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Old 08-16-2009, 07:59 AM   #1
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Default First Wort Hopping

Mod Edit: I've moved these to their own thread.

I love hobgoblin - and since I've seen Orfy's recipe on a few different forums when I was looking for a recipe, it seems to be very popular - therefore this is definitely the one I will run with.
However I got a question about FWH. I've tried this technique, with some success, but always as a substitute for late hops and still using bittering hops. Orfy's recipe calls for FWH AND late hops, but no separate bittering hops. Some sources (eg John Palmer) say that FWH only has bitterness equivalent to a 20 min addition. What is experience of those who used this recipe - Orfy, if you are still out, what do you think?
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:48 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by hazard View Post
I love hobgoblin - and since I've seen Orfy's recipe on a few different forums when I was looking for a recipe, it seems to be very popular - therefore this is definitely the one I will run with.
However I got a question about FWH. I've tried this technique, with some success, but always as a substitute for late hops and still using bittering hops. Orfy's recipe calls for FWH AND late hops, but no separate bittering hops. Some sources (eg John Palmer) say that FWH only has bitterness equivalent to a 20 min addition. What is experience of those who used this recipe - Orfy, if you are still out, what do you think?
I think you're confusing FWH with mash hopping. FWH involves adding the hops to the first runnings from your MLT into the boil kettle, and leaving the hops there for the boil (therefore INCREASING utilization). Mash hopping, on the other hand, involves adding the hops to the MLT but leaving them with the spent grain (hence the 20% utilization).
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:12 PM   #3
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No I too have heard that the flavor profile of the FWH is more of a late addition than a bittering.

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Old 10-21-2009, 12:30 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by hopvine View Post
I think you're confusing FWH with mash hopping. FWH involves adding the hops to the first runnings from your MLT into the boil kettle, and leaving the hops there for the boil (therefore INCREASING utilization). Mash hopping, on the other hand, involves adding the hops to the MLT but leaving them with the spent grain (hence the 20% utilization).
No mate, no confusion. I mean First wort hopping, and your description of this technique is accurate. In his book "How to Brew" john Palmer quotes that FWH gives a bitterness equal to 20 min boil. My question is, what are othersexperience with FWH. I have tried it, but not in a controlled way so am not able to determine an equivalent boil time for myself. What I have noticed, is that FWH in addition to 60min hops gives noticeable flavour and aroma that would not be expected if you did 60 min boil alone - hence the suggestion that FWH replaces later additions. The hypothesis is that since wort is at mash temp, and not boiling, the essential oils that give flavour and aroma are not boiled away as they are if hops thrown straight into kettle but instead are "transformed" into more stable compounds that survive the boil - I assume that something also happens to alpha acids, which somehow reduces the utilisation (if Palmer is correct).

So I have verified flavour and aroma to my satisfaction, but have not been able to verify the reduction in utilisation and equivalent boil time for FWH. Hope this is clear, and not to be confused with mash hopping.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:15 AM   #5
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No mate, no confusion. I mean First wort hopping, and your description of this technique is accurate. In his book "How to Brew" john Palmer quotes that FWH gives a bitterness equal to 20 min boil. My question is, what are othersexperience with FWH. I have tried it, but not in a controlled way so am not able to determine an equivalent boil time for myself. What I have noticed, is that FWH in addition to 60min hops gives noticeable flavour and aroma that would not be expected if you did 60 min boil alone - hence the suggestion that FWH replaces later additions. The hypothesis is that since wort is at mash temp, and not boiling, the essential oils that give flavour and aroma are not boiled away as they are if hops thrown straight into kettle but instead are "transformed" into more stable compounds that survive the boil - I assume that something also happens to alpha acids, which somehow reduces the utilisation (if Palmer is correct).

So I have verified flavour and aroma to my satisfaction, but have not been able to verify the reduction in utilisation and equivalent boil time for FWH. Hope this is clear, and not to be confused with mash hopping.
Ok, I think I see where your confusion is stemming from. Palmer recommends using no more than 30% of your total hop additions for a FWH, and suggests using some of the low alpha hops that you intended to add as flavoring hops.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter5-1.html

He never says that you get less bitterness using the FWH method vs. adding to the boil at 60 min. If you added your first addition of BITTERING hops as a FWH addition, you would actually end up getting MORE bitterness than a 60 minute addition (since those hops are going to steep in warm water, then gradually increase in temperature to a boil, and then boil for 60 minutes).
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by hopvine View Post
If you added your first addition of BITTERING hops as a FWH addition, you would actually end up getting MORE bitterness than a 60 minute addition (since those hops are going to steep in warm water, then gradually increase in temperature to a boil, and then boil for 60 minutes).
Maybe on paper, but it doesn't translate to the beer. I've not been happy with the results of fwh my bittering hops, This is on ipas and pales, which to me are reliant on crisp hop taste. Not the "rounded" more subdued taste that you actually get.

Now using a portion of late addition hops, for fwh, that's a different story.

To the op, for your recipe, I don't see a problem with the fwh, although it's not for me.
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:07 PM   #7
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Maybe on paper, but it doesn't translate to the beer. I've not been happy with the results of fwh my bittering hops, This is on ipas and pales, which to me are reliant on crisp hop taste. Not the "rounded" more subdued taste that you actually get.

Now using a portion of late addition hops, for fwh, that's a different story.

To the op, for your recipe, I don't see a problem with the fwh, although it's not for me.
This is a pretty interesting thread regarding an analysis that was done to determine the difference in taste and IBU's:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/first-wort-hopping-white-paper-sort-50941/

A lab analysis of the actual beers confirmed that the IBU's were higher in a FWH'd beer. However, once you get into the territory of describing the "crispness" of bitterness, you lose a measurable metric and it becomes a bit more subjective.
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:56 PM   #8
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I FWH nearly all my beers, now, and I have been very pleased with it. I do find the bitterness less than with a 60 minute boil (at least, the perceived bitterness), but it is far more than a 20 minute boil. The bitterness also is much smoother. More hop aroma and flavor is preserved than a simple, early boil addition. However, FWH is no substitute for late addition hops.

There is no way to quantify how much perceived aroma and flavor remains. You just need to give it a try.


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Old 10-22-2009, 04:18 PM   #9
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I like it. I like bitterness but smooth bitterness.

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Old 10-22-2009, 04:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopvine View Post
This is a pretty interesting thread regarding an analysis that was done to determine the difference in taste and IBU's:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/first-wort-hopping-white-paper-sort-50941/

A lab analysis of the actual beers confirmed that the IBU's were higher in a FWH'd beer. However, once you get into the territory of describing the "crispness" of bitterness, you lose a measurable metric and it becomes a bit more subjective.
Yes, i've read this and I understand the point, I have more than casual experience with fwh(bittering additions), and don't care for it with certain beer styles. It certainly has it's place in brewing, but is misunderstood by many. If you fwh your bittering addition and think it will translate into increased bitterness taste wise, you are mistaken. In this case the numbers do lie.
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