obtaining smoked hickory flavor

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As the title suggest I've been attempting to get a smoked hickory flavor. Out of the bag the chips have their natural aroma, but after boiling to sterilize the aroma is lost, thinking the aroma is water soluble and gets extracted out. Roasting the same chips didn't bring out the desired effect either. So I soaked some chips for a while and put them on the grill with hickory chunks smoking away. Hoping this will give a noticeable flavor in my porter. Any other suggestions or comments would be awesome.
 

novaraz

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May be too late for this suggestion, but you could smoke a few pounds of 2-row with hickory.

Alternatively, soak the charred hickory in vodka and dump the whole mess into the secondary?
 
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Smelling the water which the chips are boiled in actually does have the hickory note, I'm wondering if I could make a concentrate. And I'm actually doing a smoked porter didn't occur to me to smoke the malt myself, DANG YOU HIND SIGHT
 

doornumber3

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might be crazy but they have something called liquid smoke for cooking. You can get this in a few flavors and i'm guessing you'd be ok putting it for the ferment. Not sure, never tried it but it kinda makes sense?
 

MDRex

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A friend used liquid smoke in a beer and said it tasted really bad, undrinkable. I would just smoke the malt if posible. You could also try smoking the wood itself to kill anything and throw that into the beer. Smoke it above 250F and you won't burn the wood(put it on the grill grate not in the charcoal), but should kill off any nasties. May even add even more nice hickory smoke flavor.
 

doornumber3

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A friend used liquid smoke in a beer and said it tasted really bad, undrinkable. I would just smoke the malt if posible. You could also try smoking the wood itself to kill anything and throw that into the beer. Smoke it above 250F and you won't burn the wood(put it on the grill grate not in the charcoal), but should kill off any nasties. May even add even more nice hickory smoke flavor.
Good to know. Glad someone else made the mistake instead of me.
 

Genuine

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Well, the thing with liquid smoke, since I use it sometimes in sausage making, etc...You do not need a lot. A VERY LITTLE bit goes a super long way.

I would go with some liquid smoke and try that out. However I would probably use a quarter teaspoon or less. You really don't need much.
 

kingwood-kid

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Try Briess Cherrywood smoked malt, or smoke your own. I made a porter once with homemade pecan-smoked malt.
 

Epimetheus

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Yeah, very little liquid smoke. I diluted 1/4 teaspoon into 1 teaspoon of water, then used a 1/4 teaspoon of the dilute solution in 5 gallons. I thought it was too strong. Similar experience with maple flavoring just before bottling.
 

TahoeRy

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Go old school with the stein bier method and smoke some granite rocks on a hickory fire for a few hours or until they are extremely hot and add them to your kettle right before you sparge. Then, slowly sparge into it and the rocks will caramelize and you will obtain that earthy smoke flavor from that. I'm aging an oatmeal stout that I brewed like this and it was pretty cool to use some medieval methods on beer. Plus the caramelized smokey taste in the sugary wort worked out really well.
 
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I boiled some of the hickory (hopefully it will still hold some of it's flavor) then tossed them onto the grill on the grate while still soaked and hot, over some smoking hickory chunks. let them sit on there for about two hours, then tossed them into the secondary with my brew. I left a few out just to see how well they maintained the aroma and they're still smelling strong. Will let update on flavor once beers complete. Thanks
 

garrett_8

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Wishing I would have done my homework before hand. From the hydrometer sample I just tasted I can say that 2lbs. of weyermann smoked malt adds zero smoke character to a five gallon batch. Fine excuse to try again soon, i've been itching to fire up my smoker anyway.
 

luhrks

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If you want to add smoked wood flavor there's only 3 ways to do it I can think of.

1. A drop or two of liquid smoke in the secondary.

2. Condition some base malt (get it very damp) and then smoke it dry. Add to your mash as usual.

3. Get some charred hickory chips, dip in vodka to sterilize and add to the secondary.
 

unionrdr

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Ok,here's something I continually have to bring up with regard to these wood chip/smoke flavor threads. Use the hickory wood,yeah maybe soak it in something nutral like vodka or grain alcohol in an airtight container in the fridge during primary. Pour it all through/into a hop sock,tie it off,& drop it into secondary. I mean liquid from them in secondary & the chips in a bag.
I don't relish the thought of splinters hitting my tonsils at 100mph!
The thing is,the liquid will soak the resins out of the wood. toss the liquid & guess what? There went your wood flavors. That's why I dump in liquid,chips & all. The flavor 9of the wod goes out into the liquid. Any flavor in the liquid goes into the wood. So it's a kind of symbiosis.
Ever soak wood chips in water for the bbq & see the water turn brown if they sit in it too long? That's the wood flavor goin by by. Use the liquid too.
 

jdauria

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Go old school with the stein bier method and smoke some granite rocks on a hickory fire for a few hours or until they are extremely hot and add them to your kettle right before you sparge.
One of the brewing magazines just add an article on this method. It warned about the risk of rocks exploding from the heat. Is granite a safe one to use?
 

TahoeRy

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Yes, from what I read on this technique is that granite is one of the best to use because its so hard. I used it with my beer and it was just fine. The precautions I read about this was to not use any rock that is from a river or sitting in water as those will explode when the water inside of them starts to steam.

Mammoth brewing co near me did a beer like this using lava rock and they also didn't have any issues. Just be careful with what rocks you choose and if you are unsure of what rocks to use, go with granite. Heat them up for awhile until they are extremely hot then just put them into your empty kettle and start your sparge. This worked out awesome for me and I am going to try it in a APA next time.

Also, think about what wood you want to use. The OP in this thread wanted a hickory flavor, thats way I suggested that wood. I used oak with a bit of apple wood. Just use whatever wood that you want to impart the flavor of and dont be scared of the ash and smoke buildup on the rocks. I just threw them in black with ash and all.
 

Conman13

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You can steam the chips instead of boiling them to sanitize. That will not deplete their flavor as much.

+1 about using only a small amount of liquid smoke. That stuff is highly, highly concentrated and powerful. Just a couple drops will do it.

Smoking the grains in an actual smoker sounds like a cool idea also.
 
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