First Wort Hopping Summary

First Wort Hopping Summary: “In the latter part of 1995, Dr. George Fix posted to the Home Brew Digest about a process he had recently come across described in the brewing literature. Since then much interest in the procedure has arisen. The process is called First Wort Hopping (FWH), and it refers to the practice of adding hops to the brew kettle, into which sparged runnings are collected, at the beginning of sparging. The idea is that the hops soak in the collecting wort (which usually runs out of the lauter tun at temperatures ranging from 60 to 70C depending on one’s setup) for the duration of the sparge, and the volatile hop constituents undergo very complicated reactions, producing a complexity of hop bitterness and aroma that is obtainable no other way.”

First Wort Hopping Insights

Preboil Hop Addition – BrewBoard: “Boiling wort is devoid of oxygen as gas solubility in liquids decreases with increasing temperature, but oxidation reactions of oils take place at higher temperatures, making the mash runoff an ideal place to oxidize hop oil compounds. This oxidation makes the compounds more stable, lowering their boiling point (less volatile) while also changing their flavor slightly. The exact reactions I’m sure are pretty complicated. The end result though, is usually damn tasty.”


Preboil Hop Addition – BrewBoard: “Just to add to this, fats, oils, lipids are usually completely hydrophobic molecules or like membrane lipids are amphipathic (have both a hydrophobic and hydrophilic group) The oxidation of these oils actually makes them soluble and thus adding to the long-term stability of these flavour compounds in beer.”

Hops Bittering Algorithms

Hops and bittering algorithms – rec.crafts.brewing | Google Groups: “First, IBUs are not mg of isomerized alpha acid/1 ml of beer. That’s a commonly-given definition (including in how to brew), but it’s not right. IBUs take a measurement of the acids in beer and run it through a formula designed to align with empirical bitterness data. That measurement includes not only isoalphas (humulone, cohumulone, adhumulone) but also oxidized beta acids (lupulone, colupulone, adlupulone).”

Rager, Garetz, and Tinseth Bitterness Formulas

Norm Pyle’s Hops FAQ: “An IBU is defined as 1 mg/l of iso-alpha-acid in a solution. By estimating IBUs rather than HBUs, the brewer can get a more accurate (though admittedly still rough) approximation of the bitterness imparted into the beer by the hops. It is independent of batch size so that a 5 gallon batch with 29 IBU’s has the same bitterness as a 50 barrel batch with 29 IBU’s. The equations are commonly quoted from Jackie Rager’s article in the “Zymurgy” Hops and Beer Special Edition published in 1990. Revised numbers and formulae have recently been presented by Glenn Tinseth and Mark Garetz, in separate works. Rager has been taken to task for not supplying enough background references, and not fully explaining how he got his numbers. In general, his utilization estimates are believed to be optimistic. Garetz has been accused of extrapolating scant laboratory information, and overgeneralizing because of it. His numbers have been labelled unrealistic on the pessimistic side. Tinseth has just presented a revised method and set of tables, and though they are thought to be quite accurate, they have not stood the test of time. The calculated numbers tend to fall in between Rager’s and Garetz’s. Note also that these are all estimates. Actual IBUs can be measured in a laboratory, but the average homebrewer has no access to such equipment. The Rager, Garetz, and Tinseth estimation methods follow.”

A. J. deLange on Predicting Beer Color from SRM

HOMEBREW Digest #3234 Fri 28 January 2000: “There are probably dozens of ways to do this but the following will give you a color that is very close to a real beer color – in fact it will give you something like the average color for a beer with a particular SRM based on the sample of about 65 beers I measured. Remember that SRM is a fair predictor of beer lightness/darkness but not a good predictor of beer color. I’ll give the formulas and then in brackets, […], the values for a beer of SRM 10.”

Pliny Then and Now

The July/August 2009 issue of Zymurgy has the results of this year’s reader’s best commercial beer in the United States. After being beat out for first place two years in a row by Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Vinnie Cilurzo took first place this year with his Russian River Pliny the Elder. The issue includes an article by Vinnie himself where he spends five pages telling you how to brew a double IPA. It includes an updated recipe. I found it especially interesting because I recently featured the recipe he gave out at the the 2005 National Homebrew Competition. It seems he has been tweaking the recipe and this may account for the change in the polls. The IBU values listed are Vinie’s measured values, not calculations.

Then Now
OG: 1.075 1.070
FG: 1.013 1.011
ADF: 81.8%
IBU: 95–100 90–95
SRM: 5.9 7
Fermentables Then Now
Two-Row Pale Malt (1.8 °L) 13.3 lbs. (5.897 kg) 11.0 lbs. (5.0 kg)
Crystal (45 °L) 0.32 lb. (145 g) 0.5 lb. (277 g)
Carapils Malt (2 °L) 0.94 lbs. (425 g) 0.5 lbs. (277 g)
Dextrose (0 °L) 1.1 lbs. (500 g) 0.4 lbs. (181 g)
Warrior 15.6% AA, 90 min. 2.75 oz. (78 g)
Chinook 12.2% AA, 90 min. 0.5 oz. (14 g)
Columbus 13.9% AA, 90 min. 3.5 oz. (99 g)
Simcoe 12% AA, 45 min. 1.0 oz. (28 g)
Columbus 13.9% AA, 45 min. 0.75 oz. (21 g)
Columbus 14.3% AA, 30 min. 1.0 oz. (28 g)
Simcoe 12.3% AA, 30 min. 1.0 oz. (28 g)
Centennial 9.1% AA, 0 min. 2.25 oz. (64 g)
Centennial 8.0% AA, 0 min. 1.0 oz. (28 g)
Simcoe 12% AA, 0 min. 1.0 oz. (28 g)
Simcoe 12.3% AA, 0 min. 1.0 oz. (28 g)
Columbus 14.3% AA, dry hop. 3.25 oz. (92 g)
Centennial 9.1% AA, dry hop. 1.75 oz. (50 g)
Simcoe 12% AA, dry hop. 1.75 oz. (50 g)
Columbus 13.9% AA, dry hop. (12 to 14 days total) 1.0 oz. (28 g)
Centennial 9.1% AA, dry hop. (12 to 14 days total) 1.0 oz. (28 g)
Simcoe 12.3% AA, dry hop. (12 to 14 days total) 1.0 oz. (28 g)
Columbus 13.9% AA, dry hop. (5 days to go in dry hop) 0.25 oz. (7 g)
Centennial 9.1% AA, dry hop. (5 days to go in dry hop) 0.25 oz. (7 g)
Simcoe 12.3% AA, dry hop. (5 days to go in dry hop) 0.25 oz. (7 g)
White Labs California Ale WLP001, Wyeast American Ale 1056