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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: gmac on May 17, 2011, 01:45:50 PM

Title: First Wort Hopping
Post by: gmac on May 17, 2011, 01:45:50 PM
I've been reading Gordon's book as well as other items and I want to be 100% sure I understand this concept.

As I read it, you add hops to the wort as it is coming to a boil (right after collecting) and then leave them in during the boil.  This is supposed to give an enhanced hop flavour.  Is this right?

What I can't follow is why hop flavour would still be present in the wort.  If I add hops at full boil for 60 mins, I get bitter but not flavour.  How come adding them earlier doesn't drive off the flavour compounds from the hops?  I'm gonna give it a try but I wanted to be sure I was thinking of the right procedure and that I am thinking of the right outcome.  I assume you want to add the same hops (or similar type) than I would add at 15 mins?  Not adding additional bittering hops unless you wanted that flavour (add Amarillo as FWH instead of Magnum or Northern Brewer for example).  Then add your standard bittering hop at 60 min as usual.
Thanks
Title: Re: First Wort Hopping
Post by: Hokerer on May 17, 2011, 01:54:58 PM
Several things...

The way I've always done FWH is to dump the hops into the empty kettle and then runoff the wort right on top of them, so basically "right before collecting".

I've always heard that something to do with the FWH hops spending time at mash temperature (and on upwards to boiling) allows some other sort of reaction that preserves/enhances the flavor contribution of the hops compared to a regular "boiled 60 minutes" bittering charge.

Finally, FWH provides flavor and bittering - you may not also need a 60 minute addition depending on the IBUs you're shooting for.  A lot of folks treat the FWH as equivalent to a 20 minute addition as far as IBU contributed goes.  Personally, I tend to treat them more like a 65 minute addition as using 20 has left my beers too bitter for me.  It's important that you experiment a bit to figure out what works best for your tastes.
Title: Re: First Wort Hopping
Post by: majorvices on May 17, 2011, 01:58:48 PM
+1

I'm not sure anyone knows for sure but the theory is the hop flavor molecules bond differently to the wort pre-boil, or something like that. When I FWH I add flavor and aroma hops only to the wort, then I add my bittering hops at 60 minutes as usual unless I am doing a 100% FWH beer.
Title: Re: First Wort Hopping
Post by: gmac on May 17, 2011, 02:08:51 PM
Does the quantity of hops added as FWH compare to what I would have added at 15 mins? 
For example, today I'm making an ale and I intended to use 20 grams of Northern Brewer at 60, 1/2 oz of Cascade at 30, 1/4 oz of Cascade at 15 and 1/4 oz at flameout.  The Cascade is leaf. 
If I switched up the Cascade to 1/2 oz FWH, added the NB as planned and put in 1/4 oz at 15 and 1/4 at flameout, how would it differ?  I really liked this last brew but want just a touch more hop presence.
Title: Re: First Wort Hopping
Post by: majorvices on May 17, 2011, 02:21:21 PM
You add the amount of hops you want to achieve the amount of bitterness at FWH and calculate it as a 20 (or, in your case, 15 I guess) minute addition.

For instance, I do an all FWH kolsch with Crystal hops and I calculate the recipe at 30 BUs and add enough crystal hops to get me my 30 BUs at the 20 minute mark. But I add them in as soon as I start sparging. If I wanted to add a 60 minute bittering addition and/or a 2 minute aroma adddition I would adjust my FWH calculations accordingly.
Title: Re: First Wort Hopping
Post by: denny on May 17, 2011, 03:46:42 PM
Does the quantity of hops added as FWH compare to what I would have added at 15 mins? 
For example, today I'm making an ale and I intended to use 20 grams of Northern Brewer at 60, 1/2 oz of Cascade at 30, 1/4 oz of Cascade at 15 and 1/4 oz at flameout.  The Cascade is leaf. 
If I switched up the Cascade to 1/2 oz FWH, added the NB as planned and put in 1/4 oz at 15 and 1/4 at flameout, how would it differ?  I really liked this last brew but want just a touch more hop presence.

That's pretty much the way I do it.  when I'm formulating a recipe with FWH, I start by deciding how much hop flavor I want and how much FWH I need to achieve that.  Usually in the 1-2 oz. area.  I consider them to be a replacement for my flavor (15-20 min. addition) and I also consider them to provide about the same amount if bitterness as a 20 min. addition.  I set the FWH utilization in Promash to -65, which equates to 20 min. in a 60 min. boil.  Then I take a look at how many IBU the FWH contribute and add 60 min. hops until I get to the overall IBU level I'm shooting for.
Title: Re: First Wort Hopping
Post by: gordonstrong on May 17, 2011, 04:07:50 PM
The way I've always done FWH is to dump the hops into the empty kettle and then runoff the wort right on top of them, so basically "right before collecting".

That's how I've always done it, and how it's described in my book (p. 68).
Title: Re: First Wort Hopping
Post by: gmac on May 17, 2011, 04:32:29 PM
OK, thanks.  Part of the problem is my inability to explain myself clearly and the lack of information about my set up.  I only have one pot.  So, I batch sparge into a pail while the sparge water is getting to final temp.  Then, after I've collected all the first runnings, I put the sparge water in and dump any excess I have.  I then add the warm first running to the brew pot and begin heating while I sparge the 2nd runnings.  These then get added to the pot.  I don't have the flexibility to add all the wort at once. 
So, I am going to add my FWH to the plastic pail that I use to gather my first runnings and then move them to the boil kettle while I get my 2nd and go from there.  Originally, I was thinking I'd add them when I started to heat the first runnings.

The other problem is that I brew while I work so if I get a phone call or something, timing can be disrupted.  Not ideal but it works.

I just wanted to be sure I understood that these were a flavour addition.  It's just a little counter-intuitive based on what I learned 20 years ago about flavour and boiling.  I'm gonna give it a go.
Thanks

Title: Re: First Wort Hopping
Post by: gordonstrong on May 17, 2011, 04:35:07 PM
So, I am going to add my FWH to the plastic pail that I use to gather my first runnings and then move them to the boil kettle while I get my 2nd and go from there.  Originally, I was thinking I'd add them when I started to heat the first runnings.

Given your setup, that's what I would recommend.
Title: Re: First Wort Hopping
Post by: Malticulous on May 17, 2011, 09:01:55 PM
I've done a good number of FWH only beers and calculating the bitterness as a 20 minute addition would have been flat out wrong.
..and no I didn't do it both ways and do hundreds of blind three way tastings. I don't need too.
Title: Re: First Wort Hopping
Post by: denny on May 17, 2011, 09:05:29 PM
I've done a good number of FWH only beers and calculating the bitterness as a 20 minute addition would have been flat out wrong.

It's up to you, but that's what it tastes like to me.  It's subjective enough that everyone should make their own assessment after they try it.
Title: Re: First Wort Hopping
Post by: gmac on May 17, 2011, 09:48:13 PM
So dumb question # 2.  What would happen if I put leaf hops in a bag and put them into the mash for the duration.  Then, took them out and added the bag to the boil. 
Just wondering.

I ended up doing 1/2 oz of FWH Cascade leaf as I mentioned above as well as adding 3/4 oz of Northern Brewer for 60 mins, 1/4 oz of Cascade for 15 mins and 1/4 oz at flameout.  I'm not looking for huge hop presence, just a slight increase over what I got last time that I really liked. 

Title: Re: First Wort Hopping
Post by: Hokerer on May 17, 2011, 10:54:32 PM
So dumb question # 2.  What would happen if I put leaf hops in a bag and put them into the mash for the duration.  Then, took them out and added the bag to the boil. 
Just wondering.

That's what's known as "mash hopping" and the effects are supposedly much different than those of FWH.  I don't remember the exact differences but they must not be much of an advantage as mash hopping is not terribly popular.
Title: Re: First Wort Hopping
Post by: morticaixavier on May 18, 2011, 08:15:18 PM
So dumb question # 2.  What would happen if I put leaf hops in a bag and put them into the mash for the duration.  Then, took them out and added the bag to the boil. 
Just wondering.


If yo udo this don't make dog biscuits with the spent grains. Hops can be dangerous for dogs.
Title: Re: First Wort Hopping
Post by: denny on May 18, 2011, 09:04:20 PM
That's what's known as "mash hopping" and the effects are supposedly much different than those of FWH.  I don't remember the exact differences but they must not be much of an advantage as mash hopping is not terribly popular.

I tried mash hopping 3 times with recipes I'd brewed a lot and knew well.  AFAIAC, the mash hops did nothing at all.
Title: Re: First Wort Hopping
Post by: jtodd on May 21, 2011, 06:34:16 AM
I've done a good number of FWH only beers and calculating the bitterness as a 20 minute addition would have been flat out wrong.
..and no I didn't do it both ways and do hundreds of blind three way tastings. I don't need too.

I've brewed many FWH beers, and I would have to agree with Malticulous. The bitterness is smoother and more refined than a normal 60 minute addition, but the perceived bitterness is way more than what a 20 minute addition would give you. I'd say it's probably more like a 45 minute addition. Also, I have never sensed any hop flavor or aroma coming from FWH. Just a smoother bitterness. I think the belief that FWH somehow adds hop flavor or aroma is one of the big fallacies of FWH. At least, that's how I perceive it. And you know what they say, perception is reality.
Title: Re: First Wort Hopping
Post by: tygo on May 21, 2011, 10:46:34 AM
I just tapped an all FWH ESB yesterday.  First time I've done it with just FWH and no flavoring addition.  There's definitely hop flavor there although it's different than what you'd get by adding in a flavor addition.  I guess I'd tentatively describe the flavor as more subtle but it's there and it's good.  I've only had a couple pints and the kegs still settling a bit so more testing is in order.