I first got hip to this idea in this thread
and after doing a lot of research (as much as I could find, which isn't much) I finally drafted a recipe and gave it a whirl. I noticed there isn't a proper recipe listed here, so I'm staking claim to the first recipe of this kind on HBT!
A lot of recipes out there are "cheaters versions" that use part wheat and part rauchmalt to get a smokey wheat flavor. I wanted to try to be as authentic as possible, so I went straight home-smoked wheat malt. I'll detail the rather simple process of smoking the malt and then get into the recipe.
Smoking the malt
The trick to getting the smokey flavor to stick to the grain is to (lightly) soak the grains in water overnight before you get them in the smoker. Not only will the water help to absorb smoke, but it will also help keep the grains cool and make sure you aren't roasting as much as you are smoking. It's best to soak them in a small amount of water, so if you have a wide oven pan it would work best to spread the grain as thin as possible and then heavily mist them with a spray bottle the night before. You don't want to overdo it with the soaking.
You want to use oak in the smoker, because that is traditionally what was used to kiln wheat malt used in this type of beer. You also want to soak the oak overnight because wet wood smokes and burns slower, so you get more smoke --and thicker smoke -- for less wood. You should completely submerge the wood in water.
The smoking process is simple. Put your grains on a tray or pie tin about 1/2 an inch thick. Heat up your smoker, toss in the wood, and add the grain. The heat should be kept around 120F so that you don't roast the grain. You will want to stir the grains about every 10-15 min (IMO) to make sure they all get a nice smokey flavor. Once done, leave them out to cool. For me it took about 45 min to an hour to get all the grain smokey before I took them out. I didn't do a good job of soaking the grain, so that may have contributed to the lengthy process.
One thing I found was that when the grain was hot it didn't smell very smokey, but once it cooled it was considerably more smokey. The oak doesn't give you the strong smokey smell of rauchmalt, it's a bit more acidic and roasty, but it will definitely smell smokey once cooled.
Some notes prior to jumping in:
* Saaz or Lublin are the traditional hops used in the recipe, so if you are trying to be "traditional" you'll want to use Lublin, or Saaz if you can't find Lublin
* The traditional mash process is an infusion mash. I've given the temperature and timeframe sequence below, but you'll need to calculate the water volume at each infusion based on your batch size and equipment.
* The ingredients, mash/batch water volume, and hop schedule are for ONE GALLON. If you want to make a larger batch, just scale up by the number of gallons.
1.75 lb wheat malt, home-smoked
2.2 qt at 98F for 45 min
Raise to 122F for 60 min
Raise to 158F for 60 min
Batch sparge with 7.7 qt at 174F
Boil volume: 2.2 gal
Boil time: 90 min
.30 oz Saaz at 90 min
.20 oz Saaz at 20 min
.05 tsp Irish moss at 10 min
Ferment with 1338 for 7 days at 68.
Prime with corn sugar (ideally this should be carbed to 4 vol, but if you don't have the bottles for it, carb as high as you safely can) and condition for another 3 weeks.
This beer is delicious! It has a pale ale-ish appearance with a thicker head. It has a great wheat-smoke flavor combination. The hops are not a prominent taste, but they nicely tie the wheat and smoke flavors together.
Color: The color is typical of wheat beers: a golden brown white a very white head. Because of the high carbonation the head is more reminiscent of Duvel than a hefeweizen. It is reasonably clear, although not quite kristalweizen quality. Next time I'll try using irish moss in the boil and gelatin in the fermenter to further clarify.
Smell: It has a smokey, roasted wheat smell. Very good. There's not much of a hops aroma, due mostly to not using aroma hops...
Taste: The first thing that you taste is roasty wheat, followed quickly by the smoke. Although the beer is reasonably well hopped, the hops take a back seat in the flavor and help tie the wheat and smoke together into a very nicely blended combination of flavor. I guess the best way to describe it would be a nice wheat roll lightly buttered and toasted in a smoker and covered with a vegetable spread. I don't know that that is completely accurate, but that's as close as I can get.
Mouthfeel: Very thin for a wheat beer, but solid for an ale. Goes down smooth with nice carbonation.
I'll get some pictures posted when I pop open the next bottle.