Planning a new extract brew. I'm normally one to wing the quantities a bit but as I'm attempting a higher-than-average ABV this time round I've put together a recipe using the Brewers' Friend recipe calculator. I know it's not 100% accurate but in terms of making sure I have enough fermentables and bittering hops it's certainly better than me.

Recipe is as follows:-

23L batch. 10L boil.

5kg light liquid malt extract


100g Apollo hops - 60min boil - 19% AA


75g Dr Rudi hops - 30min boil - 11.7% AA

25g El Dorado hops - 30min boil - 14.1% AA


25g Dr Rudi hops - 15min boil - 11.7% AA

75g El Dorado hops - 15min boil - 14.1% AA

Will be fermenting with Safbrew S-33 yeast (for high(er) ABV beers)

Predicted properties

Original Gravity: 1.063. Final Gravity: 1.012. ABV: 6.75%. IBU: 150.84.

In my limited brewing experience, 300g of hops seems a lot. How trustworthy is this recipe builder?

Another side question - would using bottle mineral water have a noticeable impact on the flavour of the final product?

2 Answers 2


Liquid extract has about 36 ppg or points/pound/gal. That means that one lb. of LME in one gal. of water gives you an OG of 1.036. You have 5 kg or about 11 lb. Multiply that by 36 and you have a total of 396 gravity points. Divide that 5.5 (gal., roughly 23 L) and you get 72, so your OG would be 1.072. Because you're doing a concentrated boil, your hop utilization will be reduced, but that's still a damn bitter beer. The Brewer's Friend calculator is generally very accurate. As a rough guess, becasue of the concentrated boil, I'd guess you'll come out around 100-125 IBU. still insanely bitter.


One way to evaluate beer bitterness is through the IBU/OG ratio.

In your case that would be 151/63=2.396. Now this is hugely bitter! I don't know which style of beer you are trying to brew, but to take some guidelines, the Imperial IPA style (taken as an example of extreme bitterness) should have the following parameters: OG: 1.070-1.090 IBU: 60-120. This gives an average IBU/OG ratio of 1.125. So you should drastically reduce the amount of hops.

The quantity you need depends on the style you are trying to brew, so specifying this could help giving you a more precise answer. However, you most likely do not want to go above a 1 IBU/OG ratio, so I think you can safely use only half of your planed recipe...

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