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Just paper pen and calculator

I am using brewsmith. Brewers friend. For recipy calculation. Ok stil use it to calculate my water. But for the last few weeks. Me using only pen paper calculator to create my beer recipy. Kind of fun to do. Seems to be right using brew formulas once ready. I do check my calulations. With the software. Seems to be right on the spot. Any one else just. Uses pen paper calculator. The old school way ???


I’m curious how you calculate estimated IBUs.

I don’t have time to more more this morning, but may add more later this evening. I often do recipe calculations/conversions with pen/paper/calculator. With minor recipe tweaks, I often do them without the calculator :slight_smile:

this formula i do use. Ones done. Do check my self with brewers friend. Ibu calculator

I did my first dozen or so recipes all by hand and only entered them into software at a later time. Actually a lot of times I still just start on paper with ideas and a rough outline and enter it later. The math isn’t so hard where you really need to use software. Software is a handy tool but really not a requirement as far as I’m concerned. Still, I really do like the neatness and retrievability that software allows, and the automated math stuff is an added bonus.

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IBUs are not as difficult to estimate as you might think. All I’ve had to do really is to memorize three magic factors: 3.6, 1.6, and 0.6. They all end in “.6” so that keeps it easy for me. Here’s my method, I like to call this “the Taylor formula”, which is based on a practical approximation that will get you super close to Tinseth’s fancy equations. This calculation is designed for pellet hops used in 5 gallons final boil volume, 60-minute boil, @ approximately 1.060 OG, though adjustments can be made for other things explained later. And away we go…

3.6 * oz * AA% = IBUs from bittering hops added @ about 60 minutes left in the boil
1.6 * oz * AA% = IBUs from flavor additions @ 10-15 minutes
0.6 * oz * AA% = IBUs from aroma @ 5 minutes

Add all these together, and then add another +1.5 to the final total to get the final grand total IBUs.

For higher gravity worts (e.g., >1.075), the primary factors are reduced somewhat to about 3.0, 1.3, and 0.6 (stays same). For low gravity worts (e.g., <1.045), the factors are increased to around 4.0, 1.9, and 0.6 (this third factor always stays same). So yeah, you need to use a little swag and finesse. But it ain’t hard. (That’s what she said.)

For different batch volumes (V) other than 5 gallons, you need to multiply the result by 5/V. If you use whole hop cones, then multiply your final result by 0.9 (a.k.a., 90%). No big whoop.



Thanks for the info. Only question i do have for the calculation. You use the highest. Alpha acid. For example. A cetennial hops. From 7 to 12 % aa. If i use the software. I use 12%

If buying commercial hops, use the alpha acid that they provide.

If using homegrown hops or unknown alpha acid, I’d take an initial guess that the alpha acid is slightly on the higher end from the average. So if the range is given online as 7-12%, the average is 9.5%, so I would figure maybe 10.0-10.5%.

All my brews are done off line… it will stay that way too. I don’t try to nail another brew to a TEE, rather, tweak it to what my tongue says is good… Yes it takes a while to understand what you taste and how you got there… I’m not a cookie cutter brewer, I brew for me… No-one is telling me I have to brew mainstream for the masses… Sneezles61

Thank you! It’s an approach that I haven’t seen elsewhere and wouldn’t have found on my own.

Thanks. This ibu formula. Nice. Will use it creating the next. Beer. Some one gave me some home grow hop leaves. But it does not say. What kind of hops. It came by mail. Sort of smells. Like cascade. Would you use the aa info. Of regular cascade hops did try to reach him to ask him what kind of hops these are

Find out what variety they are. Otherwise reserve only for use as aroma hops if you care about bitterness. Or use in an IPA where the IBUs are likely maximized around 80-90 IBUs anyways to where the alpha acid doesn’t even matter anymore.

Writing hurts my hands and my handwriting is so bad even I can’t decipher it sometimes. So BS2 is my go to recipe builder and repository. Brunwater for water calcs. I back everything up on “the cloud”.

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