Author Topic: Smoked American barley wine, I shouldn't of...  (Read 2081 times)

Offline enso

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Smoked American barley wine, I shouldn't of...
« on: March 24, 2010, 12:43:46 PM »
I had much trepidation in the planning but I had to try.  Bleh.  My first total dumper in many years.  I am only posting because I read someone else post about a smoked barley wine in another thread.  Did not want to hijack, but remembered my dissapointment...

Well, I am not dumping it yet but, it does not have much promise.  Like sucking on a family sized box of adhesive bandages!   :P

Some vague particulars for your information.  Brewed it, oh, 7 months ago.  Used only 2 lb. of Briess smoked malt.  Left in the fermenter a month.  Racked to keg and purged/pressurized.  Let it sit in a cool (50-60F) room.

I have read of others brewing a similar beer so it must be possible but not the way I did it.  Nor is there even anything there to encourage further exploration.  I love smoked beers.  I love Barley wines.  Separately not together I guess.  I thought from the get go that perhaps more of a malty English barley wine would have worked better.  Ah well, on to the next brew!
Dave Brush

Offline hamiltont

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Re: Smoked American barley wine, I shouldn't of...
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2010, 12:55:25 PM »
Bummer, in a big way!!!  When I read this "Like sucking on a family sized box of adhesive bandages! " I immediately thought of peated malt.  Many people perceive the bandaid taste with peated. Not familiar with Briess' smoked malt so I can't speak to that.  I've smoked my own with Alder wood & used it for 1/2 the base malt and it's nice & smooth in a Robust Porter.  I'd stash it away for a year & forget about it.
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Smoked American barley wine, I shouldn't of...
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2010, 12:56:30 PM »
Double post???  Sorry about that!!!
« Last Edit: March 24, 2010, 01:16:36 PM by hamiltont »
If Homebrew & BBQ aren't the answer, then you're askin' the wrong questions... Cheers!!!

Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Smoked American barley wine, I shouldn't of...
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2010, 01:28:46 PM »
When I read this "Like sucking on a family sized box of adhesive bandages! " I immediately thought of peated malt.  Many people perceive the bandaid taste with peated.

Funny...for the past 5 or so years I thought I was dealing with chloramines or an infection because a "peated" 80/ ale tasted of bandaids!  Maybe it was the peated malt in that case.

I have since done many beers, both big and small, with weyermann rauchmalz.  Delightful.  I did a smoked imperial stout using I think 12 or 13 lbs of rauchmalz...except for some oats, crystal, and roasted/chocolate malts it was the only malt used.  It was (and about 2 years later, still is) a great beer and while smokey, is smokey in a palatable and moderate way.

I wonder if the briess smoked malt had some characteristics like the peated malt I used?  I've never used Briess smoked malt.

Offline enso

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Re: Smoked American barley wine, I shouldn't of...
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2010, 04:29:31 PM »
Yeah I won't touch peated malt.  It has its place.  That place is whiskey!

Oh and certainly not in a Scottish ale...  Aye there be no reak in my ale laddie!   :D

The Briess smoked malt is smoked over cherry wood.  It is quite potent and unlike rauchmalt not recommended to use in large percentages.  Looking at my recipe now I see that I used about 13%.  Perhaps that was too much.

It is not just the phenols from the smoked malt that can give you those perceptions.  It is also in the interaction with the hops you use.  In this case the citrusy type U.S. hops are not jiving with it.  If you do have any chlorine in your water it will definitely make some nasty flavors.  I know that was not a problem in my case as I use spring water directly from the source.
Dave Brush

Offline The Professor

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Re: Smoked American barley wine, I shouldn't of...
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2010, 07:57:54 AM »
ome vague particulars for your information.  Brewed it, oh, 7 months ago.  Used only 2 lb. of Briess smoked malt.  Left in the fermenter a month.  Racked to keg and purged/pressurized.  Let it sit in a cool (50-60F) room.


2lbs  seems like an awful  LOT of smoked malt...probably just 6 or 8 ounces (or less)  would have given a good smoke character without overpowering the brew.   
For me, using smoked malt is in the same category as oak aging...a little bit adds a nice bit of character to a brew, but too much of either one can be cloying at best and downright nasty at worst.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Smoked American barley wine, I shouldn't of...
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2010, 09:11:54 AM »
2lbs  seems like an awful  LOT of smoked malt...probably just 6 or 8 ounces (or less)  would have given a good smoke character without overpowering the brew.   

Depends actually, with things like the Beechwood malt or the Cherrywood malt, a few pounds can actually be appropriate.

Folsom Brewmeister used to do a Cherrywood malt before Briess did that was super soft and great to use in unexpected ways.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Smoked American barley wine, I shouldn't of...
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2010, 10:18:30 AM »
2lbs  seems like an awful  LOT of smoked malt...probably just 6 or 8 ounces (or less)  would have given a good smoke character without overpowering the brew.   

Depends actually, with things like the Beechwood malt or the Cherrywood malt, a few pounds can actually be appropriate.

Folsom Brewmeister used to do a Cherrywood malt before Briess did that was super soft and great to use in unexpected ways.

Interesting...I guess my only experience with smoked malt has been pretty limited having only used German rauchmalz and peated malts.  They asserted themselves pretty intensely in small amounts.
Then again, maybe it's just my tastebuds.
The Cherrywood malt sounds interesting...this is something that Breiss still makes?
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Smoked American barley wine, I shouldn't of...
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2010, 10:31:31 AM »
The Cherrywood malt sounds interesting...this is something that Breiss still makes?

Yup and taste is definitely the thing. I don't find the Rauchmalz to be overly assertive.
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Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Smoked American barley wine, I shouldn't of...
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2010, 12:16:08 PM »
Rauchmalz makes a great base malt for large majorities of the grain bill, but then I like rauchbier!  :D

Offline enso

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Re: Smoked American barley wine, I shouldn't of...
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2010, 03:09:36 PM »
The Cherrywood malt sounds interesting...this is something that Breiss still makes?

Yup and taste is definitely the thing. I don't find the Rauchmalz to be overly assertive.

Nor do I.  I have used it for about 60% in recipes and thought...  This could use more smoke!  I definitely plan on using Rauchmalt at 80-100% on my next smoked beer.

The Briess is definitely more assertive and really a different flavor.  It is a lot more barbecue flavored I think.    You can taste it when sampling the grain itself side by side.
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Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Smoked American barley wine, I shouldn't of...
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2010, 02:09:17 PM »
Also, there are a large numbers of smoking methods.  A cold smoked malt is going to taste much different than hot smoked malt.  Old world methods of smoking tend to heavily favor cold smoking, so I'd imagine the german rauchmalz is cold smoked.  The higher heat of hot smoking would give stronger flavors as it partially "cooks" the grain.  Of course wood type is important too, but cherry is not an overly assertive or strong woodsmoke flavor compared to other wood types.  Peat, on the other hand...