Brewing Classic Styles (BCS) recipes and hop adjustments.

Post #1 made 3 years ago
There has been some discussion on the recipes contained in the popular book Brewing Classic Styles written by John Palmer and Jamil Zainasheff.

Although considered a high integrity source of recipes for both All Grain and Extract there was debate in regards to the conversion of the Hop bill from Extract to All Grain and Hop utilization between both brewing styles. (Both recipe versions carry the same Hop Bill)

This thread hopes to clear up that confusion and continues on from here

From my research over the last few days I've found that when this book was first published (Circa 2007) all the Hop utilization formulas out there (Tinseth, Rager, Garetz etc) all relied to some extent on the Gravity of the brew in determining Hop Utilization. It was thought at the time a Higher Gravity brew required more Hops to achieve the same IBU figures as a low Gravity brew. In 2008 this was proven to be incorrect and was confirmed in a BBR Podcast by John Palmer

It was also tested an an IBU Gravity Experiment and results checked in a Labratory. here

I will also highlight that it has been acknowledged even Lab results using the spectrophotometric method may not paint the true picture when it comes to our human perception of IBU's and hop utilization. I came across another article written by John Palmer that highlights an experiment using "Fresh" hops and "Old Hops" The only difference in the beers was the Freshness of the Hops. One brewed with Fresh hops as compared to 12 month old hops that had been exposed to Oxygen. An experienced tasting Panel judged or perceived that the Fresh hopped beer had a much higher IBU than the other beer, however the Lab results reported that both Brews had the exact same IBU rating at 22 IBU's! Apparently lab testing uses some form of light spectrum analysis to determine IBU's. In the testing here the results of the machine measured the same, however in tasting that was not the perceived case.

I took from that that we ultimately have to let our taste buds decide. Machines too cant be relied upon AND secondly there are many many variables in Hop and IBU ratings we just can not control or replicate easily. We might get close but 2 brewers brewing the exact same recipe with differently sourced ingredients are highly unlikely to achieve the same result especially in regard to Hop utilisation / IBU figures.

So back on track to the book. Since 2007 when published the Recipes in BCS (nor the Hop formulas used) have been updated to reflect this and there was some confusion surrounding why the Hop bills between both methods were identical.

I wrote to both Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer querying why. Both Authors were kind enough to reply. Which I will include below. John was most detailed and most importantly for all BIAB'ers on here has confirmed that the Recipes contained within the book BCS are originally All Grain Recipes They were later converted to Extract versions. (apparently from what I read 70% of US brewers brew from extract hence they were catering for their biggest market)

Thus any Hop utilization errors (If any) is going to be found in the Extract brews and not with the Original All Grain recipes.

So hope that is useful to you guys and if nothing else you read it here first!
Last edited by bundy on 06 Nov 2014, 09:21, edited 4 times in total.
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Post #2 made 3 years ago
Email and Response from Jamil Zainasheff
Hi Jamil,

I am a fairly new All grain BIAB'er who after a few hit and miss recipes on the Internet have come across your (and John palmers) great book. Brewing classic styles. Which I now intend to use as my main source of inspiration at least to get the basics right before i experiment from there.
What I want to ask you though is in regard to your recipes as detailed in the book your all grain conversion uses the exact same hop bill as is used in the extract recipes.
I may be wrong but I would have thought (and have read) with all grain and the added trub lost post boil (which must hold some of the hop oils in it) that we would need a slighter higher hop bill as compared to extract recipes to end up with the same ibu's?
If that is the case would there be a rule of thumb to increase the hop bill by a certain percentage when brewing all grain?
Many thanks for your time.
Rob,
Don't over think it. You're worrying about one of the most insignificant bits. You should be focused on fermentation and everything else first. And even after that, you can ignore any difference in hop between all grain and extract. FAR more significant is pitching rate, yeast strain, fermenter shape, etc, etc.

And a second follow up


Glad I could help. Always keep in mind that fermentation does more to hop character and bittering than just about any other step in the process. Pitching rate, amount of oxygen and other nutrients, temperature, all of that vastly impacts hops more than grain or extract brewing.
Message and Reply from John Palmer
Hi John,

I hope you don’t mind me contacting you directly but I’d like to ask you a quick question I have been unable to find an answer on, regarding the recipes published in the book you Co-authored – Brewing Classic Styles.
Specifically in relation to Hop utilisation differences between the Extract Version and the All Grain versions of those recipes. After lots of fruitless searching a friend suggested I try and go straight to the source so here goes. 

Just a quick background on me. I’m far from an experienced brewer but I have been brewing on and off for several years now and trying to educate myself along the way. Like so many I started out with Extract and recently moved on to All grain BIAB in the last 12 months. Since moving to all grain I’ve been a bit hit and miss in regards to recipes and have learnt not to trust too much that’s out on the Internet. That was until I came across your BCS book, which looks (and by all reports from those already using it) is a reliable and clear publication for both All grain and extract brewers. (so many internet recipes just lack enough info to copy reliably but your book is very thorough) So my plan is to use your book as my “bible” as I educate myself in the AG world and maybe experiment a bit from there as I get more experienced.

However the Hop bill discrepancy is one thing I am having problems getting my head around in regards to those recipes. Specifically that in both the Extract and All Grain Recipes the Hop additions listed are identical.

I’ve listened to many of your Podcasts as well as read a lot of articles and one in particular with James Spencer on BBR when you discuss the changes in methodology in calculating IBU’s and hop utilization in beers and the realisation that the gravity of a beer has no effect on IBU’s however trub does.

In the podcast here - http://ec.libsyn.com/p/3/0/4/30433c81ad" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... id=1452612

At around the 38 minute mark you talk about the changes you learnt at a conference and subsequently updated a lot of your literature. It was briefly discussed between yourself and James the differences between extract and all Grain in regards to Hop utilization but no answers were available at the time.

You also wrote “ Alpha and iso-alpha losses are known to occur throughout the brewing process, for example by being carried out of solution by adhering to break material, trub, yeast and vessel walls.”
(from - https://byo.com/stories/issue/item/199-" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... ed-brewing )

So the thing is with All Grain brewing that we all know is there is a lot more trub than what I would have in an extract style brew. For example in my last brew with 22 litres into my fermenter, I lost approx. 4 litres to trub. With extract it would have been a fraction of that. With that 4 litre loss I am obviously losing a lot more iso-alpha material that has attached itself to the trub than I would in the equivalent extract brew.

If I follow the BCS recipes as provided in an All Grain format I am sure I will still get a very nice beer, but I’m concerned that I will have far greater Hop loss than I would with the same extract recipe and thus end up with a beer that is under hopped as compared to its intended style.

So…….based on all of the above and going on your published recipes in BCS is there any “rule of thumb” I should follow to increase my Hop bill to allow for this additional expected loss with All Grain over Extract?

I was thinking maybe I should increase everything in my Hop bill by 10% or 15% but I really am only guessing, as you also stated in your Podcast it depends on the Protein in the wort, (not the volume) so a Wheat beer may “lose” more than a pilsener would. But for now any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Lastly with all of the above I am presuming all the recipes in BCS were originally extract based and not AG versions? If in fact they were AG versions originally then for me it’s not such an issue (however extract brewers will most likely be experiencing over hopped beers)


Thanks so much for your time.

I look forward to hearing back what you think is the best course of action.

Best regards
Hi Rob,
Thank you for your kind words, hopefully this reply won't dispel them.
Where to start on this excellent question...
First, the recipes in BCS started out as all-grain recipes, and were converted to extract for the book.
The IBU equation: %alpha x weight x % utilization / final volume = IBUs is basically trying to estimate the concentration of iso-alpha in the final beer, and it is a very elementary equation. So, this is why Jamil and I keep saying that no model is really any better than any other, the important thing is to pick one and brew repeatedly with it, so you can calibrate its numbers to your system and your palate.

Yes, as you have noted from my writings and podcasts, the IBU equation really doesn't use the factors that have actually been determined to affect utilization, it just has a utilization fudge factor based on gravity and time. So, to HELP compensate for that, I developed the Extract-Late method used in BCS where you use roughly half the extract for boiling your hops, with the purpose that your extract hop boiling gravity is roughly equal to your all-grain hop boiling gravity. This serves two purposes, 1) the gravity/utilization factor (which may not be very effective) and 2) that the melanoidin formation during the boil is more equal to that of the all-grain boil, such that the two beers will taste the same. (and this is the most important part really).

The amount of hops used in both extract and all-grain versions of the beer are the same because 1) we are using the extract-late method, which minimizes the effect on hop utilization due to wort gravity and trub (this may be a wash re:above, but it may help a little), and 2) the IBUs depend on final volume after the boil, so as far as the equation is concerned, it doesn't matter if you boil down to 22 liters or dilute up to 22 liters. Please understand that I recognize that this is a weak model, we all do, and that is why we don't talk about it much or try to define it further; it's just too slippery a pig. There are too many variables across everyone's systems, but the IBU equations do give a repeatable benchmark to work from on our own system.

So, having said all that, you ask about bumping your hopping rates by 10-15%. My answer is maybe, if you have brewed a couple of recipes from BCS and decided that the hop character is too light for the style. The hop additions in the recipes came from all-grain versions, and are calculated with the Rager Formula. They are a good starting point. I would not adjust them if you are brewing the recipe for the first time.

Really, as I think about it, the situation is really the whole other way around, where an extract brewer perhaps should be concerned that the hop amounts in the recipes are too large for the stated values of IBUs, but the reality being that the higher losses from the smaller pot (surface to volume ratio), and trub percentage balances it out.

Therefore, you, looking to brew all-grain, full volume boil, don't have anything to worry about.
Cheers,
John
Last edited by bundy on 06 Nov 2014, 09:29, edited 2 times in total.
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Post #4 made 3 years ago
Nice work Bundy! BCS is my main source for recipe's atm so thanks for your efforts.
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Post #5 made 3 years ago
No problems Gents glad it will be of use.

Now we really just need to come up with a clear set of "Rules" or "Steps" when transferring the recipes into the BIABacus, to ensure we (and others) don't make mistakes.

We can add into this thread then its all nice and easy to find.

eg
1 - Copy in the Grain Bill Weights
2 - Enter in the Hop weights

etc etc etc


I am presuming we can just put in the values or weights of each ingredient and ignore the IBU values. As John stated they use Rager (Where BIABacus uses Tinseth) I figure (hope) BIABacus will just work out the Tinseth calc of IBU's based on the AA% and weights input.

But If I'm truly honest after all this research, I haven't tried that yet - In fact I only picked up the book from the Library today! (Had to order it in) :headhit:

I'm sure Pat will have some input into this step though.

EDIT: I just started reading the book which I should have done before chasing all this up, and on page 34 the answer to this hop question is already there.
"All the recipes in this book were originally created in All Grain, full volume boil recipes then converted" :idiot:
Last edited by bundy on 06 Nov 2014, 13:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #7 made 3 years ago
bundy wrote:EDIT: I just started reading the book which I should have done before chasing all this up, and on page 34 the answer to this hop question is already there.
"All the recipes in this book were originally created in All Grain, full volume boil recipes then converted" :idiot:
:lol:. You are definitely not the only one to miss that bundy.

Thanks for taking the time to do all the contacting and research above. It makes a world of difference to so many when that time is taken and when you are also lucky to get a high quality reply which also would have taken considerable time to write. Nice work John!

The rules for converting BCS recipes now become very simple. All the original ingredients go on the left hand side of Section C and D in the exact same weights they are in the book. Then, on the first line of Section D, type type 21.82 L and you are done. (The 21.82 L assumes that the 22.7 L stated in the book is the volume at flame-out.)

The above were actually our original instructions :lol:.

Make sure you ask John if he'll be using our Clear Brewing Terminology in the next edition :). I think he would actually like it.

Once again, thanks bundy,
Pat

P.S. When I get time, I'll edit some prior key posts with links to this thread.
Last edited by Pat on 06 Nov 2014, 18:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #8 made 3 years ago
Gents, as I read the book (for the first time) I note that most recipes give you a few yeast options which is all good. Some give dry and liquid options, others a few liquid options only.

The thing I wonder what your ideas are in regards to the often quoted reference to pitching 2 x liquid yeast packages per ferment.

Now for those in the USA that might not be an issue but over here at least liquid yeast retails around the $15 per pack as compared to around $6 for a dry yeast equivalent!

I'm hoping that somewhere along the line yeasts packet sizes alter between Australia and the US, as the thought of throwing $30 of yeast into one batch seems a bit OTT....Ouch!

I understand I could always make a starter and step it up but wondering what the consensus is and if our brothers in the USA can shed some light on this for me?
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Post #9 made 3 years ago
The way I read it, is that amount is the recommendation for fresh yeast and no starter.

When I did my Old Ale from BCS, it recommended 3.5 packs/vials of the liquid (100 billion each). I simply got 2 vials, and did a simple (3L) starter with those. I suppose I could have stepped up from 1 vial if I was really cheap. My LHBS charges $7.50 USD each.

This is Jamil's pitching rate calculator.

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

I'm not sure if that's what you are asking, though.
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Post #10 made 3 years ago
This is great info for all the brewers using BCS, good work Bundy!

As for the liquid yeast being pricey, it is, but if you wash it after fermentation is complete you don't have to buy it again for a very long time. Its around $7 or $8 a vial here in Canada, so about half what you are paying.

I always make a starter with liquid yeast, whether I need to bump it up or even if to just check viability, but once you get a batch done, you will easily be able to harvest enough for 3 to 4 more batches. I have successfully kept washed yeast for 3 months so far without any trouble, but have read that some people were successful after a year or more. Also I've read its recommended to only keep for 7 generations or so, but I am only on generation 3 for my 'go to' WLP001, and gen 2 for a few of my other favourites. The process is actually pretty easy and only adds about an hour to bottling day for me, and I don't do it every time since you get enough for several batches.

If you factor this into the economics of it, it eventually becomes cheaper than buying a pack of dry yeast each brew (although that can obviously be washed and reused as well), and it opens up a lot of possibilities since there are so many different and interesting liquid yeasts compared to dry options, (at least around here).
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Post #11 made 3 years ago
goulaigan, how high of an OG will you go for saving yeast?

The BCS recipe I mentioned was 1.093. My limited knowledge of yeast tells me it might be "stressed", and not worth saving for future use.
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Post #12 made 3 years ago
I have not brewed anything higher than around 1.065, that was a saison and I harvested that yeast probably about 5 months ago and plan to re-use it for the first time this weekend.

Most of my brews are generally between 1.05 and 1.06, but like you I would probably not wash yeast from a brew with an OG that high. If I were planning to do something that high I would probably brew something a little smaller with the necessary yeast first, and then use the washed stuff from that brew to do the bigger one, probably use a couple jars so I wouldn't have to bump a starter several times, or maybe just pitch directly on the cake if styles were close (haven't tried that yet) I'm admittedly cheap, so anything I can do to cut costs I will, I'm down to probably $20-25 for 20-23 litre VIF now that I regularly wash and re-use yeast...

I did read an interesting article the other day about how washing isn't necessarily the best option to get the cleanest and most viable yeast from the batch, based on some experiments, but I can't for the life of me remember where I found it (possibly linked from here somewhere?), but in any case I've had good results with my method so far...
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Post #13 made 3 years ago
goulaigan wrote:I have not brewed anything higher than around 1.065, that was a saison and I harvested that yeast probably about 5 months ago and plan to re-use it for the first time this weekend.

Most of my brews are generally between 1.05 and 1.06, but like you I would probably not wash yeast from a brew with an OG that high. If I were planning to do something that high I would probably brew something a little smaller with the necessary yeast first, and then use the washed stuff from that brew to do the bigger one, probably use a couple jars so I wouldn't have to bump a starter several times, or maybe just pitch directly on the cake if styles were close (haven't tried that yet) I'm admittedly cheap, so anything I can do to cut costs I will, I'm down to probably $20-25 for 20-23 litre VIF now that I regularly wash and re-use yeast...

I did read an interesting article the other day about how washing isn't necessarily the best option to get the cleanest and most viable yeast from the batch, based on some experiments, but I can't for the life of me remember where I found it (possibly linked from here somewhere?), but in any case I've had good results with my method so far...
Beautiful, thanks. This is essentially what I plan to do the next time around, just wasn't very sure of myself considering that was my first go at a liquid yeast. This really got me thinking about how to save, which isn't something I care to do for the cheap dry yeasts I use.

Unfortunately, for winter mos here I have nothing but high gravity brews planned for quite some time. :headhit:

I do have a low gravity brew coming up, but I'm using Nottingham ... and have 0 desire to save any of that.
Last edited by Rick on 07 Nov 2014, 00:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #14 made 3 years ago
goulaigan wrote:I did read an interesting article the other day about how washing isn't necessarily the best option to get the cleanest and most viable yeast from the batch, based on some experiments, but I can't for the life of me remember where I found it (possibly linked from here somewhere?), but in any case I've had good results with my method so far...
This is going off topic but....
I wash yeast too, mainly because I have access to water and a way to boil & cool it :headhit:
However... I have also been reading (a while ago now) that there is even a better way than acid washing by using the correct amounts of chlorine dioxide.
Hard to get hold of things like that in the UK so I will wait until it becomes more mainstream (if it ever does), but Northern Brewer sell Cl-02 tablets.

Pro-brewer discuss it here, and there are a few PDF's half way down the first page.
I certainly do not recommend this procedure over any other, but it certainly looks like an interesting idea.
Last edited by mally on 07 Nov 2014, 05:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #16 made 3 years ago
Pat wrote:
The rules for converting BCS recipes now become very simple. All the original ingredients go on the left hand side of Section C and D in the exact same weights they are in the book. Then, on the first line of Section D, type type 21.82 L and you are done. (The 21.82 L assumes that the 22.7 L stated in the book is the volume at flame-out.)
Pat I just tried my first recipe into BIABacus.

1 Step missing from the above instructions (and BIABacus wont work without it)

I needed to enter in the OG (Original Gravity) of the Beer. (Probably worth a quick edit on your post for future reference)


After that it all works nicely :thumbs:
Last edited by bundy on 07 Nov 2014, 12:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #17 made 3 years ago
This is why I love this forum :)

Now it's interesting to go back and read a previous posting, like this one by PistolPatch:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1887&start=75#p37122

All the BCS recipes I've brewed to date used the above approach, and tasted good to me. But then I have no way of knowing what the original BCS recipes should taste like. I think the method that PP outlines is still the best way of doing an upward IBU adjustment, if this is what you think your BCS brew needs. However, I'm going to use the revised approach for a few recipes and see how things turn out.

Thanks for posting this, bundy!

Cheers,
BDP

Post #18 made 3 years ago
bundy wrote:
Pat wrote:
The rules for converting BCS recipes now become very simple. All the original ingredients go on the left hand side of Section C and D in the exact same weights they are in the book. Then, on the first line of Section D, type type 21.82 L and you are done. (The 21.82 L assumes that the 22.7 L stated in the book is the volume at flame-out.)
Pat I just tried my first recipe into BIABacus.

1 Step missing from the above instructions (and BIABacus wont work without it)

I needed to enter in the OG (Original Gravity) of the Beer. (Probably worth a quick edit on your post for future reference)


After that it all works nicely :thumbs:
Come to think of it, we really don't need any instructions for BCS recipes now as you would treat them as you would any opther external recipe. Perhaps the only necessary thing is a reminder to use 21.82 L rather than 22.7 L as the VAW.

Now that you have clarified the VAW for us, I'll ask for permission to use a BCS recipe as an example of how to convert/copy an external recipe in the BIABacus help I'm writing. That will tie in very nicely.

I'll also include a section in that part of the help called something like, "Not hoppy enough?" and explain how to very quickly make the adjustment that BDP mentions above.

:peace:
Pat
Last edited by Pat on 09 Nov 2014, 16:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #19 made 3 years ago
I've asked Jamil one more quesiton as other recipes of his are often published in BYO magazine / website, as well as even on his own mr malty website.

Unlike the Book these other published recipes rarely clearly provide the same detail of information we need to successfully copy, so this may be useful if you ever come across other Jamil recipes out their in webland and wish to convert them into the BIABacus.

Jamil, do you mind if I ask you one more question?

I see quite a few of your one off recipes published from time to time, eg BYO magazine among other places. What I wanted to ask is with all your published recipes outside of the BCS book, do they follow the same guideline in regards to volume? For example this recipe at your mr malty website - http://www.mrmalty.com/late_hopping.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

In the recipe it simply Indicates "Ingredients for 23 litres"

Then there are these published recipes - https://byo.com/stories/issue/item/2827" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... le-profile

Am I right to presume (as stated in the BCS book) when you refer to 23litres (or 6 gallons) that is the expected volume at the end of the boil? (And not volume into the fermenter or volume pre boil? ) as in that recipe for example it doesn't confirm it like you have in the book.

If you always use the same process when publishing your recipes then any I see I know I will be ok to adjust to my system based on the volume "post boil" figure.

Thanks again....Rob
REPLY from Jamil
When it is up to me, I do them all the same. 6 us gallons at then end of boil. 5.5 gallons to the fermenter. 5 gallons to packaging.

However, BYO insisted that each recipe be for 5 gallons at end of boil and 65% efficiency.
Last edited by bundy on 10 Nov 2014, 09:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #20 made 3 years ago
Excellent work Bundy. This is very informative and interesting.
Thank you for taking the time to chase this down.
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