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Old 02-05-2009, 03:59 PM   #1
TrojanMan
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Jan 2008
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I recently acquired a nitrogen tank and regulator (yay, garage sales!) in good condition and want to use it on a future kegged batch. I thought oatmeal stout would be a simple but tasty way to kick it off. Upon discussion with some friends, one remarked that they loved bacon and oatmeal. Bacon, eh? I can't really put bacon IN the beer but I can sure as heck hickory-smoke the grain, right?

The question is really about the proper application of smoke. I don't have a lauter tun yet (but I do have a large pot and immersion chiller and do full-volume boils) so I've not made much forray into all grain yet. I did two AG batches in a chest cooler but got very poor sparging and haven't revisited it yet. I'd need an Igloo or something and I'd have to make a false bottom to go all-grain properly.

So can I get enough smoke flavor into the beer using only the specialty grains and using extract for the fermentables?

Basic recipe would be something like:
2 cans pale malt

1/2 lb. chocolate malt
1/2 lb. 60L Crystal
1 lb. rolled oats

2 oz. Fuggles (1/2 bittering, 1 flavor, 1/2 aroma)

Prime the keg with only 1/4 cup dextrose, then purge and hold at 20psi with nitrogen for 2 weeks. Dispense with nitrogen at 10psi.


The question is, can I take the specialty grains (2 lb. total) and smoke them (cardboard box smoker) to get enough smoke flavor into the beer?

Other suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:42 PM   #2
lordbeermestrength
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2 lbs would be excessive...

Maybe try about 4-6 oz.

As far as the method, it should work but I can't hazard a guess as to the nature of the smokey flavor that would be imparted.
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:48 PM   #3
Boerderij_Kabouter
 
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2# would NOT be excessive at all. Specialty grains that have been kilned do not pick up as much smoke flavor as lighter base grains, but I think this is worth a shot. I don't know about the cardboard smoker thing but you can check out my smoked porter recipe for a short on how I smoke my grains. I would suggest 20 minutes of smoke contact to get a noticeable smoke flavor with that small amount of grain.

Many people do not know the difference between peated malt, which is overly strong and not a particularly good ingredient in most cases, and smoked malt or rauch malt, which is smoked over beech wood. Home smoking produces a custom smoked malt without the acrid and harsh tones of peat.

 
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Old 02-05-2009, 05:10 PM   #4
TrojanMan
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Yeah, everything I've read on using rauch malt says to smoke half the grain bill or more. I wasn't sure if I could get enough smoke flavor into the beer just with specialty grains.

I think the use of rolled oats might help, since they're pretty pale and should pick up a good bit of smoke (plus there's a lot of surface area there).

Using a cardboard box is pretty much the same as what you did in the smoker. You just need a hot chamber, a hot plate and a pan of chips to generate the smoke, then you blow it into a second chamber that holds what you're smoking. Easy enough to use overturned carboard boxes with the necessary holes cut in them as the smoking chambers.

20 minutes actually sounds low for contact time. Cold smoking bacon, salmon, etc. all takes hours. At what point does grain become saturated with smoke? Why is grain so quick?

Smoke it dry or spray lightly with water first?


EDIT: Maybe you could smoke the extract itself? Just put it in a pyrex casserole dish and place in the smoker? Not as much surface area as grain, sure, but it'd certainly pick up some smoke.
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Old 02-05-2009, 05:16 PM   #5
Boerderij_Kabouter
 
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I would spray it lightly with water, and turn every 5 or so minutes. You don't want the grain to get super dry.

The box idea sounds cool.

I don't know why it absorbs so well and it may be different with a cold smoke. I just know what works on my system and what I read in that article.

Keep us posted!

 
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Old 02-05-2009, 05:16 PM   #6
conpewter
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I think you may have a hard time making an oatmeal stout without mashing the oats. You probably should try to do a partial mash with some 2-row and the oats, even if you still steep the specialty malts.
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