EBC Calculator

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Binkie Huckaback
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EBC Calculator

Post by Binkie Huckaback » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:19 am

Can anyone tell me if recalculating the amount of a particular malt used in a particular recipe because of a change in EBC is as important as recalculating the amount of hops due to AA changes? Or does this not matter because malt is kilned to within a certain range of EBC, whereas AA content is up to nature?

If one should recalculate when using the same grain from a different supplier, does anyone know of a calculator or formula similar to a hop substitution calculator that can do this?

Steady Drinker
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Re: EBC Calculator

Post by Silver_Is_Money » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:13 am

It is virtually never going to be the case where an amateur home brewer will actually know the real EBC color of their purchased malts or grains. The EBC number marked on the package is merely an assumed or nominal mid-range of the range of potentials available for the real color value, and even your supplier doesn't likely know the specific EBC for the malts/grains they are selling to you.

For example, a base malt marked at 8 EBC might in reality be anywhere from perhaps 6 to 10 EBC. Or a deep roasted malt marked at 1,350 EBC might in reality be roughly anywhere from perhaps 1,100 to 1,650 EBC.

Would you be capable of being more specific with an actual example please?

Piss Artist
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Re: EBC Calculator

Post by Robwalkeragain » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:08 pm

Malts can vary fairly wildly. I’ve had Vienna that turned out practically brown (weyermann blamed my mash tun, pfft). With bulk malt we get a spec sheet for each batch and adjust recipes if needed, so if you’re brewing high colour beer or are particular about the colour of the end product, I’d highly suggest getting that info. You need the batch code, if it’s a 25kg sack it should have it on there, if not ask at the home brew shop.
For pale only beers we don’t bother, can’t do much about it anyway.

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Re: EBC Calculator

Post by Kev888 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:37 pm

If you really want it to look as close as possible to something specific, and/or if the relative colour or amount of the grain changed seems significant, then yes it wouldn't hurt to do what you can with the calculations - though as mentioned above there are different lengths you can go to.

Otherwise though, I must admit that I struggle to get too concerned about the colour for homebrew purposes... I've never made any beer that wasn't inherently and acceptably beer coloured, even if not quite the shade wanted. Whereas differences in gravity or hopping can completely unbalance things, so personally I attach more importance to recalculating for changes in those (though these aren't free of inaccuracies either).

That said, colour can be an indicator of something more extreme. If that quoted is 'really' different to what was expected then potentially the grain or beer might not be as intended. For example there are European grains with names nominally the same as ours but which are actually quite different.

Under the Table
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Re: EBC Calculator

Post by guypettigrew » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:49 pm

Kev888 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:37 pm
I've never made any beer that wasn't inherently and acceptably beer coloured, even if not quite the shade wanted.
Strangely, I've found the same. All my beers have been beer coloured!!

Seriously, though, the fine detail of the colour is of no importance to me. I work on three shades. Light, medium and dark.

As long as the end product is roughly within the intended shade it's fine by me.

Actually, even if it isn't, it's still fine by me as long as it tastes good!


Binkie Huckaback
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Re: EBC Calculator

Post by Binkie Huckaback » Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:40 pm

Thanks for the information Guys. It suddenly struck me when I was trying re-entering some old recipes created on Beer Engine after I had a hard drive stop working to find out if I should be taking changes into account. Generally, I've been rap at keeping records etc, not even taking final gravity readings on the basis that if it tastes good, I'm going to drink it no matter what the ABV

I'm now trying to be more organised.

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