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Old 03-15-2013, 03:13 PM   #11
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Thanks everybody for the feedback.



I am wondering why the stance of not liking the FWH? I have heard it will help the bitterness be more smooth. To me IPAs are not about bitterness but more the flavor and aroma of the hops. It would be great to hear your experience in FWH.
Others like FWH, including me and Denny Conn. It's a matter of personal preference, and I use FWH all the time for APAs and IPAs. I also use a fairly low sulfate water for IPAs, because I don't love harsh bitterness. I like firm but smooth bitterness.


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I think since this is my first ipa recipie I'm going to keep it simple. drop the crystal 40 completely, drop the honey malt to a half pound, up the 2 row 1 pound. mash long and low. I'm not going to try the FWH this time but keep the rest of the hop schedule the same.

now I just need an empty fermenter.
That's fine- but earlier you said you want some sweetness in the beer. By dropping the crystal and mashing long and low, you'll have a crisp dry IPA. Both ways are great- but they are totally different beers so I just wanted to check and make sure that is what you wanted.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:26 PM   #12
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I also use a fairly low sulfate water for IPAs, because I don't love harsh bitterness. I like firm but smooth bitterness.
Sulfate doesn't exactly make the bitterness harsh. In the right amounts, it just adds a crispness to the hop bitterness and helps to highlight the hop focus a bit better. Low sulfate is also relative. Low in general would be 0-50 ppm. Low for an IPA would be 75-125 ppm.

Isn't firm bitterness and harsh bitterness sort of synonymous? I mean, the word "harsh" has a negative connotation to it, but it is not like we're brewing undrinkably bitter beers here since IBU solubility in wort caps off at about 90-110 max. If a homebrewer is getting an unpleasant harshness in an IPA, then it's probably due to a recipe flaw or a brewer process error, and not from the IBUs. Astringency, harshness, unpleasantness, etc. can result from a multitude of reasons but people always rush to blame "too much bittering hops". This is not the case for many commercial beers who completely pound out their beers with early hops.

FWH completely prevents any ability to obtain an upfront bitterness. If you are getting it, then the FWH process failed for you. American IPAs are supposed to have a firm/upfront/harsh/strong (whatever you want to call it) bitterness. If you want less firmness, then an APA or English IPA might be more suited to your tastes. American IPAs and IIPAs are inherently bitter styles. Why should we have to change them toward balance (like every other style) when they are all about the beauty of unbalance?
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:27 PM   #13
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Others like FWH, including me and Denny Conn. It's a matter of personal preference, and I use FWH all the time for APAs and IPAs. I also use a fairly low sulfate water for IPAs, because I don't love harsh bitterness. I like firm but smooth bitterness.




That's fine- but earlier you said you want some sweetness in the beer. By dropping the crystal and mashing long and low, you'll have a crisp dry IPA. Both ways are great- but they are totally different beers so I just wanted to check and make sure that is what you wanted.
The whole point of this brew is make one I can say is mine and original. One thing to keep in mind is I have brewed many IPAs, they just haven't been by my own design. that being said I wanted to try something new, but as I thought more about it I need to only change 1 thing at a time. This time it will be the honey malt. next time probably FWH.

The whole reason I started brewing is to make fresh, great tasting, inexpensive IPAs. (that was before I knew I was going to need a second job to support this hobby).I liked the most bitter, hoppiest IPA I could find. I'm past that though. I do want some balance not Just a hop bomb. My plan all along was to mash low and get my sweetness from the specialty malts.

Thanks for the help.


bobbrews,

I can tell you are very passionate about the way you like IPAs. I can admire that. Even with a smoother less harsh bitterness it is still an IPA. There is many things that make an IPA, an IPA. That is why it is the fastest growing beer style right now. It can easily be made to different peoples tastes. I now prefer a more flavorful one, to me high bitterness numbs the taste buds and dulls the taste. But that is just me.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:12 PM   #14
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FWH completely prevents any ability to obtain an upfront bitterness.
No, it doesn't. Maybe your taste prefers a harsher stronger bittering, but mine does not.

Being passionate about your likes is wonderful.

Remember that other people have had different experiences and different tastes, including people who have been brewing a very long time. Your preferences don't make facts. What you like is what you like. But please don't continue to try to denigrate those who are pretty darn good brewers but don't agree with your dogmatic statements.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:21 PM   #15
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There's nothing dogmatic about the reality that certain homebrewers are continually trying to make an intentionally unbalanced style of beer more balanced.

If you prefer sweetness and despise bitterness, then don't brew an IPA. Simple as that. You can still make a hoppy beer that is not bitter, but it would not be called an A-IPA. Maybe these pretty darn good brewers should stop denigrating the style by promoting a process they don't even understand (FWH) to new IPA brewers left and right.

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Old 03-15-2013, 08:37 PM   #16
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There's nothing dogmatic about the reality that certain homebrewers are continually trying to make an intentionally unbalanced style of beer more balanced.

If you prefer sweetness and despise bitterness, then don't brew an IPA. Simple as that. You can still make a hoppy beer that is not bitter, but it would not be called an A-IPA. Maybe these pretty darn good brewers should stop denigrating the style by promoting a process they don't even understand (FWH) to new IPA brewers left and right.
Nope, not dogmatic at all.

I know that you don't "get it", but believe it or not other people can make excellent IPAs with FWH. Just because you can't, or rather think that you are the ultimate authority, doesn't make you right.

You're not wrong, as your tastebuds tell you that you like it the way it you make it. But there are thousands of other brewers out there, some of whom have been brewing professionally and longer than you have that don't act nearly as arrogant.

My IPAs are very good. Sometimes I want a "smoother" bitterness. The fact that you don't doesn't make me wrong. I have won awards via the NHC with a FWH IPA. I guess that Ray Daniels (when we drank it together) is no judge of a good IPA?

Again, your opinion matters and is appreciated in this forum. . But please stop your dogmatic tirades against those who may through thousands of batches of beer have a different opinion.

FWH is a weird thing, at least scientifically. The IBUs are measurably higher, but the bitterness is less pronounced (or harsh) than 60 minute hops only. There is no scientific data that says that FWH cannot provide a firm enough bitterness in an IPA, although you feel strongly otherwise.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:22 PM   #17
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Oh, I'm sure they're still tasty... After all, it's beer! It's not "ruining" it, but you are bastardizing the style when you FWH it... a process traditionally meant for non-hoppy beers. Don't forget that I've brewed hundreds of IPAs. This is my go-to style. So I'm no stranger to mash hopping, fwh'ing, traditional bittering, etc.

I have provided a slew of advice against FWH in the collective sum of threads I've posted on the topic. It is a very complex and misunderstood process. People (and yes even veterans) don't understand it. John Palmer tells us this, "Only low alpha finishing hops should be used for FWH, and the amount should be no less than 30% of the total amount of hops used in the boil."

Some of these veterans (not JP) even preach about FWH as if it's the key to making or breaking a great IPA. I just find that type of advice to others comical when they don't even understand the process themselves. It's like saying, "Everytime I fill up at the station, I pour in a cup of homemade fuel booster and cleanser combo... it really helps to make my engine run smoother and faster." Yeah... okay buddy. You don't even know what you are doing, and most likely doing more harm than good... even if your engine appears to run well for years.

I have no doubt that you are an excellent brewer, Yooper. Try not to take what I say as a dig everytime. I'm very Simon Cowell in my method of delivery. Brutal honesty and passionated opinion is needed sometimes. I even disclosed this below

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Old 03-15-2013, 10:18 PM   #18
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Oh, I'm sure they're still tasty... After all, it's beer! It's not "ruining" it, but you are bastardizing the style when you FWH it... a process traditionally meant for non-hoppy beers. Don't forget that I've brewed hundreds of IPAs. This is my go-to style. So I'm no stranger to mash hopping, fwh'ing, traditional bittering, etc.

I have provided a slew of advice against FWH in the collective sum of threads I've posted on the topic. It is a very complex and misunderstood process. People (and yes even veterans) don't understand it. John Palmer tells us this, "Only low alpha finishing hops should be used for FWH, and the amount should be no less than 30% of the total amount of hops used in the boil."

Some of these veterans (not JP) even preach about FWH as if it's the key to making or breaking a great IPA. I just find that type of advice to others comical when they don't even understand the process themselves. It's like saying, "Everytime I fill up at the station, I pour in a cup of homemade fuel booster and cleanser combo... it really helps to make my engine run smoother and faster." Yeah... okay buddy. You don't even know what you are doing, and most likely doing more harm than good... even if your engine appears to run well for years.

I have no doubt that you are an excellent brewer, Yooper. Try not to take what I say as a dig everytime. I'm very Simon Cowell in my method of delivery. Brutal honesty and passionated opinion is needed sometimes. I even disclosed this below
You are mistaken though. You are not an authority on the subject. You say you are, but that doesn't work on a forum. Imagine if it did.

So, when you say bastardize, etc, your opinion is a drop in the bucket of this forum.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:53 PM   #19
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K, thanks... neither is anyone else. Apparently, not even Palmer.

I suggest you rethink the meaning of a forum designed to ask peers for advice on brewing methods. You can choose to not believe and move on, or you can debate with someone on a method that seems works for you, but that you can't explain.

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Old 03-15-2013, 11:03 PM   #20
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K, thanks... neither is anyone else. Apparently, not even Palmer.
Palmer? Check this out. He's on the same learning curve as the rest of us.

http://hbd.org/hbd/archive/1192.html#1192-6
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