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Old 05-02-2013, 06:14 PM   #1
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Default First Wort Hopping

I've got a kit from Northern Brewer that I plan on brewing, here's the recipe.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/docume...mperialIPA.pdf

It calls for a first wort hop, and I'm curious about what it will do to the finished product. In this case, the first wort hops are only the bittering hops, and I'm wondering if it will give the beer a bittering like the 90-minute IPA, where the bitterness isn't upfront and full immediately like my previous beers but instead will slowly fade in and reach a climax then fade out.

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Old 05-02-2013, 06:45 PM   #2
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In my opinion FWH is a necessity with ANY IPA. It really smooths out the bitterness and enhances the hop flavors.

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Old 05-02-2013, 06:50 PM   #3
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How would you do this with a BIAB setup?

EDIT: and do you just forgo your 20 minute addition if you do this?

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Old 05-02-2013, 06:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Weizer View Post
In my opinion FWH is a necessity with ANY IPA. It really smooths out the bitterness and enhances the hop flavors.
Thanks I've heard it makes the bitterness smoother and that's exactly what I'm looking for. If everything goes well with this batch I'll definitely FWH any IPA's in the future
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:01 PM   #5
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How would you do this with a BIAB setup?

EDIT: and do you just forgo your 20 minute addition if you do this?
You just add the hops after you pull out the drained bag. You need to keep that 20 minute addition..it's for flavoring/aroma!
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:05 PM   #6
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You just add the hops after you pull out the drained bag. You need to keep that 20 minute addition..it's for flavoring/aroma!
In trying to estimate IBU, how do you factor in the FWH? Does BeerSmith do it? I am not all hung up on knowing the exact IBU's but I want make sure I don't make something that is going to melt my tongue. I am much more into the hoppy taste than the bitterness. It sounds like this is ideal for me then, right, if it smooths out the bitterness? I am planning to do an IPA with 10 oz of 9.3 and 10.3 AA hops (Centennial and Amarillo) but with no additions before 25 minutes. Not sure how to change my hop schedule up to fit in this FWH. I'm shooting for around 55-60 IBU with this.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:07 PM   #7
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Yes - in Beersmith just check the "Use" list and you'll see First Wort in there.

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Old 05-02-2013, 07:10 PM   #8
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Yes - in Beersmith just check the "Use" list and you'll see First Wort in there.
Thanks. Never looked for it because I never thought of doing FWH. I guess I can then tweak the amount of hops and still have an idea of IBU.

Cool.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ridire View Post
In trying to estimate IBU, how do you factor in the FWH? Does BeerSmith do it? I am not all hung up on knowing the exact IBU's but I want make sure I don't make something that is going to melt my tongue. I am much more into the hoppy taste than the bitterness. It sounds like this is ideal for me then, right, if it smooths out the bitterness? I am planning to do an IPA with 10 oz of 9.3 and 10.3 AA hops (Centennial and Amarillo) but with no additions before 25 minutes. Not sure how to change my hop schedule up to fit in this FWH. I'm shooting for around 55-60 IBU with this.
When you add the hop into your recipe, click the drop down and change it from boil to FWH. I believe it increases ibu's by around 10%.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:34 PM   #10
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In my opinion FWH is a necessity with ANY IPA. It really smooths out the bitterness and enhances the hop flavors.
Preposterous!!! ...Aside from the first three words The problem is not the traditional bitter; it's the human propensity to dislike bitter flavors in general. We tend to prefer sweet, sour, salty, fatty, rich before bitter. So we invent ways to subdue the bitterness. Truth is, the IPA style is an innately bitter and unbalanced style. Either love it for what it is or don't brew IPAs. Perhaps APA's would be more suited for some of you who are striving for "balance" and subdued bitterness.

There are more top notch commericial IPAs/IIPAs out there that DO NOT use FWH than those that do. And there is nothing wrong with their flavor or bitterness. They are rather smooth on the palate, pungent with aroma, and complex with flavor. Come to think of it, I can't even name three top-rated IPA/IIPAs that do FWH. Homebrewer forums like to promote the FWH idea for IPA's because they can't produce anything near what they can buy commercially. Everyone has a sense of personal pride for their own beers, but the reality is that you are not most likely not brewing anything like a Heady or a Pliny... especially not with FWH. I really think you should brew a perfect IPA without FWH before you start delving into the fad for this style in the long run, which will limit you.

I strongly believe a true American IPA/IIPA should have a traditional bittering addition added to a full rolling boil. Whether that addition is large or small is up to your personal tastes. But adding hops to a full rolling boil allows the hop polyphenols to bind with the wort proteins in the hot break, which helps to create a smooth, pleasant yet bitter beer with a clearer body. If you don't get a good hot break, you'll have something with more residual polyphenols left in your glass and your IPA will taste harsh and unpleasant.
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