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The Great Double IPA Project

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Hi everyone,

I am about to delve into formulating my own recipe for a double IPA. I have brewed a few from pre-existing recipes and would love to put my own stamp on it.  There are a few pieces of information that I would love to have before beginning my experiments (picture mad scientist of your choice here).

There are two hopping methods that I have seen mentioned on occasion that I would love to know more about: mash hopping and first wort hopping.

I am assuming that mash hopping is adding an addition of hops directly to the mash, although I am not really sure at what point I should do this...the whole 60 minutes, 30, 10, 3, etc?

I am not clear on what first wort hopping is at all, so an explanation of the process (or a link to one) would be great.

Beyond the processes themselves, however, I am interested to know what sort of flavor and aroma characteristics I can expect from either process. I am not in any way wedded to using these methods in this recipe, but having the info will help me create just what I want.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.


I have never mash hopped, but from what I've read has deterred me from trying it... As in not much benefit. I have started FWHing not long ago. I like the results. Add your hops when you first run your wort off. Technically adds more IBUs but gives a much smoother bitterness than say 60 minute hop additions. I like using them with 60 minute hops. I like the "harsh bitterness" that people talk about. It's all personal preference. Play around with it. One thing that I have found is that if you like hops, it's tough to screw up. I've attempted to over-hop... I haven't been able to do it yet. I find hoppy beers to be a lot like pizza.... when it's not very good, it's still pretty good.

Instead of mash hopping, try flushing the hops down the toilet.  It will give your beer an equal amount of hop character.  :)

I second the wastefulness of mash hopping. My IPA's improved dramatically once I started cold crashing at the end of my dry-hopping cycle. This method pulls all the dryhops to the bottom of the fermenter which seems to infuse some nice hop flavor.

I've rarely heard anyone having any luck with mash hopping. I believe it's due to the fact that you end up losing a good bit of utilization in the grist left behind. Just my 2 cents worth. :)

...but 1st wort hopping on the other hand lends quite a bit of hop flavor to the finished beer. I highly recommend this technique.


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