Are you a fan of beer and BBQ? Then you might enjoy a smoked beer. Smoked brews, much like the history of beer and most beer types, it came to us as an accident. Once the accidental smoky brews were discovered and controlled, there became a way to make a delicious smoky beer, without any mishaps. The malted grains are dried over the fire to make a smoky aroma. Smoke-dried grains are the basis for German rauchbiers, Scots whiskey and several other drinks, and recently, they have been a trendy specialty flavor in the craft-brewing scene.
So how do you get that smoky flavor into your home brew? Whatever style you try, there are essentially two types of ingredients for the process.
1. Using Smoked Grains to Brew a Smoked Beer
Brewers often prefer to use smoked grains to make a smoky beer. Rauchmal grains give a smooth and subtle smokiness, and are a wonderful complement to hops, reasonable malt sweetness and a crisp flavor profile. All-grain brewers would mostly likely recomened the same thing, limiting the smoked malt to no more than 20 percent of the grain bill in the mash.
2. Extracts and Liquid Smoke
You can try to get the smokiness you desire, by adding a barbecue smoke flavor, which works well for someone who brews exclusively from extracts. Warning: read the ingredients carefully on your liquid smoke flavorings. Some include many flavors you may not want in your beer. Smoke is a strong flavor and can be easily overdone.
If you choose to extracts or liquid smoke, it should be added after the boiled wort begins to cool down, right before you toss the yeast. The amount all depends on your taste and concentration of the liquid smoke you have but, 1/4 teaspoon to 1-1/2 teaspoons should work. Less is more, if you are hesitant.
Try brewing a smoky beer with our Beechwood smoked malt grains. These will give your beer a classic flavor and aroma of a German style rauchbier. Start your brew in the summer, so you can sip your smoky beer around the campfire in the fall.