Author Topic: Smoking malt  (Read 4930 times)

Offline gmac

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Smoking malt
« on: July 29, 2011, 07:49:03 AM »
Dumb idea #2 - Smoked porter
In preparation for the cooler days of autumn, I'm thinking of either a coffee porter or more intriguing, a smoked porter.  But, how do I smoke the malt?  I'm assuming you need just a little bit since I want the smoke to be present but not over powering.  Probably just use green maple twigs for the smoking but I can get other woods if needed.   I am sure that I want to use hardwood and not softwood (pine, spruce etc). 

How do I smoke a bit of malt and how much do you suggest for a 5 gal batch so that it is present and supporting but not overpowering?  Doesn't have to be perfect but I need a starting point to fine-tune from later.

Thanks

Offline a10t2

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Re: Smoking malt
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2011, 08:08:45 AM »
How do I smoke a bit of malt and how much do you suggest for a 5 gal batch so that it is present and supporting but not overpowering?  Doesn't have to be perfect but I need a starting point to fine-tune from later.

I've never smoked my own malts, but there was an article (in BYO IIRC) a couple years ago about doing small amounts by joining two pie plates together to make a chamber. It may not be on their website, but google did turn up this: http://www.byo.com/stories/beer-styles/article/indices/11-beer-styles/309-brewing-smoked-beers-tips-from-the-pros

When using commercial smoked malts, I'd go with anywhere from 20-40% of the grist for a subtle, background smoke character. In a porter you may want to tend closer to the high end of that range. I just brewed a smoked Vienna Lager for our next seasonal and it's subtle but unmistakable at 16%.

Briess has a new cherrywood smoked malt out that I haven't tried yet, but I'll be doing a smoked porter with it this fall.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Smoking malt
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2011, 08:17:37 AM »
Dumb idea #2 - Smoked porter
In preparation for the cooler days of autumn, I'm thinking of either a coffee porter or more intriguing, a smoked porter.  But, how do I smoke the malt?  I'm assuming you need just a little bit since I want the smoke to be present but not over powering.  Probably just use green maple twigs for the smoking but I can get other woods if needed.   I am sure that I want to use hardwood and not softwood (pine, spruce etc). 

How do I smoke a bit of malt and how much do you suggest for a 5 gal batch so that it is present and supporting but not overpowering?  Doesn't have to be perfect but I need a starting point to fine-tune from later.

Thanks

Good choice.  I have one ready to keg right now.
I cold-smoke malt for brewing.  There's a nice thread with pictures here: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=2814.0 but you can do it in so many ways and get good results.
Usually for a Porter, since the roast flavors are pretty big, I'd use about 20% cold-smoked pale malt.  If you smoke the malt with some heat it may change the characteristics of the malt a bit and make it more smokey, but that shouldn't matter too much with this style.
Definitely use hard woods.  Fruit trees make really nice smoke: apple, cherry, pecan, citrus.  Personally I stay away from mesquite, thinking it's too strong a flavor.  Alaskan Smoked Porter uses Alder.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Smoking malt
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2011, 08:41:05 AM »
Here's another thread on smoking malt. Scroll down to post #13 where I describe the process I've used.  Cheers!!!
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/smoking-grain-227581/
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Smoking malt
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2011, 08:58:04 AM »
The pie plate thing can from one of my articles, I believe - "Smoke em if you got em"


All the plates drilled (3 take away pans and a cake pan)


The smoker in action.

All told, according to my pal Beanie who built these things - you can fit a pound of malt in there and get a good quick smoke on the grains.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Smoking malt
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2011, 09:03:23 AM »
Smoking your own malts gives you another knob to turn on the process side.

Jeff has experience and a system that one can only envy for smoking grains.  The wood that I can add to his list is pear, that has some nice soft smoke flavors and even goes well with some hops if you use some restraint on the smoke and hops.

I have some crabapple shavings to try out soon.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Smoking malt
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2011, 12:38:16 PM »
Smoking your own malts gives you another knob to turn on the process side.

Jeff has experience and a system that one can only envy for smoking grains.  The wood that I can add to his list is pear, that has some nice soft smoke flavors and even goes well with some hops if you use some restraint on the smoke and hops.

I have some crabapple shavings to try out soon.



 ;D
Joe

Offline gmac

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Re: Smoking malt
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2011, 03:40:40 PM »
Smoking your own malts gives you another knob to turn on the process side.

Jeff has experience and a system that one can only envy for smoking grains.  The wood that I can add to his list is pear, that has some nice soft smoke flavors and even goes well with some hops if you use some restraint on the smoke and hops.

I have some crabapple shavings to try out soon.



 ;D

Why not pour in a 1/2 bottle of Lagavulin if that's what you're after?

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Smoking malt
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2011, 09:47:34 PM »


10 pounds of 2 row smoking with pecan wood.  I just opened the door to take the picture.  Each pan has hundreds of holes poked in them, and I stir the malt about every 10 minutes for an hour.  I let the smoked malt sit a couple of weeks in a paper bag, then used one third of it in Helles bock.  I did the same with apple wood and will be serving the second keg of each beer at Oktoberfest.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Smoking malt
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2011, 10:18:36 PM »
I let the smoked malt sit a couple of weeks in a paper bag, then used one third of it in Helles bock.  I did the same with apple wood and will be serving the second keg of each beer at Oktoberfest.

Just let me know where and when. ;)
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Smoking malt
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2011, 12:22:00 PM »
That photo convinced me... Gonna smoke some malt this October. Mmmmm rauchbier.
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Offline EHall

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Re: Smoking malt
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2011, 12:24:29 PM »
whatever happened to rolling it in papers to smoke it?!
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Offline ukolowiczd

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Re: Smoking malt
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2011, 03:31:36 PM »
I've never smoked malt but I have toasted my own pale malt in the oven to make amber and brown malt. One BIG, important thing - you need to let it set for 3 weeks to mellow out. I made a smoked porter last winter with a very dark brown malt that only set over night and the beer literally tasted like cigarette ashes. We called it "Ashes Porter", cried and commenced to pour it all down the drain. I'm not sure if it's the same for smoked malt just wanted to add that. Also when using toasted grains we have to use more mash/sparge water because the grain is so dry it soaks up a lot. We up our mash from 1 1/4 quart/lb. to 1 1/2 or 1 3/4 quart/lb. I've never smoked my own malt but sounds like an awesome idea.

Offline hokerer

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Re: Smoking malt
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2011, 06:50:17 PM »
I made a smoked porter last winter with a very dark brown malt that only set over night and the beer literally tasted like cigarette ashes. We called it "Ashes Porter", cried and commenced to pour it all down the drain.

In the future, you might want to wait a bit.  Last time I made a smoked a porter, the hydrometer sample tasted like like I was drinking from an ashtray - nasty.  After it had aged a couple weeks and then bottle conditioned for another couple weeks, it tasted absolutely fantastic - just the right hint of smoke.
Joe

Offline positiverpr

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Re: Smoking malt
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2011, 09:28:53 AM »
to keep from getting to much darkening when i smoke malt i put the malt in a sheet of folded window screen in a cardboard box. i cut a hole in the bottom of the box and sit it over the smoke portal of my electric smoker. using the smoker at about 200 degrees with this method puts little heat into the grain and forces all of the smoke through it. i've had good results with about 45-60 minutes of smoking with this setup- with an aging period of about a week in a bag afterwards.