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Balance Value is useful to approximate bitterness perception relative to other beers. Typically, the ratio
of bitterness units to gravity units (BU/GU) is used for this purpose. However, perception of bitterness is also related
to sweetness of the beer. For example, a really sweet beer (low attenuation) will seem less bitter than a dry
beer with the same IBU. For more information, go here.
To calculate IBU, use your favorite program. I use the (free) recipator. Use your experience, a hydrometer,
and information from yeast manufacturers to get your FG (or attenuation).
Having said all that, Balance Value is highly correlated to BU/GU. To get from BV to BU/GU, multiply by 0.47.
To go the other way, multiply by 2.1. So I guess what I'm saying is I made this page so I could learn how to do
Here's a chart showing some typical balance values. It's calculated from the midpoint of OG, FG, and IBU
given in the BJCP style guidelines. Again, BV is highly correlated to BU/GU. A couple exceptions are Imperial IPA,
which is dry and very bitter, and Strong Scotch Ale, which is very sweet and not very bitter.