Adjust hops when scaling grain?

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

The-Engineer-That-Brews

Tinkering around
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
2,611
Reaction score
2,378
Location
St Albans, Herts
Because I tend to get a high efficiency (especially in the mash), I have recently been scaling published recipes (using Beersmith 3).

Although I'm now getting the right gravity I'm beginning to find my beers slightly too bitter, especially the paler ones.

Is this because reducing the grains makes the taste less 'malty' so the hops also need to be scaled back in order to keep the overall balance?
If so, is there a better approach than trial-and-error to work out the hop reduction?

Thanks @TETB
 

RichardM

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Messages
1,090
Reaction score
706
Location
Cardiff
Check the IBU before and after scaling? Is it the same or do you need to make more adjustments to get it the same?
 

The-Engineer-That-Brews

Tinkering around
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
2,611
Reaction score
2,378
Location
St Albans, Herts
Check the IBU before and after scaling? Is it the same or do you need to make more adjustments to get it the same?
IBU is the same - suspect it's not the IBU as such, but the 'maltiness' that's changed due to the reduced amount of grain; I remember there's some kind of ratio here but I can't recall the details...
 

RichardM

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Messages
1,090
Reaction score
706
Location
Cardiff
That'll be the BU:GU ratio. There's also the type of bitterness to consider. I find it hard to bitter too much with Magnum but something like Chinook or Target is a different matter.
But BU:GU is bitterness to gravity ratio. @The-Engineer-That-Brews says "I'm now getting the right gravity", so if the IBU is the same and the gravity is correct then the BU:GU won't have changed.
 

The-Engineer-That-Brews

Tinkering around
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
2,611
Reaction score
2,378
Location
St Albans, Herts
This article is very interesting on the subject: Mad Alchemist: Relative Bitterness Ratio (RBR)
It makes the point that the perceived level of bitterness is affected by your FG - i.e. if your mash regime tends to produce a highly fermentable wort (like mine, because I often use an extended beta amylase rest) then your residual sugars will be lower and hence perceived bitterness will be higher. Ahaaaa….. lightbulb moment…
 
Top