Author Topic: Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak  (Read 4437 times)

Offline erockrph

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Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak
« on: July 21, 2012, 07:30:15 AM »
I'm starting to plan my robust porter for the fall. I want to get a hint of smokiness in there above and beyond what I'd get from black malt or roasted barley alone. I've seen smoked porter recipes calling for 3-5% rauch malt, but I was wondering how heavy toast oak would work instead. I'm thinking the vanilla would be nice, and I can get away with brewing a lighter-bodied/drier porter and letting a little bit of tannin fill out the mouthfeel a bit.

Does anyone have any experiece with one versus the other? Can I get a nice smoky highlight out of toasted oak before I suck out too much tannin/oakiness? I'm shooting for smoky campfire but not woody campfire.
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Offline majorvices

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Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2012, 07:50:31 AM »
You won't get smoke character from oak, even heavy toasted oak .... unless you put some on the smoker.
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2012, 12:45:18 PM »
Rauchmalt is much easier to use and will give you a better tasting result.  Rauchmalt will give you a smoke flavor but oak will give you a much more charred flavor along with a lot of other things that you probably don't want in your beer.  If you want vanilla in your beer, use beans or extract.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2012, 11:55:06 PM »
Well, an oaked porter would still be nice.  But for smoke character, skip the oak and go with rauch.  And then oak some of it ;)
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2012, 06:01:41 AM »
Well, an oaked porter would still be nice.  But for smoke character, skip the oak and go with rauch.  And then oak some of it ;)

Yeah, this seems like the way to go. I think I'm still going to oak some of it. Thanks for the advice everybody.

So how low can I go percentage-wise with rauch malt and still get a hint of smoke? Is 3% a good starting point or should I start even lower?
Eric B.

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Offline majorvices

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Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2012, 07:19:26 AM »
I'd go at least 5%. It may also depend on what malt you buy and how fresh it is. I have heard reports of people using larger percentages than that and getting a very muted smoke character. Personally, I always smoke my own malt.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 07:21:26 AM by majorvices »
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Offline dee

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Re: Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2012, 10:09:00 AM »
I had a smoker porter reach the NHC finals(41) that had 20% smoked malt (I smoked moist Maris Otter for about 1 hour over a very small fire(140 degrees).  I called it Campfire Porter.  I used hickory, apple and peach wood.  It was really bold but still balanced according to the score sheets.  I think you need at least 10% to have lasting smoke character since it does fade with time.  Twenty percent is as assertive as I can tolerate with home smoked malt.  Weyermann Rauch malt isn't nearly as strong so I think you could use more. 

BTW- I'm coming to Huntsville next week, Keith.  Will you be at the brewery on Saturday?  If so, I'd like to stop by.

Offline majorvices

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Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2012, 11:00:00 AM »
Sure, I'll most certainly be here. I'll PM you my cell.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2012, 10:17:29 PM »
So how low can I go percentage-wise with rauch malt and still get a hint of smoke? Is 3% a good starting point or should I start even lower?
I agree, at least 5%.  It depends a lot on the batch of Weyermann and how fresh it is.  I once got a comment from a National judge on my 100% Weyermann rauch malt beer - "use a higher % of rauch malt next time".  Granted, I was going for intense smoke and you're not.  I would smell the malt and make a decision, but if you are ordering online I would go with 10%.  It should be noticeable, but it won't be overwhelming.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2012, 07:34:05 AM »
Better than the Grand Master judge who said mine "tastes bacony".  Uh, you know bacon is smoked, right?
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Offline Titanium Brewing

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Re: Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2012, 01:12:34 PM »
For some of us "bacony" sounds delicous. Vegans need not apply.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2012, 12:58:24 AM »
Better than the Grand Master judge who said mine "tastes bacony".  Uh, you know bacon is smoked, right?
As the head of the BJCP, can't you revoke their ranking for that kind of thing? :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline majorvices

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Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2012, 06:42:02 AM »
Better than the Grand Master judge who said mine "tastes bacony".  Uh, you know bacon is smoked, right?

I do a beer every year smoked over apple wood and always get the same comments from people. Yeah, "bacony" .... that's a good thing. :)
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2012, 07:39:12 AM »
dee / majorvices - Can you go right into the mash after smoking malt, or do you have to let the smoked malt "rest"?

Probably a dumb question, but I know Randy Mosher suggests waiting before using home-toasted oats. I also know these are completely different processes, but I wanted to make sure I didn't get any rough flavors fresh off the smoker.
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Offline majorvices

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Rauch Malt vs Heavy Toast Oak
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2012, 07:41:23 AM »
I always let mine rest a week or so. Too much work to smoke and brew the same day anyway, but I think it is probably best to let it rest.
Keith Y.
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