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First wort hopping questions

Who sees a benefit to FWH ? What’s your process with BIAB and do you use a bittering hop or flavor hop? Also do you do both FWH and 60 or drop the 60 to say a 45

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I have been doing it since before there was a name for it. It was just easy. As soon as there was enough wort in the kettle I would hang a muslin bag with the bittering hops by a string. All the other additions with the same method. When done I just let the bags drain a little, pull them out and toss them. Still do whatever the prescribed boil time is.

I first wort hop the Plinian Legacy. Still do a 90 minute bittering addition, 45 minute flavor hops. Vinnie Cilurzo is quoted as saying he believes it gives depth of bitterness and flavor, not available by other means. A difficult to quantitate characteristic.
Of course now the flameout and whirlpool is where all the buzz is.
But Pliny is a definite beer of the early 2000’s, super bitter west coaster.

All my IPAs get FWH and some other styles as well. My FWH is flavor/aroma hops and I also use a 60 min bittering addition.

I BIAB with a sparge so as soon as I pull the bag I drop in my FWH then begin my sparge.


My sparge usually takes about 10 minutes. Sometimes I’ll start the burner when I begin the sparge. If I want longer contact for the FWH I’ll wait until I’m done or even lit it sit for 10 mins more after the sparge before bringing to boil.

I FWH a couple of ours, especially the neipa I think it takes the edge off the bitter. I don’t BIAB so I just run the first runnings into the brew kettle with the hops in the bottom.

Mine is kinda hard to do this… I have a basket and as its hanging above the top of the wort, well, the basket is in the way… When I pull in out of the way, the temp is around 190… I do, full volume BIAB in one kettle… I do use another basket, about the size of a 5 gallon bucket, for hop additions… Soon as I can I do put in the bittering charge… Now its been a while since I bittered at full boil so I can’t compare…
I see brulosophy just posted an exbeerment about FO and WPH hops… I was really getting the big OMG factor when I saw the brewery abbreviation of the place the seminar was held… I swear it was at Loopies… turned out wrong… Damn… Thought Loopie was now rubbing elbows really smart guys in the small, craft brewing world…

The question is is there a benefit to having the FWH contact with the wort longer preboil. Or as @sneezles61 is doing just for the couple minutes to get up to boil. Again scale plays a role. A Brewery draining a tun the hops would be in that preboil state much longer. Does anyone do a FWH rest. By the way I already thought @loopie_beer was hob nobbing with smart people

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My FWH “rests” while I sparge which I think is the intent of FWH to begin with. Sometimes I’ll give it a longer rest before I start up the burner for the boil. As a matter of fact when I’m FWH-ing is the only time I DON’T start the burner as soon as I pull the bag.

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So then the jury is out… not sure what, if anything the FWH’ing does… I’d like to have a solid day to do an X-beer-ment… Since I do 10 gallons… I could drain off half the batch, FWH as it sits and the remaining half hop a boil time…I’d be able to put them in the same freez-menter and that would be good enuff fer me for testing… Sneezles61

I concur,
Its easier than throwing hops in at 60 and watching/waiting for it to want to boil over.
I have read that first wort hopping creates a more smooth bitterness.
I just do it as normal process these days.

FWH is an alternative to 60 min hop addition so no, don’t do both.

I have been hob bobbing with the smart people. I’ve been here!

Many of my recipes call for a FWH addition. Although it’s subjective, I find I really like it in many beers. I have no emperical data; just my perception and it seems to work. It’s easy too so why not continue.

I fly sparge so they rest about 1hr. A sparge is a sparge so if your doing 5gal, 10gal, 1bbl or 10bbl it should take right around an hour.

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I thought a larger batch would take longer

Disagree with that premise. IMO first wort hops are more similar to flavor/aroma hops with regard to their perceived presence in the beer. I always do a 60 minute bittering addition as well. My understanding has always been that the bittering oils will be slightly neutralized during the FWH process and will not have the same bittering affect once the wort comes to boil.

I agree there is a difference. I believe the German breweries have been using the technique for ages

So according to this article you would use your aroma or late addition hops for the FWH not your bittering hops. Not a technique used in IPA more for lagers or lightly hopped beers. I’ll tweak my prepro lager recipe

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Yep. I FWH my pilsner with Saaz which is my late addition as well. I bitter it with Magnum. It usually ends up right at or just above the BJCP IBU limit for the style but doesn’t come across as excessively bitter.

Most of my recipes get FWH. I add them to the kettle as I begin my sparge, which is usually a 45 minute process. Beersmith has a setting for it, and it usually adds a couple IBU, however, I perceive it as a less harsh bitterness.

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I use that setting in BS for my FWH. The time is kind of confusing to me though. Since I leave the FWH hops in the kettle I set it for 60. The bitterness contribution changes depending on that time input. In your case the FWH hops would actually have a contact time of 105 minutes.

Yep, in contact with the wort that long, but we don’t get isomerization until it reaches 175° though.

Edit to add: And once at 175°, the contribution to bitterness is less effecient because the wort still isn’t fully diluted. At least in my case anyway. I really haven’t put much thought into it, and I’m not really well versed on the chemistry side of it, so I’m sure there’s many factors at play with FWH vs. waiting until full volume and starting a 60 min bittering addition.

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