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Old 01-09-2013, 01:12 PM   #1
ajbram
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Default Rauchbier - how have I gone this long without knowing about this stuff?

While looking for something different to try making for the holidays, I stumbled across Rauchbiers. I must admit, I had my doubts, and I wasn't 100% sold on any of the recipes I saw, so I created one that capitalized on a couple things - Maple sugar season in Eastern Ontario, and a friend who had recently cut down a cherry tree in his back yard. We smoked a couple pounds of malt over a very slow cherrywood fire, added some dark, unrefined maple syrup to the boil, and primed with the same syrup. By Xmas, it was tasty, and as of last night, it was absolutely delicious. It's 5.7%ABV. The smoke is subtle, but definitely there. There is also a nice rich maple note (not sweet though), and some distinct cherrywood to the finish. It's super smooth and easy to drink. A picture is below in case you were wondering what it looks like (photo doesn't do justice to the clarity). How the hell did I miss out on this for so many years?

rauchbier.jpg  
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:19 PM   #2
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The major commercial example from Germany is quite heavy handed with the smoke flavor. A lot of times people associate it with bacon flavor. I happen to like it in limited quantities. Your rauchbier sounds like it has more finesse which I think would turn more people on to rauchbier. Good job, wish I could try some!

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:08 PM   #3
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I too will admit to being a rouch fan. I like mine lacking of any in your face smoke flavor so always use rouch rather than peat smoked. Yours sounds great. I have never smoked my own malt but you have given me inspiration to try it. Now that you have found the true joy of rouch you will need to start working on the roggens. I enjoy them even more than the rouch but find that they remind me of the smoky germans. They are a little more challanging to brew if you use a lot of rye malt because it gets stuck in the sparge so easy. I use a great deal of rye in mine. Don't confuse them with rye PA's.

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:23 PM   #4
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Wow, now I feel a little silly. I have never heard of Rauchbier until your post, but upon reading the Wikipedia page, I realized I've actually already had some! I recognize the bottle pictured on the Wikipedia page - that's the exact beer I drank. But I thought it was just a regular Marzen when I bought it. I remember being overwhelmed by the unexpected smoky flavour. It was good, but I didn't realize it was a whole category of beer - I thought this particular brewery just made a smoky Marzen. You've enlightened me!

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:58 PM   #5
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I'm with most of you guys in liking a much more subtle smoke flavor.
The local British Beer Company put Jack's Abby "Smoke and Dagger" on a Nitro tap. It's absolutely fantastic. Not really a session beer, but damn is it good.

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Old 01-09-2013, 06:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erroneous View Post
The major commercial example from Germany is quite heavy handed with the smoke flavor. A lot of times people associate it with bacon flavor. I happen to like it in limited quantities. Your rauchbier sounds like it has more finesse which I think would turn more people on to rauchbier. Good job, wish I could try some!
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrickyMike View Post
I'm with most of you guys in liking a much more subtle smoke flavor.
The local British Beer Company put Jack's Abby "Smoke and Dagger" on a Nitro tap. It's absolutely fantastic. Not really a session beer, but damn is it good.
Thanks for the compliments guys. I was going for something a little more subtle that what I had read in the forums and elsewhere. I didn't like the sounds of "bacon-y" beer, and that's how a lot of people had described their impression of rauchbier. I was going for something that wasn't like a bonfire in my mouth. I was reminiscing about the maple syrup that my friend's dad makes for us every winter and how it has just a hint of hardwood smoke complexity... that and how a whiff of fruitwood smoke on a cold day just screams Canadian winter to me... I thought this would make a great winter brew and it has surpassed my expectations. I highly recommend smoking your own grains as I feel it gives you a bit more control over the balance between smokiness, roastiness, and OG. I'll work on getting the recipe up!

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Old 01-09-2013, 06:34 PM   #7
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I got a smoker for Christmas and I'm definitely planning on smoking some malt to make a Rauchbier or a smoked porter.

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Old 01-10-2013, 12:13 AM   #8
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Your beer sounds really good. Your description of it doesn't sound like a more typical Rauch though, they tend to be very smoke-heavy.

I have a smoker also, I should try the same subtle smoking of my own malt. Please post the recipe!

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Old 01-10-2013, 01:03 AM   #9
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Despite years of enjoying different beers I've just recently discovered Rauchbier and find it wonderful. Perfect for a one or two brew night.

Being a very new brewer I instantly thought how to go about brewing one and did a tick of research. I'm certainly not ready for that yet but
you sir may be getting an I.M. from me in a year or so for insight. Look forward to hearing about any other attempts you make as this one
sounds delicious.

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Old 01-10-2013, 01:12 AM   #10
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Careful they can be addictive. the classic example Aecht Schlenkerla is just awesome in its glorious smoky poetry. My regular oktoberfest beer now is a rauch-bock ( Think Smoky Malty delicousness) that I start in March every year. Most of those that I share with are usually put off by the smoky flavor but those that like it LOVE IT!!! Alot of times those that are put off at first.....will do one of these" Wait a minute let me try that again..."

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