I received a note from one of my wackier friends to brew a Rauchbier. You may remember him as the dude that accompanied us to IncrediBrew in Nashua, NH.
All right, you probably do not remember him.
Anyway, I did a little research and put this recipe together. I believe that these beers are best brewed as lagers. Also, Rauch malt extract is not easy to find. Couple this issue with the fact that you really need to mash the rauch malt to get the smoky flavor needed for the style, it forces you to create a recipe that follows an all grain procedure.
5 lbs. Pilsner Malt
4.5 lbs Rauch Malt
2 lbs. Munich Malt
0.5 lbs. Caramel Malt 60°L
0.25 lbs. Melanoidin Malt
2 ounces Black Malt
1.0 oz. Liberty Pellets, 4 %AA boiled 60 mins.
0.50 oz. Liberty Pellets, 4 %AA boiled 15 mins.
Yeast: White Labs WLP820 Octoberfest/Märzen
Original Gravity: 1.050
Terminal Gravity: 1.010
Color: 17.90 °SRM
Bitterness: 14.0 IBUs
Alcohol (%volume): 5.3%
Mash at 154°F for 60 minutes. Ferment at 50°F.
They make a liquid smoke if you don’t want to go all-grain, just go real easy, liquid smoke goes a long ways.
I read that liquid smoke was not the way to go. People were saying that it didn’t give the beer a good smoke flavor.
I forgot to put that in the post. I think that if you have used liquid smoke in your beers before and have had good results, then go for it.
Ive never actually used rauch malt, im an all grain brewer, but my rauchbeers have always been made with liquid smoke. Let us know how the beer turns out, maybe I have been doing it all wrong. Love your site, wish you would brew more often
Me too. Me too. Father’s Day gifts should help out though.
Wow I have never even thought of attempting a Rauchbier, let me know how it turns out!
Probably going to brew this one in August. I have a Saison I want to brew first.
I did a smoked chipotle IPA a while back. I erred by only using a pound of rauchmalt and couldn’t taste much smoke at all at bottling, so I decided to supplement with some liquid smoke as at that point I had no intention of rebrewing the beer.
It didn’t do any of the horrible things I’ve heard said of liquid smoke – maybe it’s not as good as smoked malt, but it’s not an affront to the senses, either. It came out surprisingly good and I’ll probably brew it again, using more rauchmalt.
The problem, I think, is that liquid smoke is a mesquite smoke, which gives it a vaguely barbecue flavor profile – in my beer, that managed to partner up with the chipotle and fit in. In a straight rauchbier, I don’t know how it would go as the only source of smoke, but I wouldn’t hesitate to use it as supplemental smoke again.
Thanks Aaron. That’s really good feedback and information.
Different kinds of wood do give different smoke flavors.
I’ve done a Rauchbier and a Chipotle, and I’ve never used liquid smoke. For the chipotle, I basically boiled the peppers, which gave me the heat I was after but not the smokiness, so I pretty much just ‘dry hopped’ some extra peppers. That was an extract beer and was almost exactly what I wanted, but I had the bitterness a little too high.
I just did a Rauch that used 5# rauchmalt and 5# of cherry wood smoked malt in a two step mash with a pound of crystal. The recipe called for 10# of rauch, but the owner of my local brew store had me smell the cherry and well … yeah. Sooo good. The cherry wood malt had a much smokier smell to it, and it is very evident in the finished beer. That’s a Briess malt, and if you can find it and like smoke, I recommend giving it a try.
I plan to use the Cherry wood smoked Briess malt. I can get that very easily and it sounds like it produces good results.