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redkj 12-03-2012 03:34 AM

Dark SMaSH
Anybody ever try to do a stout or porter smash? I realize that the darker malts we usually use in addition to base malts would have no diastatic power after the roasting process, but the idea occurred to me when I started pondering using a darker (as far as base malts are concerned) base malt in larger quantities. I thought I read somewhere that Dingeman's Aromatic malt can be used for 100% of the grain bill, but would have trouble if there were any adjuncts. The adjunct situation is, of course, not an issue in a SMaSH. Another thought was brown malt, which is of course what porters were originally brewed with (and if I remember correctly, were brewed more frequently than lighter beers). Though I don't think my LBS has brown malt, but I'll have to double check next time I'm over there.
Anyone have any other ideas? Anybody think it can't be done at all?

The_Doctor 12-03-2012 05:42 AM

With the malts today, the darkest SMaSH that's likely to be successful is with a dark Munich Malt. My personal theory on the original Brown Malt is that it was kilned unevenly, meaning some of the grains were quite roasted while others weren't and that would lead to a "premixed" grain bill with diastatic power. Now todays Brown Malt is kilned higher and formulated to give the taste of 100% Old Brown Malt with just a small portion of the new. So, to get something dark with one malt will be next to impossible, an alternate suggestion would be to use a relatively bland base malt (Briess 2/6-row) and hit it with a larger than normal dose of your dark malt. The dark malt will completely mask any flavor of the base malt and leave you with a beer that still respects the SMaSH principles. Also, you might what to read the 'Brewing on the Ones' article in one of the recent Zymurgy issues (forget which).

Ĝlbart 12-03-2012 07:21 PM

I remember an old thread about Aromatic SMaSHes:

It's definitely possible.

eulipion2 12-05-2012 12:25 AM

Munich SMaSH is kinda dark, but for stout/porter colors, you could do a SMaSH Scottish Ale (Simpson's Golden Promise), reduce your first gallon of runnings down to a dark syrup and add back into the boil.

redkj 12-05-2012 02:53 PM

Wow! Now that's an idea that hadn't crossed my mind yet. The only time that I've really reduced any runnings was the time I fell asleep during the boil of a sour mashed berlinner weiss only to be woken up by 3 smoke alarms...Needless to say the charred sour wort was not good...very very bad. I assume that be reducing a small portion of the wort (and only to a syrup rather than a crisp) would result in very different flavors than I experienced. These would probably be more caramel type flavors those, right? Rather than the roastiness of dark malts.
I haven't used GP before. Is there a specific reason that you suggested it over another base malt, eulipion?

eulipion2 12-05-2012 03:57 PM

No, you'd definitely get more caramel notes, MAYBE a touch of smokiness. I chose Golden Promise mostly for authenticity. Maris Otter or some other British 2-row would probably be okay.

Unfortunately a SMaSH stout or porter is pretty much impossible. I guess you could cheat and roast some of your base malt, but I think that's cheating, and some wouldn't consider it a genuine SMaSH, and you probably wouldn't get all the right flavors.

Brewday365 12-05-2012 04:16 PM

Why not do a SMASH with darker malts using powdered amylase? Wouldn't that theoretically convert the starch? And in the process, it would give an unusual straight look/taste of the darker malts. I am guessing one gallon batches for the really dark malts might be advisable.

eulipion2 12-05-2012 05:16 PM

Theoretically yes, but I would think the intense temperatures of roasting would burn the sugars, making them unfermentable regardless of the enzyme (too broken down). If it worked, it would still be a bit one-dimensional. Special B or Extra Dark Crystal would probably offer the most depth.

Brewday365 12-05-2012 09:41 PM

Yeah, the actual ppg of each would be lower, but that's just a matter of using more. So it might take you twice as much to brew with a light chocolate malt versus 2-row. However, you would still get a fermentable wort.

tennesseean_87 12-06-2012 01:12 AM

What if you home toasted some malt and did a smash? You could do a few batches and see how dark you could get it without killing the enzymes, assuming you wouldn't kill the enzymes anyway.

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