Author Topic: The First Wort Hop Effect | exBEERiment Results!  (Read 4037 times)

Offline brulosopher

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The First Wort Hop Effect | exBEERiment Results!
« on: July 06, 2015, 12:54:58 PM »
Adding hops to the kettle prior the wort reaching a boil, a method known as first wort hopping(FWH), has been purported by some to impart a smooth bitterness and long lasting aromatic qualities, though some disagree, saying the bitterness is either more harsh or that it makes no difference. For this xBmt, I compared FWH to a standard 60 minute bittering addition in 2 batches of the same wort, balancing for IBU contribution. Results are in!

http://brulosophy.com/2015/07/06/the-first-wort-hop-effect-exbeeriment-results/

Thanks to all you awesome NHC-goers for lending your time to participate in this one, if you're interesting in how you did, let me know and I'll let you know. Cheers!

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: The First Wort Hop Effect | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2015, 01:38:57 PM »
Good info as always. This backs up my own experience with FWH. Like you, I like it for its convenience.
Jon H.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: The First Wort Hop Effect | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2015, 02:47:24 PM »
Fantastic exBEERiment, which likewise bolsters my argument that FWH is essentially identical or almost identical to a regular bittering addition except maybe for an extra couple IBUs.  Play around with FWH as you see fit, for as brulosophy.com states, it certainly won't hurt anything if you want to try it and it's so easy to do.  But does it really truly help the "smoothness" of your bittering?  Perform your own blind triangle test to find out.

Personally, you won't find me FWHing my beers, as I wager it's just too worthless to do anything different from normal, and hell, anytime I've brewed an FWH recipe in the past, I'll be damned if I didn't forget to add them at the right time!  However I might eventually be curious enough to play with mash hopping sometime even though everyone says it's a waste of hops.  Now there's an interesting experiment... This one would play well with my own personal theory that you actually get more flavor out of your noble hop varieties the LONGER they are boiled, and in theory, this might even be where the FWH technique came about altogether!  So what if I threw my "flavor hop addition" for a German lager into the mash instead of in the last 5-10 minutes of the boil?  I think I'm onto something here, and I dare anyone else to try a triangle test of this.  Heh heh. </tangent>

Nice job, to Marshall, and to all others who might have been involved with this exBEERiment in some fashion.  Always intriguing.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 02:49:49 PM by dmtaylor »
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Offline toby

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Re: The First Wort Hop Effect | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2015, 04:24:14 PM »
Which color was the FWH?  I will admit to complete laziness for going the FWH route for pretty much all my beers.  I boil almost everything for 90 minutes (couple of my bigger beers get boiled longer), so a 60 minute addition is just one more potential thing to miss timing on, so I revamped all my recipes to FWH.  The difference in outcome is very subtle, IMO (although I fully admit it could be completely placebo effect), but I have one less timer to set.

Offline narcout

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Re: The First Wort Hop Effect | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2015, 04:36:40 PM »
How'd I do?

I believe I picked the beer on the lower right as being different, but I can't remember what color square it was on. 
It's too close to home
And it's too near the bone

Offline a10t2

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Re: The First Wort Hop Effect | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2015, 04:49:11 PM »
12 out of 15 is pretty crazy though: p = 0.014. It makes me think there's actually a variation, just one that can't be detected by some subset of the population.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: The First Wort Hop Effect | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2015, 04:54:40 PM »
I'm interested in finding out my choice as well.
Jeff G.
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Offline denny

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Re: The First Wort Hop Effect | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2015, 05:25:19 PM »
12 out of 15 is pretty crazy though: p = 0.014. It makes me think there's actually a variation, just one that can't be detected by some subset of the population.

I still maintain there's a difference even though I can't consistently identify it.  I intend to repeat this experiment once the book is done and I have some time.
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Offline johnnyb

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Re: The First Wort Hop Effect | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2015, 05:33:48 PM »
I can't understand how FWH can have roughly the same IBUs as a 60 minute addition. I've always calculated IBUs for FWH as if they were a 20 minute addition, which I thought used to be the rule-of-thumb everyone followed. You would think those beers would be overpoweringly bitter, but they're not.

Jeez you take a two year break from brewing and it's surprising how many things change, or are at least disputed.

 

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: The First Wort Hop Effect | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2015, 05:36:08 PM »
An additional conclusion I feel comfortable making: If the vast majority of people cannot discern a difference between FWH and a 60-minute boil, then the old 20-minute equivalency thing is bunk.
Dave

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: The First Wort Hop Effect | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2015, 05:38:02 PM »
An additional conclusion I feel comfortable making: If the vast majority of people cannot discern a difference between FWH and a 60-minute boil, then the old 20-minute equivalency thing is bunk.

That's always been my feeling. It tastes like more than 20 to me.
Jon H.

Offline denny

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Re: The First Wort Hop Effect | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2015, 05:59:12 PM »
I can't understand how FWH can have roughly the same IBUs as a 60 minute addition. I've always calculated IBUs for FWH as if they were a 20 minute addition, which I thought used to be the rule-of-thumb everyone followed. You would think those beers would be overpoweringly bitter, but they're not.

Jeez you take a two year break from brewing and it's surprising how many things change, or are at least disputed.

It's subjective.  when I had a FWH beer analyzed, it had about 10% more IBUs than a 60 min. only beer with the same amount of the same hops.  But to me, it tasted more like a 20 min. addition so that's what I call it.  http://www.ahaconference.org/wp-content/uploads/presentations/2008/DennyConn.pdf starting on pg. 29.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: The First Wort Hop Effect | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2015, 06:01:14 PM »
I wonder if adding hops to one batch to equalize theoretical IBU's was a good idea.  If you're trying to quantify the perception of bitterness/flavor/aroma and someone in the past has "figured" an equation to account for it, how did they figure it?  If it was a guess based on personal perception, then the experiment may have been more conclusive without the extra addition to one batch.  Or am I over thinking this?
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Offline a10t2

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Re: The First Wort Hop Effect | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2015, 06:02:30 PM »
I can't understand how FWH can have roughly the same IBUs as a 60 minute addition.

As far as IBU (i.e. the fraction of 420 nm collimated light absorbed through a 1 cm sample), there's really no debate. First-wort hopping generates higher IBU due to the longer contact time with the hot wort. I don't think there's any data out there showing the opposite. The difference is generally small enough that it can be neglected, as this experiment shows.

There is a contingent among home brewers who claim that first-wort hopping *tastes like* a 20-minute addition. I haven't seen any actual data to support that claim though.
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Offline toby

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Re: The First Wort Hop Effect | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2015, 06:05:36 PM »
I can't understand how FWH can have roughly the same IBUs as a 60 minute addition. I've always calculated IBUs for FWH as if they were a 20 minute addition, which I thought used to be the rule-of-thumb everyone followed. You would think those beers would be overpoweringly bitter, but they're not.
I calculate (via BeerSmith) a 10% bump in IBUs for FWH vs. similar timed addition (IOW, FWH in a 60 minute boil would give you 110% of the IBUs of a 60 minute addition).  The lab numbers I've seen bear that out.  The quality of that bitterness (harsher, smoother, etc.) is really the only thing up for debate.