Author Topic: Peated malt  (Read 1807 times)

Offline unclebrazzie

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Peated malt
« on: April 07, 2015, 11:24:17 AM »
Finally used this in a scottish gruit hybrid and was surprised by the amount of love/hate this malt seems to get from brewers.
Some hate it so much they'd discard it altogether, in any brew whatsoever.
Others love it so much that they'd happily go 100% with this.

Me, I like peat, me. While I've still to ascertain the level of peatiness in that scottish bastard beer of mine, so far I'd say that anything below 10%, in a strong (say 1.080 SG and beyond) wort is hard to detect. Notes, perhaps, depending on your tolerance, but certainly not overwhelming.

That being said, peated malt reminds me of chili powder in a way. I see TV chefs toss it in by the spoonful, "to get a bit of kick". The chili powder I buy in Belgian supermarkets, while certainly not plutonic, is still nothing to use more than a pinch of.
What I mean is that there's quite some variability between products and manufacturers, and malt is no exception. "Lightly peated whisky malt" could mean anything, depending on the maltster/smokester.
The peated malt I can obtain doesn't list a ppm value for the peat, which would have helped a lot during recipe formulation.

Any experiences/thoughts on peated malt?
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Peated malt
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2015, 11:50:56 AM »
No more than 0.5 oz in 5 gallons.  I learned this through experience.  You don't need any more than that to get peatiness if you want that.  It is some seriously strong stuff.  I will probably never use it again.  While I cannot really say that I hate it, I really do not like it, plus it does not belong in any named beer style, historical or modern, so then what is its purpose.  If you want smoke, get it from Bamburg where it is far more tasty and impossible to use too much.
Dave

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Offline unclebrazzie

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Re: Peated malt
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2015, 12:53:05 PM »
...it does not belong in any named beer style, historical or modern, so then what is its purpose. 

Whoa. That implies that we're all out of new beer styles for, like, ever :)

Seriously though: It'd be sad to discredit any ingredient just on the assumption that it doesn't belong in any named beer style. Regardless of preference, innovation is driven by curiosity, and by that itch which makes us scratch at the boundaries of things. Ridiculous as the style name is, Cascadian Dark Ales make sense, despite being perhaps overly premeditated (as well as contradictory when called Black IPA like in the days of yore).

Extending the line: chilies don't belong in beer, and neither do coffee, cucumber or, according to some purists, sugar.

Why use it, other than just to scratch that itch? I for one like the taste and smell of peat. Not just smoke, but the oily, phenolic, bituminous quality of the smoke. Much in the way that "not just any woodsmoke" will do, peat smoke imparts a flavour I find desirable in some beers. And much like hops, in some beers I want a lot of that flavour.
Yes, I realise that's a personal thing, on top being dependent on the levels of peatiness in the malt itself.

But I hear you: if it makes no sense to you, then why use it?

No more than 0.5 oz in 5 gallons. 

 :o
Maybe we really are using different peated malts here. I used two pounds in a 2.5 gallon batch (11% of the malt bill) and it hardly came through (which, I reiterate, could be cause by the specifics of my own tastebuds but I suspect not).
All truth is fiction.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Peated malt
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2015, 01:01:26 PM »
From what I understand, it isn't intended as an ingredient in beer, it is made for scotch production. That doesn't mean it can't be used, I'm just noting that it isn't "traditional" and has been co-opted in brewing to obtain a certain goal. Me, I like it as much as I like sucking on a half burned fire log.

Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Peated malt
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2015, 01:16:57 PM »
I am not a fan. Peat is an organic soil. There used to be muck fires where I grew up, and that smell was terrible when I lived with it as a kid. Now when I smell a beer with peated malt, that is what it smells like, bad memories.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Peated malt
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2015, 04:50:03 PM »
I'll echo the strong sentiment here, peated malt is not something that is suited for much brewing use. Use sparingly or not at all. There are other malts with smoke that are more pleasant.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Peated malt
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2015, 04:56:00 PM »
Maybe we really are using different peated malts here. I used two pounds in a 2.5 gallon batch (11% of the malt bill) and it hardly came through (which, I reiterate, could be cause by the specifics of my own tastebuds but I suspect not).

Two possibilities indeed: either not all peated malts are created equal, or not all tastebuds are created equal.  I tend to suspect the latter more than the former.
Dave

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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Peated malt
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2015, 04:58:19 PM »
I am aware off low and high peated malts, graded by the phenolic level.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Peated malt
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2015, 05:11:55 PM »
It's been about 10 years since I bought one single pound of peated malt -- I doubt they sold different grades of peat malts back then.  It still stinks as bad today as it did the day I purchased it.  I have to store it in an entirely separate container from the rest of my malts to prevent "contamination".
Dave

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Peated malt
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2015, 05:15:42 PM »
"Lightly peated whisky malt" could mean anything, depending on the maltster/smokester.

I have to believe you are using something different than most of us can get here.  I used three or four oz of peated back in the day in a Scottish 80/  and couldn't drink it. I can't imagine 11% of the malt I used. Just like some rauch malts are much better than others, maybe yours is of better quality (meaning milder). If you like it, go for it.
Jon H.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Peated malt
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2015, 05:19:32 PM »
I'll echo the strong sentiment here, peated malt is not something that is suited for much brewing use. Use sparingly or not at all. There are other malts with smoke that are more pleasant.

+ eleventybilliontrillion. Unless you actually like the taste of sucking on a tail pipe. :o

Offline unclebrazzie

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Re: Peated malt
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2015, 08:23:45 PM »
We're talking about this baby here.
We're talking 15 to 25 ppm.
Thomas Fawcett's supposedly has only 10-14ppm. Castle's Chateau Peated is even lower: 5-10ppm, but they've got a Whisky Light and a Whisky, 15-25 and 30-45 ppm respectively.

Now I don't know what you guys are used to, but 15-25 is peanuts and, again completely imho, hardly detectable.

either not all peated malts are created equal, or not all tastebuds are created equal.  I tend to suspect the latter more than the former.
I do agree however that the latter is a factor that can't be overstressed ;)
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Offline norcaljp

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Re: Peated malt
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2015, 12:44:00 AM »
2lbs in a 2.5 gallon batch for 11% of grains. That's over 18 lbs of grain for a 2.5 gallon batch with those numbers. Is something off or is that just a MASSIVE brew? Just wanting to better understand the amount we're really talking about.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Peated malt
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2015, 12:50:50 AM »
We're talking about this baby here.
We're talking 15 to 25 ppm.
Thomas Fawcett's supposedly has only 10-14ppm. Castle's Chateau Peated is even lower: 5-10ppm, but they've got a Whisky Light and a Whisky, 15-25 and 30-45 ppm respectively.

Now I don't know what you guys are used to, but 15-25 is peanuts and, again completely imho, hardly detectable.

either not all peated malts are created equal, or not all tastebuds are created equal.  I tend to suspect the latter more than the former.
I do agree however that the latter is a factor that can't be overstressed ;)

Brew what you want. I don't have to drink it. ;)

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Peated malt
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2015, 12:56:57 AM »
We're talking about this baby here.
We're talking 15 to 25 ppm.
Thomas Fawcett's supposedly has only 10-14ppm. Castle's Chateau Peated is even lower: 5-10ppm, but they've got a Whisky Light and a Whisky, 15-25 and 30-45 ppm respectively.

Now I don't know what you guys are used to, but 15-25 is peanuts and, again completely imho, hardly detectable.

either not all peated malts are created equal, or not all tastebuds are created equal.  I tend to suspect the latter more than the former.
I do agree however that the latter is a factor that can't be overstressed ;)

Brew what you want. I don't have to drink it. ;)
Hey, thats sounds like the new RDWHAHB