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First Wort Hopping Question

Hello to the NB forum, I have been reading for some time and always find it to be useful… Just now getting around to posting.

I have read up some on the FWH method, and will be trying it for the first time in an IPA. I plan to nix the traditional 60 min bittering, and instead use FWH, plus additional late kettle hopping at 15/10/5/0 minutes.

My understanding is that the FWH will provide a perceived bitterness similar to a 20 min addition.

My question, for any who have experience with the FWH, is whether it matters (a) how long the sparging process takes, and (b) how long the boil is (i.e. 60 vs 90 min) with regard to the effects of the FWH in the final beer.

THank you in advance for any feedback

No, neither matters.

I FWH all of my German lagers. Unfortunately I may be little help since I always boil 90 min and since ibu’s rarely get above 35 in many German beers, they are ałways smooth.

Any experience of the effect of FWH only. No other hop addition? Was thinking of trying that on some sort of Summer/Blonde/Wheat ale where there would be a broad range of acceptable hop character outside of bitterness, just to really see what FWH is all about.

I’ve done a few Saisons with only a FWH, turned out great. IMO though, for an IPA, something is ‘missing’ when you forgoe the 60 min addition and do FWH only for bittering. Don’t know quite how to explain it, but it seems to lack that bite you get from an IPA.

How does a FWH work, wouldn’t it give you the same IBU’s as a 60 or 90 min boil(what ever you do). I’ve been wanting to try it in an ipa but was gonna do the 60 min addition also and was wondering what to expect.

You add the hops to your BK as your mash is draining, you supposedly get about the same IBUs as a 60 min addition, but also some aroma. I think it definitely adds to the profile of an IPA, but I prefer to do a 60 min addition with FWH, after trying just a FWH for bittering.

According to testing I’ve done, you actually get about 10% more measurable IBU than a 60 min. addition. But the steep in hot wort extracts different compounds, so you don’t perceive as much bitterness.

Thanks for the info guys, I’m gonna give it a try on the next ipa I do. Sorry op for jacking your thread.

I’ve done a few Saisons with only a FWH, turned out great. IMO though, for an IPA, something is ‘missing’ when you forgoe the 60 min addition and do FWH only for bittering. Don’t know quite how to explain it, but it seems to lack that bite you get from an IPA.[/quote]

Interesting. So in that case and given your preference, how would you modify my hop schedule:

Simcoe, 1.2 oz, FWH
Amarillo / Citra, 0.5 oz of each, at 15/10/5 minutes
Amarillo / Citra / Simcoe, 0.5 oz of each at flameout
Dry hops: YTD

THe FWH are estimated to contribute 28 IBU based on a 20 minute approximation (this is what I have read is the perceived IBU from FWH but I would love some confirmation on that)

THe remainder of the hops contribute 33 IBU for a total of 61 IBU (O.G. of 1.060)

[quote=“Steeler D”]

THe FWH are estimated to contribute 28 IBU based on a 20 minute approximation (this is what I have read is the perceived IBU from FWH but I would love some confirmation on that)

THe remainder of the hops contribute 33 IBU for a total of 61 IBU (O.G. of 1.060)[/quote]

It’s tough to “confirm” it because it’s subjective. I can tell you that after a few hundred batches of FWH beers, that what it seems like to me.

This board is so fantastic for practical advice, thanks in advance for any additional suggestions.

So I have two batches in primary utilizing the FWH. One an IPA like I decsribed above. It should total 64 IBU but after going through these posts I fear that I may need to suppliment the beer with additional 60 min. bitterness to get the desired effect. We shall see, but I am thinking of making a 0.5 gal supplimental volume at somewhere around 120-150 IBU to elevate the final 5.5 gal up an additional 10-12 IBU as needed. Although I would probably go more by taste than math on that.

The other is a cream ale with FWH only, to 22 IBU. I am looking forward to tasting this one, if for nothing else than the experiment of what FWH taste like on it’s own.

As always, curiosity is getting the better of me and I can’t wait to get these in the keg.

For those with experience in the FWH department, would you estimate that the hop flavor contribution is also similar to a standar 20 min addition of the same type/weight of hop?

To me it seems like a more “forward” hop flavor than a 20 min, addition.

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