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Rauchbier? Or not...

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BrewingRob

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I have a few leftovers around, and I've been wanting to brew something with a little smoke. I picked up a pound of smoke malt from my LHBS. Although I'm willing to just go for it, I was wondering if anyone with some experience using smoked malts could let me know where this might go.

Here's the recipe (5 gal):

5 lbs. Amber Dry Malt Extract
1 lb. Smoked Malt
60 mins 0.75oz Brewer's Gold aa 9.7
15 mins 0.75oz Hallertau aa 3.8
5 mins 0.25oz Hallertau aa 3.8

Will the Amber DME drown out the smoke?
 

Rhoobarb

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Rauchmalt needs to be mashed. You won't get the effect you want just by steeping. Partial Mash info here. It's pretty simple and will help you get the flavor you want. Otherwise, the proportions look good.
 
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BrewingRob

BrewingRob

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Thanks! I was aware of the need to have a partial, but that's why I'm concerned about the DME. I have read that thread before (what an awesome tutorial!), but I've never tried it. Maybe I should save a few lbs of the DME, and go buy some more grains...
 

Calder

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Steeping the smoked malt will give you the smoke flavor, you just will not convert the starches, so it will not contribute any sugars.

What smoked malt is it. If it's Rauch malt, it will not be very noticeable. If it's Peat smoked, you have way too much; keep it down to 2 to 4 ozs.
 
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BrewingRob

BrewingRob

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Briess Smoked Malt. If I'm doing a partial, would it make more sense to throw in another grain and save the DME? Would the flavor be stronger with a partial?
 
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BrewingRob

BrewingRob

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This is what they say about it:

Usage:
5-10% - Noticeable smoke character in lighter styles such as Scottish Ales and Oktoberfests
10-20% - Pronounced smoke character in lighter styles like Scottish Ales and Oktoberfests
30-60% - Noticeable to pronounced smoke character in darker styles like Stouts and Porters
We recommend limiting usage to 60% (but we really can't tell you what to do...you rebel)
 

Calder

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Briess is the cherry smoked malt. I recently used 2.5 lbs in a 6.0 gallons of Smoked Robust Porter (about 15%). There is a lot of smoke. A lot more than I got using 3 lbs of Rauch malt in a very similar recipe. What I got is OK, in fact really good, but I'm not sure I would go any more than that, it could become overpowering.

If you can do a partial mash, I would recommend you do it, otherwise you will have the starches from the malt contributing to a haze in the final product. The smoked malt should have sufficient enzymes to convert itself, but why not toss in a pound or 2 of 2-row too. I think you will get more flavor out of a partial, but I don't really know.
 
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BrewingRob

BrewingRob

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Update: It's not bad.

I called it the Somkin' Lassie. Wyeast Irish Ale. 4.5 lbs Amber DME. 1 lb Briess Smoked. 1 Lb Crystal 60. Brewer's Gold for bittering. Fuggles for flavor.

The result is a lightly smoked ale with a hint of malt character. The smoke is in the finish. Definitely not a Rauch, but I kind of knew that after doing all the research. You'd have to get rauch malt (I think).

I'm going to try peated malt next. I think the peat flavor would be perfect in this beer, making it a little more Scotch than Irish.
 

dannypo

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Sounds like a good beer.

My advice would be to never use peat smoked malt. IMO it has no place in beer. In whisky sure, but not beer. It comes across very medicinal and harsh.
 
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BrewingRob

BrewingRob

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Thanks for the info. Don't some recipes call for it? Like Scottish Ale?
 

cactusgarrett

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That's a misconception - the Scottish peat flavor comes from the water itself.

Take it with a grain of salt when people say peat smoked malt doesn't belong in beer (style guidelines aside). You just have to determine that for yourself. Some people say 1-2oz in a 5gal batch is too much, then others say that a pound isn't smokey enough. It's really a preference thing for you to discover on your own - but as a suggestion: start small and build up to larger quantities.
 

millsware

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I just transferred a rauchbier to secondary that I brewed from the recipe in Brewing Classic Styles, about 30% beechwood smoked rauch malt. It had a noticeable, but definitely not overpowering smoky taste. I actually think that it's going to be my best beer yet.
 
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BrewingRob

BrewingRob

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FWIW: The smokiness of this beer has significantly mellowed. The aroma is still in the head (which is a nice aroma, btw), but the taste has departed to the background. Not a bad thing... It's nice!
 

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