Spent some time at the LHBS today, and they had Rauch malt, Briess Smoked Malt and Weyermans Peated Malt. Holy cow is there a difference between all of them - they're not even close to each other.
I've been working on a smoked porter that I wanted to dial in, so I wanted to see/smell/taste the difference between those three examples of smoked malt for the recipe.
The peated was like a punch in the face. Bold, almost like an ashtray/asphalt. I can see why 1-2% is the usual for it. The Briess smoked malt was smoked, but it was like a rack of ribs for lack of better discription. You knew it was smoked, but it wasn't a slap in the face. The Rauch malt was amazing, but very subtle in it's smoke. Almost like a jerky/smoked sausage - it was there but it just smelled/tasted more refined than a generic smoked malt.
In terms of smoke strenght - Peated, then Standard, then Rauch.
In terms of smoke "flavor" - Rauch, then standard, then peated (which was very bitter/medicinal to me)
If I was looking for a minor punch in of smoke, definatelty the standard. If designing it into a recipe straight up, either Rauch or smoke my own. After trying it, I'm not sure where I'd even think about using peated. Just wasn't my cup of tea...
Kegged: Tangerine Saison, Liberty Cream Ale, Tumbleweed American Brown
On Deck: All Brews Subject to Change With No Reason - loving small batch brewing AND Kegging!