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Local smoked malt, used for whisky, what to brew with it?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by castillo83, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Hi,

    There is a local distillery that malts their own barley, and they smoke it with both cherrywood and applewood. I think this malt would make an awesome scottish ale. He is able to sell or exchange some for me.

    I have no idea what the SRM nor Lovibond his malt would have, nor how strong the smoke flavor would be.

    My original idea was to make a wee heavy, but now I am thinking maybe I brew a 60 Shilling with only his malt (he has both 2-row and 6-row), to give me an idea of what flavor/color should I expect with his malt, and then go full on with either a rye beer or a wee heavy.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. premierpro

    premierpro Savant (290) Michigan Mar 21, 2009

    You could get a few kernals of Wyermann Smoked malt to chew on and compare the difference in the malts to determine how much to use in your recipe. Some smoked malts are too strong for me to use 100% in your grist. Good luck.
     
  3. pweis909

    pweis909 Advocate (705) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005

    Distillers are not going after the same malt profiles as brewers. I suspect that you will not make great beer with distillers malt. But maybe you will end up with something drinkable, and, at the very least, you'll have an interesting experience. I understand the urge to play.
     
  4. I can always do a half and half brew with regular malt and a full one and compare them side by side.
     
  5. i'm curious: how might they differ?
     
  6. pweis909

    pweis909 Advocate (705) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005

    Distiller's malt is higher in nitrogen: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mash_ingredients#Distillers_malt

    Most brewers avoid high nitrogen malts. Distillation will remove those impurities. In beer, they will create chill hazes and probably impact flavor.
     
    warchez likes this.
  7. Maybe I just need a protein rest?
     
  8. The Scots have never used smoked malt in brewing.
     
    ericj551 and warchez like this.
  9. pweis909

    pweis909 Advocate (705) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005

    Protein rest could help.

    I believe that one reason adjuncts were quite common in American brewing history is that native 6-row malt varieties were very high in nitrogen. Not only did they have sufficient diastatic power to convert native corn and other adjuncts, those adjuncts may have been important diluents of negative flavors associated with these malts.

    Note: I'm not a beer historian so I may have some of this twisted in my mind, but it feels right to me.
     
    boddhitree likes this.
  10. The corn or rice dilute the nitrogen/protein content down to where chill haze is not a problem. If done right, 6 row and corn does not have negative flavors.

    Edit - isn't distiller's malt really "hot", i.e. for malt that means a ton of enzymes, so it converts fast and will also convert corn for Bourbon. Not malted for any particular beer flavor.
     
    boddhitree likes this.
  11. pweis909

    pweis909 Advocate (705) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005

    I imagine that the quality of 6-row has improved over the past couple centuries through selection of appropriate varieties; I can imagine that the earliest American brewers were less fortunate (but offer no proof). I have done CAPs with ~15-20% corn and modern 6-row and loved the result, so I was not trying to malign modern 6-row or adjuncts.

    I think you are right about distiller's malt not having much flavor - at least I think I heard that elsewhere. Certainly if it's main purpose is to convert corn starch to sugar, as with bourbon, I wouldn't think they's waste money on special kilning process.
     
  12. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (435) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    Nobody can say anything bad about a rauchbier. I made one with applewood and English 007. It came out amazing and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

    I'd recommend that you buy enough for several batches. I like your idea of a 60 shilling and then figure out what you're working with. Then you can act accordingly.
     

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