipator' < Previous Next >

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New Member
Username: Brewrunner

Post Number: 19
Registered: 05-2006
Posted From:
Posted on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 12:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does anybody use the 'Recipator' to formulate their recipes? I'm curious to know if I'm anywhere near the right IBU's for my beers, they seem a little on the bitter side sometimes. Looking at Promash, for example, the IBU's always indicate higher no matter how much I play with the Promash adjustments. I know there are many variables involved here, so I try to keep as many of them as I can constant to try to get repeatable results. Problem is I only brew about once a month, so it's been taking a while to figure it out.

I currently use a Sanke keg for my boil kettle with a normal pre-boil volume of 9.5 gallons and 90 minute total boil time. I use pellet hops and panty hose for hop bags. About 1.0 ounces max goes in each knee high panty hose and I never add any hops until 60 min prior to the end of the boil.

The recipator is neat since it has simple adjustments for actual AA percentages, hop bags, pellets, whole, etc. But what I'm wondering is what do I set the "custom factor" setting at, or should I just leave it alone? I've used the Tinseth formula in all my recipes and notice that changing the "custom factor" from anything other than the default of 1.0 can greatly change the IBU's. I also keep a close look at my IBU to OG ratio, generally trying to stay somewhere between .40 to .80

In the end I think it can really be difficult to figure IBU's without sophisticated equipment and would guess my calculations could be off by as much as 20 IBU's without me knowing it. So I guess I'll just try to keep everything constant and continue to adjust the total weight of hop additions and times to my taste.

The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1257
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From:
Posted on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 09:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I know what you mean, I use beertools and the IBU's always seem way high to me. I've followed recipes from books, and made my tried and tested recipes, that I know are balanced, and the ibu's come out way high when I plug the figures into beertools.

Username: Christo

Post Number: 122
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From:
Posted on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 12:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The custom factor I'd say is good to use based on your water quality or what you add to your water. If you have high carbonate or high sulfate water, the perceived bitterness will be higher than calculated. You could then adjust down as needed based on your conditions.

In general, Tinseth will provide a calculated bitterness lower than Rager, the other option on the recipator. You might want to switch to Rager and see if your numbers get you more in line with your taste buds for your setup.