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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > First Wort Hopping vs. Late Hop Additions
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:01 PM   #1
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Default First Wort Hopping vs. Late Hop Additions

I'd like to maximize the hop flavor and aroma in some of my beers without using an excessive amount of hops (hop shortage and all).

There are two methods I've read about for doing this: First Wort Hopping (FWH) and Late Hop Additions (LHA).

From what I've read (here, and here), FWH is when some or all of the finishing hops are added to the kettle with the first sparge runnings. This supposedly increases the hop aroma and flavor characteristics of the beer, while also increasing IBUs slightly.

I've seen some people doing it with their bittering hops instead of the finishing hops. I don't see why this method would not also increase hop aroma and flavor.

In the Late Hop Addition almost all the hop additions are pushed back into the last 20 mins of the boil. This is the opposite of the FWH. This method may result in somewhat lower IBUs due to the lower boiling time but supposedly resutls in blockbuster hop flavor and aroma.

Proponents of both methods claim a smoother bitterness results.

Has anyone used either or both of these methods, and what did you think?

I've done LHA once, with an IPA. The hop flavor and aroma are awesome, but I didn't have a "normal" IPA to compare it to.
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:46 PM   #2
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I too am interested in the responses to this question. Haven't used either technique yet, but I am going to use FWH in my next brew (a rye IPA), as the recipe calls for it. Beersmith does the IBU calcs for FWH.
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:51 PM   #3
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This is all I do now.

I FWH my bittering hops and everything else goes in with less than 15-20 minutes.

I also presoak all my hops in hot water to get them good and water logged so I don't have wasted time while htey float around.

So far, the results are really good. My extreme hoppy beers seem smoother...less bite. The aromatics seem richer.

Course...could just be mind over matter.

FWH(ing) also seems to prevent boil overs...beleive it or not.
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Old 02-20-2008, 04:59 PM   #4
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I'm gonna try FWH with my bittering hops the next chance I get.
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:03 PM   #5
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I FWH whenever I am using flavorful bittering hops. For instance, Amarillo or Cascade. I don't FWH a hope that has harsh flavors though for obvious reasons.

As for LHA, it sounds like a fine idea as well for the styles require a good hop flavor/aroma.
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:54 PM   #6
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I've been FWH sice I started doing all grain, started out of laziness i guess. I use just bittering hops, I'm pretty sure the flavor and aroma additions would be lost in the 60+ minute boil and would only add bitterness.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:29 PM   #7
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I've done both and actually done both one the same beer. I've brewed a pacific pale ale with centennial FWH and with an 1 oz of cascade added after knockout and reducing wort temp to just below 180° ... it made a very good pale ale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerlord
I've been FWH sice I started doing all grain, started out of laziness i guess. I use just bittering hops, I'm pretty sure the flavor and aroma additions would be lost in the 60+ minute boil and would only add bitterness.
They're not supposed to be. The theory is that the oils and compounds of the hops have longer times to oxidize and bond with the beer molecules. Also, with the first wort hopping the lower temps are more suitable to the oils of the hops.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:33 PM   #8
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...Did anybody notice how this subject propped up in three independent threads TODAY..??

Hmm... are we starting to think as one?
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beergears
...Did anybody notice how this subject propped up in three independent threads TODAY..??

Hmm... are we starting to think as one?
I was actually going to post one as weell, just to see how many people do it.

I kow the theory is taht they stabalize and dont' burn off, but I havn't experience it, so I really don't buy it. Like I said, i FWH everything and nothign comes out all that hoppy unless I do late flavor and aroma addation, but I think I shall experiment my self.
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher
This is all I do now.
I FWH my bittering hops and everything else goes in with less than 15-20 minutes.
I also presoak all my hops in hot water to get them good and water logged so I don't have wasted time while htey float around.
So far, the results are really good. My extreme hoppy beers seem smoother...less bite. The aromatics seem richer.
BierMuncher,

Do you think that your beers are less bitter?

If you add hops before the protein break, which you do with FWH, you will loose a substantial amount of the alpha acids into the hot break. Thus your utilization rate goes down even though you boil the hops for longer. Some say the the utilization of FWH is about equal to a 20-30 min hop addition. I have done it once and the beer seemed much less bitter. But I'll try it with my next beer as I think that this might be the key to get the German style hop flavor and aroma.

Though Beersmith calculates IBUs for FWH, I'l have to check that they not just assume a longer boil time.

Kai
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