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Old 05-02-2013, 12:38 AM   #1
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Default First wort hopping (FWH)

I figured there would be a thread in here about this technique, but I couldn't find one.

Should you replace the bittering hops with first wort hops? In other words, does the bulk of the bitterness come from FWH since the hops are in the kettle throughout the boil?


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Old 05-02-2013, 01:51 AM   #2
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They have similar IBU contributions to a 60 minute addition BUT they also contribute significant flavor and/or aroma (depending on what you read), comparable to a 20 minute addition (again, depending on what you read). I love FWH since it has similar IBU as a tradition 60 minute addition, but a lower "perceived" bitterness since it is "less harsh" and has more flavor/aroma qualities.


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Old 05-08-2013, 01:12 AM   #3
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Can someone explain what FWH actually is? I've read about it in a few places but I can't seem to make it make sense in my head.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMCPayne View Post
Can someone explain what FWH actually is? I've read about it in a few places but I can't seem to make it make sense in my head.
You add the hops to the kettle as you drain the wort from the mash tun.
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:59 AM   #5
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I think to answer the OP, if the recipe you are looking for calls for a FWH and no 60 minute boil, then yes it replaces. I haven't come across a recipe when you have both a FWH and 60 minute boil, but I haven't been searching either...
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by roger617 View Post
I think to answer the OP, if the recipe you are looking for calls for a FWH and no 60 minute boil, then yes it replaces.
Thanks for the insight. My question was actually based on the idea of modifying a recipe, not interpreting an existing one. In other words, if I see a recipe that I want to brew, can I just move all the bittering hops to FWH.
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovesIPA View Post
Should you replace the bittering hops with first wort hops? In other words, does the bulk of the bitterness come from FWH since the hops are in the kettle throughout the boil?
This has been the approach I've been using. For my last half-dozen brews I've been doing the traditional 60min addition as FWH and I've been very pleased with the results. I'm terrible about trying to describe things in words, but my impression has been a much smoother hop profile. I'm getting the bitterness level I expected, but the flavor seems brighter, if that makes any sense.

As far as the science behind calculation of IBU I'm still trying to get my mind around it. I've noticed that Beersmith gives a small bump in IBU if you were to change a hop addition from 60min boil to FWH, but I haven't taken the time to do actual side by side taste comparisons.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanmyth View Post
You add the hops to the kettle as you drain the wort from the mash tun.
Interesting, so the hops stay in the BK during the entire time it takes to raise from mash/mash-out temperature and to do the 60 minute boil finishing? What if you do BIAB and are using the same vessel as a MT and BK....do you just put the hops in as you're draining the bag? Also, do you still boil for the full 60 minutes or just as long as the next longest hop addition, say 30 minutes?

The recipe I modified for my next batch calls for FWH but I am a BIAB'er.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:27 PM   #9
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I never understood why FWH makes any difference vs 60min addition. If your boiling the hops for 60 or more minutes then it shouldn't make any difference if you let them steep for a while before the rolling boil. I was always under the impression that any subtle aromas and flavors mostly get boiled off the longer the hops are in the boil which is why you get more aroma and flavor with later additions and dry hopping. Thus, adding FWH hops and then boiling them for 60min would be almost the same as just doing a 60min addition. 60 vs 90min boils add a negligible amount of additional IBUs
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMCPayne View Post
The recipe I modified for my next batch calls for FWH but I am a BIAB'er.
Add the FWH when you pull the bag to drain.


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