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Gluten Free Home Brewing Blog

Smoked Malt

By GFHB  -  September 27th, 2017

Smoked malts are primarily used in Scottish Ales, Smoked Beers, Porters, Bamberger Beers and Rauch Bocks. Typically, a pale or lightly roasted malt is used (usually 5 – 6 lovibonds) to make smoked malts, and the preferred woods include Apple and Cherry wood. Low temperatures for extended periods of time produce the best results. The pale or lightly roasted malts are preferred due to their higher moisture content. Smoke sticks to moisture more than the grain itself, therefore presoaking the malt or using a spray bottle to spritz the malt is recommended. (Do not use water containing chlorine or chloramine) Smoked malts offer tones of pronounced smoke, earthy to fruity, slightly sweet to malty sweet.

An electric BBQ smoker modified with a screened frame to hold the malt is a great way to craft smoked malt. A Weber grill is a good option too. Temperatures over 200F will actually toast or kiln the malt. The addition of herbs such as rosemary or allspice will generate a lot of aromas that will impart onto the smoked malts. Stir malt every 30 minutes or so, this is also a good time to spritz the malt with a little water if they dry out. Malt is typically smoked for 1 to 4 hours, and then must be dried before storage. Allow smoked malt to waft in a brown paper bag for several weeks before use to allow the flavors to mellow out a bit.


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