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Old 02-20-2008, 01:43 PM   #1
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Default Splain sumsing to me......(FWH Method of madness)

First Wort Hopping.

Highly regarded as a method to inufuse not just bittering into the wort but also locks in a high level of flavor and aroma. And touted as a first rate method of reducing the total amount of hops needed for a brew by possibly eliminating late additions. Lastly, this method is documented as providing an increase of 10% to the total utilization of Alpha.

So then, excepting those beers where hop flavor and aroma have no place, why isn't this standard practice?

And how does one implement this into the 90 minute boil without effecting break production?

Finally, how is it the flavors and aroma don't get boiled out?

I have read books but non really seem to offer much in the way of "esplaining" this except by saying that it works.

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Old 02-20-2008, 05:27 PM   #2
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I've never tried it but there is a camp of brewers who I trust that don't believe it works so there is no splainin it...

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Old 02-20-2008, 05:56 PM   #3
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I also have read professional brewing articles dismissing the practice. The one explanation I have seen for the better utilization and character is the different pH of the first runnings and that extracting more of something out of the hops.
I say try it with a recipe you know well and share what you find. There is 0% chance of it negatively affecting the batch.

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Old 02-20-2008, 06:19 PM   #4
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From what I understand of the practice, and I've done it with several brews, is the way the alpha acid bonds with the molecules at the lower temps of first runnings that permanently locks it to those molecules that later boiling can't break. The thought is that the oils and compounds of the hops have more time to oxidize and form more stable compounds with the lower temps and more time.

I don't recall ever seeing it as a method for reducing the overall hops usage.

As far as wide-spread usage, I don't know how common the practice is in commercial brewing. I know there are some breweries that do do it, but it really does depend on style.

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Old 02-20-2008, 06:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srm775
From what I understand of the practice, and I've done it with several brews, is the way the alpha acid bonds with the molecules at the lower temps of first runnings that permanently locks it to those molecules that later boiling can't break. The thought is that the oils and compounds of the hops have more time to oxidize and form more stable compounds with the lower temps and more time.

I don't recall ever seeing it as a method for reducing the overall hops usage.

As far as wide-spread usage, I don't know how common the practice is in commercial brewing. I know there are some breweries that do do it, but it really does depend on style.
There are a few articles that suggest using FWH as a means to reduce hop usage, although I can't list which from memory and I am not at my personal pc. The logical reasoning behind it is from the 10%+/- utilization, thus requiring less hops for same bittering and being able to reduce or eliminate the flavor and aroma additions.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer
There are a few articles that suggest using FWH as a means to reduce hop usage, although I can't list which from memory and I am not at my personal pc. The logical reasoning behind it is from the 10%+/- utilization, thus requiring less hops for same bittering and being able to reduce or eliminate the flavor and aroma additions.
That very well could be ... I've just never seen anything in regards to that. Everything that I've read on the subject basically just has you take 30%-50% of your flavoring/aroma hops and add them as FWH. It doesn't really seem like a reduction to me, but rather just moving your regular hops addition to a different time.

Again, that's not to say it's doesn't reduce the overall hops usage, it's just something I've never seen.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:56 PM   #7
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I was just reading about this yesterday. Supposedly Three Floyds uses First Wort Hopping with alot of their beers. All of the FFF clone recipes I found had First Wort Hopping in them.

From what I understand it is similar to a 15-20 minute hop addition, only it gives off a slightly different character of hop flavor. I am interested as to wether or not it actually does anything or not.

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Old 02-20-2008, 07:06 PM   #8
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I tried it once in a recipe that I was repeating, but I did not notice much of a difference. Of course that could be because it was a 60+ IBU beer, but most of mine are in that range. I compared side by side with an earlier batch of an identical recipe (minus the FWH) and tasted very little difference between the two.

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Old 02-20-2008, 07:28 PM   #9
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They talked about this recently over at tastybrew, and I know Denny Conn did same testing to show that the IBU's were higher but not perceived as bitter


http://www.tastybrew.com/forum/thread/125598

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