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IBUs for First Wort Hop

None of the brewing programs seem to calculate the hop utilization for a FWH.

I’ve read that you can calculate it as a 20 minute addition. Is that accurate?

Further - what are the advantages again of doing a FWH?

There is a pretty good thread going in the All Grain section. Techniques, benefits and outside references of FWH’ing are discussed.



I have always heard that a FWH should be treated as a 20-minute addition in terms of IBUs. This doesn’t seem right if you realize that the hops are in the boil from the beginning but this is how many, many homebrewers treat a FWH so that’s what I go by. The reason to do a FWH is to get some decent bitterness in a beer without any kind of coarse or harsh side effects. You are supposed to get “smooth” bitterness from a FWH addition so by definition there may only be certain styles where it makes sense to do one… softer or more finesse styles. I think homebrewers are finding that adding hops to wort at various temperatures produces very different results. FWHing is supposed to create smooth bitterness, adding hops to a raging, boiling brewpot at the 60-minute mark is a bittering charge that most of us are used to and adding hops at flameout is supposed to give some nice flavor and aroma. On another board, we were discussing a “whirlpool” addition where you cut the heat, start to chill but stop around 175°, add hops and stir for 10-15 minutes (no chilling during this time) and then continue your chill all the way down to pitching temps and then continue. This is supposed to give a very nice late-hop flavor and aroma that is very different than a 5-minute, 2-minute, 1-minute or flameout addition. Sometimes you just don’t know until you try it.

Thanks for the input. Kinda reassured what I had been reading around the interwebs.

Perhaps the FWH is treated as a 20 min addition because many of the bittering oils are dissolved beyond use before it gets to a full on boil. Maybe someone more educated than me knows the answer!

I’ve done some testing on this. The results are here starting on pg. 29 … nyConn.pdf, but the bottom line is this…IBU from FWH measure about 10% more than an equal amount at 60 min. but tastes more like a 20 min. addition. Since I taste my beer,not measure it, I consider FWH the same as a 20 min. addition.

Thanks, Denny.

I’m working on a recipe right now with some lefthover hops.

1oz Citra
2oz Nugget
1oz Magnum

I was thinking of a FWH on the Nugget, but then I read in the other thread linked here that you had “OK” results with Nuggeet as FWH.

So I’m leaning towards doing the Citra as FWH and picking up another ounce of Citra for a Flameout. Then doing Magnum at 60 and Nugget at 20 and 10.

Any suggestions?

I’m not a huge fan of Nugget for anything but bittering, but that’s just my tastes. You should find out for yourself.

That’s what I keep reading a lot about. Dammit for having leftover hops that don’t play like I want them to!

Maybe I’ll drop the magnum and move Nugget to 60.

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