I'm planning on starting a new project over the weekend, as I just got a large amount of local honey. I'm hoping to make a mead using a smoked barley. However, I do not wish to make a braggot. Essentially, I am hoping to get a large amount of flavour from the smoked barley, but as few fermentables as possible.
A bit of background information before I ask some questions, though. I mostly make meads, and I've done a couple of braggots (a few hopped, a few unhopped). In my experience, unhopped braggots bring out a lot more of the grains, but end cloyingly sweet. My partner is not a fan of hops. She prefers my meads over my beers, and dislikes how sweet unhopped braggots come out. However, she also likes smokey flavours.
So... in trying to make a more savory winter-friendly mead without the need for a bittering agent, I figured that I could steep a smoked barley, and use this as the base for my mead. Problem is, I want to 1) activate as few maltose producing enzymes as possible, while 2) still being able to boil the wort to sterilise it. (Campden tablets are nice, but they merely chemically neuter yeast, and are ineffective against acetic acid producing bacteria. Honey has antimicrobial properties, but this is due to its high sugar content and low nutrient density. Upon being diluted, it loses these properties. Given that I plan on aging this mead, boiling the steeped-grain water is ideal).
I was planning on cold-steeping the smoked malt in whole (uncrushed) form, removing the grains, and THEN bringing it to a boil, allowing it to cool, and then proceeding with the regular mead making process. I hope that this would minimise or eliminate any maltose production.
Has anybody on here tried this before, or know any way of acquiring the aroma and flavour of a malt without pulling or creating sugars?
Thanks for taking the time to read my long-winded, over-explained post.