Ask Mr. Wizard

Brewing 100+ IBU Beers


Mike Killgore • Beaverton, Oregon asks,

I recently saw an IPA recipe from Jamil Zainasheff that listed the IBUs at 100. Is this in the realistically attainable range on a basic homebrew setup (full volume boil pot and mash tun only) with “normal” hops/hop products (whole leaf, pellets or plugs)? I recallreading somewhere that 80–85 IBUs was the max without special equipment.

The limit of beer bitterness is really a function of the solubility of iso-alpha-acids in wort and their survival into finished beer. Most of the literature on this topic is of the
Response by Ashton Lewis.