Roasting in a SMaSH

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Is it still a SMaSH if you roast?

  • Roasting is acceptable in a SMaSH

  • It is no longer a SMaSH if you roast


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AnOldUR

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From what I’ve read the SMaSH concept may have been coined on HBT or if not, at least gained its popularity here. There have been some differences in opinion on roasting a portion of the grain. I figured, what better place to settle the argument.

My thought is that if you start with a single type of malt from one maltster, you’re good. Saying you can’t roast is like saying you can’t do a decoction. Both have the potential to change the color and flavor character of the finished product. What’s next? No protein rest? And heaven forbid you FWH. Wouldn’t want to change the bittering from what is expected. To me SMaSH is self explanatory. Start with single ingredients. What is done after that is up to the brewer.

The reason to SMaSH shouldn’t be limited to discovering what ingredients can produce in their simplest form. It’s also a challenge to explore what can be achieved only using the basics.

Edit:
If you agree or disagree, please explain. It would be interesting to hear both sides.








The masses have spoken and the results are clear . . . .
Mob rules: No roasting allowed in a SMaSH.
 

Dr_Deathweed

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I agree with you, SMaSH just defines what goes into it, not how you use it. I have done a SMaSH with 10lbs Munich and 2oz Willamette several times varying my yeast, fermentation temperatures, mash and hop schedule, boil length, etc. and ended up with some VERY different beers (all of them tasty IMHO :D). It's gotten to the point I look at a complex recipe and think how I can pull off somthing similar with only what i have in stock :D
 

Revvy

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I don't think the issue is not to roast in a Smash...it's not to roast the grain in the first round of smashing....a lot of smasher have brewed multiple batches of the smash, oaking it, roasting it, changing the hopping routine. I just know when I was putting together my first smash, people suggested not roasting on the first batch...to make the first one as clean as possible...one grain/one hop..no alterations....That way you have a good "baseline" beer to compare all subsequesnt versions to.

After that anything went.
 

Evan!

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Disagree. It's not a SMaSH unless you roast/toast the entire portion of the grain bill. Unlike varying the yeast, fermentation temps, mash/hop schedule, etc., you're drastically altering one of the primary components. I mean, think about it: by roasting your 2-row grain, for instance, you've just turned it from pale malt to special roast or brown malt or aromatic, for instance. The purpose of a SMaSH is "single malt, single hop". Outside of different kinds of grain (wheat, rye, etc.), all of the "specialty grains" we talk about are just modified barley. By modifying your barley, you're doing the exact same thing as adding specialty roasted/toasted grains.

But at the end of the day, does it really matter? No.
 

Evan!

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Que Sera, Sera.

As long as it has one malt type and one hop verity you're good to go.
By that line of thinking, I could put pale malt, crystal 120L, aromatic, black roasted malt, and melanoidin malt in there, and still call it "SMaSH"...after all, every one of those specialty grains are made with the same grain: barley. Once you roast a base grain, it's no longer the same "malt type", any more than 2-row is the same type as aromatic malt. I mean, are we worried about malt type, or grain type? If the former, then roasting absolutely changes the malt type; most specialty grains are nothing but base malt that has been roasted. How is this different?
 

Edcculus

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I agree with Evan!. A maltster probably uses the same variety of malt to make chocolate malt, or whatever type of roasted malt you would make in your kitchen.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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I use SMaSH as an educational tool. By reducing the variables to a minimum I get to understand what is going on.

My goal is to make a good bitter using all Maris Otter with different combinations of humidity and roasting times and temps. If I did that and used just one hop, there is no way I would call it a SMaSH. It would be too complex in it's profile to be reduced to that term IMO
 
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AnOldUR

AnOldUR

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How is this different?
The difference is that the individual brewer starts out with a single malt. What they do with it is up to them. And by single malt, I would also qualify it as being from a single source. To me, mixing Munton's Maris Otter with Crisp's would make it not a SMaSH.
 

eschatz

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I always thought that doing a Smash beer was a way to get back to the old style of beers where a brewer only had barley and one type of local hop around. In this way I feel like it would be acceptable to try to make the best beer possible with the few ingredients you have on hand. That would include roasting to help the beer out.

Now, that being said I don't think any of us are trying to go completely back to old ways and use open fermenters and such. The other side of this is the simplicity of a Smash beer as opposed to the historical approach. If you think the Smash arises from this goal then I would agree with not roasting your grains to achieve other flavors/colors.
 

mmb

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By that line of thinking, I could put pale malt, crystal 120L, aromatic, black roasted malt, and melanoidin malt in there, and still call it "SMaSH"...after all, every one of those specialty grains are made with the same grain: barley. Once you roast a base grain, it's no longer the same "malt type", any more than 2-row is the same type as aromatic malt. I mean, are we worried about malt type, or grain type? If the former, then roasting absolutely changes the malt type; most specialty grains are nothing but base malt that has been roasted. How is this different?
Well, to pick nits, unless you brew with 6-row base malt you use different malt types/whatevers. Most of the specialty malts I can get are made from 6-row base.

So decoction is good while toasting/roasting is bad? One is malt handling, the other process. I guess I should have typed "start with one malt" for more ambiguity.

I wouldn't care one way or the other, personally. *shrug*
 

Evan!

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The difference is that the individual brewer starts out with a single malt. What they do with it is up to them. And by single malt, I would also qualify it as being from a single source. To me, mixing Munton's Maris Otter with Crisp's would make it not a SMaSH.
Ok, so you're defining it as something from a single source. So if I brewed a beer with pale malt from muntons, and chocolate malt from muntons, would you still consider it a SMaSH? Same malt source, after all.

Look, I don't care how you define it---it's up to you. Personally, the reason for doing a SMaSH is that you get to isolate and amplify the characteristics of a particular type of malt, and a particular hop variety. By modifying a portion of your malt prior to the mash, you are defeating that purpose, as far as I am concerned. No disrespek, that's just why I see SMaSH brews as a valuable tool.
 

Brew-Happy

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SMaSH es seem to be about simplicity: through one hop and one malt type. Once you add a roasted malt it is no longer simple, but complex. How could you define the individual components when the recipe is only from 2row pale malt, but it is composed of 10 different roasted forms of that malt.


Interesting debate tho. Is a painting a painting because it is composed of oil based paints or because someone used different colors to make it?

In the end tho, what matters is that you have beer :mug:

PS. Seeing the grey areas of a SMaSH makes me think that a single hop IPA (Shipyards Fuggle IPA) could technically be a SMaSH.
 

Evan!

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Well, to pick nits, unless you brew with 6-row base malt you use different malt types/whatevers. Most of the specialty malts I can get are made from 6-row base.

So decoction is good while toasting/roasting is bad? One is malt handling, the other process. I guess I should have typed "start with one malt" for more ambiguity.

I wouldn't care one way or the other, personally. *shrug*
Well, yeah, you could make that the cutoff: one type of malt goes into the MLT. Personally, I try to make the process on my SMaSH's as simplistic and "middle-of-the-road" as possible. Balanced IBU's/OG, with a medium-range ABV% and IBU. Neutral yeast strain.

As I said, my purpose, when making SMaSH brews, is to isolate and amplify the characteristics of a particular grain and hop.

If on the other hand, for you, the idea of a SMaSH brew is to take a particular grain and hop and see how many crazy final products you can make from it, then, hey, to each his own. Roast half your grains. Do a quad-decoction. Use Roeselare blend. Oak it all up. :D
 

mmb

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I think it would be fun to do a 1.040, 1.050, 1.060, 1.070 string of batches with everything scaled so that the IBU/SG ratio stays the same and pitch a washed slurry from the previous batch.

100% pilsner with WLP550 and saaz

But wouldn't that showcase how the yeast does at varying OG levels more than anything else....
 
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AnOldUR

AnOldUR

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Ok, so you're defining it as something from a single source. So if I brewed a beer with pale malt from muntons, and chocolate malt from muntons, would you still consider it a SMaSH? Same malt source, after all.
Damn Evan, you’re a tough debater. I have to watch my choice of words closer. :D

What I meant to say was that you not only have to start with one malt type, but also qualified that with it having to come from the same maltster.
 

Daddymem

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So is one hops addition the only acceptable method too? If you do the single type of hops for bittering, then add the same type for aroma is it still SMaSH? I don't see altering a hop schedule any different than toasting some of the malt myself...both still SMaSH to me. I see it as, using this single type of malt (or hops) what can I do different and how will that change my finished product? But I'm still a noob so take it for what it's worth.
 

DeathBrewer

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Originally, we brewed SMaSHes to taste the flavor of the grain/hops. That means, you would use strictly one type of grain, one type of hop (from the same batch), and a clean yeast like nottingham.

But you can roast some of the grains and still call it a SMaSH. I don't mind. Hell, throw two yeasts in there. Go for it. :)

SMaSH became something different after we all realized what fantastic beers it made.
 

beerocd

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So SmaSH and alt-SMaSH? Then everyone can get back to brewing instead of trying to define something that was made up in the first place? I too thought of it as a learning tool, using one grain (as-is) and one hop (as-is) to get to know the ingredients better and what they contribute to the beer. alt-SMaSH would be the beer equivalent of IRON CHEF. (back when it was out of Japan)

-OCD
 

carl spakler

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If it is sold as a different SKU at the store, then it is a different malt. AFAIK the S in SMASH stands for *single* malt, once you change the malt into something else by roasting it, you no longer have a single malt.
 
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AnOldUR

AnOldUR

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. . . once you change the malt into something else . . . , you no longer have a single malt.
Have to agree with that. Once you change the single malt into beer, you no longer have a single malt.

So you're saying, it's only a SMaSH when talking about the the ingredients that you started out with? ;)
 

Revvy

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Originally, we brewed SMaSHes to taste the flavor of the grain/hops. That means, you would use strictly one type of grain, one type of hop (from the same batch), and a clean yeast like nottingham.

But you can roast some of the grains and still call it a SMaSH. I don't mind. Hell, throw two yeasts in there. Go for it. :)
+1

I still don't know where that argument against toasting comes from...

if you toast a pound of Marris Otter to an srm of 30 let's say...it is still Marris Otter...so it is still a smash...it is still a SINGLE malt...that you've just manipulated..


Going to go vote now....
 

bbrim

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If a maltster took some pale 2 row and put into a kiln, it would no longer be pale 2 row. If you roast pilsen, or munich it is no longer the same malt. It can still make a great beer and maybe a better one. I vote that it is no longer a SMaSH.
 

ajwillys

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I vote its no longer a SMaSH. I don't have much to add that hasn't been discussed but to me roasting at home is similar enough to buying pre-kilned specialty grains that it can no longer be considered the same malt. The idea is to taste what the 2-row or Maris Otter or Pilsen brings to the table... not what you can manipulate it into.
 
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AnOldUR

AnOldUR

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An artist says he’s going to make a painting using only blue and yellow.
Part of his picture ends up green.
Did he lie?
:confused::confused::confused:
 

ajwillys

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An artist says he’s going to make a painting using only blue and yellow.
Part of his picture ends up green.
Did he lie?
:confused::confused::confused:
Yes, he did. By that logic, you can say that every painting ever created was made with only 3 colors....
 

mmb

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Yes, he did. By that logic, you can say that every painting ever created was made with only 3 colors....
Color is just a difference in how our eye processes light reflections.

Is Blue actually "Blue" or is that just what our eye tells us?

:D
 

Greenmutt24

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Color is just a difference in how our eye processes light reflections.

Is Blue actually "Blue" or is that just what our eye tells us?

:D
Yes because colors are denoted by the wavelength of light not our eyes that is why there are "colors" that we can not see

I voted that it wasn't a SMaSH
 

Dr_Deathweed

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I am going to have to stick with roasting is a SMaSH. While a "traditional" SMaSH may be only one un-modified grain from a single source, altering all or part of that grain before you mash it can be considered part of the individuals brewing process. Sure all your specialty grains come from a single grain source, but none of us (I think) create our specialty grains. IMHO SMaSH is a learning experience, and should start out simple, but is it not possible to still learn the differences in final product from various different techniques during the brewing process, including roasting?

As long as you start out with your bucket of grains of a single type from a single source, a single variety of hops, yeast, and water, what you do with it is all up to the brewer.

I will throw out there that using multiple strains of yeast or any adjuncts (including oaking) may be outside SMaSH criteria...


Yes because colors are denoted by the wavelength of light not our eyes that is why there are "colors" that we can not see

I voted that it wasn't a SMaSH

:off: "color" may be denoted by wavelength, but what we "see" is how our brain interprets that wavelength. The color you "see" when you see the wavelength of "blue" may be "red" in someone else's mind :D
 

ChemE

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I voted that toasting invalidates SMaSH. For me, as others have stated, a SMaSH is an educational tool so I can learn what grains and hops taste like. Toasting MO makes it taste different so that breaks the utility of a SMaSH as a learning/teaching tool.

If your motivation is to see how great a beer can be made from a single malt and single hop, then go nuts like Evan said. But don't give me a bottle and tell me (a new AG brewer) this is what 2-row and Cascades tastes like because unless I toast a portion, triple decoct, and do a massive late kettle hop addition, I'm not going to recreate the taste and so I've been mislead.

In the end though it is a hobby and we need to what what makes us happy so I'd vote for hidden answer C) RDWAHAHB.
 

Ølbart

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Yes because colors are denoted by the wavelength of light not our eyes that is why there are "colors" that we can not see
Tell that to my RGB monitor. Wavelengths only correspond to perceived colours, they aren't colours in themselves. The partitioning of the visible (and even invisible) light spectrum into colours is done by the human eye. Objectively, the light spectrum is just as continuous as distances are, but the colour spectrum clearly isn't.

And no, I'd say it's not a SMaSH. That doesn't make it unacceptable to brew it, of course.
 
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I personally thinl it's not quite a "single malt". If you roast it, is it really amtter whether you did it or the malting house? Tat siad, I think home roasting is way more cool and I would say it's really a 1.5 Malt and single hop. Don't know how to do the accronym. maybe a S1/2aSH?
 
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AnOldUR

AnOldUR

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The masses have spoken and the results are clear . . . .

Mob rules: No roasting allowed in a SMaSH.







Yes. This is a debate with no winning side. IMO
Until the BJCP comes up with a SMaSH category that debate will continue. But it’s clear that we are arguing two different
positions. It’s the proverbial “apples to oranges” scenario. Some of us contend that a SMaSH is defined by the ingredients that the brewer starts with. The majority clearly takes it to be the finished produce that determines this technique. Unfortunately, this relegates the SMaSH to a predictable, boring brew used solely as learning tool for isolating ingredients.:(







Damn! I’ll have to get a mod to change the name on the Munich Dunkel SMaSH in my recipe pull-down.:D
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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Damn! I’ll have to get a mod to change the name on the Munich Dunkel SMaSH in my recipe pull-down.:D
Not a bad idea. Rightly or wrongly (I see I was wrong now) I, for one don't even look at other people's SMaSH recipes because I use the majority definition. I agree about SMaSHes being largely predictable and unexciting, so when I do one, I only do a small batch.
 

Ølbart

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We should introduce a new term for the roasted and single hopped beer, RaSH. Sounds delicious.
 
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