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Old 02-27-2013, 11:52 PM   #1
westwoodbrewer
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Default first wort hops

Does anyone have experience with first wort hopping? What have you noticed, and how did it effect your ph? What percentage of your hop schedule do you use, and do you feel like it helped out your aromatics? Any other info you have would also be helpful.

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Old 02-28-2013, 02:33 AM   #2
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Experience: Yes

Effect on pH: ? You add to your kettle as you do the mash runoff so it doesn't even touch grains, not that I think it would affect it anyways.

Percent of hop schedule: A large enough amount to get me to an appropriate bitterness level combined with the later additions.

Helped aromatics: Nope, will not affect aromatics.

Other Notes:
FWH lends a bitterness that perceptibly different than a 60 minute addition. There actually have been taste tests for FWH beers vs. a boiling bittering addition and the FWH was clearly preferred over the boiling addition. Personally I've noticed it to be smoother than a 60 minute addition and have found that I can add a bit more to get a pronounced but not harsh bitterness that works better with the palate. Of course water chemistry will play a huge part in this as well.


Cliffnotes: Provides smoother, more palatable bitterness compared to a 60/90 minute addition. Won't affect anything else.

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Old 02-28-2013, 03:45 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

While it does not touch your grains, I thought it might tweak your ph as it effects your 1st runnings before you boil. Doesn't sound like it does/makes a big difference.

How does it effect your hop schedule? I have read about how you calculate your IBU's, but am wondering how it changed your late hop additions. Also, what have been the alpha acid% you used?

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Old 02-28-2013, 09:27 AM   #4
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I've also been looking to FWH an IPA, but I haven't found any example of recipes or even hopping schedules. Can anyone share either that has worked for them?

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Old 02-28-2013, 10:01 AM   #5
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On a FWH, do you remove them after sparge is complete or do you leave them in through the rest of the boil?

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Old 02-28-2013, 11:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nagorg View Post
On a FWH, do you remove them after sparge is complete or do you leave them in through the rest of the boil?
you leave them in
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:08 PM   #7
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FWH'ing a standard IPA is grudgingly permissible if you're super-sensitive to bitter flavors (but then again you shouldn't be brewing an IPA). There are plenty of aromatic APA's out there if you want low hop bitterness and high hop aroma. They don't FWH either... they just use less early hops / more late and dry hops.

FWH'ing a double IPA is a sin, and if you thought about it, then you should be thrown into a burlap bag and beaten with reeds. This is an innately bitter style of beer that has a much larger focus on hop additions at every stage in double or triple the standard amount. Go big or go the hell home.

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Old 02-28-2013, 01:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbrews
FWH'ing a standard IPA is grudgingly permissible if you're super-sensitive to bitter flavors (but then again you shouldn't be brewing an IPA). There are plenty of aromatic APA's out there if you want low hop bitterness and high hop aroma. They don't FWH either... they just use less early hops / more late and dry hops.

FWH'ing a double IPA is a sin, and if you thought about it, then you should be thrown into a burlap bag and beaten with reeds. This is an innately bitter style of beer that has a much larger focus on hop additions at every stage in double or triple the standard amount.
I have an award-winning, heavily first wort hopped IPA that says otherwise. It is firmly bitter. This idea that fwh beers aren't bitter is just silly.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:15 PM   #9
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I have an award-winning, heavily first wort hopped IPA that says otherwise. It is firmly bitter. This idea that fwh beers aren't bitter is just silly.
I agree that they can be bitter. Never said anything to the contrary... especially if your heavily first wort hopped IPA contained upward of 2-4 oz at FWH... possibly in addition to other early hop additions. The problem with your logic is that most homebrewers aren't FWH'ing to get more bitterness. They are doing it to tame/lessen the bitterness. I am saying there are other, more logical ways to do this without wasting time and hops on FWH focus.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
I agree that they can be bitter. Never said anything to the contrary... especially if your heavily first wort hopped IPA contained upward of 2-4 oz at FWH... possibly in addition to other early hop additions. The problem with your logic is that most homebrewers aren't FWH'ing to get more bitterness. They are doing it to tame/lessen the bitterness. I am saying there are other, more logical ways to do this without wasting time and hops on FWH focus.
So does that mean that FWHing a DIPA is no longer "a sin" in your mind?
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