Author Topic: Smoked Helles Advice  (Read 3272 times)

Offline Gloridaze Brewing Company

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Smoked Helles Advice
« on: September 04, 2017, 02:52:05 PM »
Looking for some advice on a smoked Helles
recipe. I want it to be clear that there is smoked malt in there but be a subtle compliment to the base style. None of the articles that I've found offers a solid starting point. They all punt saying that it depends on how smoky that you want it and how old the malt is without offering a range. My best guess is to replace a pound of  pilsner malt with a pound of Weyermann Rauch malt. Let me know if you have any suggestions. Thanks!


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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Smoked Helles Advice
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 03:59:45 PM »
Looking for some advice on a smoked Helles
recipe. I want it to be clear that there is smoked malt in there but be a subtle compliment to the base style. None of the articles that I've found offers a solid starting point. They all punt saying that it depends on how smoky that you want it and how old the malt is without offering a range. My best guess is to replace a pound of  pilsner malt with a pound of Weyermann Rauch malt. Let me know if you have any suggestions. Thanks!


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That is not a punt, but sound advice. If you can get Weyermann from a fresh bag, use a pound. Then see haw it is to your taste, then go up or down depending on the freshness you can get the Rauchmalt next time.

The smoke in the malt dissipates with time. If it is stored in a bin, and you can smell the smoke  aroma when you open the bin, it has left the malt and won't go into your beer.

Everyone has a different threshold and tolerance for smoke in their beers. I like it a lot, and have made smoked Helles with 2 lbs for a 5 gallon batch, and that was fresh homesmoked malt.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Smoked Helles Advice
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 04:11:01 PM »
The word from Ron Smith is that Schlenkerla doesn't use any smoked malt in their Helles. The smoke that their Helles picks up, is from the brewing equipment and their environment. So, it doesn't take much to impart smoke in a delicate style like Helles.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Smoked Helles Advice
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 06:00:14 PM »
That is good advice, Martin.  For subtle smoke, I'd use 10% or less.  Wyerman is a good choice if you know the freshness, much better than Briess.  It isn't hard to smoke your own either - that way you can chose the type of wood.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Smoked Helles Advice
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2017, 09:06:02 PM »
The word from Ron Smith is that Schlenkerla doesn't use any smoked malt in their Helles. The smoke that their Helles picks up, is from the brewing equipment and their environment. So, it doesn't take much to impart smoke in a delicate style like Helles.
My guess is they repitch yeast, which would give plenty of smoked flavor.
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Offline Gloridaze Brewing Company

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Re: Smoked Helles Advice
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2017, 10:22:17 PM »
Thanks everyone that gives me a good starting point. If I were to brew a schwartzbier after the Helles, would you recommend upping the percentage a bit?


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Offline Gloridaze Brewing Company

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Smoked Helles Advice
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2017, 10:29:13 PM »
The smoke in the malt dissipates with time. If it is stored in a bin, and you can smell the smoke  aroma when you open the bin, it has left the malt and won't go into your beer.

This is a great tip. Normally I buy my malt in sealed bags but I'll keep this in mind.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 10:36:30 PM by Gloridaze Brewing Company »

Offline Gloridaze Brewing Company

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Re: Smoked Helles Advice
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2017, 10:33:46 PM »
It isn't hard to smoke your own either - that way you can chose the type of wood.
I have an electric smoker. Do you have to cold smoke it or can I just use a low temp?


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Offline jeffy

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Re: Smoked Helles Advice
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2017, 12:33:59 AM »
It isn't hard to smoke your own either - that way you can chose the type of wood.
I have an electric smoker. Do you have to cold smoke it or can I just use a low temp?


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I prefer cold smoke because it doesn't change the malt much, especially helpful with a pale colored beer.  The more heat, the less time is needed and the more color is added.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline el_capitan

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Re: Smoked Helles Advice
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2017, 01:10:29 AM »
It isn't hard to smoke your own either - that way you can chose the type of wood.
I have an electric smoker. Do you have to cold smoke it or can I just use a low temp?


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I recently made a Grätzer using home-smoked wheat malt.  I misted the grains with water so that the smoke would stick to the grain.  I repeated that step a couple times.  I also used an electric smoker, and kept the temp under 150.  I was using cherry wood.  I think I smoked the malt for about 2-3 hours, and it really came through in the beer.  Not an overload, but definitely there. 

I've had good luck with the Weyermann Oak-Smoked wheat malt.  You might also try the Briess Cherrywood-Smoked malt. 

Offline Invertalon

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Re: Smoked Helles Advice
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2017, 05:02:07 PM »
I just tapped a Helles Rauchbier that used 60%+ Weyermann beechwood (Rauch) malt. Came out absolutely delicious!

It's smoky, but not over-the-top by any means. Amazing smoked malt to use!

If you want just a touch of smoke, I think something like 10-15% would be a solid starting point.

Offline santoch

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Re: Smoked Helles Advice
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2017, 01:37:21 AM »

I have an electric smoker. Do you have to cold smoke it or can I just use a low temp?


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This is one of the things on my to-do list.  I haven't tried it yet, but I would definitely cold smoke it.  I don't think the malt (enzymes) can withstand the 200+ F degree heat of a hot smoke.

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Offline Westley

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Re: Smoked Helles Advice
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2017, 12:29:39 PM »
I've developed a couple of recipes that use peat-smoked malts, all of which are delicious. The stout that I make uses 12% peat-smoked malt and it's subtle but definitely there. I've had people that don't even like dark beers say they liked it. I'm a big fan of subtle smoke flavors.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Smoked Helles Advice
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2017, 12:38:28 PM »
There are so many better smoke sources than peat. Why are you using peat-smoked malt? Is there something I'm missing?
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Smoked Helles Advice
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2017, 01:22:59 PM »
There are so many better smoke sources than peat. Why are you using peat-smoked malt? Is there something I'm missing?


Yeah, that stuff is vile.
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