Ask Mr. Wizard

Upping IBU’S


Adam Boyle asks,

I have been planning on making an extract oatmeal stout, but after entering all my ingredients into a recipe calculator I am concerned with my hop utilization. I boil my wort in about two gallons (8 L) of water and have noticed, through the recipe calculator, that as I add more sugars the hop utilization goes down. I plan on using six pounds of liquid malt extract and a pound or two of honey. If I add just the malt, it shows that I will have around 20 IBUs but if I were to add the honey to the boil that would lower it to about 16 IBUs. I have heard of brewers boiling their hops in plain water and adding the malt and sugars after they have boiled the hops for a while. Could you explain how I would go about getting better hop utilization without buying new equipment?


Is good hop utilization getting you down? Take some advice from the Wiz. Plus: Enzymes can be a great tool in brewing - how do you stop them?
Response by Ashton Lewis.