Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Fwh?

Hi
in reading the provided instructions for a west coast imperial IPA, they indicate this step
While the grain is steeping, add 1 oz Summit
pellet hops (FWH).

question is, what does FWH stand for?

I know someone will answer and I will be like DUH :oops:

thanks in advance :cheers:

FWH = First Wort Hopping. It’s an old technique that everyone claims will provide a “smoother” bitterness, with no science to back it up. Many recent experiments have shown that it’s really not any different from just throwing the hops in at the beginning of the boil, and in fact can actually increase the bitterness very very slightly due to the prolonged contact time.

In other words, you’ll get almost exactly the same results if you just boil the hops like a regular boil addition, or should I say, you most likely will not be able to tell any difference.

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]FWH = First Wort Hopping. It’s an old technique that everyone claims will provide a “smoother” bitterness, with no science to back it up. Many recent experiments have shown that it’s really not any different from just throwing the hops in at the beginning of the boil, and in fact can actually increase the bitterness very very slightly due to the prolonged contact time.

In other words, you’ll get almost exactly the same results if you just boil the hops like a regular boil addition, or should I say, you most likely will not be able to tell any difference.[/quote]
Yes and no. If you run an assay on the wort and test for bitterness level using any of the standard laboratory methods, Dave is exactly right and the hops will provide the same level of bitterness that you would expect from a long boil. But if you look at results of blind tastings, you get a different story, and there is a perception of reduced bitterness when using FWHs. Which suggests that the standard lab tests that are used for determining bitterness are not exactly in line with how people’s perception of bitterness comes out in beer. Which isn’t really that much of a surprise when you consider how sensitive human senses are, while the lab tests are simply looking for the concentration of one particular molecule that someone at some point found correlates with bitterness in the samples they were analyzing.

My personal theory (which I have no evidence to support) is that there are multiple compounds that contribute to the perception of bitterness, and which exist in roughly set proportions in the hops, but some of these can bind to the proteins that exist in wort before the hot break forms. Thus, when using FWH you get less of these compounds in the finished beer, but the one that is typically used for a marker with the lab tests is not reduced.

Some experiments are finding no difference, or that FWH actually increases the harshness slightly.

http://traffic.libsyn.com/basicbrewing/ ... ingexp.mp3 https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/ ... ic=21658.0 http://www.homebrewchatter.com/board/ar ... -5850.html http://rowdybeercrew.com/2013/03/hop-bi ... xperiment/

A real problem I have with all this FWH stuff is that most of the information spread around on the internet references just two experiments: One from Germany for pilsner done in the 1860s, and the other done by Denny Conn. Seriously… why do people proclaim the results from two experiments as gospel, and not run their own experiments?! There are other experiments out there with different results, but those stories never get told.

No, I haven’t run my own experiment yet. But I will… oh yes, I will… Could I be wrong? Could there be this really awesome difference between the two methods? Perhaps. And would I have a eureka moment and change my tune if this were to occur? Yes, yes I would.

Until then, I’m not convinced, I guess. There are differing results out there. The Basic Brewing experiment was run just last year. But nobody talks about that one.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com