From the HBD Archive
From: (Tony Babinec)
Subject: HBU and IBU confusion
Date: 1992-03-04 15:53:47 GMT

HBU is a recipe dosage. You take into account the alpha acid content
of the hops when measuring them out for an intended beer style.

IBU is a chemical measurement of the bitterness of the finished beer.
Beer styles have accepted ranges of bitterness. In general, you won't
know the IBU of your homebrew or a commercial beer without getting a
chemical analysis of the bottle of beer.

What happens in between hop dosage and bitterness of the finished
beer are things like length of boil, vigor of boil, oxidation of the
beer, and so forth.

Taking the above into account, for a given beer, the IBU number is
anywhere from 3 to 4.5 times the HBU number.

You have to try a recipe or formulate one with hop additions, make
beer using as good a process as you can, and taste the finished product.
Then, adjust your hopping up or down.

The Hops Special Issue of Zymurgy has some good articles with formulas
detailing how to guesstimate the bitterness of your finished beer.

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