Relative Bitterness Ratio

Post #1 made 2 years ago
I an attempt to learn - thought I would see if others had any thoughts on the Mad alchemist article on relative bitterness ratio. Any thoughts of this type of measurement in future release of BIABacus?

Last edited by Brew4me on 06 Feb 2016, 00:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #4 made 2 years ago
Brew4me - I presume you already know that bitterness to gravity ratio is currently reported in the BIABacus?
If not (or for anybody else wondering), it is low down in the list, left hand side in Section A.

As for taking into account attenuation though, I can see that some may find this useful. To me though it seems a little "gimmicky".
One thing to consider is that the attenuation is difficult to accurately predict, especially at the homebrew level.

I always use the ratio as a rough guide, and the attenuation is more of a hope. The yeast will do what they will do.

If you are keen to incorporate it though, it seems quite simple to do a quick calculation. As for the BIABacus incorporating it, lets see if Pat's head doesnt explode first! :lol:
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Post #5 made 2 years ago
I do use the BIABacus ratio as a guide. I first found the BU:GU graph of the mad alchemist site, which gave me, like you said, a rough idea of things and where I may want to go with a recipe. I just thought it was an interesting read (albeit with some errors in it).

I did not think that my comment might make Pat go over the deep end - would not want that :lol: I will have to be more careful :salute: I was more interested in engaging others to learn.

I get your point on the attenuation being more of a hope...

Last edited by Brew4me on 06 Feb 2016, 05:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #6 made 2 years ago
:lol:! We actually did have a very nice "dynamic" BU:GU picture graph in an earlier BIABacus that ran on macros. This was a first as all others are pretty much static picture graphs. It was a bit of a shame to have to can it as it really did look nice :P. However, it was gimmicky, just as many other things are and I'm now actually pleased it has gone. Things like this can be quite misleading, especially for new brewers...

Firstly, they reinforce the belief that numbers are all-important and repeatable.
Secondly, the ratios used for these pictorials were originally made up using incorrect IBU formulas. So, the basic ratios are dodgy to start with.
Thirdly, we have the next major problem in that the ratio will dramatically change depending on whether you use the Tinseth, Rage or Garetz hop bitterness calculation formula. (Have just updated this old post which explains this problem more thoroughly.)

So Pete, treat that one as a gimmick because it really is. All it does is compare the average gravity for a style with the average bitterness (in theory). It is better that you look at the gravity range and bitterness range for a style rather than a ratio that just muddies the waters. And, knowledge will often serve you better than such a ratio. For example...

If I'm brewing a low alcohol APA, I will use a much smaller grain bill as full-strength but mashed at a higher temperature. However, I will use the same hop bill as I would in the full-strength version to cut through any cloyingness of the wort. If I worked on ratios, I would end up brewing a cloying, non-bitter APA.

Another big gimmick in software is the ability to scale a recipe to the right colour. That is really not right either :angry:.

Last edited by PistolPatch on 06 Feb 2016, 23:12, edited 1 time in total.
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