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First Wort Hop Addititions


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#1 zymot

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 04:30 PM

[usingJerry Seinfeld voice] "What is the deal with first wort hop additions? The go in the kettle before the wort. They are in the kettle longer than the bittering hops. But some people say they substitute flavor and aroma additions with FWH. Who was the marketing genius that came" up with  this one?"

 

In short, is a FWH a bittering, flavor or aroma? A combination? How much IBU does it contribute compared to a 60 minute boil?

 

So I have my Alt that I am brewing tomorrow. Not sure what to expect for efficiency. My 60 minute additions will have to be improvised. Measure OG and adjust hops. I like my Alt to be conservative in the hop profile.

 

As a reference, I looked up the Denny Milo's Alt. He uses ~30% FWH and ~70% 60 minute boil.

 

For hop inventory, I went with what was available at the LHBS. I got Sterling 7.2% and Hallertauer Mittelfreuh 4.0%.

 

Beersmith calculates FWH to be about 10% more IBU than a 60 minute boil.

 

So what wisdom can the reasonable and trusted brewers here tell me? Hints, help, observations, conventional wisdom?

 

 


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#2 HVB

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 04:42 PM

I always assumed that since the wort that hits them starts off about 160 the bitterness was different. I have seen them equal to a 20 minute addition. I have not done a FWH addition in many years. A lot of that comes down to a biab phase and the rest was because I never saw an improvement with them. I just stick with a 60 (or 30 in my case) addition for bittering and worry about flavor and aroma latter.

Sorry for the rambling... A few DIPAs in!
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#3 Zsasz

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 04:45 PM

yeah - I've never done an experiment.  did you check for someone doing that? I do it sometimes for fun.  no idea how it changes things.  I calculate IBUs like it's a 20 min addition...

 

also a few maibocks in :lol:


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#4 zymot

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 06:38 PM

FWH IBU = 20 minute boil. That is what Denny"s Milo Alt recipe calculates to. OK so that is very useful.

 

Do FWH show up as bittering and/or flavor and/or aroma additions?

 

IIRC, I used to assume 20 minute utilization for IBU, I was told it provided a smooth rounded, smooth, more polite bitterness. I am not so much of a "to style" brewer. I could live with "Throw it in and see what we get " I used FWH in hop bombs, so I never had to consider the impact much.

 

As with all things in home brewing, following Denny's example is your best bet. So for now, I will use Milo's Alt to model to make my Alt.


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#5 Bklmt2000

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 06:59 PM

FWH = smooth bittering, some flavor, and little-no aroma (in my experience).


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#6 djinkc

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 07:11 PM

FWH = smooth bittering, some flavor, and little-no aroma (in my experience).

I think you get some aroma.  And IME it is not the same as a 60 min addition.  Smoother


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#7 Zsasz

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 04:10 AM

this seems like a very hard thing to quantify without side by side tastings.  this sort of thing is ripe for confirmation bias.


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#8 ER Pemberton

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 07:05 AM

I like FWH additions.  Calculating their IBUs is tricky and some software shows them as ZERO contributions to IBUs while others use various methods for IBUs.  I agree the bittering is smoother and I also agree that you get a certain character in the beer that is better.  When I make my helles, I add some hops at FWH and then some at the start of the boil and I like the character.  We know that if we add hops to boiling wort we get one result and if we add hops in the 175° whirlpool we get another result and if we add dry hops we get another result.  It seems reasonable to think that hops added to 150° wort prior to the boil might do something different as well.     



#9 denny

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 09:16 AM

FWH IBU = 20 minute boil. That is what Denny"s Milo Alt recipe calculates to. OK so that is very useful.

 

Do FWH show up as bittering and/or flavor and/or aroma additions?

 

IIRC, I used to assume 20 minute utilization for IBU, I was told it provided a smooth rounded, smooth, more polite bitterness. I am not so much of a "to style" brewer. I could live with "Throw it in and see what we get " I used FWH in hop bombs, so I never had to consider the impact much.

 

As with all things in home brewing, following Denny's example is your best bet. So for now, I will use Milo's Alt to model to make my Alt.

 

That is my own assessment.  Others feel differently.  I feel like I get mainly flavor from it, no aroma at all.  It does give you a kinda smooth bitterness.  Throw it in and see what you get!  ;)


I think you get some aroma.  And IME it is not the same as a 60 min addition.  Smoother

 

Have you ever done a FWH only beer?


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#10 djinkc

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 09:19 AM

That is my own assessment.  Others feel differently.  I feel like I get mainly flavor from it, no aroma at all.  It does give you a kinda smooth bitterness.  Throw it in and see what you get!  ;)


 

Have you ever done a FWH only beer?

Quite a few - I don't think it's much but I seem to pick some up


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#11 Bklmt2000

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 09:22 AM

That is my own assessment.  Others feel differently.  I feel like I get mainly flavor from it, no aroma at all.  It does give you a kinda smooth bitterness.  Throw it in and see what you get!  ;)

 

I've got an IPA on tap now that used 1oz of Amarillo as the FWH.  I don't necessarily smell Amarillo when drinking it, but in terms of flavor, it's definitely noticeable, but more subtle than a late boil addition.


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#12 zymot

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 09:27 AM

Thanks guys. I am not too worried about it. My first brew day in >6 years. Unless disaster hits, it will be good. Or good enough. Or at least better than not brewing beer.
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#13 Bklmt2000

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 09:27 AM

Thanks guys. I am not too worried about it. My first brew day in >6 years. Unless disaster hits, it will be good. Or good enough. Or at least better than not brewing beer.

 

Truth.


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#14 denny

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 09:34 AM

Quite a few - I don't think it's much but I seem to pick some up

 

I don't think I ever have.


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#15 ER Pemberton

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 09:37 AM

Thanks guys. I am not too worried about it. My first brew day in >6 years. Unless disaster hits, it will be good. Or good enough. Or at least better than not brewing beer.

Good to see you brewing.  We've had Stain, George and a few others come back to the beer forum and it's always good to see.  Good luck with the beer.  



#16 jayb151

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 03:40 PM

I've actually been doing FWH a bunch. I actually do it more than not. 

 

I usually consider it to be more like a 25 minute addition, and I think it adds a touch of flavor. This is just my subjective experience though. 


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#17 ER Pemberton

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 04:38 PM

I've actually been doing FWH a bunch. I actually do it more than not. 

 

I usually consider it to be more like a 25 minute addition, and I think it adds a touch of flavor. This is just my subjective experience though. 

The smell of the wort & hops coming together at that lower temperature is really nice and unlike any other hop addition, IMO.  Adding hops to boiling wort is nice too but a FWH lingers more and has more character.  How much of that carries over into the final beer I don't know.  



#18 Zsasz

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 04:49 PM

It sure does Ken and as I say, it will be beer :cheers:
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#19 denny

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 10:10 AM

I've actually been doing FWH a bunch. I actually do it more than not. 

 

I usually consider it to be more like a 25 minute addition, and I think it adds a touch of flavor. This is just my subjective experience though. 

 

Yeah, I think it's one of those things that people need t try and decide for themselves.  Like you, I do it more than I don't.


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#20 Stout_fan

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 11:29 AM

At one NHBC a guy did a test on FWH, 60min and mash hopping.

Sent it off to a lab. normalized to the 60min being 100%, FWH was 110%, Mash hopping was 20%.

 

He brought in the samples of FWH and 60 minute. There were differences to the flavors beyond bitterness. The FWH was smoother despite the 10% higher bittering.

 

I suggested that now knowing the relationship, drop FWH by 9% to get it even with the 60 minute and increase mash hop by 5x to match the 60 minute and retry the experiment. I don't  think it he ever did anything.

IIRC it was cascade, but this could be different depending upon the hop acid composition I guess.


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