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Re: Rauchbier Recipe Input

Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:48 pm
by zkosslow
Haha yeah I definitely find Rauchbiers to be incredibly polarizing...I think I'm on the same pole as Brandon! To this day, my all-time favorite beer/food pairing was a nice stein of Schlenkerla served with a warmed loaf of sourdough bread and smoked gouda cheese....so damned good! Add some smoked meats somewhere in there....oh boy.

Re: Rauchbier Recipe Input

Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:53 pm
by Brody
zkosslow wrote:Haha yeah I definitely find Rauchbiers to be incredibly polarizing...I think I'm on the same pole as Brandon! To this day, my all-time favorite beer/food pairing was a nice stein of Schlenkerla served with a warmed loaf of sourdough bread and smoked gouda cheese....so damned good! Add some smoked meats somewhere in there....oh boy.


Man, that does sound like a great combo. May have to try that.

Re: Rauchbier Recipe Input

Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:23 pm
by ajk
Try it with one of the obatzda recipes elsewhere on this forum. But if you want the true Schlenkerla experience, you can't beat the Bamberg Onion.

Re: Rauchbier Recipe Input

Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:06 am
by Ancient Abbey
zkosslow wrote:I am really craving an intense Schlenkerla-esque Rauchbier and I was hoping to get some feedback on recipe as well as other process tips and the such.

Getting true Schlenkerla level of smoke is difficult bc all of their malts are smoked, and we can only buy smoked pale malt. I got around this by substituting melanoidin malt for the munich malt, which allowed me to increase the percentage of rauchmalt. It comes out fantastic.

If you really want a lot of smoke (and who doesn't :tu ), then just make a smoked helles with 95% rauchmalt and 5% Vienna or Munich malt. It's not for the faint of heart, but I think it's fantastic.

I will add, rauchbiers are styles that seem to benefit from a little bit of residual sulfite. I've done 6-7 rauchbiers now, including a few variations of classic, helles, alt, hefe and gratzer, and something about the combination of faint matches and smoked malt really make them taste identical to cooked meats. I think I posted up in another thread, but 50% rauchmalt tastes like bacon, 75% tastes like smoked pork butt or ham n bean soup (depending on base style) and 90% rauchmalt taste like steak. It amazing.

zkosslow wrote:Right now, I have a malt bill of ~96% rauchmalt (Weyermann) and 4% pale chocolate. Any tips on malt bill, hop bill, yeast, process, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Also, just what has worked for them on your own rauchbiers would be great.

I think this will make for a decent smoked schwarzbier. Give it a try, maybe substituting Carafa special III or sinamar for the pale chocolate. So far, the noble spiciness of Tettnanger has been my favorite hop for rauchbiers, but the ones with the Hallertau derivatives were also fine.

Re: Rauchbier Recipe Input

Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:09 am
by Ancient Abbey
ajk wrote:Try it with one of the obatzda recipes elsewhere on this forum. But if you want the true Schlenkerla experience, you can't beat the Bamberg Onion.

Holy hell that looks amazing! :tu

Re: Rauchbier Recipe Input

Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:14 am
by Ancient Abbey
Big Monk wrote:I dont recall there being any rauchbiers recipes in the recipes section.

Except this one ;)
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=192

Re: Rauchbier Recipe Input

Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:10 am
by Big Monk
Yup! Missed that one didn't I!

Re: Rauchbier Recipe Input

Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:57 am
by ajk
Ancient Abbey, do you use Weyermann or Best Rauchmalt?

Speaking of smoking the whole grain bill, has anyone tried smoking their own malt? I have several times, but the results have never been good. I've tried hot-smoking, cold-smoking, wetting it first, leaving it dry, letting the smoked grain rest for a few weeks, not letting it rest at all, etc. I've used beechwood burning on its own and with the assistance of an electric element. Whatever I do, I tend to end up with more of a harsh, campfire like character.

Re: Rauchbier Recipe Input

Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:03 pm
by Brandon
ajk wrote:Ancient Abbey, do you use Weyermann or Best Rauchmalt?

Speaking of smoking the whole grain bill, has anyone tried smoking their own malt? I have several times, but the results have never been good. I've tried hot-smoking, cold-smoking, wetting it first, leaving it dry, letting the smoked grain rest for a few weeks, not letting it rest at all, etc. I've used beechwood burning on its own and with the assistance of an electric element. Whatever I do, I tend to end up with more of a harsh, campfire like character.


There are some folks on Facebook who do this, ask on German Brewing or Brew&Crew groups (I won't mention people's names here). I've never tried the beers, but they can provide their experiences and process.

Re: Rauchbier Recipe Input

Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:06 pm
by Ancient Abbey
So far it has just been Weyermann, but I recently sourced a sac of Best. I tracked the lot and it's a year old already, so I'm gonna hold off judgment until I can get a fresh one.

I'm sure you have read Ray Daniels by now. Sounds like the key to true German rauchmalt is that low, fine, blue-gray smoke, which is really difficult to control. It's that faint smoke that comes off the glowing red edge of completely charred beachwood. Big, billowing smoke is really bad for malt, will give you harsh, nasty flavors and generates more NOx products. I haven't tried making any myself for most of the reasons above. Plus, there are so many variables to investigate that introducing my own the malting, drying, kilning and smoking variables aren't really on my radar. Even most of the Bavarians let the professionals do what they do best :lol: