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Old 06-10-2013, 04:48 AM   #1
ObsidianJester
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Default Amount suggestions for Briess Cherrywood Smoked Malt?

Tis possible that my google and forum searching missed something obvious but as the title states I'm trying to find personal experiences with the Briess Cherrywood Smoked Malt.

I've got the Smoked Beers book, read quite a lot and the basics of this question is I'm trying to make a Barley wine Recipe. The First problem is that this malt seems to be somewhat abnormal for smoked malts as far as what I've seen for smoked flavor being powerfully imparted. The second problem is I'm taking a big swing here and trying to make a barley wine recipe, the problem is not only in the economical cost and the time invested for the brewing itself is it can be some months before anything in that high of a gravity is drinkable though the primary (secondary) and months of bottle aging. I understand the principal that the smoked malts will mellow in time, but this one from what little seems to be out there seems to be a bit different than the traditional malts but not a whole lot of recent personal experience is out there on the internet. While I feel comfortable puttering about with recipes that have a month hang time (While of course I in the mean time experiment with other recipes..) A few months to find a failure is not the route I want to go if I Can pick the minds of those that have used this malt.
So how smoky is this for you all? I do understand that due to the fact I'm looking to brew something with a very high og that the amounts may have to be increased as it is destined to be an aged beer but having personal remarks about it would be appreciated.
I'm also willing to take considerations as to base malts, hops that have worked well for anyone that's done anything similar.

In short, what I've found is its a sweeter smoke apparently and a bit milder. Goes with everything. (like Bacon apparently..)
If anyone has aged it or can give a general percentage that they have used successfully I would appreciate it immensely.

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Old 06-10-2013, 02:20 PM   #2
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I've used it in Rauchbiers and it definitely contributes a lot of smoke flavor/aroma without being harsh like peat-smoked malt can be. I think it's one of those that you have to experimet with, but that's kind of tough since it's a barley wine and like you said, they take a while to mature. I would probably shoot for no more than 10% of your grain bill for noticeable smoke character, 15% if you really want it to stand out. Anything more than that and it'll be a smoke bomb. Here's a link to the datasheet from Briess, http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/Ass...SmokedMalt.pdf

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Old 06-10-2013, 02:20 PM   #3
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:46 PM   #4
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I've just kegged a Smokehouse Ale that used this exact malt (Briess Cherrywood Smoked Malt). Unfortunately, I've still got a good week until I'm willing to pull a pint to get an official taste. I've sampled my samples and so far I'm liking what I'm picking up, but things change so much from immature/green beer to the final product (and the samples were very small because I used a refract).

I used 1 lb cherrywood malt in an 10.75 lb batch (1.058 gravity; ~6%ABV) for a total of 9.3% of the grist. From a smoke perspective on those samples, I find the smoke level to be present but not overwhelming. In other words, you know this is a smoked beer but I don't feel like I'm drinking campfire. I tried to marry this malt with a strong malty backbone (MO and some munich) and spicy herbal noble hops, and my premature impression is that it might have worked.

I can only compare this beer with a couple other instances I've had smoked beers. I typically do not like smoked beer - which is why I had to make one myself - because the smoke becomes too much or not enough. Once example was a commercial rauchbier where I feel like I was drinking campfire from beginning to end; didn't go back for another. Another example was a commercial smoked porter where the first two sips were nice and gently smoky, and then it vanished (POOF!) - no more smoke, just porter till the end (i.e. not enough smoke).

I can also compare the tasting of this grain to other smoked malts - in the DRY form. I had a chance to sample several smoked malts at the same time (peat, rauch, oaked wheat, and cherry of course). I found the cherry to be most like the rauch but with a more moderate attitude and the fruitwood smoke flavor (think of the difference between mesquite, hickory, and applewood smoked ribs - fruitwood tend to give a softer, sweeter, rounder flavor that not as bold). The peat malt was obviously very scotch-like, and equally as bold as the rauch. While the oaked wheat was super subtle - SUPER subtle. If you have a lhbs nearby then get in there and taste some of the smoked grains to compare for yourself.

Hope this helps and I'll try to remember to post back after sampling a proper pint of my own creation

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Old 06-11-2013, 01:42 AM   #5
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Thank you guys for the insight. I agree that its got a milder smoke taste than other things I've tried. I love smoking meats and the like but don't like drinking something so powerful (Though I enjoyed Surly Smoke Lager, go figure)
I am figuring that a Pale Malt for a base with some Special Roast 50L from briess to give it a bit of a caramel flavor and possibly trying some New Zealand Pacific Jade hops or Summit or possibly Millennium in some combination for the hop profile. I may angle for a ten percent smoke grist based on the recommendations so far.

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Old 06-11-2013, 02:57 AM   #6
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I make a lot of smoked lagers, and I can assure you that 20% Briess smoked will be barely noticeable, which I learned from making a Helles with 20% Briess. Friends who tried it couldn't detect any smoke, nor could I. So I switched to Weyermann and typically use their smoked malt at >90% of grist. And it's a bit ironic, because the mash tun with 20% Briess smells very smokey but that smoke doesn't come thru in the beer. Whereas a 100% Weyermann grist doesn't actually smell very smokey, but the finished beer is glorious glorious smoke!

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Old 10-07-2013, 06:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedYellow View Post
I make a lot of smoked lagers, and I can assure you that 20% Briess smoked will be barely noticeable, which I learned from making a Helles with 20% Briess. Friends who tried it couldn't detect any smoke, nor could I. So I switched to Weyermann and typically use their smoked malt at >90% of grist. And it's a bit ironic, because the mash tun with 20% Briess smells very smokey but that smoke doesn't come thru in the beer. Whereas a 100% Weyermann grist doesn't actually smell very smokey, but the finished beer is glorious glorious smoke!
was your lagering process long allowing the smoke to subside?
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonPopeil
was your lagering process long allowing the smoke to subside?
Yes, definitely. I've also changed my view on Weyermann malt since that post. Even at 100% of grist, you may detect very little smoke, likely due to the age of the malt. After several rauchbier batches, I'm coming to learn that to get consistent real smoke, you may need to smoke the malt yourself.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:16 PM   #9
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As SpeedYellow mentions, your perception of the smoke flavor and aroma will change depending on how old the grain is.

Each batch of grain will be a bit different. I have made a few Rauch beers with the Briess malt. The first two were fairly similar, made with Cherrywood malt that had been sitting around for a few months. The third was made with very fresh malt that was freshly smoked by Briess. There was a huge difference in flavor and aroma.

To assure consistency, I would suggest buying a decent amount of the cherrywood smoked malt and use it in a small beer to decide what amount of smokiness it delivers. Then scale up for the barley wine.

So far, each batch of cherrywood malt I have used has been different. I have used smoke in 20% of total malt bill in each of the times I have used it.

I gave some to a friend and he made a smoked porter with maybe 5% smoked malt and I felt it was too phenolic. It did not mesh well at that amount with the highly kilned grains in the porter.

Unfortunately you will have to try it out by yourself to see what works for you. Each batch and how long it sits at your store will change the flavor and aroma of the malt.

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Old 10-08-2013, 12:49 PM   #10
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I've used this malt for up to 55% of the grain bill. The result was a nice smokey beer that has received many compliments. Next time, I'll use it for 100% of the base malt (the recipe also contains munich, C80, and Black Patent for color).

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