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Hop Utilization

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  • Hop Utilization

    I am familiar with most calculations out there and work with them well except for one. Dealing with grams of AA per hectoliter of wort. I was introduced to it but struggle finding any concrete information about it. Any information would be helpful. The reason why this is confusing to me is when we talk about hop utilization the industry standard is based off of mg/liter and factors exist to convert to gallons, i.e 7490.

    If you have a beer analysis that provides the IBU content of a beer can you work the math backwards to see your %U?


    New member by the way.

  • #2

    You want to convert g/hl to mg/l? There are 1,000 mg in a g, and there are 100 l in a hl. So the conversion is 10. If you have 1 g/hl of anything, then you have 10 mg/l of it. Is this it?
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--


    • #3

      My question was, given the IBU hop content from an analysis can you work the math backwards to see what your untilization % is? A recipe is formulated with a utilization factor but can you establish a utilization factor by working the brewing calculations backwards.

      If you formulate a recipe for a bittering hop at 33% utilization to reach "x" desired IBU's and your analysis stated that the IBU content was well over the projection can you figure what %U you actually achieved?


      • #4
        This is the beauty of working in litres

        If you add say 1000 grammes of hops with an alpha acid content of 10 % to to 10 hl wort - you are adding 1000 * 1000 mg / 10 / 1000 mg / litre (wt of hops * % alpha / volume in litres). If your final beer bitterness result is 30 ebu, then you have achieved 30 % utilisation.

        Strictly speaking you should allow for volume losses between the wort volume to which you added the hops and the final volume of usable beer.

        Also don't forget that this will give you an overall %. If you have a number of additions at differant times in a brew and you want to adjust one of those additions for flavour reasons, then the overall bitterness will be affected. The % utilisation of each addition will vary roughly in proportion to the residence time in the hot wort, but it is not a straightforward % util vs time and will vary from system to system



        • #5
          Also, don't forget about the other factors that can affect the IBU of the final beer. You might get around 35% utilization during the boil, but you won't end up with 35% in the beer. You will have losses with hot and cold break, fermentation and filtering. So getting your utilization from the final beer might be a bit misleading.
          Roger Greene


          • #6
            Strictly speaking, you are right, this does not reflect the actual kettle utilisation

            But the only realistic point at which to determine utilisationis the point at which the customer can drink it, ie when it has been filtered, or is otherwise ready for packaging. That is what the customer tastes, not what is at the end of wort boiling or fermentation. So my calculation takes into account all the other vagaries of fementation and processing. As pointed out - if the other processes are inconsistent, then the final effective utilisation will vary, even if the kettle utilisation is consistent