That does seem like too much smoked malt.
The Bamber Rauchbier from the Schlenkerla is the strongest-smokiest I have had. There are plenty more around Bamberg that are really lighty smoked that taste better, or are more to my taste. Even though I have had hundreds from the Schlenklera (last time was last July!)
The recipe in "Brew Classic European Beers at Home" says to use 10 lbs smoked malt and 2.8 lbs of chocolate.
If you've NEVER had a genuine Bamberger Schlenklera Rauchbier I would advise anyone to find one first before attempting to brew something like it. If you've never had one you can't judge it against your HB. Heck, you may not even like it.
Here's a recipe I found on the net that looks pretty tame. Notice he only used 2.5 lbs of smoked malt.
author - Scott Russell (giving credit where credit's due)
(5 gallons, partial mash)
This is a Bamberg-style reddish lager, sweet and substantial like a Marzen, with the distinctive smokiness of a beechwood fire.
3 lbs. lager malt
2.5 lbs. rauchmalt
.5 lb. carapils malt
.5 lb. Vienna malt
2.5 lb. unhopped light dry malt extract
1 oz. Hallertau hops (4% alpha acid, 4 AAUs)
1 oz. Tettnang hops (4% alpha acid, 4 AAUs)
Munich lager yeast slurry (Wyeast 2308)
3/4 cup corn sugar or 1 cup light dry malt extract for priming
Step by Step:
Heat 10 qt. water to 164° F. Crush grains, mix into liquor and hold 90 min. at 152° F.
Runoff and sparge with 14 qt. at 168° F.
Add the dry malt to kettle, mix well.
Raise to boiling, add Hallertau hops.
Boil 60 min., add Tettnang hops, boil 30 min.
Remove from heat, cool and add to fermenter along with enough chilled pre-boiled water to make 5.25 gal.
When cooled to 65° F, pitch yeast.
Seal and ferment for two days at 55° F, then move to cooler place and ferment a further two weeks at 45° F, rack to secondary and condition six weeks at 38° F.
Prime with corn sugar or dry malt extract and bottle. Condition six weeks at 35° F.
OG = 1.060 (15° Plato)
TG = 1.018
Bitterness: 28 IBUs
I am a DME brewer (and some grains) so I am partial to this recipe and use liquid smoke:
7 pounds, light dry extract
1-1/2 teaspoons, liquid smoke
1-1/2 ounces, Tettnanger hops (boil)
1 ounce, Tettnanger hops (finish)
1/2 teaspoon, Irish moss
Your choice of German Lager Yeast
Boil extract, liquid smoke, and boiling hops in 2-3 gallons of water for 45 minutes.
Add Irish moss and finishing hops and boil 15 more minutes.
Strain into fermenter, add cold water to make 5 gallons, pitch yeast.
After 3 days rack to secondary.
Allow to ferment an additional 3-4 weeks.
Primary Ferment: 3 days
Secondary Ferment: 3-4 weeks
This is basically a nice light beer, but with a definite smoke aftertaste. Mainstream, but with a non-commercial twist.
I would recommend brewing a Marzen as the basic recipe. I don't think too many Americans can handle Rauchbiers just because of their flavor.