For those of you that clone commercial brews, or use the recipes they give you: Do you alter hop additions for utilization? Might commercial breweries use less hops than we need as home brewers to attain the same level of bitterness (hoppiness)?
Good question. You can bet a commercial brewery will do anything in it’s power to get the most bang for their buck. Some breweries are happy to give out the recipe or at least the ingredients of their beer. From there you should be able to kind of closely figure the amount of hops if they also supply the IBUs of the beer.
1 oz. of Northern Brewer (10% alpha acid) boiled for 60 minutes in a full-wort boil of moderate gravity wort for a five-gallon batch.
IBU = 1 x 10 x 30 / 5 x 1.34 = 44.77
Let’s say you are using last year’s recipe but the alpha acid of your hops has changed to 8% alpha acid. You will need to solve for the weight of hops with the new alpha acid percent. Rearrange the formula so that…
weight of hops in ounces =
IBUs desired x volume of final batch in gallons x 1.34* / alpha acid percent x utilization percent
*constant to convert measurement into US standards
oz. hops = 44.77 x 5 x 1.34 / 8 x 30 = 1.25 oz. hops[/quote]
A little confusing but many clone recipes you see will already have been figured out and hopefully tried out so it will be a close clone.
Spot on. This is where software will aid you greatly, as long as you’re willing to go back in your recipe and plug in the actual values of your hops instead of using what comes pre-programmed. I doubt many homebrewers do, but for those who are chasing the clone, then this is how you’d do it.
Spot on. This is where software will aid you greatly, as long as you’re willing to go back in your recipe and plug in the actual values of your hops instead of using what comes pre-programmed. I doubt many homebrewers do, but for those who are chasing the clone, then this is how you’d do it.[/quote]
Thanks for the replies!
I use BeerTools Pro and always adjust the alpha acids of the particular hop I’m using for each recipe when inputting. I was just curious if maybe commercial breweries get better utilization or something. Kind of like they get crazy high mash efficiency, compared to my 68-70%.
This may be a stupid question but do most commercial breweries use hop pellets or do they typically use the fresh flowers themselves?
‘Most’ use pellets, but there are definitely notable exceptions. Sierra Nevada uses only whole cones, for example.