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Old 01-13-2013, 11:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Denny View Post
The bitterness you get from FWH is very different than what you get from a 60 min. addition. It's much smoother and softer. I always use a 60 min. addition in addition to the FWH. I consider the FWH a flavor addition.
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Thanks. Do you leave the FWH in for the boil or discard them?
You leave them in!

Here's the thing to consider. I absolutely respect Denny and I would never disagree with him.

Except in this! My taste is that FWH does contribute bitterness, and I use it instead of 60 minute bittering.

But there are so many other considerations. One is that I found that I dislike high sulfate water, even for IPAs and APAs, so I like that "softer" bitterness. Perhaps that is why I think FWH is a great sub for bittering hops, while Denny does both FWH and bittering hops.

My suggestion is to try it both ways, and make your decision based on your taste buds.

I like lots of late hops in ambers, IPAs, and APAs, with just enough bitterness to balance. Maybe that's why I love FWH instead of bittering hops.

I rarely do mash hopping now, but I used to back when hops were cheap. I never did a head-to-head comparison, but don't recall a significant difference.


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Old 01-14-2013, 12:22 AM   #12
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In my experience, I'm with yooper on this. I've been using FWH in place of a 60 min addition on many brews lately, and I find that it contributes bitterness. I haven't really noticed any flavor contributions from it, but haven't really done any side by side comparisons or anything. I just use it to smooth the bitterness on some hops that give me a "harsher" bittering.



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Old 01-14-2013, 12:38 AM   #13
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I definitely get some bitterness, but it never seems to me like a full 60 minute addition. I tend to stop liking beers once the BU:GU gets north of ~0.8 or so, though with FWH'd beers I'm still happy closer to 1.0 (if calculated like a 60min addition).

It's definitely not an apples-to-apples comparison in any case, but I treat my FWH like 20 minute addition and it works out nicely for me. That's about 60% of the calculated IBUs of a 60min addition.

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Old 01-14-2013, 02:50 AM   #14
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Just to be sure I'm understanding here, despite leaving FWH's in for the boil, they do not contribute a full boil bittering charge? I get the flavor extraction part, longer contact time at sub-boiling temperatures, but I'm having a tough time understanding what happens to them in the boil. Isn't all the alpha acid still present after use as FWH?

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Old 01-14-2013, 03:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demus View Post
Just to be sure I'm understanding here, despite leaving FWH's in for the boil, they do not contribute a full boil bittering charge? I get the flavor extraction part, longer contact time at sub-boiling temperatures, but I'm having a tough time understanding what happens to them in the boil. Isn't all the alpha acid still present after use as FWH?
Yes, it is. But, the perception of bitterness (like all taste) is a very complicated thing. If you get the thing tested by a lab, I'm sure you'll see IBU levels appropriate to a full sixty minute boil. What you actually perceive might be something else.

The fact that two of the more accomplished brewers on here, Denny and Yooper, describe very different perceptions of FWH bitterness is a pretty clear indication that there's no simple answer to this.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:12 AM   #16
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I've been doing it for all my pales, ipas, and ambers. They've been plenty bitter, but they generally get a nice dose of hops at various stages of the boil. I just brewed a German lager with 2 oz of hellertau FWH and nothing else. Curious to see what I get in the way of bitterness/flavor. I brewed the same beer earlier this year with just a bittering addition so I'm anxious to see how it turns out.

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Old 01-14-2013, 03:15 AM   #17
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My first FWH beer(IPA) is 1 month in bottles at the moment. Tasted first bottle a few nights ago and its still slightly green, but very promising, although it does taste like I've undershot the bittering-cant say if this is because of the lower 'perceived' bitterness with FWH?. Will try it again in a week or so. Heres the thread I started looking for advice on FWH
http://biabrewer.info/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=1798&hilit=considering+fwh
See post #3 by PistolPatch where he explains how to convert to FWH from a normal recipe.
Although from what I've read(and am still reading) people tend to FWH differently. I'd love to undertsand it better myself as it makes little sense to me to rob for FWH only from late additions

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Old 01-14-2013, 04:19 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grantman1 View Post
In my experience, I'm with yooper on this. I've been using FWH in place of a 60 min addition on many brews lately, and I find that it contributes bitterness. I haven't really noticed any flavor contributions from it, but haven't really done any side by side comparisons or anything. I just use it to smooth the bitterness on some hops that give me a "harsher" bittering.
Maybe if you are a non hop lover like myself you would notice the flavor more.

Seriously, the idea that 'any bittering hop' will work because it doesn't add flavor might work for some. It could be genetic. My son gave me a Leffe blond because it was too bitter for him. I could taste the hops but didn't find it bitter.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:44 AM   #19
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I do mostly Belgians, English Pale Ale, Kolsch, Alt, and lagers. I use the 60 min hop amount to FWH. I always FWH and treat it as my 60 min. bittering addition.

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Old 01-14-2013, 01:48 PM   #20
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You are free to do what you want but traditional First Wort Hopping involves the flavoring or aroma hop, not the bittering hop.
I'm not saying you shouldn't try whatever you like, experimentation is good.
But it's confusing to see a term being used in an imprecise way.
maybe "FWH - with bittering hops" as opposed to "First Wort Hopping"

This is an excerpt from Palmers "How to Brew".

>>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. This FWH addition therefore should be taken from the hops intended for finishing additions.



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