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Brewing Formulas

  Conversions tables for malts

Bittering Units

Beer Flavor Wheel



Priming Bottles & Kegs


Test for Starch

Common Mash Temps

Mash Schedules

How to figure Water amounts Needed

Force Carbonation

Flat Bottled Beer? Low Carbonation

And proteins are what?



         Conversions: Some formulas are approximate. Simply round up or down.

Dry Malt to Liquid Malt: Dry x 25%+= Liquid

Example: 3 (LB. Dry Malt) x .25 =.75+=3.75 pounds Liquid Malt

Liquid Malt to Dry Malt: Liquid x 20% minus= Dry

Example: 6.6 (Lb. Liquid Malt ) x 20% =1.32 minus=5.28 ( Lb.Dry Malt)

Grain to Liquid Extract: Grain x .75= Liquid

10 Lb. (2 row malt) x .75 = 7.5 Lb. Liquid Malt Extract

Specialty Grain to Extract:

                         2 Lb. (Roasted & Chocolate Barley) x .89=1.78 ( Lb. Dark Liquid Extract)








Calculating Bittering Units:

AAU ( Alpha Acid Units) One Alpha Acid Unit is the amount of Acid contained in 1 oz. of 1% alpha acid hops.

HBU ( Home Bittering Units)

For a Five Gallon Batch- Multiply the ounces of hops used for Bittering by there Alpha Acid Number. For Example: 2 ounces of Kent Golding Hops at 5% apha acid per ounce                   equals 10 HBU  or 2oz. times 5 %(AAU) = 10 HBU

IBU ( International Bittering Units) To calculate Total IBU's from per gallon AAU's, first determine the approximate efficiency of hops isomerization. Hops boiled for 50 to 60 minuted will have  30% of the alpha acid converted. Hops boiled for 30 minutes will have 21% of the alpha acid converted. Hops boiled for 5 minutes will have 10% of the alpha acid converted.                                 

Example: First Hops Addition (60 min. boil time) of 1 oz. @ 5%(5 AAU's)  x .30=1.5 AAU's

Second Hops Addition (30 min. boil time) of 1/2 ounce @ 5% (2.5 AAU's) x .21=.53 AAU's

Last Hop Addition (5 min. boil time) 1/2 ounce @ 3% (1.5 AAU's) x.10=.15 AAU's

        1.5+.42+.15=2.07 (Total converted Iso-Alpha) divided by the number of gallons (5)=.414

   Final Isomerized Alpha Acid Units=.414   To Convert this number to IBU's divide your final IAAU by .01335(one IBU) =31-IBU's   the approximate number of IBU's in one gallon of your finished beer.












SRM ( Standard Research Method)/ Lovibond:  SRM and Lovibond is mearsured on the same scale. American brewers use Lovibond to describe malts, while SRM is used to describe the color of the finished beer.                                                       

EBC (European Brewing Convention Scale):

To convert EBC to SRM: Multiple EBC by .375 and add .46  

To predict the final color of the beer. Multiply the number of pounds of the grain or malt by the Lovibond of the grain or malt used. Then divide by the total of gallons of the wort.

          Example: (14oz. crystal @ 55 lovibond plus 6 # Light DME @ 3.5 Lovibond) divided by 5 gallons.    {(14/16)(55)+(6)(3.5)}/ 5=13.8 Lovibond



   Color                              SRM   NUMBER

Clear                                              0

Light Straw                                   1 - 2.5

Pale Straw                                  2.3 - 3.5

Dark Straw                                 3.5 - 5.5

Light Amber                               5.5 - 10

Pale Amber                                 10 - 18   

Dark Amber or Copper                18 - 26         

Very Dark Amber                         26 - 40   

Black                                              40 +



Kraeusening: Priming your beer with unfermented Wort (Gyle)

How Much Gyle to use? Always use same batch of Wort if possible.

    Multiply the gallons of your total Wort to be fermented by 12. (5 gallons x 12= 60)

    Divide the the sum of the above (60) by the last 2 digits of your specific gravity.

    If your your starting gravity before pitching the yeast was 1.040. Then Divide by 40.

                                60 divided by 40 =1.5   or   [  1-1/2 quarts Gyle ]

This number represents the amount of quarts used to prime your beer. This formula is the amount of Gyle used that would equal 5 ounces of Dextrose (Priming Sugar)



Priming Bottles & Kegs

 (5) gallon keg; Priming with dextrose (priming sugar). Use only Five tablespoons Dextrose for the complete keg. ( one tablespoon per Gallon) OR 1-tablespoon & 1 teaspoon Dry Malt Extract per gallon. Mix the primer of choice in two cups of the beer to totally dissolve prior to adding into the keg. 
Mini Kegs (5 Liter) Use one LEVEL tablespoon dextrose per mini keg. PRIME Mini Kegs individually Not with a bulk mix. It is always best to add the primer to a small amount of the beer to totally dissolve first.
Bottles: For bulk priming in the bucket, for 5 gallons of beer being bottled in 12 or 22 ounce bottles. Use 3/4 cup to 5 ounces dextrose (priming sugar)
Or 1-1/4 cup Dry Malt Extract.

Add the primer of choice to (1) cup of water and (1) cup of the finished beer. Bring the mix just to a boil and cool to the beer temperature that is being primed. Gently blend the Cooled primer mix into the container you are priming in, as you are transferring the beer. (do not splash - Fold IN)  This will give you an even blend of the primer mix. After you have bottled half the batch, again gently blend the beer and continue bottling.




Force Carbonation

Method One: Cold Carbonation

            Cooler should be 38 - 40

Set the Co2 regulator to 15 PSI for Light malted Beers or 18 PSI for heavy malted Beers.

Pressurize the keg until pressure equals set pressure. Disconnect the Co2 fitting to the keg. Shake the keg vigorously for 2 minutes. Repressureize the keg and let it equalize again to the Regulator set pressure. Let the keg remain in the cooler chilled.

Repeat this process 2 to 3 times a day for two days. After the beer has retained the Co2 in liquid, reduce the keg pressure to 5 PSI. Reset the Regulator to 8 PSI for dispensing.


Method Two: Same techniques as in Method One but the pressures are higher and the keg is not chilled until before use.

 Set the Co2 regulator to 32 PSI for Light malted Beers or 38 PSI for heavy malted Beers.

The keg remains at room temp during the carbonation. This may take a day or two longer depending on your room temperatures. After the beer has retained the Co2 in liquid, reduce the keg pressure to 5 PSI. Reset the Regulator to 8 PSI for dispensing.


Note: For Your Safety. Always store Co2 tank in the UPRIGHT position.

            Your Co2 tank should be secured in place with a safety chain at all times.

The safety chain should be rated at 100 pounds or over. Always turn the tank completely on until the valve seats.




Low Carbonation And Little or No Head Retention

Low Carbonation in your finished beer can be attributed to many causes.

Water can be one cause. Never use softened, distilled or ice machine processed water. Lack of minerals leaves nothing for the protein to cling to. For tap water in most areas balance your ph to 5.2. 

Low or no Head retention can be just as puzzling.

 If the beer has plenty or carbonation in solution but the foamy head never forms or disappears with in seconds check these causes.

The Glass; Dishwashing additives like 'Jet Dry' can add a coating ( call a wetting agent) on your beer glass. The Coating will prevent proteins from forming resulting in less head retention. Beer Glasses should always be hot water rinsed and hand or preferred air dried. Never Frost the glass. This merely allows the carbonation to come out of solution quickly as it hits the small facets of the frost. But the ice left behind then dilutes your beer.

Lack of Protein. Remember proteins are what attribute to good head retention. Be careful of over mashing or to high of temperatures if you are doing a protein rest. Typically 20-30 minutes@ 122 degrees is a good time and temperature. If you are using flaked barley, wheat, oats or rye. This will break up the proteins that will give you the body and the head retention.





Common Mash Temperatures - F



122F 140F 149F 158F 168F 170F
Optimum Activity Phytase optimum-Acid rest Temp. for under modified malts Proteolysis optimum-- Protein rest temperature. Beta-Amylase optimum-- Starch converts to sugars Diastase optimum-- Alpha & Beta-amylase work equally well Alpha Amylase --optimum--starch converts to dextrin's Beta-amylase stopped/Alpha-amylase curtailed--Mash Out Temp. Maximum sparge liquor temp.
Typical Mash Times 60 - 120 minutes 15 - 60 minutes 15- 90  minutes 45 - 90   minutes 15 -30 minutes 5-15 minutes 45-90 minutes
Effect on the Mash / Wort Lowers mash PH when using low Calcium brewing liquor Malt proteins and adjunct starches broken down Yields Wort very low in dextrin's, high in fermentable's Wort with well balanced ratio of dextrin's to fermentable's Wort high in dextrin's, low in fermentable's Reduces viscosity, aids run-off of mash (Mash-Out) Possible tannin extraction from mash if 170F exceeded.

Stephen Snyder- The Brewmaster's Recipe Manual 1994

Typical Step Mash Schedules

  Light Body Beer Medium Body Beer Full Body Beer Under Modified Pilsner Malts
1st. Step  122 F - 30 min. 122 F - 30 min. 122 F - 30 min. 95 F 45-60 min.
2nd.Step  148 F 60 min.  152 F 60 min. 155-158 F 60 min. 122 F - 30 min.
3rd Step

 165-168 F     Mash -Out 10 min.

165-168 F     Mash -Out 10 min. -168 F     Mash -Out 10 min. 148 F 60 min.
4th Step

 168 F Sparge -60-min.

168 F Sparge -60-min. 168 F Sparge -60-min.

 165-168 F     Mash -Out 10 min.

5th Step       168 F Sparge -60-min.


Mash Out

By the time the proteins have been broken down by any protein rest and the larger sugar molecules have been broken down to fermentable sugars, you're almost ready to Sparge and recover all those freshly prepared ingredients you want in your fermenting beer. But first there is one more step in the mash process killing all the enzymes that up to now you've been nice to.  This Mash-Out process is accomplished by heating the mash to 168 degrees. This also helps the sparging since the sugary solution will flow better hot.  However, don't go any higher than this temperature or you'll start to pull out husk tannins from the grains or cause some of the larger sugars to reabsorb  into the liquid mash. If either happens, astringency and haze may result.


Water Use Calculations


Water Use Calculations: When figuring your water remember your system can vary from others.

  Use the 1.4 quarts water per pound of grain. This will be your mash and sparge water amount.

           Absorption: Absorption of water in the grain is near .3 for a recipe with up to 20 % adjuncts. (Roast, toasted, rye, wheat) and .35 for all base malt recipe with less than 5 % adjuncts. (mostly 2 row pale malt)

Example: 10 Lb's Grain with 20% adjuncts x 1.4 = 14 quarts water, divide by 4 quarts per gallon = 3.5 gallons mash water.    3.5 gallons of wort in the mash tun will yield 2.45 gallons after absorption from the grains.  


   3.5 x .3 = 1.05 ( 3.5 gal. minus 1.05= 2.45gal.)  2.45 gal. wort plus 3.5 gallon sparge water = 5.95 gallons


If you loose ONE gallon in the boil from evaporation. = 4.95 gallons.

Knowing this you can do one of two things, Add 16 ounces of water to the Sparge or boil.


If you add a 16 ounce yeast starter (2 cups), you now have 5 gallons and 12 ounces.

After secondary, you end up with approximately 5 gallons.

    Simple right






Test for Starch Conversion with Iodine Tincture.

(from Brew Chem 101 p.46) Lee W Jason, PH.D.

     During the starch conversion stage of mashing, the iodine test (or iodine conversion test) is performed, a chemical test that tells just how well the larger sugars have been broken down to smaller, fermentable sugars. But, how and why does the iodine test work?

      Iodine in solution is yellow. However, if iodine comes in contact with a long, linear starch molecule such as amylose, the iodine molecule fits into spaces within starch molecule. The solution turns dark blue (or black if there's enough starch). If the starch has been partially broken down or if has a lot of branches as with large starch molecules or amylopectin, the iodine and starch molecules won't fit together as well, and the solution will turn a reddish color. If no starch, amylose, or amyopectin are left to combine with the iodine, the solution will remain yellow. 

     Using this test, the 'All-Grain Brewer' can easily determine how much breakdown of the mash has taken place. For example, a mash solution that is barely broken down will produce a black iodine test, partial breakdown will result in a red iodine test, and full breakdown to fermentable sugars and a few medium-sized sugars will result in the solution remaining the same yellow color. Intermediate shades of these colors are also possible, indicating that the degree of starch and sugar breakdown is somewhere in between the three examples.

     But beware: grain husks can also react with iodine and produce a black solution, even when all the sugars have been converted. So, the iodine test has to be conducted very carefully ( be sure to get only clear mash liquid with no floating pieces of husk) and interpreted correctly.






The WeekEnd Brewer 1986. All rights reserved.

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