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Smoked hops.

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by rvajohn, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. rvajohn

    rvajohn Nov 22, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    Has anyone tried or "wood" it work to dry out hops, with a cool smoke on a smoker? Might make some interesting beers
  2. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Sep 21, 2012 Texas

    Since smoke and hops generally do not work well together I'd be suspect of committing much of a harvest to it. I'd really think about what kind of hops I would smoke to create the sort of complimentary smoke-hops combination found in gratzer.

    I'd be suspicious that the smoke wouldn't really attach well to the hops. Could be an interesting experiment though.
    OddNotion likes this.
  3. rvajohn

    rvajohn Nov 22, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I'd guess the best way to get smoke into the beer would be to smoker another ingredient, like fruit or spices.
  4. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Sep 21, 2012 Texas

    Best way is to just smoke malt.
  5. rvajohn

    rvajohn Nov 22, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    What's the process? I have a Weber Bullet Smoker. Has tgo be cool, right?
  6. kjyost

    kjyost May 4, 2008 Manitoba (Canada)

    A video on Princeton Homebrew's website shows him toasting the hops with the sun... I forget what he said this contributed to the beer.
  7. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I have read about some toasting hops in the oven.

    Smoking hops? Probably not a good idea. Try it and report back.

    The classic Rauchbiers have the malt dried with wood smoke. You should be able to find information on the net. Or you can buy smoked malt.
  8. billandsuz

    billandsuz Sep 1, 2004 New York

    hops were traditionally dried in wooden huts with a smoldering fire. though the intent was not to contribute any smoke flavor these hops were not smoky. these distinctive cone shaped huts are rare in Europe due to the fact they tended to burn down. go figure.
    smoked malt is really your best bet. but we are homebrewers so by all means do your own thing. this is America.

    i do not think a wet plant will gain much smoke flavor no matter what, but thats just a guess based on years of screwing with grills and smokers. and you'll probably want to experimant with dry hopping your smoked hops. boiling will just volatalize any smoke flavor, no?

  9. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    The smoke flavor from and aroma in a Rauchbier carries through the mash and the boil.
  10. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    Hops will degrade immensely if dried too fast or too slow...ie smoking them...if that's what you want, go ahead.
  11. brewsader

    brewsader Dec 7, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    wouldn't you smoke out the oils?
  12. MrOH

    MrOH Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    If you really want to do this, you should research "cold-smoking". This is basically forcing smoke into a chamber that is away from a heat source. It is a less pungent smokiness, but wont degrade proteins, oils, etc. Scottish-style smoked salmon would be the most recognizable example of this.
    I hope to god Marquis and Pattro don't stumble onto this remark and chew me out for saying "Scottish-style"
    GreenKrusty101 and franklinn like this.
  13. loony4lambic

    loony4lambic Nov 26, 2012 California

    No Offense, But sounds Gross. Cheese
  14. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Yeah, a smoked scent picked up by hops dried in a wood-fired kiln would have been considered a defect, according to The Hop; Its Culture and Cure, Marketing and Manufacture [1899]

  15. kjyost

    kjyost May 4, 2008 Manitoba (Canada)

    Is bacon not cold smoked?
  16. franklinn

    franklinn May 29, 2012 Vermont

    It is, but it can handle a kind of middle ground.

    I.e. I can make my own bacon in a regular ol' smoker in the winter with some care, but wouldn't try it with salmon.
  17. MrOH

    MrOH Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    It is, but bacon is usually cooked after smoking. Hot dogs as well. I wanted to use an example where cold smoking was the final step in the process.
  18. Julianv112

    Julianv112 Jun 14, 2014 California

    What if the hops were dried pellets and not wet, you smoked them in a smoker indirectly. The heat in one chamber to create the smoke then have the pellets in another chamber connected but far away from the heat so it only creates smoke in the chamber where the hop pellets are. Also have a valve on both chambers so it releases a little bit of heat and smoke. Would you be able to bring a smoky flavor to the hop pellets by letting them smoke for half an hour/more or would this destroy the hop flavor and the hops themselves?
  19. Lukass

    Lukass Dec 16, 2012 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Only time I can see this working flavor-wise is with German noble hops, or any hop variety with herbal or woody characteristics.

    Definitely wouldn't try it with any tropical, or grapefruit tasting hops. That'd make for a nasty combo, IMO.
  20. OddNotion

    OddNotion Nov 1, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I don't think I could see it adding much of anything at all. I think it would have a higher chance of being detrimental to the hops themselves. I am wondering though, what would could potentially be accomplished here that couldn't be done using smoked malt? If looking for a generic smoky flavor, why not just use what works?
    MrOH likes this.
  21. Lukass

    Lukass Dec 16, 2012 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I'm with ya, I'm just saying if he's gonna go for it, that's what I'd use. I have absolutely no idea if smoking hops would work or not, but I'd lean towards it being detrimental to them as well. I think it's more of a curiosity thing, really.

    I'm sticking with smoked malt!
  22. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Jan 13, 2006 New Mexico

    Cheeses are good cold smoked-gouda and cheddar come to mind. Experiment with smoked malts, try different wood and grains. I'm seriously thinking about some pecan smoked wheat for a rauchbier wheat dopplebock.
  23. Cooperatblasted

    Cooperatblasted May 13, 2015 Arizona

    How about smoking malt with wet hops?
  24. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I have aged them at a certain temp until they stop smelling cheesy, 350F for an hour IIRC. Here I was talking about a higher temp to actually toast for a shorter period. Did the first not the second.
  25. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I'd not heard of this before. What was the situation? I assume the hops were cheesy, and somehow heating them made that go away. Did it do anything else? Also, were you trying to accomplish something other than salvaging old/cheesy hops? I would think heating to 350F would drive of some volatile hop oil compounds.
  26. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    If you don't have hops ages for 3 years for a lambic, you can accelerate the aging by using higher heat for a short time. I think I read about that process in a Mosher book a long time ago.
  27. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Thanks! I was totally not thinking lambic when I read your post, but that makes perfect sense.
  28. Ecountry

    Ecountry Sep 27, 2016 Florida

    I have a BBQ food truck and park outside a lot of microbrews. I discussed doing this with the owners and they seemed thrilled about such a unique idea so they sent me home with about a pound of dried hops. The smoker you described fits the description of my smoker perfectly! Did you attempt this and how did it turn out? Also did you soak the hops for a minute for placing them in the smoker or did you leave them dry?
  29. donspublic

    donspublic Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I guess I don't see the benefit of smoking the hops when you already have a proven delivery system of smoked malt. I would think that if you were doing this to get "more" smoke into a beer by dry hopping with smoked hops, it might be a little harsh.
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
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