Recipe Type: Partial Mash
Yeast: American Ale Yeast
Yeast Starter: Yes, big one
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: unknown
Final Gravity: unknown
Boiling Time (Minutes): 70
Color: deep brown
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 days at about 65
Additional Fermentation: 3 weeks in the bottle
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 days at about 65
Tasting Notes: Slightly smokey, rich head
Herr Gumbolputty’s Simple Smoked Ale
I am a bit of a lurker, but I do appreciate the posts for others. I contribute in hopes it might add to someone’s experience. I’ve been brewing occasionally for a couple years now—I think I am on batch 25 or so. I share this beer because I believe it is excellent, and is not much like anything one could buy. It is not as heavy as a full-on porter, has a coffee taste like a Guinness, but is smoother, and the smoked taste is subtle. I have to add that I “Brew in a Bag” on a stovetop, and even though I have done all grain brews, this I find is just easier for me. I think the full boil and the extra control one has by doing the mash right there on the stovetop (or on the burner) is really beneficial. I don’t check my conversion, nor do I take hydrometer readings. I just enjoy the beer. So I apologize to those who take the care to do those things. But I have found this is an exceptional beer despite being rather simple for a smoked brew.
8 lbs American 2 row
1 Chocolate Roasted American
2 lbs Amber DME
Bittering: 1 oz Kent, 1 oz Sterling
Dry Hop: ½ oz Simcoe, ½ oz Amarillo
Yeast: American Ale Yeast (Pitched onto a yeast cake from an IPA)
[Smoked 2 pounds of whole grain on a typical smoker; used water-soaked hickory chips. I did one pound at a time, and stored them in Tupperware until the crush for brewing. You can store smoked grains like this up to a year with no worry.]
I do the brewing with a Brew-in-a-Bag type method. I use 2 grain bags and 2 stovetop kettles which are 3 gallon stock-pots I think. I heat about 2-3 gallons of water in each kettle to 156 or so. Then drop 1 big bag of crushed grain into each kettle. I use the big spoon to make sure there are not clumps in the each bag, because there’s actually a lot of grain in there—4.5 pounds in each bag. I keep a 152 mash temp for about 70 minutes before I start steeping the grains out, rinsing them with hot water, which I add to the wort to bring it to about 2-3 inches from the top of the kettle. (Too close to the top and there would be a boil-over when the DME is added.) I then add the 2 pounds of DME after the mash is done. I add bittering hops, then boil a full hour. This is for a full boil; the only water I add to the wort after is that which I use to rinse (sparge?) the grains in the sink-- hot water— and that goes in before the boil. Cool, pitch, ferment, bottle. Primed with ¾ cup corn sugar.
This makes very good Ale. It has a beautiful head, just a hint of smoke, and it probably the best beer I have ever made. I thought I would share it here in thanks for all I have learned off these home brew talk forums.
Craig in Bloomington, IN