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Old 05-23-2013, 01:18 AM   #1
Frikkieman
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Default Smoking Malt (Results and Ideas)

Good day everyone. I've recently started smoking meat and thought to myself, why cant I smoke my own malt then (thinking cherry wood). I've been playing with the idea of smoking my own malt as commercially smoked malt is quite expensive and I do like my beers extra SMOKEY, so I do use a lot of it

There is a thread on smoking malt ( http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f85/smoking-malts-139198/ ) but it appears to be quite old and dead :/ SO, I thought I'd start a NEW thread on home smoking malt. I would like to get some ideas from everyone and anyone who has done it, or even want to do it: What methods do you use; Did the beers come out good/bad; What type of woods yielded the best results; How much malt did you use? I'v heard of Beechwood smoked malt (the one I used) and Cherry wood smoked malt, which apparently is really nice.

The reason I ask how much malt because I've read a few places home smoked malt is a lot more intense than commercially smoked malts but I do generally prefer a lot of smokiness. The original post I mentioned above soaked the malt before use. I've also read other places of people dry smoke. So, I would appreciate any feedback, knowledge, results and pictures of your smoking experience if you have them. Look forward to the discussion

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Old 05-23-2013, 06:40 AM   #2
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I smoke a lot of my grains. I like alder and apple woods best. The most important thing is to use bottled water never use tap water. I don't care what kind of filter you have. Put the grain in a container pour some water in and shake it up good then drain off the excess. Wet grain absorbs the smoke flavor better. Then put it in a screen basket make sure you use a metal screen. I usually make it about 1" deep. cool smoke a couple hours. Then put it in a big flat pan put it in the oven @200 for an hour. I use around 2# per 5 gal. batch. Cherry is pretty mild so you might need more. Ray Daniels has a really good book on smoked beers.

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Old 05-23-2013, 01:15 PM   #3
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Why do you put it in the oven at 200F? To make sure you've dried it out?

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Old 05-23-2013, 05:43 PM   #4
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Ah ok, I was also thinking of going for hickory. I know it has a very rich and strong smokey flavour profile. I'll give alder a try, but its quite difficult to get where I am.

This article I found seems quite insightfull. It has a couple of brewers talking about how they smoke their malt.

http://byo.com/pilsner/item/306-brew...-from-the-pros

They also agree with using non-chlorinated pure water to moisten the malt before smoking. They say they spray/moisten the grains lightly, perhaps as opposed to soaking them, but whatever works right. They then dry them in oven on low setting. greyghost, how was the apple wood, I have some of that lying around. What kind of profile does it give?

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Old 05-23-2013, 05:56 PM   #5
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my only comment is less is more. Its really easy to overdo it with regard to the amount of smoke and the amount you mash. Its kind of like scotch, if you like a really peaty scotch well then you will probably need more but if you just want a hint then a little goes a long way. If its over powering you lose 5 gal of beer, if there is just a hint and you want more, then add another 0.5 lb next time etc.

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Old 05-23-2013, 06:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frikkieman
Ah ok, I was also thinking of going for hickory.
I used hickory on my first Rauchbier and I really liked it. It wasn't subtle at all so it helps if you really enjoy smoke flavor.

I have a cold smoke generator and depending on the style I have been known to smoke anywhere from a couple pounds to the entire grain bill. There are also some good commercial smoked malts like the Rauchmalt from Weyermann and the cherry wood smoked malt from Briess. Briess' is smooth but pretty intensely smokey...much more intense than I've been able to achieve with my home-smoked malt.
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:57 PM   #7
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I have used the Weyermann Beechwod smoked malt before. The malt smelt smokey, not very strong but was stronger in final product. I brewed this recipe.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f77/loon...-winner-90531/

It called for 5lb smoked malt per 5 Gal, batch. At the suggestion of other posters, I used 5.5lb and made double batch, so 11lb total. It was an extremely tasty beer. Very smokey, everyone loved it and everyone called it the bacon beer, which is just fine by me. Bacon flavoured beer, whats not to like. microbusbrewery, I see on your site, you have 2 recipes for smoked beer (Rauchbier) and they are both lighter colored beers. The one I did was a smoked porter. Have you made any darker smoked beers? I assume the smokiness is a lot more present in beer made with the lighter malts. Also, how was the hickory vs the Briess cherry wood. You said Briess was a lot stronger but how did the flavour differ?

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Old 05-23-2013, 10:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by microbusbrewery View Post
Why do you put it in the oven at 200F? To make sure you've dried it out?
There are 2 reasons. First to dry it out secondly to remove the acetic acid (vinegar) that comes from wood pyrolysis. Using the wet method gives a more intense smoke flavor not as much grain needed.

I have found apple to have a sweeter smoke flavor. I have found hickory to have more bitterness.
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frikkieman View Post
microbusbrewery, I see on your site, you have 2 recipes for smoked beer (Rauchbier) and they are both lighter colored beers. The one I did was a smoked porter. Have you made any darker smoked beers? I assume the smokiness is a lot more present in beer made with the lighter malts. Also, how was the hickory vs the Briess cherry wood. You said Briess was a lot stronger but how did the flavour differ?
I thought the hickory seemed to contribute to the bacon flavor.

I did a smoked porter last year. It was a great beer but a little lighter on the smoke character than I prefer. On the other hand, it just about right for people that want a more balanced smoke character.

Generally speaking I think you're right, the higher the percentage of lighter grains in the recipe, the more noticeable the smoke character will be.

Re Briess' cherry smoked malt, it's really smooth but it's strong. On my last Rauchbier I used about 16% cherry smoked malt and it is very smokey. It's not harsh like peat-smoked malt, but a little goes a long way. I wouldn't recommend using more than 10-15% the first time. There's a sweetness there too that I don't pick up from hickory or rauchmalt. I get the same thing when I use cherry and apple to smoke meat; I'd swear you get a sweetness from them that you don't get from hickory. If your LHBS carries it, try tasting a little bit of it.
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