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Old 03-11-2009, 02:21 AM   #1
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Default Peat-smoked malt vs. Rauch Malt

I'm trying to add some smoke flavor to a German Dark Extract kit that I will be brewing tomorrow. I was wondering if anyone has experience with either of these malts and how much would need to be steeped to achieve a noticeable smokey flavor.

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Old 03-11-2009, 02:27 AM   #2
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Both grains need to be mashed, you won't get the effect you want just by steeping. Do a search on partial mashing, it's pretty simple and will help a lot. As far as the grains go, Rauch malt imparts a nice, more mellow smokey flavor and is often used as up to 100% of the grist. Peat malt is much, much stronger and gives a more earthy smokey flavor and needs to be used in much smaller quantities.

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Old 03-11-2009, 02:28 AM   #3
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Totally, completely different malts. You want rauchmalt (smoked malt), and ideally you want to do a partial mash with it. It can be used as a base malt; rauchbiers can be well north of 50% rauchmalt (sometimes 100%). I *love* me some rauchmalt, but if you just steep it you'll basically be washing a lot of unconverted starches into your wort. Do a search on partial mashing; it's easy, you really just need a grain bag, a collander, and the ability to hold temps steady at around 150°-155° for a half-hour or so. It's a good technique to have, especially when working with malts like this that really ought to be mashed.

Peet-smoked malt is wholly different; ok in SOME Scottish ales, but it's a harsher, more acrid flavor, not smooth at all. Quarter pound, TOPS. It's not really traditional in any beers, it certainly does not belong in a German beer. Most I've ever heard of someone using was David_42 using a half-pound in a barleywine he aged for years. A couple ounces will give plenty of flavor.

EDIT: You use so little peat-smoked malt there's no need to mash it. I've used it in a smoker porter (one style it can be OK in; Stone Smoked Porter uses it), and it's fine since it's such a small amount. Avoid it for this beer, though.

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Old 03-11-2009, 02:36 AM   #4
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Forgot to post the ingredients...

Munton’s Hopped Dark Malt Extract, 3.3lb
Munton’s Dark Dried Malt Extract, 2lb
Munton’s Crushed Crystal Malt, .38lb
Hop Pellets, UK First Gold(7%),1oz
Fermentis S-23 Lager Yeast, 11.5g

I was originally planning to use about 3 oz or the peat-smoked malt mashed with the crystal malt. Would this be a strange pairing for this beer? What would be a comparable amount of the rauch malt? Also thinking about adding some oak chips (8 oz) to the secondary. Hoping for a nice oaked & smoked schwarzbier.

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Old 03-11-2009, 02:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird View Post
Totally, completely different malts. You want rauchmalt (smoked malt), and ideally you want to do a partial mash with it. It can be used as a base malt; rauchbiers can be well north of 50% rauchmalt (sometimes 100%). I *love* me some rauchmalt, but if you just steep it you'll basically be washing a lot of unconverted starches into your wort. Do a search on partial mashing; it's easy, you really just need a grain bag, a collander, and the ability to hold temps steady at around 150°-155° for a half-hour or so. It's a good technique to have, especially when working with malts like this that really ought to be mashed.

Peet-smoked malt is wholly different; ok in SOME Scottish ales, but it's a harsher, more acrid flavor, not smooth at all. Quarter pound, TOPS. It's not really traditional in any beers, it certainly does not belong in a German beer. Most I've ever heard of someone using was David_42 using a half-pound in a barleywine he aged for years. A couple ounces will give plenty of flavor.

EDIT: You use so little peat-smoked malt there's no need to mash it. I've used it in a smoker porter (one style it can be OK in; Stone Smoked Porter uses it), and it's fine since it's such a small amount. Avoid it for this beer, though.
I stand corrected, I didn't know peat malt didn't need to be mashed. But I agree, I love Rauchmalt, and I've never even been inclined to try peat malt.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:40 AM   #6
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You might mash it if you used a couple pounds - but if you did, you'd never drink the damn beer so it wouldn't matter!

I'd avoid the peat malt, but you'll need at least a pound of rauchmalt for any flavor contribution, ideally a couple pounds. That can knock the rest of the recipe out of whack.

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Old 03-11-2009, 02:41 AM   #7
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Forgot to post the ingredients...

Munton’s Hopped Dark Malt Extract, 3.3lb
Munton’s Dark Dried Malt Extract, 2lb
Munton’s Crushed Crystal Malt, .38lb
Hop Pellets, UK First Gold(7%),1oz
Fermentis S-23 Lager Yeast, 11.5g

I was originally planning to use about 3 oz or the peat-smoked malt mashed with the crystal malt. Would this be a strange pairing for this beer? What would be a comparable amount of the rauch malt? Also thinking about adding some oak chips (8 oz) to the secondary. Hoping for a nice oaked & smoked schwarzbier.
From personal experience, I'd use a little roasted barley and not used the peated malt or oak for a shwartzbier. I think it would be tough to get the nice clean profile of the style by adding the peated malt or oak. You could probably get some nice subtle smokiness by partial mashing the rauchmalt, but ersonally, I'd save the rauchmalt and oak for a nice smoked porter.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:44 AM   #8
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A shwartzbier is usually going to be built like a pilsner - pils malt, lagered, etc. - but with the use of a fair amount of a dehusked dark malt (like a Carafe II Special). It wants to be clean and drinkable, dark but NOT roasty, not sweet or smokey or oakey. You might be making a good beer, but you've got a lot going on and it's not really appropriate to call it a shwartzbier.

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Old 03-11-2009, 02:46 AM   #9
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Here's the malt bill for my shwatzbier that came out great, it's in a competition this weekend...

US Munich 5L Malt 8.00 lb 57.1 % 6.7 In Mash/Steeped
German Pilsner Malt 4.50 lb 32.1 % 1.0 In Mash/Steeped
German Carafa II 0.50 lb 3.6 % 35.8 In Mash/Steeped
US Chocolate Malt 0.50 lb 3.6 % 29.2 In Mash/Steeped
US Roasted Barley 0.25 lb 1.8 % 12.5 In Mash/Steeped
US Caramel 40L Malt 0.25 lb 1.8 % 1.7 In Mash/Steeped

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Old 03-11-2009, 03:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
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A shwartzbier is usually going to be built like a pilsner - pils malt, lagered, etc. - but with the use of a fair amount of a dehusked dark malt (like a Carafe II Special). It wants to be clean and drinkable, dark but NOT roasty, not sweet or smokey or oakey. You might be making a good beer, but you've got a lot going on and it's not really appropriate to call it a shwartzbier.
Your rauch/peat analysis was spot on--but a schwarz definitely needs to have a roasted character. I'd also argue that you'd want some sweetness in it as well.
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