First Wort Hopping and BTP software

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First Wort Hopping and BTP software

Postby billvelek » Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:50 pm

I'm pretty sure I asked about this, or at least something very similar, a long time ago and never received a response from Jeff or Lathe, IIRC, but since I've been reading about 'First Wort Hopping' again today, I took another look at it re BTP. What prompted me was a post on the 'BrewBoard' forum (aka 'GreenBoard') which said: "While measurements show increased ibu levels over bittering hops, the 'perceived' bitterness level is more like what you would get from a 20 min. addition. Its taken me a long time to get the proper settings on ProMash for my system for FWH." I have therefore just asked for more info re whatever 'settings' ProMash might have so that we can discuss that here. But for now, I will post a few things to get started.

First, my suggestion is that whenever the 'stage' for a hop addition is changed to "First Wort (Kettle)", the boil time should just go blank and be disengaged; this is because there is no practical way for the user to change the boil time from the "Wort Boil Duration" value that is set in the upper panel -- at least not unless hop bags have been used and the hops are fished out of the boiling wort, which I'm sure that BTP need not provide as an option. In addition, something appears to be needed in the area of utilization; while BTP is no doubt correct in attempting (based on the utilization formula selected by the user) to calculate actual IBUs measured as mg-AA/liter-of-wort, I think that some sort of an accommodation must be made to indicate PERCEIVED bitterness whenever FWH is used.

IIRC, I seem to have read before that FWH boiled for ninety minutes have the PERCEIVED bitterness of about a 20-minute flavor addition with the same hops; whether that figure is accurate, it seems to me that there is some value that can be used as a constant by BTP (or maybe allow the user to set a constant value for FWH), and then whenever FWH is selected, BTP will use the constant instead of whatever utilization formula has been selected. For instance, Tinseth indicates 13.3 percent utilization at 20 minutes, so perhaps that could be used as the 'constant'. In order words, for each hop addition which sets FWH as the stage, the boil-time would go blank and BTP would merely assume 13.3% utilization for that hop. You might need to add the word "PERCEIVED" in front of 'Bitterness' in the 'Style' tab for the bottom panel in order to be completely accurate, but I think that this is really what brewers want to know rather than the actual mg of AA in a quantity of beer.

Cheers.

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Postby just-cj » Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:42 pm

I did an all-first-wort-hopped beer, and it had very mild bitterness. If I calculated for my usual 80-minute boil, the IBUs were something like 41 -- if I set that to 20 minutes, the calculated value was more like 24 IBUs. It tasted much more like 24 than 41 (maybe even lower than 24) -- so having the first wort hop being controlled by the brewer makes a lot of sense to me.
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FWH

Postby slothrob » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:46 am

I'm not sure what the question is, but I set BTP to calculate FWH as a 20' addition. I believe that is done in Promash by setting a utilization correction value of -65, which means that it has the equivalent utilization of an addition made 65% of the way through a 60' boil, which would be 20'.
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How can BTP be fixed so that FWH is set up correctly?

Postby billvelek » Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:33 am

I guess I was careless in not actually getting to my specific question, but I think it was originally something like: "How can BTP allow me to select less than the full boil duration for 'First Wort' hopping?" Now I would change that to essentially ask: "How can BTP be fixed so that FWH is set up correctly?"

While you and I and just-cj might realize that the "work around" for this is to set your minutes to a 20 minute boil even though those hops are in the kettle for the entire boil duration, which is typically more like 90 minutes, this is probably not common knowledge and is counter-intuitive, in my opinion. So a newbie using this product and trying FWH would most likely select "First Wort (Kettle)" as the 'stage', and then noting that the time is adjustable and that it hasn't defaulted to anything, the newbie is probably going to adjust the time to match the "Wort Boil Duration" ... which is going to be completely wrong. Well, maybe not "completely", because the milligrams of AA extracted might be correct, but as I said, the 'perceived' bitterness is more useful to us brewers than the exact amount of alpha acid -- which would probably only interest a chemist or government nutritionist. As it is right now, the choice of 'stage' for hops is nothing more than a 'label' for the ingredient list, whereas the other 'stages' actually work, i.e., the mash-hopping and dry-hopping choices disables the boil time and extraction features, and something similar (a default or adjustment) should occur when 'First Wort' is chosen. I'm not familiar with ProMash, but apparently that program is a bit more pro-active in its approach to First Wort Hopping. I just think that BTP would be a better program if it would do something like automatically using a default value for FWH.

Cheers.

Bill Velek
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FWH

Postby slothrob » Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:45 am

I do find the 20' setting for FWH on the Ingredient page a little treacherous, risking an accidental 20' addition if I'm not paying attention.

It would be nice if the addition time disappeared. Then, the setting could be moved to the Utilization pop-up, where a "time equivalent" could be chosen. I wouldn't be averse to the time defaulting to 20'. Personally, I think that a time equivalent is more intuitive than Promash's -65%.
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Postby just-cj » Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:41 am

I think my post was misunderstood -- I'm in full agreement with Bill. The default should be set to 20 minutes. However, it should also be adjustable so that brewers who don't agree with the 20 minute assessment can change it. 8)
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Yes, the FWH utilization should be user adjustable

Postby billvelek » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:08 pm

I agree that the FWH utilization should be user adjustable, as just-cj suggested, for a couple of reasons:
1. I'm not sure that everyone's palate is the same and that the 'perceived' bitterness in any given beer will be the same to everyone;
2. This could possibly be affected to some degree by such variables as the beer style and overall bitterness, and perhaps even by the particular variety of hops used (I haven't experimented with it enough).

Now, after giving this some more thought, if I am going to be able to adjust it to 20' for one particular recipe, and 18' ... or 24' ... etc., for other recipes, then the user setting ought to be stored for each individual recipe -- not only for future use of that recipe but also for purposes of transferring the recipe to other brewers. I also share slothrob's concern -- especially since I will often brew three different recipes in the same session -- that having the time displayed could cause me (especially after a couple of brews) to add that hop addition 20' before end of boil because I'd forgotten that it was a FWH which had already been added. So I agree that the time should blank out because it isn't needed during brewing, but the info (the user adjusted equivalent time) should be displayed somewhere such as perhaps under the 'Analysis' or 'Summary' tabs for the bottom panel.
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Postby jeff » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:08 am

Thanks for the thoughts on FWH. Please don't forget to mention feature requests under the feature requests forum otherwise they likely will be missed.

Thanks!
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FWH suggestion in feature requests has been made

Postby billvelek » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:47 am

jeff wrote:Thanks for the thoughts on FWH. Please don't forget to mention feature requests under the feature requests ...

Done! Thanks, Jeff.

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