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1st Wort Hopping.

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Dave70

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Is there a clear definition of the what and why of this practice? Appears to be popular with pilsners more than others.
I just cant see how adding around 30% of your 20 minute additions (just one technique I read about) to the kettle then boiling it for 60 - 90 minutes could have contribute anything other than bitterness.
Is there some funky reaction going on chemically whilst the hops sit in the run off?

If you've had a go at it, what was the result and in what style?




Edit: this might feel more at home in the common ground, so mods, feel free to shift it. I promise I wont cry.
 

donburke

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as of the last 12 months, i fwh all my beers, all styles

i do not use it as a replacement for flavour hops, as i find i dont get much flavour out of it

i count them as a bittering hop, using beersmith, which counts them as a boil addition plus a bit more, and i find this works well

i dont find any smoother bitterness, or any other magical properties

i fwh because its easier for me to throw the hops in the kettle when mashing



Is there a clear definition of the what and why of this practice? Appears to be popular with pilsners more than others.
I just cant see how adding around 30% of your 20 minute additions (just one technique I read about) to the kettle then boiling it for 60 - 90 minutes could have contribute anything other than bitterness.
Is there some funky reaction going on chemically whilst the hops sit in the run off?

If you've had a go at it, what was the result and in what style?




Edit: this might feel more at home in the common ground, so mods, feel free to shift it. I promise I wont cry.
 

black_labb

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From what I've read of which is mostly 3rd hand information from some book with no scientific background or reason it suggests that the flavour and aroma are locked in by the lower temperatures, despite that they are increased to boiling temps for 60-90 mins after that.

Firstly I have no idea how much bitterness is going to be extracted and tend to avoid using it as I don't really know what to expect. Secondly I'd suggest that the amount of bitterness from it would be very variable as FWH isn't as clear a process as boiling is. If your first runnings were extracted at 76* after a mashout, or were they at 65*? Did you start raising to boiling temp right away while sparging, or did you wait for a couple slow sparges? do you have alot of power to raise the temp quickly or does it take it's time? All of this would effect the bitterness from FWH. I can't really speak for using them for aroma or flavour. I'm interested but sceptical. It makes less sense than evil BIAB and no chill, but it has been used traditionally by europeans so it must be good.

I just found this suggesting that the extra acids in the wort from the first wort hopping decreases the ph which helps the alpha acids to be extracted more efficiently in further hop additions. http://www.beersmith.com/blog/2008/03/17/t...ing-techniques/


Edit: I'm tempted to do a side by side of 2L each fermented in soft drink bottles. Simple malt bill, one with a FWH, one with the bittering hops added once the boil has started same hop, same hop and quantity. I could just add some more grains and sparge that extra 4L from the grain from a beer that I'd be brewing so not too much time taken for the recipe
 

Mikedub

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I'm a believer,
FWH is a mystical force, beware its power,

seriously, I've found it gives a whack of flavor you wouldn't expect with a 60 min addition,
 

QldKev

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As John Palmer says here

http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter5-1.html


From my understanding for it to work you need to give it time to step in the first runnings for a while. If you throw it in and then blast it to the boil quickly you don't get the full benefit from it.

IMHO it's worth everyone giving it a go.

QldKev
 

clay

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So Kev, do you calculate the IBUs from FWH as a 60min addition or less? I know some brewers say that it is equal to a 20min addition.
 

brucearnold

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I add FWH because the recipe says so... Thornbridge Lord Marple English Bitter. Very tasty beer.

In fact I do this with most English milds and bitters, because this is what I have always done.
 

NickB

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For the times I've ever FWH'ed, I've calculated it as a 60 min + addition, with some side benefit of flavouring, therefore reducing my 20min hops by 30-50%. But that's just me, give it a go. It does do something that you really don't get from a 60 min then 20 min addition.

It IS magic!!

;)
 

Nick JD

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I heard it had something to do with break composition. Finding it hard to recall now, but by adding hops in earlier you lose less flavour into the break material during the boil than usual.

Something like that - I'll try and find where I read it.
 

QldKev

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So Kev, do you calculate the IBUs from FWH as a 60min addition or less? I know some brewers say that it is equal to a 20min addition.

I use Beersmith values

An an example (tested in a 100L batch)
125g POR 60min Boil = 31.9 IBU
125g POR 80min FWH = 37.0 IBU (20min steep + 60 boil)


QldKev
 

Malted

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Terrifically interesting to hear of the difference between the theory and those that have done it, oh and the difference amongst those who have done it. :D
 

Lecterfan

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I am a complete hack, not much fancy about my style...but I have FWH'd about 15 brews now.

The whole %30 of your hops and "=20 min addition" things seem to stem from Palmer from what I can tell. He says there is an aroma element as FWH-ing is done with a big heap of low AAU hops (at least the edition I've got refers to this).

I do a FWH addition on all my AIPAs now as well as many of my other beer styles as well. I do believe that it gives a slightly different bittering as well as flavour profile. Nelson Sauvin FWH is magic in big beers.

Could I (or anyone else) pick it in a blind tasting? No idea. But I enjoy doing it and have certainly not found any drawbacks from it (and by comparison my other main bittering regimes are either 60 min additions in a 90 min boil, or big additions at <20mins-ish).

I am not convinced that it does an amazing amount to the aroma, but I generally don't use %30 of my low aau hops as FWH (although I have FWH with shitloads of First Gold twice and they were amazing beers, but then they had heaps of hops everywhere else so hard to pin it down to FWH).

There are vast, interesting threads on FWH where thirstyboy and some others really get into the science of it, also a Brew Strong episode I think. Very interesting. I tend to concur that it adds extra bitterness as per beersmith, but that the bitterness is not rough and can be perceived as smoother...
 

JoeG

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I do it all the time for particular recipes. If you really want to see what flavour impacts it can achieve, try FWH in a beer that has no flavour or aroma hop additions at all - just FWH and a bittering addition at 45 minutes.

I make an Aussie Ale with P.O.R flowers this way, and I really think it gives a great result that I have not been able to achieve with hop additions at other stages of the boil.

Its definitely worth trying at least once.

Cheers
 

manticle

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Best way to tell surely would be a single addition beer brewed twice, fermented as close to side by side as possible and use the same addition at FWH and at 60 in respective?

I've done a couple of FWH beers but just stuffing around and with loads of other stuff going on. Fix talks about it in principles of brewing science and suggests blind tasting panels [often] preferred FWH beers.

I'll add it to my list of side by side things I keep meaning to try. Maybe next aussie ale?
 

seamad

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Remember reading somewhere that fwh technically have 10% more bitterness cf a 60 min addition but lower perceived bitterness and an extra 50% flavour cf with a 20 min addition.
No aroma benifits.
I have used them with ns, citra ,centenial, cascade and simcoe and the beers tated good to me. Having not done a control sample woth a 60 min addition though its only theory
Cheers
Sean
 

Dave70

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Edit: I'm tempted to do a side by side of 2L each fermented in soft drink bottles. Simple malt bill, one with a FWH, one with the bittering hops added once the boil has started same hop, same hop and quantity. I could just add some more grains and sparge that extra 4L from the grain from a beer that I'd be brewing so not too much time taken for the recipe

I thought about doing something similar but there's sure to be other issues with boiling small quantities of wort like evaporation and caramelization, if doing small batches is what you 're talking about. I thought there might have been some hard - or at least firm - science behind how supposed low AA aroma hop acids make the journey from one end to the other.
 

donburke

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Best way to tell surely would be a single addition beer brewed twice, fermented as close to side by side as possible and use the same addition at FWH and at 60 in respective?

I've done a couple of FWH beers but just stuffing around and with loads of other stuff going on. Fix talks about it in principles of brewing science and suggests blind tasting panels [often] preferred FWH beers.

I'll add it to my list of side by side things I keep meaning to try. Maybe next aussie ale?

chill the first two batches, then repeat with no chilling the batches


four identical wort/hop beers, differing in procedure only
 

Lindsay Dive

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I use 25% of the hop bill for FWH simply because it help in reducing the risk of boil overs. Laziness I guess.
 

MHB

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Up front I going to say I'm a bit of a sceptic especially where people talk about Aroma, taste well that's pretty straight forward and yes First Wort Hoping can give a smoother beer, the mechanism is even well enough understood. Alpha Acids (remember that there are three of them) are as we all know relatively insoluble cold but are quite soluble in hot wort, in solution over a given time a proportion of them will Isomerise and once Isomerised a proportion of those will undergo "Trans Isomerisation Degradation" what governs the rate of both reaction is heat. Simply in hot wort Alpha Acids go into solution, the hotter it is the faster they get isomerised and the faster Iso-Alpha breaks down, it's the Iso-Alpha breakdown products that contribute to the smoother bitterness.

By adding hops earlier in the kettle they have more time to undergo the process; you get more Trans-Iso products giving smoother tasting beer. If you were doing 90 minute or longer boils I suspect that there would be very little difference to the taste, but getting the hops in 15-20 minutes earlier in a shorter boil would make a marked difference.

For those that care "Isomerization and Degradation Kinetics of Hop (Humulus

lupulus) Acids in a Model Wort-Boiling System " MARK G. MALOWICKI AND THOMAS H. SHELLHAMMERView attachment 52660

Where it comes to aroma, well that's where I get very sceptical, to be able to smell something it must be volatile, anything volatile that's been in the boil for an hour or more has been ejected it's gone you won't be able to smell it! Talk about aromas being "locked in" doesn't make much sense either, unless someone can explain how they later get unlocked and become volatile again. Much more likely that as the hops were boiled longer there has been more volatile products stripped out so later additions are more easily detected.

I have no doubt that FWH changes the beer, I think we even know how, that hops boiled for an hour or more add anything much to hop aroma I doubt.

Mark
 

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