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-   -   Need some Smoked Grain Advice (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/need-some-smoked-grain-advice-365344/)

LunchBoxPKT 11-04-2012 12:46 AM

Need some Smoked Grain Advice
I am planning on smoking some grain and brewing a Smoked porter and possibly a Smoked IPA, cant decide if I want to do 2 brews in a day or 2 smoked at that....

Anyway. I have brewed smoked Porter before but it was early in my career and the guy that gave me the recipe smoked the grain for me.

my question is that I am planning on Alder Smoking about 9# of grain, should I hot smoke or cold Smoke? How Long? What Temp? I have seen info going both ways through searching the site, wondering if anyone has any advice.


cockybitz 11-04-2012 09:23 AM

You want advice? Stick to 10% smoked malt for your batches.

Montanaandy 11-04-2012 02:51 PM


Originally Posted by cockybitz (Post 4557147)
You want advice? Stick to 10% smoked malt for your batches.

A little goes a long way- and that is an understatement. I brewed a pilot batch of a smoked wheat recently and 2 lbs of smoked German malt (out of a grain bill of around 13-14 lbs) left the batch with a very strong smoke taste and smell which really does not dissipate much with conditioning.

ReverseApacheMaster 11-04-2012 04:07 PM

Cold smoking is better. The hotter it gets the more it cooks the grain and you get more toasted character along with smoke.

When I smoke grains I spray them down with water and put them in a foil tray to go on the smoker. The water helps the smoke stick and soak in to the grains. You can use a pie tin or cookie sheet or just shape some foil into a container. You want the smoker going at that point where there is massive amounts of smoke billowing out. The more smoke you have the shorter you will need to keep the grains on. I'd say you're probably looking at 1-2 hours to get a really good smoke flavor in the grain but if you can keep a lot of smoke in there you might be done earlier. Possibly longer if you have less smoke.

I have a ECB and I usually just smoke meat and vegetables on the bottom and smoke grains on the top rack. I'm not real good about keeping it cool enough or smokey enough so I just leave it out there until I'm happy with the flavor. Then it comes off.

SpeedYellow 11-04-2012 06:26 PM


Originally Posted by cockybitz (Post 4557147)
You want advice? Stick to 10% smoked malt for your batches.

That is really, really, really bad advice. The amount of smoked malt to use COMPLETELY depends on the supplier / smoking method, and your desired smokiness.

Some examples:
1. Peat smoked is extremely smoky, so you'd normally want just a small amount.

2. Briess cherry-smoked is pretty smoky, and 10% will be very subtle, 20% gives a fair level of smoke. IMHO, 25%-30% would probably be best for a proper rauchbier.

3. Weyermann beech-smoked is subtle, and can be used up to 100% (e.g. try the Schlenkerla Urbock, OG 1.071 with 100% smoked grains).

My advice to the OP: buy the malt pre-smoked. DIY is fun, but time consuming, inconsistent, and will have unpredictable results.

ReverseApacheMaster 11-04-2012 06:49 PM


Originally Posted by SpeedYellow (Post 4558085)
My advice to the OP: buy the malt pre-smoked. DIY is fun, but time consuming, inconsistent, and will have unpredictable results.

Like anything else, it can be dialed in. You can assess the grain by taste while smoking. Once you know you want it to taste a certain way, you can smoke until you reach that point. If you have good control over your smoking process, it's even easier to dial it in and get consistent results.

I'm not knocking pre-smoked grain, it's definitely the easier and more consistent result (at least for most of us) but there's only so many kinds of smoked malts available. I recently smoked some munich over mesquite. I can't buy that.

stblindtiger 04-11-2013 03:36 AM

I just got done smoking 10 lbs of Marris otter. I'm all out of 2-row and Pilsner so that was what I had on hand. I crushed the grain prior to smoking. I read a BYO article, and it was recommended to pre crush in order to keep your mill from gunking up.

I used cherry wood, and left it on the grill for 20-25 mins at a time. The smoke basket I used was a Turkey Baster pan that I punched a crap load of holes into with a fork to let the smoke rise up through the pan. Every five-10 minutes I would stir the grains and spray them with a little more water. I also added some soaked chips to the coals every time I opening the top in order to keep a steady stream of smoke rising out of my smoker.

My question is (sorry if this is hijacking the thread), should I be able to detect a lot of smoke flavor/aroma? I tried making tea to see how smoky tgey were, and couldn't really smell/taste any smoke... Maybe it's because I've been standing by the smoker for the last couple hours, but I can't detect much aroma/flavor at all right now????

Am I being too nervous? Do you think I should smoke it longer?

cockybitz 04-11-2013 02:45 PM

it is because your nose has become numb to smoke

SpeedYellow 04-11-2013 03:33 PM

Once your nose has recovered, give them another smell. If you detect strong smoke, then dial back the portion of smoked malt in your recipe to like 20-50%. If it's pretty mild, then do like 70%-100%. Smell some Briess smoked malt and you'll find it's VERY smoky, and most people stick with 10%-40%. Weyermann on the other hand, hardly smells smoky and you can go up to 100%.

If you're really stuck, go buy some Briess and Weyermann and smell everything to compare.

By the way, I recommend the book Smoked Beers. They cover a few methods for smoking grains at home. They never suggest grinding before smoking though. Sounds impractical to me, due to the smaller particles.

stblindtiger 04-12-2013 12:10 PM

Smelled them yesterday after giving my nose a break and it definitely has some smoke to it. Not real strong though. I'm going to pick up some Briess cherry, and weyerman beech later on today to compare it too.

That book sounds pretty cool! I'll have to check that out...

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