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Bittering Units : Real Extract (BU:RE) Calculator

2012 February 25
by Mad Alchemist

Some people have requested that I post a calculator for the BU:RE ratio. This uses degrees Plato instead of Specific Gravity. If you don’t work in degrees Plato and don’t know how to convert from Specific Gravity, here’s a quick formula you’ll need to know:

degrees Plato = Specific Gravity / 4

To briefly describe what BU:RE does you, it is roughly a 10 point scale that helps estimate beer balance (with 5 being balanced, 10 being very bitter, and 1 being very sweet). It takes into account the bitterness of a beer (in IBUs) as well as Real Extract (in degrees Plato, which is calculated for you via the Original Gravity and Final Gravity inputs). While it can’t account for X factors like roasted malts and water composition, it goes a long way toward quantifying balance and is my current favorite method for calculating it.

BU:RE = IBU / ((0.1808 * OG °P) + (0.8192 * FG °P))

BU:RE Calculator
Bitterness (IBU)
Original Gravity (°P)
Final Gravity (°P)
Bittering Units to Real Extract
BU:RE = IBU /((0.1808 * OG °P) + (0.8192 * FG °P))
by Ryan “Mad Alchemist” Shwayder

If you’d like to compare your beer against a style, here’s a large spreadsheet with all the BJCP style data you’ll need (including a column for the average BU:RE of the style). Beer Style Data (Google Docs)

2 Responses leave one →
  1. April 29, 2013

    Hello! Great post! I really like tools like this that you can use to produce consistent beer. However I have a question regarding tools like this. Since 20-30% of the IBUs in any certain beer get lost in fermentation. Should you account for this when calculating a BU:RE value or should you still use the amount of IBU theoretically present in the beer prior to fermentation?


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