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First Wort Hops?

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Indybrew

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Do I add hops to Boil Kettle while draining from MLT or add after collecting all the wort?
Does this method smooth out some of the harsh bitternes or does this add something more, like flavoring?
Thanks in advance.
 

Orfy

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It is an open debate.

I add mine to the kettle with my first runnings after mashing. I then start to heat the wort whilst finishing my batch sparging.

I do it because it saves me time and I'm lazy.
 

Brewiz

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orfy said:
It is an open debate.

I add mine to the kettle with my first runnings after mashing. I then start to heat the wort whilst finishing my batch sparging.

I do it because it saves me time and I'm lazy.
It also adds some great flavor profiles, I do FWH all the time now.
 

mew

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Is it just for flavoring hops or for bittering to? How do you calculate bitterness with FWH or Mash hopping?
 

Baron von BeeGee

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I've been doing it for my last 3-4 batches and really like it. Without being able to put my finger on the effect I am much happier with my hop profile than without FWH for hoppy ales. I haven't really tried it with a "non-hoppy" style yet.

I add mine directly to my kettle before runoff ever starts and let the hot wort land right on them. I use a calculation which makes FWH equivalent to a 20m hop addition which is based on something I read somewhere else (empirical evidence, basically). It seems to be pretty well in the ballpark for me.
 

Sean

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I think it boosts what fruitiness the hops have. Not sweetness, but your tongue can be deceived into believing it is sweetness.

I like it a lot in some beers, but it "muddies" the flavors. I would not do it in a pils, or a lager.

I put the hops into the pot and the runnings go onto it.
 

boo boo

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Baron von BeeGee said:
I've been doing it for my last 3-4 batches and really like it. Without being able to put my finger on the effect I am much happier with my hop profile than without FWH for hoppy ales. I haven't really tried it with a "non-hoppy" style yet.

quote]

It's supposed to produce a smoother bitterness.
 

david_42

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I'm waiting for one of the Oregon Brew Crew members to finish his definitive study of the topic. No sarcasm, he does good work and plans on having the batches evaluated by BJCP-types. I'll post a link if I can.
 

mew

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So you get less bittering from a FWH than from a 60 min addition even though they're boiled for the same length of time?
 

TeleTwanger

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I add them to the kettle right after vorlauf. They way I understand them is that it takes some time for the oils to react and do thier thing that is become more soluble and less susceptible to being boiled off. But Noonan suggests starting the boil as soon as the bottom of the kettle is covered, so I'm not sure what's going on really. I don't sub them for 60min but later addition hops (20min)
 

The Pol

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It's primarily a bittering addition, but for some reason, it also adds some flavor. I calculate with BeerSmith...have no idea what the formula is.

I always FWH now... it adds like, a ROUNDNESS to the flavor/bitterness. It is like a mouth filling flavor, instead of a there and gone type bite. It is the equivilent of a 20 minute boil addition in terms of percieved hop bitterness.

I use 30% of my TOTAL hop bill as FWH, and those hops come from my late additions only.
 

The Pol

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So you get less bittering from a FWH than from a 60 min addition even though they're boiled for the same length of time?
Exactly... there are complex chemical reactions taking place in the warm wort, prior to boiling. From what I have read, they are not EXACTLY sure why or what is going on. All we know is that the resulting hop profiles are awesome. I am hooked.

Percieved bitterness of a FWH addition is supposed to be much like a 20 minute addition.
 

Jamo99

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I use FWH in a few of my brews. I do not do a 60 minute addition with my FWH brews, mostly because if I was I'd be maxing out at 100. Use a hop that you would flavor with and move it to FWH. It actually gets a few more IBUs than a normal 60 minute addition.
 

The Pol

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I use FWH in a few of my brews. I do not do a 60 minute addition with my FWH brews, mostly because if I was I'd be maxing out at 100. Use a hop that you would flavor with and move it to FWH. It actually gets a few more IBUs than a normal 60 minute addition.
Everything I have read sayes NOT to do away with your 60 minute bittering additions. Why? Well during the hot wort steeping there are reactions taking place with the hop oils and they DO NOT impart the same bitterness as a 60 minute addition. Typically, if you want to get an idea of the proper IBUs, you need to enter in "20 minutes" for your FWH time in your brewing software. There have been tests done where they have omitted the 60 minute bittering additions and the beers were vastly underhopped as a result.

Required Reading before you FWH a beer.

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.
 

Jamo99

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Everything I have read sayes NOT to do away with your 60 minute bittering additions. Why? Well during the hot wort steeping there are reactions taking place with the hop oils and they DO NOT impart the same bitterness as a 60 minute addition. Typically, if you want to get an idea of the proper IBUs, you need to enter in "20 minutes" for your FWH time in your brewing software. There have been tests done where they have omitted the 60 minute bittering additions and the beers were vastly underhopped as a result.

Required Rea....
Out of curiosity, have you ever FWH instead of your 60 min addition? I have and can speak from experience, that it can substitute a 60 minute addition.
 

The Pol

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No I have not, because I did extensive research before I FWH'd my beers... and experts say that it is not recommended. FWH's do not impart the same bittering qualities as a 60 minute addition, and it has been proven.
I am glad your beer meets your expectations, but for those converting recipes to FWH, they may want to heed the advice of those experts who have tested this method thoroughly and NOT forego the 60 minute addition.
If you look at recipes brewed with the FWH method, you will be hard pressed to find people omitting the 60 minute bittering addition for this very reason. Again, I am glad that your beer meets your taste.
 

Jamo99

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Again, I am glad that your beer meets your taste.
:mug: Cheers! Although I do suggest trying it with a small batch for yourself one day. I have subbed a FWH for my 60 min addition on my Haus IPA so I do have something of a control. It's also on tap now, so it's easy to double...triple....quadruple.. check that it isn't the least bit cloyingly sweet. :drunk:

Many "experts" may not forego their 60 min additions, but pretty much all of them say they're not quite sure what's going on, and that they want to leave the FWH vs. 60 min addition open to more interpretation (speaking about Denny Conn specifically who is on pretty much every FWH thread.)
 

The Pol

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Bottom line I suppose is FWH is a great way to bring out the hops without making a beer strikingly bitter. I just want to be fair and let some others know who have not used this method that simply omitting the 60 minute addition is not necessarly the only way to go.
 

The Pol

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+1 Pol. I FWH sometimes but never as a replacement for 60 min additions, more for a refined and less grassy flavor profile. When I FWH I usually replace 10-20 min additions +20%. I don't touch the 60 or the 5 minute additions.
Heh, whadda you know beer30... you dont even drink your homebrew.... you decorate your house with it! :D
 

wildwest450

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:mug: Cheers! Although I do suggest trying it with a small batch for yourself one day. I have subbed a FWH for my 60 min addition on my Haus IPA so I do have something of a control.
Why would you skip the bittering addition on an IPA? Before I fully understood the process, I fwh my haus ale and skipped the 60min addition. NEVER again, that was a sorry tasting weak pale ale. Blech!
 

mew

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Uh Oh. I just did a dry stout in which I FWHd my 60 min addition of Fuggles. Luckily, it was going to be a fairly bitter beer, so now it will be balanced a bit towards the malt.
 

The Pol

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First Wort Hopping is generally, and I use that term loosely, as the quivilent of a 20 minute addition. You may technically get the IBUs, but the perception is that of a 20 minute addition. It is a different hop profile alltogether.
 

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I call B.S. on the statement that you MUST not move your 60's to FWH.

I am only saying that it's one way to do it. It's not the only way.

Every time I have used FWH this far, I have kept 20-0 the same, and moved ONLY my 60 minute bittering addition to FWH. And, as far as I can tell, the bitterness is still present, just softer. Every one of those beers came out fine.

So... while I appreciate that we're trying to keep brewers who are new to FWHing from making a mistake.... let's try to lay out all the options here, not just some.

I propose that moving a 0:60 addition to FWH is perfectly valid, as are the other approaches outlined above. Does anyone second my proposal?

Tally ho,
c
 

The Pol

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I call B.S. on the statement that you MUST not move your 60's to FWH.

I am only saying that it's one way to do it. It's not the only way.

Every time I have used FWH this far, I have kept 20-0 the same, and moved ONLY my 60 minute bittering addition to FWH. And, as far as I can tell, the bitterness is still present, just softer. Every one of those beers came out fine.

So... while I appreciate that we're trying to keep brewers who are new to FWHing from making a mistake.... let's try to lay out all the options here, not just some.

I propose that moving a 0:60 addition to FWH is perfectly valid, as are the other approaches outlined above. Does anyone second my proposal?


Tally ho,
c
If you read the whole thread, and I know you did mang... we laid it all out on the table and basically agreed that you can do it either way. Now that being said, in either case, expect a different beer than when you DONT FWH them. Also, there have been brewers state that they either liked or disliked thier beer while removing the bittering addition. So, I think both views are valid, and are more than likely related to other properties of each beer as well.

This being said, try it, experiment, I have always left my 90 minute bittering addition in, so I cannot say what would happen if I left it out. I only know that I have enjoyed those beers brewed the way that I have brewed them.
 

Chriso

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If you read the whole thread, and I know you did mang... we laid it all out on the table and basically agreed that you can do it either way. Now that being said, in either case, expect a different beer than when you DONT FWH them.
I must've misread a sentence -- I thought pretty much every statement was "don't do it", period.

I wholeheartedly agree with the last sentence - It will make a different beer for sure!

I just have been seeing many, many people say, flat out, NEVER ever replace the 60 with the FWH.... And I'm just tryin' to lobby for some fair ambiguity ;)
 

The Pol

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Ambiguity... you are married too huh?
 

Jamo99

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Why would you skip the bittering addition on an IPA? Before I fully understood the process, I fwh my haus ale and skipped the 60min addition. NEVER again, that was a sorry tasting weak pale ale. Blech!
As far as I can tell in my IPA, the balance of the brew still tilts toward bitter and has more hop flavor. I have some IPAs that I make that can scrape the enamel off of your teeth, but not every one needs to. My haus IPA that is bittered with FWH instead of a 60 min addition uses Columbus for the FWH addition. Since that is a higher AA hop with a great deal of flavor, maybe that is why it has worked so well. Some things I ahve read (Palmer) suggest just moving low alpha hops to FWH so as not to bitter the beer too much. I am certain of the lean towards bitterness because SWMBO makes her "damnit another ipa!" face.

For those that are FWH and adding their normal bittering additions, what kind of beers are you brewing? Are you brewing these to the threshold of IBU perception?

I certainly agree that you can do it both ways and achieve different profiles in your beer. Every thread I've read about FWH has conflicting view points and there is no reason that this one should be any different! :tank: Hell, even my American Amber Ale Critique recipe thread devolved into a FWH debate. I think my response that I linked to takes the best of both sides of the FWH vs bittering addition debate. Move your 60 to FWH, and add a pinch of a pretty neutral high alpha hop for the assertiveness.
 

The Pol

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See, I only FWH with late addition hops, noble and aroma hops, low AA. SO, I am sure my results would vary if I FWH'd with my high AA bittering hops. Obviously if I replaced my bittering addition with a noble or aroma hop at FWH, Id be sensing something missing... this is a fundamental difference in FWH technique.
I would NOT remove my 60 minute bittering addition if my FWH was 1oz of Cascade or Hallertau or the like... Now, if it was FWH with Columbus or Centennial, then it may be completely different.
 

Chriso

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I would NOT remove my 60 minute bittering addition if my FWH was 1oz of Cascade or Hallertau or the like... Now, if it was FWH with Columbus or Centennial, then it may be completely different.
Or like a massive 2oz charge of Chinook FWH'ed on a barleywine! Enough to get some 20min flavor locked in for the coming months of aging, as well as to keep the bitterness rollin'.

Now we talkin'! Glad we had this discussion, that's a stance on FWHing I can completely agree with. Now I gotta run like hell cuz Ball Scate scored again on a huge pass! F** YEAH! WOOO!
 

mew

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Okay, it's confirmed. I just tasted the dry stout that I FWH'd instead of the 60 min. addition. Here's the recipe:

OG: 1.042 FG: 1.011

6.5 lb. British pale
14 oz. Roasted barley
1.75 lb. Flaked barley

1.25 oz. Fuggles (6% AA, FWH)
.5 oz. Fuggles (6% AA, 15 min.)

I calculated my first wort hops as 60 minute additions, giving me 33 IBUs, which should make for a firmly bitter dry stout.

I just tasted it at bottling and it was just about perfectly balanced, neither bitter nor sweet. For a 1.041 OG, that leaves me to believe my IBUs were really in the low 20's. Calculating my first wort hops as 20 minute additions would give me 22 IBU.

In conclusion, the taste of the beer is consistent with FWHs calculated as 20 minute additions rather than 60 minute additions. And the beer is very good, just different than I had expected.
 

The Pol

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Your experience has been stated by others too... FWH being equal to a 20 minute addition. Some disagree, glad the beer is still good! ENJOY
 
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