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Old 11-26-2012, 04:04 PM   #21
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Your post demonstrates the role of personal preference in homebrewing and why there's usually no single "right" answer to any question!
Exactly, which is why 400+ batches of experience does not disagree with me.

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For me, low cohumulone hops for a "smooth" bitterness is generally the last thing I want in an APA or AIPA. I prefer the big hop slap you get from higher cohumulone or tradtional bittering additions.
People are generally FWH'ing their AIPA's to attain a smoother bitterness. So I'm lost with your statement, which goes against popular majority.

Two concerns/questions: 1) Order these hops in terms of preference for bittering an AIPA where you want that harsh hop slap: Columbus, Horizon, Galena, Chinook, Magnum, Nugget, Warrior - and 2) If you prefer traditional bitter, then why are you praising FWH?

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Every time I've done a hopburst beer, I've felt that the flavor was great but the bitterness was lacking.
That sounds like a recipe/process problem. I've never had this issue, and I feel that many others haven't as well.

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We also seem to approach FWH from different perspectives. You use it for bittering it would seem. I decide how much hop flavor I want from the FWH (usually an oz., sometimes a bit more - BTW, I certainly don't consider this wasting hops), look at how much bittering I get from that based on my assumption that it's the same as a 20 min. additipon, then add 60 min. hops to get to the bitterness level I'm looking for.
FWH doesn't provide a "hoppy" flavor or aroma no more than a bittering addition would. Most of the volatile aromatics are boiled off via the long boil. So it's a smoother bitter "flavor" that you're sensing.


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Old 11-26-2012, 04:35 PM   #22
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FWH doesn't provide a "hoppy" flavor or aroma no more than a bittering addition would. Most of the volatile aromatics are boiled off via the long boil.
The whole point of first wort hopping is avoiding this. George Fix did a some interesting research with gas chromatography back in the 1990s to show that giving the hops 20 minutes at ~70ºC and then bringing them to boil produces a very different set of volatiles than going straight into the boil does.

You can like this effect or not, but the evidence suggests that first wort hopping produces a very different chemical process than boil additions do.


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Old 11-26-2012, 04:40 PM   #23
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Exactly, which is why 400+ batches of experience does not disagree with me.



People are generally FWH'ing their AIPA's to attain a smoother bitterness. So I'm lost with your statement, which goes against popular majority.

Two concerns/questions: 1) Order these hops in terms of preference for bittering an AIPA where you want that harsh hop slap: Columbus, Horizon, Galena, Chinook, Magnum, Nugget, Warrior - and 2) If you prefer traditional bitter, then why are you praising FWH?



That sounds like a recipe/process problem. I've never had this issue, and I feel that many others haven't as well.



FWH doesn't provide a "hoppy" flavor or aroma no more than a bittering addition would. Most of the volatile aromatics are boiled off via the long boil. So it's a smoother bitter "flavor" that you're sensing.
Well, maybe the people you know are FWH for the smoother bittering, but my experience is that people use it fir an increased hop flavor. I know you don't think that happens, but I and many others disagree. The smooth bittering is something that happens and certainly isn't a bad thing, but it's not the primary reason I or many others FWH.

To your hop order, for APA/AIPA I'd say Chinook, Columbus and I don't care for any of the others for bittering. Maybe Nugget, but I decided years back that I don't care much for them. Magnum or Horizon I like for continental styles.

I guarantee you that my lack of interest in hopbursting for bittering doesn't stem from a problem with recipe or process. Even when I increase the amount of hops to get above 100 IBU (theoretically, of course) from hopbursting, it still doesn't give me the type of bittering I'm looking for.

Look, I'm not dissing you for not sensing the same thing I do. I think we both need to recognize that there's no single "right" thing to do, and whatever an individual homebrewer prefers is the right thing for them.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:57 PM   #24
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I think we both need to recognize that there's no single "right" thing to do, and whatever an individual homebrewer prefers is the right thing for them.
And your previous blind tasting results Denny show exactly that preference plays a huge role in how FWHing is perceived. Hence the test, to figure out what I think of it and how to use it in the future.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:10 PM   #25
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If I wanted to FWH an extract batch do I add the fwh after steeping grains while Im bringing my steeped water to a boil?

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Old 11-26-2012, 07:33 PM   #26
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If I wanted to FWH an extract batch do I add the fwh after steeping grains while Im bringing my steeped water to a boil?
That's the way I do it.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:34 PM   #27
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And your previous blind tasting results Denny show exactly that preference plays a huge role in how FWHing is perceived. Hence the test, to figure out what I think of it and how to use it in the future.
Be sure you do a blind triangle tasting. Tell the tasters nothing except that one beer is different and ask them to identify which one that is. If they can identify it correctly, go ahead and give them more questions about the beer and their perceptions.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:06 AM   #28
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Well the results are in. I can't say I had any bjcp judges involved in tasting but presented the beer to about 30 people. Each person was given 4 glasses of beer, one of each type with the 4th glass being a random repeat of one of the three. People were asked to then identify which was the same then comment on the flavor, aroma, bitterness, and overall preference. Approximately 40% accurately identified the repeat beer, most commonly confusing beers 1 and 2.

Results are all over the place as to preference on flavor, aroma. Beer #3 was almost always identified as the most bitter, but not neccessarily in a bad way. About 1/2 of all tasters preferred #3 as their favorite, the other 1/2 an even split between 1 and 2. #1 was perhaps a bit lacking in flavor compared to number 2 (a bit flat in flavor) leading me to believe that fwh does affect flavor. Interestingly #3, theoretically at 70 IBUs or so, was not overpoweringly bitter, though noticeably bitter. I almost think of it as a session IPA and the 50% who preferred this beer were mostly people who do enjoy IPA. The flavor of #3 was also full enough to back up the bitterness

Drinking independently all were great. My personal preference toward a nice pale would be to continue using fwh as in #2, however not all participants agree with that finding #1 to actually have 'better flavor'.

#3 I would also brew again, though not with the intent of making an easy please all house pale. I think Id throw some dry hops at it and make it my personal IPA session. Based on these findings Ive already been applying fwh plus bittering to normal IPAs with great success, my favorite IPAs to date.

Last thought is that I perhaps should have done this as a series of triangle tastings with only 2 of the 3 beers to be tasted at a time. Having all three at once, combined with the bitterness of #3, was fairly overwhelming on the palate.

I doubt that helps answer any questions about the mystery of fwh effects. But, That was fun, try it!



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