Before the kiln became widely used for drying malt, most (if not all) malt had some elements of smoky flavors due to the drying of grain over an open flame heating source. German Rauchbier preserves this tradition of using smoked malt in beer, and excellent maltsters such as Briess are using different wood varieties to produce some intriguing products.
My second all-grain brewing attempt was a pre-formulated smoked porter recipe utilizing the following complex grain bill:
- Pale ale
- Light Munich
- Caramel 80L
- Flaked Barley
- Black Patent
I snagged ~ 5 oz of leftover smoked maple syrup from Thanksgiving, graciously gifted from excellent baker Meg Dawson, to make things a bit crazier. Mashed with a 2.5 : 1 ratio of 3.5 gallons at 154 degrees F for 60 minutes, Magnum pellets for bittering and aroma, one Wyeast #1450 Denny’s Favorite smack pack.
I really loved how this beer turned out. Intense aromas and flavors of smoke with a thick mouthfeel. I’m not real good at detecting diacetyl yet, but if that buttery off-flavor is here, I feel that its richness would complement the mild sugary wood stove taste present in every sip. I really dug playing with smoke flavor, and can’t wait to experiment with more of those malts/smoky adjuncts in the future.