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Fwh iipa

I brewed a IIPA yesterday and decided to bitter only with FWH. I’ve had boil overs before with FWH where I thought I ruined the beer (since so many hops left the kettle). So yesterday, we decided to skim off the hops at the boil to avoid the vegetal taste from so much hops.

We didn’t add any more hops until flameout (Centennial, Simcoe, Amarillo, and Columbus).

Well, I’m curious to hear how that beer turns out, but frankly, I’m also pretty disinclined to think that you could possibly get all the bitterness you need for a double IPA without actually boiling any hops for bittering. The FWH method is really only for hop aroma, not for bittering. Without actually boiling the hops, you’re not isomerizing the alpha acids in the hops, and that means that their bitterness cannot really get imparted into the wort. So whatever hops you used for finishing, you’d better have used a heck of a lot of them, because whatever bitterness they may have imparted is all you’re going to get in the beer.

[quote=“Meerts”]I brewed a IIPA yesterday and decided to bitter only with FWH. I’ve had boil overs before with FWH where I thought I ruined the beer (since so many hops left the kettle). So yesterday, we decided to skim off the hops at the boil to avoid the vegetal taste from so much hops.

We didn’t add any more hops until flameout (Centennial, Simcoe, Amarillo, and Columbus).[/quote]

I don’t know what your tastes are like, but I hope you don’t expect much bitterness from the beer. FWH are intended to remain in the kettle. In addition, using FWH as bittering results in a wimpy IPA IMO. Taking them out of the kettle without boiling them will reduce the bitterness even further.

IMO, FWH gives you hop flavor but no aroma at all.

I got distracted on my initial post and didn’t finish my explanation that I’ve had boil overs that spilled out almost all my FWH and the beer still had good bitterness. (NB’s reverse burst alt was one where that’s the only hops in the beer). That’s what I’m basing this on and figured I’d post about it so others would benefit from it. I appreciate the predictions and will update this when I keg it.

I’m willing to bet you lost less hops to that boil over than you think.

I’m willing to bet you lost less hops to that boil over than you think.[/quote]

Could be. I wondered about that too but that’s why I only skimmed rather than, say, strained the wort.

IMO, FWH gives you hop flavor but no aroma at all.[/quote]
Well, it’ll give you something, but no bitterness, that’s for sure.

I get some bitterness from it. It’s even measurable. But it’s a different amount and quality of bitterness than you get from a 60 min. addition.

I get some bitterness from it. It’s even measurable. But it’s a different amount and quality of bitterness than you get from a 60 min. addition.[/quote]
Really? I thought hops had to be boiled to isomerize their alpha acids and infuse their bitterness into wort. This is news to me, not that I’m challenging you to a debate on the issue. I’m curious to know what equation you would use to calculate the IBU contribution of FW hops.

I get some bitterness from it. It’s even measurable. But it’s a different amount and quality of bitterness than you get from a 60 min. addition.[/quote]
Really? I thought hops had to be boiled to isomerize their alpha acids and infuse their bitterness into wort. This is news to me, not that I’m challenging you to a debate on the issue. I’m curious to know what equation you would use to calculate the IBU contribution of FW hops.[/quote]

I consider it the same amount of bitterness as a 20 min, addition. When I did a FWH only beer and had the IBU measured, it measures more than that. But since I’m more interested in drinking the beer than measuring it, I count it as what it tastes like to me. BTW, the FWH only beer actually measured about 10% more IBU than a 60 min. only beer with the same amount of the same hops. But it didn’t taste as bitter.

I get some bitterness from it. It’s even measurable. But it’s a different amount and quality of bitterness than you get from a 60 min. addition.[/quote]
Really? I thought hops had to be boiled to isomerize their alpha acids and infuse their bitterness into wort. This is news to me, not that I’m challenging you to a debate on the issue. I’m curious to know what equation you would use to calculate the IBU contribution of FW hops.[/quote]

The oils in the hops are what imparts the bitterness. A good amount of those oils are stripped from the hops the minute they hit the liquid. Those oils would still remain in the wort for the entire boil and lend themselves to bittering. The amount of oils that would have been stripped I think is the big variable here.

Technicality, but you mean resins, not oils. Oils have flavor and aroma, resins have bitter acids.

Technicality, but you mean resins, not oils. Oils have flavor and aroma, resins have bitter acids.[/quote]

Yep, my bad. I need to stop using those interchangeably.

[quote=“deliusism1”]Well, it’ll give you something, but no bitterness, that’s for sure.[/quote]Next time you’re using FWH, take a taste of the wort just before it’s boiling - might surprise you how much bitterness is extracted from the very hot steep.

This is all very interesting, but I can’t help questioning why brewers have been conducting 60-minute boils forever if it’s so easy to get solid hop character with no boiling at all. Just what kind of quantities of hops are you guys using to get so much hop character with the FWH technique?

[quote=“mattnaik”][quote=“deliusism1”]
Really? I thought hops had to be boiled to isomerize their alpha acids and infuse their bitterness into wort. This is news to me, not that I’m challenging you to a debate on the issue. I’m curious to know what equation you would use to calculate the IBU contribution of FW hops.[/quote]

The oils in the hops are what imparts the bitterness. A good amount of those oils are stripped from the hops the minute they hit the liquid. Those oils would still remain in the wort for the entire boil and lend themselves to bittering. The amount of oils that would have been stripped I think is the big variable here.[/quote]

That’s what I’m banking on or I wouldn’t have tried it. The theory is this might be a way to get the bitterness without having the vegetal effects that can be imparted.

Worst case, I also get to experiment with trying to bitter after fermentation but hopefully that won’t be the case.

I still did a 60 minute boil. FWH doesn’t mean instead of the boil although it would be interesting to experiment with boil lengths to see what affect they have.

I used 2 oz Simcoe, 2 oz Amarillo, and 2 oz Centennial in a 10 gallon batch.

I still did a 60 minute boil. FWH doesn’t mean instead of the boil although it would be interesting to experiment with boil lengths to see what affect they have.

I used 2 oz Simcoe, 2 oz Amarillo, and 2 oz Centennial in a 10 gallon batch.[/quote]
Yes, I’m sure you still did a standard 60-minute boil. I’ve used the FWH method myself numerous times. My point is that if it’s so easy to get solid hop character and a reasonable amount of bitterness without boiling the hops, why would it even be necessary to boil the wort at all? Why couldn’t you just increase the grain bill and decrease the amount of sparge water you use to arrive at the desired OG, and just run the wort through a hop back and straight into the fermenter, or whatever vessel you’re going to cool the wort in? Maybe I’m an idiot and I’m missing something essential here, but the whole process of boiling the wort just seems like a big waste of time to me if it’s not even necessary to boil hops to get the bitterness you need out of them. I’m wide open to any sort of input on this issue.

[quote=“deliusism1”]My point is that if it’s so easy to get solid hop character and a reasonable amount of bitterness without boiling the hops, why would it even be necessary to boil the wort at all?[/quote]I wouldn’t say that you get “solid” hop character out of the pre-boil part of FWH, just that you will get noticeable bitterness. Denny and I have both stated numerous times that FWHing will not produce the bracing hop bitterness that we look for in an IPA or IIPA and this is based on lots of experience with the method. An APA with FWH and late additions only works really well, though.

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