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Old 08-19-2012, 01:33 AM   #1
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Default Confused about the procedure for first wort hopping

So I tried typing this recipe into BeerSmith 2.0 and I get very different numbers for the IBU contribution for the FWH Cascade addition. Under the First Wort option I can set the time anywhere from 0-60 minutes but what is confusing to me is that all these FWH will be in the boil for the full 60 minutes so how will the time of 0-60 minutes vary? Thus, should I let the first runnings flow over the FWH and collect this in a separate container and then add it to the boil at the specified time of 0-60 minutes?

Thus, do I put the 20 minutes FWH hops into a mason jar and run some of the first runnings from the wort over them so they can steep until it is time to add them to the boil or do they just steep with all of the rest of the first runnings and really boil for 60 minutes? I would really like to try this to see if the later FWH additions impact the flavor hops in APAs.

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Old 08-19-2012, 03:27 AM   #2
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First Wort Hops are added to the wort as soon as you start to collect it, whether that be from from a cooler, keg, etc. After you finish your mash and start to collect your wort, add your hops (those ear-marked for FWH) immediately.

NOTE: FWH are added before you start your boil.

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Old 08-19-2012, 03:42 AM   #3
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Chuck your FWH's into your kettle before you drain your tun. Done and done.

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Old 08-19-2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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So how does one differentiate the difference between a 20 minutes addtion of FWH and a full 60 min addition? I know that the hops are added to the wort with the first runnings but do they stay with the rest of the wort for the full 60 minutes of boil ?

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Old 08-19-2012, 01:42 PM   #5
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So how does one differentiate the difference between a 20 minutes addtion of FWH and a full 60 min addition? I know that the hops are added to the wort with the first runnings but do they stay with the rest of the wort for the full 60 minutes of boil ?
They do, generally. I'd never noticed that BeerSmith allows you to change the "time" on FWHs. That seems strange to me, and I'm not sure how it's meant to be interpreted.

There's some controversy about how IBUs from FWHs should be calculated. Perhaps this is just allowing you to pick the value yourself? A 60min FWH hop, in other words, gives IBUs to 60min in the boil? Just a guess.
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:49 PM   #6
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My understanding was that you could increase the time for a FWH addition to compensate for the time between when you start collecting your wort and when it actually boils. I don't know if this is correct or not, maybe the BeerSmith help files mention it?

Update from BS Help: "The first wort and mashing options show how much bitterness is added or subtracted relative to default boil hops using these two methods. The default values of 10% for first wort hops and -80% for mash hops are appropriate for most brewers."

Update 2 from Brad Smith: "Enter the boil time - as this is the time it will be actively boiled. During the steep portion not much of the alpha acid is converted."

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Old 08-19-2012, 03:28 PM   #7
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My understanding was that you could increase the time for a FWH addition to compensate for the time between when you start collecting your wort and when it actually boils. I don't know if this is correct or not, maybe the BeerSmith help files mention it?

Update from BS Help: "The first wort and mashing options show how much bitterness is added or subtracted relative to default boil hops using these two methods. The default values of 10% for first wort hops and -80% for mash hops are appropriate for most brewers."

Update 2 from Brad Smith: "Enter the boil time - as this is the time it will be actively boiled. During the steep portion not much of the alpha acid is converted."
So from this I would assume to save the steeped hops in warm wort and add this to the boil at the appropriate time. Would that be correct?
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:40 PM   #8
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So from this I would assume to save the steeped hops in warm wort and add this to the boil at the appropriate time. Would that be correct?
No.

Leave the hops in the wort the whole time.

The reason you can change your "boil time" is because of the way the IBUs are calculated. I think the Beersmith default is "60 minutes + 10%" for IBU calculation.

I agree with that, so I keep that calculation.

But if you're read the differences of opinion around here (say, me and Denny as an example!), Denny feels that it's more like a 20 minute boil as far as perceived bitterness even though the actual IBUs are tested higher. So he'd use "20 minutes" for that boil time, even though the hops were in there the whole time.

Does that make sense? You'll have to try it yourself and see what you think.

In my experience, I totally use the FWH for my bittering hops. And I feel it's correct. But Denny (who has been brewing longer than anyone else I know and is far more of an expert about everything brewing) uses BOTH FWH and bittering hops. And his experience for this is vast.

For now, you may want to keep the default Beersmith setting and tweak it based on your own results.
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:24 PM   #9
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In my experience, I totally use the FWH for my bittering hops. And I feel it's correct. But Denny (who has been brewing longer than anyone else I know and is far more of an expert about everything brewing) uses BOTH FWH and bittering hops. And his experience for this is vast.

The reason I've been brewing so long is that I'm old!

Yooper's underlying point is what it's all about...try it and decide for yourself! In this, or anything else in brewing, don't let someone tell you how to think! Collect info, run it through the filter of your experience, and test out any ideas that seem worthwhile. Then make up your own mind.
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:31 PM   #10
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The reason I've been brewing so long is that I'm old!
I didn't say that!!!!!! But since you brought it up...............



I know it sounds like we're giving you mixed messages. But so many things in brewing ARE subjective- primary/secondary, sulfate in water/less sulfates, dry yeast/liquid yeast- and there really isn't a "right" answer for this one.

The good news is that there is no way to do it wrong. You may like one technique more than another, but you'll find what works best for you.

IBUs are tricky things. Measured IBUs don't always "translate" to actual perceived bitterness on the human tongue. Some beers are terribly bitter at 50 IBUs, if they are unbalanced, while 100 IBU barleywines aren't bitter at all. The same seems to be the case with FWH. Your actual measured IBUs may be really high- but the taste is such that it isn't really perceived as as bitter as it measures.

In my case, I feel that I do get plenty of bitterness in the FWH so I replace my 60 minute hops with FWH. And others (like Denny) don't. Like I said, neither way is wrong. And if I was you, I'd trust Denny over me anyway.
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