First Wort Hopping

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awall

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Hey everyone! I'm going to brew a nice hoppy ale on Sunday and wondering whether i should try this method. The last IPA i brewed was an extract + specialty grain, and had 25g of hops @ 60mins and the rest progressively at 20mins and under. The beer has ended up decent, but has a pretty harsh bitterness. I think there are a few reasons for this (not just this bittering addition), but to try an combat the harshness, i thought i'd try hop bursting for this next one and go without the 60 min bittering hops.

Just as i think i have everything figured out, i discover first wort hopping. I like my beers with a fair whack of bitterness, just not this harshness I'm getting with my previous IPA. I am slightly worried that i won't acheive the bitterness doing the hop burst method, since I can only do a ~15L boil and use top up water. I'd like to know whether I should stick with the standard hop burst schedule or try the first wort hopping aswell? It seems like it will add some extra bitterness, but won't be as harsh as a 60 min addition can be. Could anyone with first wort hopping and/or hop bursting experience let me know?

This will be my first crack at a mini mash too. Going with DME, pale malt, some munich, crystal and a touch of roasted barley late for a bit of a red colour.

Cheers! :chug:
 

bum

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Most of my beers are FWH then all late additions lately. To be honest, I can't taste any increased bitterness over a 60min addition. Wasn't having an issue with my bitterness being rough before I tried the method though so I can't say for it will help you but I can say it won't hurt. Worth a crack.

Might be worth putting up your previous recipe to see if someone can possibly spot a different reason for that harshness. Might save you a little heartbreak.
 

awall

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21L batch. This was a 15L boil with 1kg of DME and the other 2kg added with 10mins to go in the boil.

3kg Dry Malt Extract - Light
300g Rye Malt
200g Crystal 120

25g Super Pride (13.9% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil)
20g Kohatu (6.8% Alpha) @ 20 Minutes (Boil)
20g Topaz (15.3% Alpha) @ 20 Minutes (Boil)
20g Kohatu (6.8% Alpha) @ 5 Minutes (Boil)
20g Topaz (15.3% Alpha) @ 5 Minutes (Boil)
20g Kohatu (6.8% Alpha) @ 1 Minutes (Boil)
20g Topaz (15.3% Alpha) @ 1 Minutes (Boil)

Fermented with US-05. Oh and i dry hopped with 30g each of the Kohatu and Topaz. I tried to use the Super Pride like a lot of the US brewers use Magnum, as it sounded like a clean bittering hop from the descriptions I've seen online. I've got a feeling the harshness/intense bitterness comes from the pretty decent early addition and also the use of the very high alpha hops. The rye may have something to do with it but i'm unsure since i've never used it before. There's probably more to it, but a month after bottling it has a seriously bitter aftertaste, which is pretty irritating since it's a nice beer when you first drink it.

This time I'll be using Citra and Chinook at a similar rate aswell as a little Cascade and Amarillo from previous brews that need using up. I was thinking if I did the FWH i'd use some leftover Cascade and Amarillo instead of the Super Pride and acheive that bitterness without the harshness.
 

slash22000

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Disclaimer: I've never used FWH myself, but I've done a decent amount of reading into the subject.

From what I've read, FWH gives you the flavour of a 20 minute addition, no aroma, significantly less "perceived" bitterness.

For this reason, some traditional bittering hops aren't great for FWH (poor flavour) and some people have brewed with FWH to find their resulting beer is nothing as bitter as they expected it to be given the calculated IBU's. Apparently (and don't quote me on this) steeping the hops before the boil somehow "preserves" some of the hop compounds and prevents them from turning to bitterness (hence why most of the flavour survives while in a traditional boil it does not).

Unfortunately there is really not many "hard facts" regarding the process aside from a single test done years ago with a single mildly hopped style of beer. I am very interested in the process myself and plan to trial some FWH brews whenever I get the chance.
 

dicko

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I am a fan of FWH. I treat my fwh addition with the same bittering units as a 60 min addition.
I feel it negates the need for a flavour addition in most recipes and if calculated with a 60 min addition you can use a standard bittering hop for the 60 min.
Noble hops are great for fwh to bring that unique flavour to the brew but be careful not to overdo the hops if you are using por, etc

Have a read through this link
http://aussiehomebrewer.com/topic/57030-first-wort-hopping/

Cheers
 

dicko

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awall said:
21L batch. This was a 15L boil with 1kg of DME and the other 2kg added with 10mins to go in the boil.

3kg Dry Malt Extract - Light
300g Rye Malt
200g Crystal 120
25g Super Pride (13.9% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil)
20g Kohatu (6.8% Alpha) @ 20 Minutes (Boil)
20g Topaz (15.3% Alpha) @ 20 Minutes (Boil)
20g Kohatu (6.8% Alpha) @ 5 Minutes (Boil)
20g Topaz (15.3% Alpha) @ 5 Minutes (Boil)
20g Kohatu (6.8% Alpha) @ 1 Minutes (Boil)
20g Topaz (15.3% Alpha) @ 1 Minutes (Boil)

Fermented with US-05. Oh and i dry hopped with 30g each of the Kohatu and Topaz. I tried to use the Super Pride like a lot of the US brewers use Magnum, as it sounded like a clean bittering hop from the descriptions I've seen online. I've got a feeling the harshness/intense bitterness comes from the pretty decent early addition and also the use of the very high alpha hops. The rye may have something to do with it but i'm unsure since i've never used it before. There's probably more to it, but a month after bottling it has a seriously bitter aftertaste, which is pretty irritating since it's a nice beer when you first drink it.

This time I'll be using Citra and Chinook at a similar rate aswell as a little Cascade and Amarillo from previous brews that need using up. I was thinking if I did the FWH i'd use some leftover Cascade and Amarillo instead of the Super Pride and acheive that bitterness without the harshness.
25g of super pride would be the cause imho.....
I would not use super pride in that quantity in a 21 litre brew with all those other hops.
Hop bitterness is difficult to narrow down because each persons perception of bitterness can be quite different.

Cheers
 

bum

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Slash, the points you raise are consistent with pretty much all of my reading too but in OP's case (and my own, which I why I didn't touch on those issues) I don't think that "flavour addition" thing is going to shine in a high-gravity, heavily late-hopped brew. Good stuff to keep in mind but I don't think it'll affect his recipe much.
 

hoppy2B

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That's a fair bit of high alpha hops. Bound to be bitter, particularly if you are no chilling.
We're talking 145 grams with an average AA rating over 10%.
 

bum

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hoppy2B said:
We're talking 145 grams with an average AA rating over 10%.
Nah, that's kiddie stuff. Can easy brew a big beer like that without the bitterness being harsh. It is firm, sure, even too much for most people but that doesn't mean it is harsh. Dicko is probably on the money - I don't have experience with superpride to confirm.
 

yum beer

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I'd look at knocking the super pride down to 15gm and the same for the Topaz additions maybe even losing the 1 minute Topaz and the dry hopped Topaz, as far as I know its not recommended
for late additions as it can be rough.
Will still leave plenty of hop flavour and a good bitter hit.
 

awall

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Thanks everyone for the help! Dicko and Yum beer, I think that's the problem. Too much early Super Pride and then the later Topaz additions. I think without the Topaz it would be better. Definitely too bitter from the early addition, but it wouldn't leave the harsh aftertaste. The harshness has chilled out a little from tastings at 2 weeks and 4 weeks, but i think it will take months to make them really enjoyable. I'll wait a month at a time between tasting and hopefully they'll smooth out a bit. I'm sure all the nice hop flavour and aroma will go, but it could turn into an alright strong(ish) pale ale.

I'll probably try adding ~10g of Citra as FWH to the next brew and see how it goes? I'm sure i'll get a few extra IBU's doing this. I don't think Super Pride would be the right hop if this addition imparts hop flavour. Then i'll stick with the same hopping schedule with the Citra and Chinook.
 

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