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Rauch love...

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I have a soft spot in my heart for the rauch bier.  I have only brewed one smoked beer and it was great, a maple flavored smoked amber ale.  It was not the loveliness that is a straight up rauchbier though.

I had not had much rauch bier for a while until my local package store got in some Schlenkerla Marzen.  I have been eagerly consuming it and it got me wishing I had my own stash.

Here is the idea.  I am not too big on lagers and certainly not really equipped enough to "do it right" in the lager department.  However, I do make a mean California common and a lovely malty Scottish ale.  Both fermented in the mid to high 50's F.  Let me state right here before anyone gets a wrong idea. I do NOT believe Scottish ales should have any reak (smoke) to them.  That is just an incorrect urban legend!  So do not go there!


Okay, got that off my chest...  What I am thinking is my Scottish shilling ale recipe would be a good malty base line to use for a smooth rauch ALE as opposed to a lager.  It is a pretty simple recipe.  Mainly Marris Otter, a bit of aromatic malt to approximate older amber malts and a touch of roast barley.  A thick mash and some caramelization of the first runnings.  I would then use either wyeast 1728 which is my Scottish ale yeast of choice, or WLP810 San fran. lager which I also have on hand, and ferment in the high 50's F to keep it smooth and lager like, not too fruity.

Probably hop with mild noble hops.  Maybe hallertau?

Any suggestions?

I'm kinda following your enthusiasm for the reaky Scottish Ale, but think you should go with a rauchbier using the SF Lager yeast. I did a split batch of rauchbier a season or two ago & didn't have room in the lagering fridge for both carboys, so I pitched some WY2575-K├Âlsch II to the second carboy. It honestly turned out better than the "real deal" after lagering and I even passed it off in a few comps with none of the judges any the wiser.  ;D   

I think you need to go with German Rauch Malt and clean fermentation.
You do NOT want to have ANY fruity esters in there.

I would suggest something like this:

   %     Amount     Name                          Origin        Potential SRM
 90.8    11.31 lbs. Smoked (Bamberg)              Germany        1.037      2
  7.2     0.90 lbs. CaraMunich II                 Germany        1.034     46
  2.0     0.25 lbs. Carafa Special II             Germany        1.030    430

   Amount     Name                              Form    Alpha  IBU  Boil Time
  1.54 oz.    Hallertau Hersbrucker             Pellet   4.00  25.0  60 min.

You could go with less CaraMunich and may be replace CaraMunich II for Cara Munich III.

Pick Clean Ale yeast like WLP001 or may be clean German Ale yeast and ferment it on low side.

This is one beer I need to try my hand at. I think this is a beer you either really love or really hate. Is this a tried and true recipe?

I think smoked beers are generally misunderstood... especially Rauchbier! Rauchbier is a table/social beer best enjoyed with good company & slow food. Just sayin'!  8)


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