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FWH in a Pilsner - does 20 min hold true for a 90 min boil?

Brewing Jamil’s Pilsner Ale for the second time, but using some good homegrown Sterlings. I want to smooth out the bitterness by decreasing the 60 min hops and adding a FWH addition. So my question is - how does FWH work in a 90 min boil? Can I still calculate it based on a 20 min addition?

Here’s my recipe:

10 lb Pilsner malt
0.5 lb Carapils

1 oz Sterling, FWH
0.5 oz Sterling, 60 min
1.5 oz Sterling, 15 min
2.0 oz Sterling, 0 min

US05, pitched around 55 degrees, fermented in the upper 50’s.

The last time I brewed this recipe, I used a different hop schedule (1.5 oz Sterling @ 60, 20, and 10 min) and it was good but too bitter for a Pilsner. So I moved 1 oz of the 60 min hops to a FWH addition, and also increased the late hops and moved them closer to the end of the boil. I love the clean herbal flavor and aroma of Sterling hops - they might be my favorite of the varieties I grow. Today is my birthday, so this is my birthday batch (although I won’t brew until Monday, most likely).

My main concern here is avoiding an overly bitter beer but still getting lots of clean hop character. Let me know what you think. I’m posting this in general as well as hops, hoping to get some good feedback. Thanks!


Great question and I’ve never seen it before. I have to admit that I typically do 60-65 minute boils but I do quite a few FWH’d beers. My guess is that by the time the hops have been added to the first runnings and gone through 60 minutes of boil, the additional 30 minute of boil time probably wouldn’t amount to much. Maybe consider it a 30-minute addition instead of a 20? Just thinking out loud. Let us know what you do and how it comes out. I like the idea of Sterlings in a pilsner. I also just read a thread about Saphir hops in a pilsner and I like that sound of that too. Cheers.

As I said in another post, I don’t think 20 min,. is a hard and fast rule. Actually, it’s more of a percentage of boil time. I keep my FWH utilization in Promash set to -65. That means that I perceive the FWH as being added 2/3 of the way through the boil. For a 60 min. boil, that works out to 20 min. In a 90 min. boil, it’s 30 min. But it’s all a WAG.

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