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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > First Wort Hopping
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Old 10-26-2008, 02:04 AM   #11
The Pol
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Well I am bored out of my mind... so I have to add some new tricks! I cannot wait to try the FWH method on a couple beers. I only have 2 more kegs that are empty... I need to buy more kegs, 8 isnt enough with brewing at this rate.

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Old 10-26-2008, 02:14 AM   #12
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I would certainly recommend trying it. I believe another benefit is that it stabilizes some of he hop flavor in the FWH addition. I will say my IPA is nice and flavorful so...

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Old 10-26-2008, 02:15 AM   #13
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Yes, in fact I just drank a pint. To be perfectly honest, I do not really notice a big difference. Is it flavorful? Yes. Is there a good aroma? Yes. Is the bitterness smoother? I dunno. It is not overly harsh. Is it due to FWH? I cannot say for certain.
regarding the lack of comparison i noted above, i'm thinking a good way to test this is to brew 2 batches with the same (simple) grain bill. use only 1 type of hop. 1 batch would be brewed as a fairly standard beer with a bittering addition and aroma (finishing) addition, but leave out the flavor addition. the second would use FWH for the only hop addition and the amount would be adjusted to match the IBUs of the first beer. i think in this way we'd be able to assess the difference in perceived hop character without to much distraction. any comments on my method? i've been FWH'ing for a while now without putting too much thought into how it actually affects the hops.
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:13 AM   #14
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regarding the lack of comparison i noted above, i'm thinking a good way to test this is to brew 2 batches with the same (simple) grain bill. use only 1 type of hop. 1 batch would be brewed as a fairly standard beer with a bittering addition and aroma (finishing) addition, but leave out the flavor addition. the second would use FWH for the only hop addition and the amount would be adjusted to match the IBUs of the first beer. i think in this way we'd be able to assess the difference in perceived hop character without to much distraction. any comments on my method? i've been FWH'ing for a while now without putting too much thought into how it actually affects the hops.
But why would you want to use only one type of hops? As long as the recipe is exactly the same, all ingredient amounts are the same you would have the same taste test. Would it reall be that important to perform this in a recipe that only has one type of hops? Even if there were three different type the only thing that would change would be the time the hops is exposed to the wort.
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:28 AM   #15
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The current line of thought is that FWH provides an equivalent of 20 minutes worth of bitterness. If you use Promash, you can go into the System Settings -> Hop Calculations and set the % Utilization Increase or Decrease for First Wort Hopping to -65%. That seems to give the best calculation for IBU's for FWH.

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Old 10-26-2008, 04:35 AM   #16
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Tfries - I use beersmith. I don't see where I can do that with this program.

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Old 10-26-2008, 04:47 AM   #17
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Okay, I have done some research and everything I read sayes to move your LATE hop additions to the FWH... Basically taking say a 10 minute hop addition and moving it to your FWH... moving approximately 30% of your total hop bill to FWH. They say it can increase your IBUs yb 10%, BUT that the percieved bitterness is smoother, more complex, much more pleasing to the palate... I need a FWH expert to tell me what the heck is going on... do I move my BITTERING hops to FWH, or do I move my 10-20 minute hops to FWH????

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Old 10-26-2008, 04:48 AM   #18
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Here is some INFO....

Sources vary, but most testing indicates that first wort hopping will increase the number of International Bitterness Units (IBUs) by as much as 10%. Given the hop shortage I wrote about earlier, increased utilization is an added bonus. However, taste perception is different. In blind taste testing across a number of articles, the overall flavor of first wort hops is perceived as smoother, less sharp, and had a more pleasing aroma. Hop bitterness was perceived as harmonic and uniformly bitter. In blind taste tests, the FWH were preferred by 11 of 12 test subjects. (Ref: FWH, Brewery.org)

First wort hopping can be used both by all grain and partial mash brewers. As the FWH method originated in Germany, it has most often been associated with Pilsner beers, but other beer styles with complex hop flavor could benefit. Aromatic, noble and other low alpha hops are recommended, as high alpha hops may provide too sharp of an increase in bitterness.

The amount to hops to use varies. Most sources recommend using 30% of the overall hop schedule and moving it to FWH. Other sources recommend taking aromatic hops from the end of the boil and moving it forward to use as FWH. I have even experimented on my Wit beer with using FWH exclusively and had good results. My limited experience indicates that if you are looking for a smooth pilsner style hoppiness, moving a portion (30%) of the finishing hops forward is appropriate. If you want the hops to blend into the background of the beer for relatively low hop rates, you can consider moving a larger portion of your hop schedule forward. FWH in general will produce a more complex, blended hop flavor.

Calculating the FWH numerically is quite simple. In most cases an adjustment (10%) is added to the calculated bitterness in IBUs to account for the higher utilization of FWH methods. For BeerSmith users, there is a checkbox for first wort hops available as you add each hop addition, and BeerSmith will adjust the IBU calculation to account for the higher utilization. Despite the slightly higher IBUs of FWH, most authors do not recommend reducing the overall hop rate to compensate.

Overall, I have been very pleased with the effect first wort hopping has had on my beers. I have taken to using it on a larger variety of beer styles recently with good results. FWH seems to produce a more complex, pleasing and harmonic hop flavor and aroma that beer drinkers find pleasing.

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Old 10-26-2008, 05:38 AM   #19
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For BeerSmith users, there is a checkbox for first wort hops available as you add each hop addition, and BeerSmith will adjust the IBU calculation to account for the higher utilization.

Dude you are the Man! I found the check box your were talking about. By taking the Simcoe to FWH this recipe is raised from 64.8 to 84.4 without any other changes.

1.00 ozCentennial [10.00 %] (60 min)Hops30.6 IBU
1.00 ozCascade [5.50 %] (20 min)Hops10.2 IBU
1.00 ozSimcoe [13.00 %] (20 min)Hops24.1 IBU

I might try this later on in my experiment. I have an APA that I have been tweeking here and there. I added the Cascade to the recipe for this step in my experiment. I attempting to make my own APA by modifying a recipe that was given to me.
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:54 AM   #20
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Dude you are the Man! I found the check box your were talking about. By taking the Simcoe to FWH this recipe is raised from 64.8 to 84.4 without any other changes.

1.00 ozCentennial [10.00 %] (60 min)Hops30.6 IBU
1.00 ozCascade [5.50 %] (20 min)Hops10.2 IBU
1.00 ozSimcoe [13.00 %] (20 min)Hops24.1 IBU

I might try this later on in my experiment. I have an APA that I have been tweeking here and there. I added the Cascade to the recipe for this step in my experiment. I attempting to make my own APA by modifying a recipe that was given to me.
Careful with the Simcoe... Maybe move up the Cascade instead per this article and others I have read. If you want to increase the IBUs that much without adding extra hops, FWH with the Cascade and move the Simcoe ahead from 20 mins to something that will extract more IBUs.

"Aromatic, noble and other low alpha hops are recommended, as high alpha hops may provide too sharp of an increase in bitterness."

This is why they advocate moving up the flavor/aroma hops from the later additions, because they are typically a lower AA hop.
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