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Schlenkerla

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Its fall and I love smoking food. Meats, Cheeses, Eggs hell you name it, it would be good smoked. I recently traded up my Schlenkerla Twitter account for Schlenkerla Beer and Swag from the Brewery. I've been sipping Schlenkerla for the last two months. If you don't know the beer its a rauch (smoke) beer. The Heller-Trum Brewery (Der Schlenkerla) makes the following; Smoked Helles, Smoked Weizen, Smoked Marzen, Smoked Urbock, Smoked Dopple Bock. Been drinking all of them. A case each. Its about the best rauch beer. All smoke beers are compared or graded to this beer. The Marzen is the benchmark.

BTW - This beer pairs well with all smoked meats, charbroiled/grilled meats, grilled Asian dishes (Hibachi) and grilled Mexican foods. If you are planning a smoking day, buy some to treat yourself to something smokey as you tend the smoker.

So as I deplete the free cases of beer I started thinking of what I'll do when its all gone. Make my own right? Of Course. I bought "Smoked Beers" by Ray Daniels and Geoff Larson. This is probably the only book I've read cover to cover as far as I can remember.

Two weeks ago I drank a few Schlenkerlas for lunch and decided to smoke malt. I needed a new smoker, so went to Lowes and I bought a CharBroil Propane Cabinet Smoker for $150.

I have "Homebrewers Garden" and "Smoke Beers" for roasting, toasting, browning and smoking inspiration. Most of what you will see here is what I read from either source or tried via experimentation.

Right now I have the following on hand...

Several gallons of distilled water... Very important.

50 lbs of Maris Otter
50 lbs of German Pale Malt
A cabinet smoker, fired with propane
A thermometer with cable probe.
Bernzomatic High Temp Blow Torch
15 oz Tin Can
Pronged Can/Bottle Opener
A large baking/roasting pan 13" x 17' x 3"
Roll of Aluminum Screen Material
Squirt Bottle/Sprayer to mist distilled water.

Apple Wood Pellets
Apple Wood Chips
Cherry Wood Chips
Maple Wood Chips
Pecan Wood Chips
Hickory Wood Chips
Mesquite Wood Chips
Beach Wood Chips
Alder Wood Chips
Oak Wood Chips

Thinking I need apple wood chunks... :D

I have used the pale malt to make Munich Malt, 2 versions of apple wood smoked malt. One smoked hot 150-200F and the other cold smoked malt at 90F. The malt is aging now.

The later, cold smoke, I used a modified bean can and pellets in my smoker. It works pretty good on chopped up summer sausage, cheese; Pepper Jack & Cheddar, hard boiled eggs and pork chops.

If you're AG brewer thats done everything, you might want to try this.

You can make your own;

Toasted Malt
Munich Malt
Crystal Malt
Amber Malt
Vienna Malt
Roasted Barley
Black Patent Malt
Smoked Malt - Rauch Malt
Smoked Brown Malt

Here goes.... I'm starting with the smoking first. I'll post the specialty malts instructions after I get the smoke malt info posted. They can be made via smoker or in a conventional oven.

Specialty Malt Instructions - See Post 22
 
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triethylborane

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Subbed. I get the feeling this could be the definitive smoked german beer thread on the forum.

I have to try the Schlenkerla smoked doppelbock, had their marzen a few weeks ago . . . tasty.
 
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Schlenkerla

Schlenkerla

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I needed a way to hold the grains so I bought aluminum screen. You also need an ash filter to smoke grains to so the screen does the job as well. You want to keep floating ash off the grains.

I also needed grain baskets the size of 11x12 inches. So I cut 15x16 inch screen and folded up the sides using a 2" wide meter stick. Then folded in the corners and stapled the folds good.

They fit pretty good.

View attachment 1508297483178.jpg

View attachment 1508297505635.jpg
 
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Schlenkerla

Schlenkerla

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First thing...

1) Soak apple chips for an hour or more

2) Weigh out 5 lbs of pale malt.

3) Measure out 3 cups of distilled water.


Important - You must use distilled water to prevent chloride formation on your grains. Chloride on your grains will make it smell like bandaids. Carbon filtered water without chlorine would work too. What I have read, both sources pushes for the distilled water.

View attachment 1508297750123.jpg
 
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Schlenkerla

Schlenkerla

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11) After the smoking is done. Pull them grains off the smoker and load it up with meat...

12) Put the grain trays in your oven to dry for two days at 170-200F until bone dry.

My oven will heat to 145F with just a 40 watt light bulb with the heat off. You can do that instead but it will take longer to dry.

You want it dry to flash off the acetic acid that forms on the grain.

When done the grains will be obviously dry. The smell will be more roasted than smoked.

13) Air them out for a week. You can brown bag them too. Use large paper bags. So the grain gets a lot of surface area to breathe. I'm using an old plastic rubbermaid dresser with drawers to hold the grain with 1" of depth so they air out well.

The grain will smell more smokey after a week.
 
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Schlenkerla

Schlenkerla

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Right now I have two, 5 pound, batches of grain made...

1) A hot 200F smoke. 2 hours, with Apple chips.

2) A cold 90F smoke. 1.5 - 2 hours, with Apple pellets.

Apple pellets smoke like crazy. This picture is during Monday night football with the sucker billowing out tons of smoke. They smoked profusely for 1.5 hours using a 15oz bean can. The grain set up is the same. Just used pellets to smoke. No gas used in this. No water in the drip pan either.

On the contrary, the chips ( In method 1) smoked but the smoke was very slow and gradual. At times barely visible, but obvious it was smoking by the smell.

View attachment 1508300014469.jpg
 
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Schlenkerla

Schlenkerla

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I light the can full of pellets in the smoker with the torch. Pointing the flame down the center of the pellets for about two minutes. Then do the same in the bottom vents.

It's gonna catch on fire. Let it burn until it extinguishes itself. Then it will smoke like farcken crazy. Roughly 1.5 hours of heavy smoke.
 
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Schlenkerla

Schlenkerla

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My first recipe with this malt is a reddish-black wheat beer. I'm not sure what the lovibond will be with my smoked malt. Brewing this week.

The grist.

5 lbs of Briess red wheat.
4 lbs of home-made smoked malt.
4 oz of black patent malt.

Mashed at 154F.

Hopped with Mt Hood at 60 minutes. 5.5%AAU.

IBU is 19.5
OG is 1.052
SRM is 15

Pitching Munich Dry Yeast.
 
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Schlenkerla

Schlenkerla

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My second recipe with the apple pellet malt will be.

5 lbs of home-made Munich malt.
4 lbs of home-made smoked malt.
4 oz of black patent malt.

1 oz of Mt Hood

Pitching S-05.
 
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Schlenkerla

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I'm in the throws of making a 3rd smoked malt with 24 hour wet grain soak to make it like green malt. Soaked the grain yesterday and doing a partial dry now. I'll smoke it tomorrow.

Might smoke it with maple chips for about 5 hours at 300F to make a smoked brown malt.

The recipe will be most likely be a smoked maple brown ale. I will make it like an old English brown ale with the the bulk of the grist being smoked brown malt, and less than 5% maple syrup for dryness. Hopped with Willamette. Pitching S-04.

I have visions of this beer with a maple sausage patty as garnish. Like an orange would be on a Belgian white.

00eb0f05-e9ee-4792-bd09-29ddf253dd9c_1.21a1b4b8201ea752d77a0d406bc3d10d.jpeg
 
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Schlenkerla

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Couple things worth stating.

1) You can make tea to test the flavor of your smoked malt. One cup of malt steeped in 2 cups of 160F water for 15-20 minutes. The smoke taste will be there but it will compete with malt sweetness. The eventual carbonation will make the smoke more aromatic once its in your beer.

2) You can inspect grains for color too if wet smoked for extended times. Keep a few unsmoked barley kernels set a side and split to see the center color. As you smoke the grains you can check the color change by pulling out grains to split and color match.

I have not done #2 yet. I haven't smoked grain at temps over 300 for several hours that would warrant doing this yet. Its for smoked amber or brown malt.

FYI - Brown malt was the base malt for brown ales before somebody invented a rotary malt roaster thus allowing for brewers to use chocolate and black patent malt with a pale malt to make smokeless brown ales. Black Patent got its name from this invention. Yes - People used to hate smoke in their brown ales.
 
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Schlenkerla

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If you have questions let me know. I'll try to answer them.

I will post beer tasting note on my smoked malt as I brew and keg.
:mug:
 
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Schlenkerla

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Subbed. I get the feeling this could be the definitive smoked german beer thread on the forum.

I have to try the Schlenkerla smoked doppelbock, had their marzen a few weeks ago . . . tasty.

The doppelbock is a Christmas Seasonal and is very rare from what I understand. Its a Oak Smoked beer.

eiche-200.gif


A double bock for Christmas with a uniqe smoky note. The malt is kilned by a oak wood fire - unlike conventional smoke malt which is kilned by beech wood fire.

Data:
Original gravity: 18,9%
alcohol: 8,0 %
bitternes: 40

Served/Sold:
Only during Christmas time. From the wooden keg at the Schlenkerla. In bottles at selected shops. Exported in very small quantities draft and bottles to the USA. Available in the Schlenkerla Online Shop.
Its much more mellow than the beechwood smoked Weizen, Marzen and Urbock.

Interesting thing about the Helles. Its not smoked. It picks up smoke from the contact with all the plumbing.

Here's the Schlenkerla varieties. Click Me...
 

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I have visions of this beer with maple sausage patty as garnish. Like an orange would be on a Belgian white.[/QUOTE]

Nice. I'll have one too. Thanks
 

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After making a great many rauchbiers from home-smoked malt, here are some thoughts about your process:

- It's funny that your target is Schlenkerla, yet you use literally every possible wood EXCEPT the wood that they use -- beech! Beech chips are easily found. And tasty. :)

- You soaked your grains for 15 mins, but you don't want to do that. The water is merely to help the smoke bind to something, so instantaneous wetting is enough, and will be easier to dry.

- Drying for "two days ... until bone dry" isn't ideal. 3-4 hours at around 170-190 should be enough to get the weight back down to your starting weight, which includes a few % moisture. If it takes longer, you used too much water. I use a scale.

- I see no reason to "air them out for a week". Not sure where that idea came from. If they're properly dry, then you're good to re-package.

Brew on!
 

SpeedYellow

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Oh, and here are some general thoughts:
1. Home smoked malt will taste stronger if you smoke for a long time and use lots of wood. In that case, 10% smoked malt is about right. Less wood and/or smoking time means 20% to 30% is appropriate. So it's a learning process.

2. You can use cheap grills for smoking too, but they tend to have hot spots that will roast the grains and give terrible ashy flavors. So the temp is very important.
 
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Schlenkerla

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After making a great many rauchbiers from home-smoked malt, here are some thoughts about your process:

1) - It's funny that your target is Schlenkerla, yet you use literally every possible wood EXCEPT the wood that they use -- beech! Beech chips are easily found. And tasty. :)

2) - You soaked your grains for 15 mins, but you don't want to do that. The water is merely to help the smoke bind to something, so instantaneous wetting is enough, and will be easier to dry.

3) - Drying for "two days ... until bone dry" isn't ideal. 3-4 hours at around 170-190 should be enough to get the weight back down to your starting weight, which includes a few % moisture. If it takes longer, you used too much water. I use a scale.

4) - I see no reason to "air them out for a week". Not sure where that idea came from. If they're properly dry, then you're good to re-package.

Brew on!

Good talking points... I edited your post only to number your thoughts. I can't say I have made several rauch beers. I have only made three rauch in the 11 years I have been brewing. Most of my knowledge, at this point is from research and talking to pros.

1) I would use beechwood if I had local access to those chips. So yeah I bought everything they had at Lowes & Walmart. Unfortunately no beech. :(

2) I have two sources for adding water. The smoke beers authors say no longer than 15 minutes. The homebrewers garden says 24 hours. Two polar opposite opinions. The first with wetting less than 15 minutes is for surface contact. The 2nd, soaking, 24 hrs, is for through the grain transformation. As if you were with starting green malt. I think in either cases the surface of the husk gets smoked and some exterior of the kernel. I've been talking with Matthias Trum (Owner of the Schlenkerla) he says you want the grain soaked. Mind you he is kilning and smoking the malt. His grain makes pretty dark, if not black, beer using 100% rauch malt. There no right or wrong with this it depends on what you want I guess. The thought with soaking is achieving color change through to the center of the barley kernel.

3) Drying according to the weight is what is recommended. I read the Geoff Larson from Alaskan Brewing dryed his grain for 36 hrs at or below 200F with the oven door cracked open. The thought or fear for drying is really about mildew or stale characteristics if you plan to store it for a while. They mention what I said about flashing off acetic acid that comes from wood pyrolsis.

4) As for aging the air drying, it loses its sharper roasted characteristics or mellows it. (According to Ray Daniels & Geoff Larson) The Schlenkerla Brewery ages their malt for 3 months. Mind you that they are malting and smoking at the same time and make beers that's 100% rauch malts. They don't use black patent or carafa III for color it comes from smoke and the heat of kilning.

I agree with some your points. Its funny because both sources at times contradict and are in agreement. Not sure if there anything really wrong or right. The exception seems that you must use distilled water for wetting the grains.
 
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Schlenkerla

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Oh, and here are some general thoughts:
1. Home smoked malt will taste stronger if you smoke for a long time and use lots of wood. In that case, 10% smoked malt is about right. Less wood and/or smoking time means 20% to 30% is appropriate. So it's a learning process.

2. You can use cheap grills for smoking too, but they tend to have hot spots that will roast the grains and give terrible ashy flavors. So the temp is very important.

I agree with this. Important points!

My smoker tends to smoke without much visible smoke but its very fragrant while smoking with chips at 150-200F on low heat. With pellets its profuse smoke billing out of the thing with literally no heat.

The "Smoked Beers" book talks about making smoked brown and amber malt that requires a few hours of smoking; 45 minutes at 230F and 20-60 minutes at 300F. In this process you need to cut the grain to see the center color change. White to tan.

Smoked beers claims you need to screen your grains in to keep the ash out of the grain. I used two layers of screen right above the smoke source.
 

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Regarding wetting the grains, I just realized that we use the EXACT same ratio of water to grains (0.6 cups water per lb of grain). ha ha. I just never gave any thought to it resting for 15 minutes since it barely coats the husks anyway. So resting or not, makes no difference.

Like you, I follow the smoking advice in Smoked Beers. Although I found that they're overkill on the amount of wood and smoking times.

You should look around a bit for beech chips; I've found them a couple places locally. Even if you have to order, they're worth it. Applewood is nice too, but I've seen no reason to deviate from the tried-and-true. Yeah I'm a huge Schlenkerla fan (made a few trips to Bamberg, including one just for the beer...)
 
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Schlenkerla

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Regarding wetting the grains, I just realized that we use the EXACT same ratio of water to grains (0.6 cups water per lb of grain). ha ha. I just never gave any thought to it resting for 15 minutes since it barely coats the husks anyway. So resting or not, makes no difference.

Like you, I follow the smoking advice in Smoked Beers. Although I found that they're overkill on the amount of wood and smoking times.

You should look around a bit for beech chips; I've found them a couple places locally. Even if you have to order, they're worth it. Applewood is nice too, but I've seen no reason to deviate from the tried-and-true. Yeah I'm a huge Schlenkerla fan (made a few trips to Bamberg, including one just for the beer...)

Where are you finding Beechwood?

What store and what neighborhood in Chicagoland?

I'm there every weekend.

I'd buy that and Alder too if they have it.
 

GaBrewZoo

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When I saw that you had traded your Twitter name for five cases of beer, I knew I had to try some of it. Found a bottle, snatched it up, and wow, that's good. I eventually want to try and smoke some malt. I had heard that cold smoking malt was the way to go. Any thoughts?

IMG_20170924_142511872.jpg


morealdersmoke.jpg
 

SpeedYellow

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Where are you finding Beechwood?

What store and what neighborhood in Chicagoland?

I'm there every weekend.

I'd buy that and Alder too if they have it.
It's been a while (I stocked up!) but one place was Wannamakers, on Ogden just off I-88 / I-355. Call first cuz it's out of season now. They had both Weber and Budweiser brands of beech chips.

Amazon also has 3 lb bags of beech for $12 right now.
 

SpeedYellow

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.. I eventually want to try and smoke some malt. I had heard that cold smoking malt was the way to go. Any thoughts?
Like Schlenkerla suggests above, you definitely want to buy the book "Smoked Beers". Temps of 170-200F are typical for smoking food, and work fine for malt. The main thing is to absolutely avoid hot spots since they'll cause ashy flavors. Happened to me once because of radiative heat from the coals; i.e. if the malt can visually see hot coals you'll probably have a problem. Must use a proper smoker, or big green egg with ceramic heat shield, etc. If your malt gets toasted at all, dump it and start again.
 
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Schlenkerla

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Here's something you guys might find interesting. This is a picture of three grains. Each cut in half.

One is plain pale malt, the other two are from my smoked brown malt that I made yesterday.

The bleach white one is the grain that's not been smoked. That's the one on the far right.

The other two (middle and left) were soaked so they were wet all the way through the grain when they started smoking. They kind puff up when wet, then go back to the original size when dry.

This is what I wanted. Slightly roasted brownish malt, but smoked. Hopefully good for my smoked brown porter ale.

View attachment 1508430242169.jpg
 
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