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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2008 * Archive through January 07, 2008 * Weak German Smoked Malt? < Previous Next >

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Bill Ballinger
Junior Member
Username: Willy_bill

Post Number: 27
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: 172.167.101.226
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2007 - 03:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I found the German Smoked Malt at the local homebrew shop tasted a little weak with the smoke this year. It didn't have the smokey zip of last years malt. A friend also ordered some online and it also was weaker smoke.

Has anybody noticed the smoked malt being less smokey this year? Or was last year's simply over the top? (last year was the first year I used german smoked malt)
 

Steve Jones
Intermediate Member
Username: Stevej

Post Number: 414
Registered: 08-2001
Posted From: 76.7.184.116
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2007 - 01:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's been a couple of years since I bought any rauchmalt, but I have bought 3 55 lbs bags of Weyermann's over the years. They were all a bit different - the first being very smoky and the last (2 yrs ago) being rather weak. I still have a third of that bag.

I guess that to be consistent you just have to acquire experience tasting it and brewing with it to find the right level of smoke. Then with 'next years' batch you can taste it and determine how much you need to use. Tho I've made 4 batches of rauchbier over the last 5 or 6 years, I'm still not at that level of experience.
 

Steve Pierson
Intermediate Member
Username: Stevepierson

Post Number: 337
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 66.162.131.35
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2007 - 07:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I picked up grain for a smoked porter on Saturday - to be brewed on New Years Day. I tasted the rauchmalt before grinding - not much flavor (smoky or otherwise). I'm hoping that 40% smoked malt in the grain bill will provide the desired smoky flavor.
 

Beertracker
Senior Member
Username: Beertracker

Post Number: 1176
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 72.16.21.191
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2007 - 09:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Check the lot number(s) on the bag you purchased for a BDC to find out when the malt was produced. Check the Weyermann website FAQ's section for more info. I can guarantee you that they're producing their rauchmalt to exacting specs every year, as the Germans are uncompromising when it comes to quality. Most likely you'll find that your malt has been sitting at the warehouse or homebrew shop too long which has decreased the overall character. I'd recommend just using a larger percentage of rauchmalt as you would use more hops to increase the IBU's, if you were using a hop degradation calculator. Just my 2-cents!
 

Tom Meier
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdawg96

Post Number: 760
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 72.154.197.113
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2007 - 11:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am sorry to be so frank, but frankly Crosby Baker's reputation for delivery fresh ingredients is piss poor... For all we know they are still selling the same bags they brought over on the boat 2 years ago. I buy LD Carlson's products whenever possible after noticing that the C-B grains seem to be stale (my opinion, you are free to disagree).

We've talked about this before; in rauchmalt, the flavor stays pretty consistent. Its the smoke aroma that is fleeting.

To makeup for the aroma in my rauchbiers, I have started adding in 1-lb of homesmoked malt. I use a window screen basket on one side of my Weber grill, and 6 coals on the other side, with applewood chips on the coals. Keep heat to minimum, and smoke to a maximum. Smoke for 1-hour and spritz with a water bottle and stir to keep the grain cool.

I use a traditional recipe, 60% rauch (which includes the 1-lb of home-smoked), 40% light munich, with a bit of carafa for color.
 

Bill Ballinger
Junior Member
Username: Willy_bill

Post Number: 28
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: 172.132.238.26
Posted on Tuesday, January 01, 2008 - 05:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for the feedback. Looks like others noticed the poor quality malt too.

Since the smoke flavor was so low this year, I ended up completly revising my Rauchbier recipe to use more smoked malt. I had to eliminate most of the original malts (carmel, pils, munich) to get the rauchmalt up to 90%. To compensate, I ended up doing a double decoction. The wort still wasn't very smokey tasting. It is now fermenting nicely... only time will tell how the finished beer will taste!