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Smooth bittering: FWH or All Late Additions?

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adx

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I'm working on my next recipe. It's going to be an American Amber using Nugget and Williamette as the hops. I'm looking for a nice smooth bittering targeting a BU/GU of around 0.70. There seems to be two competing methods to achieve this. The first is first wart hopping and the other is to late load all the hops.

Hop schedule with FWH:

Code:
0.25 oz Nugget [14.50 %] (60 min) (First Wort Hop)         15.3 IBU 
0.25 oz Williamette [5.60 %] (60 min) (First Wort Hop)     5.9 IBU 
1.00 oz Williamette [5.60 %] (10 min)                     4.3 IBU 
1.00 oz Nugget [14.50 %] (10 min)                         11.1 IBU 
1.00 oz Williamette [5.60 %] (0 min)                       -   
1.00 oz Nugget [14.50 %] (0 min)                           -

Hop schedule with all late additions:

Code:
0.50 oz Nugget [14.50 %] (30 min)                      14.2 IBU 
0.50 oz Williamette [5.60 %] (30 min) Hops                     5.5 IBU 
0.50 oz Williamette [5.60 %] (20 min) Hops             3.6 IBU 
0.50 oz Nugget [14.50 %] (20 min) Hops                 9.4 IBU 
1.00 oz Nugget [14.50 %] (0 min) Hops                   -  
1.00 oz Williamette [5.60 %] (0 min) Hops               -
Does anyone have any comments about either choice?
 

weirdboy

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I recently have done a couple of batches, one IPA with all late hops (all 20 mins or less), and one APA FWH. IMO they are pretty different effects in the way bitterness is perceived final product. I wouldn't say that the all-late addition hopping is necessarily "smooth", but it's certainly not an unpleasant effect, either. I think I would describe the bitterness with all-late additions as "milder", but the hop flavor and aroma seems stronger to me, whereas with FWH I get a stronger, smoother bitterness.
 

KingBrianI

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i think fwh will give you a smoother bitterness. there is nothing different with the bitterness from late hops as a non-fwh bittering addition. they just haven't had as much of their potential bitterness extracted.
 

Bob

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It seems from the (scarce) available data that FWH gives a smoother perceived bitterness. As a practitioner of FWH, I find this to be true over "tradtional" post-hot-break bittering additions. I have never practiced all-late-hops brewing, so I cannot speak as to a direct comparison. I've tasted late-hopped beers and enjoyed them, I confess.

Another method to acheive smooth perceived bitterness is to add the charges in the traditional manner, using a bittering variety with relatively low levels of cohumulone. (Nugget is not that variety. ;) ) If you use this method, I suggest Target, Magnum, or Challenger.

Cheers,

Bob
 

Saccharomyces

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From my experience, all late hops will produce less perceived bitterness, and will be VERY floral, even with American citrus-y hops. FWH will provide more perceived bitterness although well rounded and a more traditional hop flavor profile.

I am personally not a fan of floral hoppiness, so I won't be hop bursting an IPA again, but it was worth trying it once.
 
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adx

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I'm going to go with FWH. I'm not looking for a total punch in the face, but instead a more rounded flavor. I'll save the late additions for a hoppy APA or an IPA.
 

jlpred55

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Smoother bitterness is that like jumbo shrimp or a tall midget? Oxy-schmoxy-moron? I am not sure that jives. Maybe less bitter. How can a beer be a smoother bitter? My tastes tells me it can be less bitter or more bitter. So is less bitter smoother, ala Bud Light and more bitter sharper ala Sculpin? Speaking of smoother bitterness I am brewing Denny's Rye IPA this weekend. I am going to FWH it, since it says to. Let's hope I don't make Bud Light! Oh, and I am putting in hops 5 times, maybe a souped up Miller Lite.
 

TexLaw

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When I say a "smooth" bitterness, that is a bitterness that does not bite or hang around in the back of my throat. To be a bit pedantic, it's not a harsh bitterness. It doesn't stand out as much. It does not jump out and bite you. It is not like the pith of a lemon.

Bitterness is not simply a matter of quantity. There are qualities to bitterness. Yes, I know I am talking about stuff that merely blends with the bitterness (like hues to a color or tones to a note), but there are "textures" to flavors.

And, I FWH just about all my beers, now. Frankly, I bet I end up using FWH in all my beers. For the smooth bitterness, I will stick with FWH over large amounts of late addition hops, if for no other reason than an efficient use of my hops.


TL
 

SpanishCastleAle

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Bitterness is not simply a matter of quantity. There are qualities to bitterness. Yes, I know I am talking about stuff that merely blends with the bitterness (like hues to a color or tones to a note), but there are "textures" to flavors.
I love that analogy. A flute and a kazoo could make the same note at the same volume...but one would be way 'smoother' than the other.:)
 

emacgee

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Just looking at those two hop schedules posted at the top it seems like the FWH schedule has way more late hops than the late hop schedule.
 
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adx

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Just looking at those two hop schedules posted at the top it seems like the FWH schedule has way more late hops than the late hop schedule.
I noticed that after I posted it too. Oops. I ended up fixing it so they were basically the same 20 and flameout in my software, but forgot to update the post.
 
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