I want to name this beer "Forum Troll Ale", because it seems that nothing can touch off a flame war quite like peat-smoked malt in a wee heavy. Let's assume that what I want is a smoky, oaky, heavy scotch ale and go from there. I'm not worried about brewing to style, except to the point where style makes sense. Here's what I did the first time:
Mash @ 154
20 lbs golden promise
4 oz roasted barley
Boil the first gallon of runnings down to 1 pint, add back to the wort
Collect enough runnings for a 2 hour boil, targeting 5.5 gal at about 1.090 or so (I have some efficiency problems at this size, hence the ton of grains).
60 and 30 minute additions, 1 oz each of EK Goldings
Ferment cold (sub-60) with Wyeast 1728.
This is pretty much a 5 gal version of Skotrat's Traquair House ale, and I'm pretty happy with it. My friend, who is a scotch ale connoisseur, prefers oaky smoky ales. So, what I want to do is take this base and bring in a few more flavors. I've been grilling him - he would like it to be noticeably smoky, as if you're sipping a good glass of Islay scotch (Lagavulin springs to mind). Mmmm.... Lagavulin.... wait, back on target.
Anyway, I'd like to add a combination of oak and peated malt to this recipe, and would love some advice. I'm thinking of going with oak cubes to get the oak flavor. I recently listened to the Firestone Walker CYBI podcast and have some rough ideas about this, but I've got some specific questions for anybody who has experience with brewing to this level of smokiness.
1) What form of oak should I use, cubes or chips? Assume I can't afford a barrel.
2) What toast level should I target?
3) What proportion of peated malt should I target?
4) How much oak, when should I add it, and when should I remove it?