Smoking malt?

Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:46 am

I have brewed several smoke beers with the hopes of getting it as smokey as Schlenkerla. No luck, even going close to 100% smoked malt. (weyermann rauchmalt, by the way) Has anyone smoked their own malt, and if so, for how long? I know that i will have to acquire some beechwood, and probably use a separate smoker than one to smoke meat.
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Re: Smoking malt?

Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:10 pm

i have never tried smoking malt but i did recently watch a food science show on the food network that compaired food grilled to food that had liquid smoke added to it and people could not tell the difference. have you thought of adding a little liquid smoke to your beer? the show went how they make it and basically they pass smoke from burning wood through water and presto, liquid smoke. This way you could dose your boil according to flavor, or maybe even your keg or primary?
Cheers!
Tavish
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Re: Smoking malt?

Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:22 pm

tavish2 wrote:the show went how they make it and basically they pass smoke from burning wood through water and presto, liquid smoke.


Sheesh. Don't say that too loud or TapItGood will be adding bong water, or "liquid cousin smoke" to his Raushbier. :o


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Re: Smoking malt?

Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:25 pm

tavish2 wrote:have you thought of adding a little liquid smoke to your beer



Jamil had liquid smoke covered in the Rauchbier show. Adding it is verboten. Also, i don't think that it is beechwood anyway....or is it?
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Re: Smoking malt?

Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:03 pm

Interesting!

I have the Beer Hunter show where MJ talks about rauchbier. They not only smoke the malt in beechwood, they heat the rocks they use to boil the wort in a beechwood fire for something like 24 hrs. After the wort is boiled some of the beechwood smoked boiling rocks (now coated with caramelized sugars) are placed in the fermenter along with the wort! It's some pretty elaborate middle ages type stuff going on there!

The liquid smoke stuff isn't beechwood. And as a long time smoker (of meat) I can tell you that there is definitely a difference between the hardwood* smoked flavor of meat and liquid smoke. The liquid smoke works OK for sausage and hams, but I'm not going to use it.

Charlie
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Re: Smoking malt?

Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:02 pm

Charlie wrote:Interesting!

I have the Beer Hunter show where MJ talks about rauchbier. They not only smoke the malt in beechwood, they heat the rocks they use to boil the wort in a beechwood fire for something like 24 hrs. After the wort is boiled some of the beechwood smoked boiling rocks (now coated with caramelized sugars) are placed in the fermenter along with the wort! It's some pretty elaborate middle ages type stuff going on there!


That is badass....but, could be too elaborate for my brewery. looks like i have t do some research. i have never seen MJ's Beerhunter show, but now it looks like i need to find the dvds or something.

Thanks for the info.
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Re: Smoking malt?

Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:14 pm

blipiddybrew wrote:That is badass....but, could be too elaborate for my brewery. looks like i have t do some research. i have never seen MJ's Beerhunter show, but now it looks like i need to find the dvds or something.


I dunno, it's just hot smoked rocks and stuff.

There's a lot of different techniques for smoking meat (and other food stuffs). I got the impression from the video that the brewery was using cool smoke, probably in the range of 120-130F. Cool smoke would tend to deposit more of the wood flavor on the malt (IMHO). If I were to do this I would use a remote fire box and pipe the cool smoke into the bottom of a chamber with screen trays holding a shallow (2" ?) layer of malt. When the lower tray was done I'd remove it, move the other trays down, and put a fresh tray on the top.

If you find a source for the Beer Hunter on DVD let me know. My copy is VHS, and I can see the day coming when it flakes for good.

Charlie
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Re: Smoking malt?

Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:40 pm

I just watched the Beerhunter episode where MJ discusses Raushbier. It is a roughly 10 minute segment in the episode on German brewing called "The Fifth Element".

Raushbier is a classic local style in the North Bavarian region of Franconia, and dates from the 12th century. Michael visited the city of Banburg (pop 75K) in Franconia. He discussed the raushbier style in general, but visited only one brewery; Brau Stubl was the name on the sign. From the discussion of smoked malt I gather that many breweries in Bamburg use beechwood smoked malt, but Brau Stubl is the one who resurrected the practice of using hot rocks to boil the wort.

There were few details of the malt smoking process except that beechwood was burned in the malt kiln, and the smoke "pervades the grain".

MJ says that in antiquity hot rocks were used to heat and boil the wort. I'm guessing that this was done because they were using wooden vessels and could not apply direct heat. Brau Stubl heats rocks (they look like about 10 lb chunks of granite) to 2500C and puts them directly into the copper BK. The wort is already heated almost to the boiling point, and the rocks create a rolling boil and dense cloud of steam. Sugars in the wort fuse onto the rocks. When the boiled wort is transferred to the fermenter some of the rocks (probably from a different batch) are placed in the bottom of the fermenter. The ratio appeared to be about 5 rocks in a 2000 gallon fermenter

When the wort was pumped into the fermenter it appeared medium amber, but the beer MJ was drinking was quite dark. He said that the beer had a "treacly coffee flavor", and that the brewery exports their beer in sling top bottles to the UK and US under the name "Raushen Feld" (that's a phonetic spelling).

I haven't seen "Raushen Feld", but will ask about it.

Charlie
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