From the HBD Archive
From: Frank Tutzauer <>
Subject: smoked beer
Date: 1992-07-08 00:18:00 GMT

Well, gang. Before the summer's gone, I want to try smoking some grain for a
Rauchbier or other smoked beer. Unfortunately, I've found very little written
about it, and I've only tasted smoked beers twice. Once was the Alaskan
smoked porter from the Alaskan Brewing Co. (?), and one was an import from
Germany that I stumbled across in a grocery store. Hoo boy was that smoky.
All my friends hated it, but I loved it. Here's what I've gathered so far:

Dan Fink's article in the Zymurgy beer styles issue says that Rauchbier is
similar to Oktoberfest. He says to use all German ingredients, and hops like
Hallertauer, Tettnanger, and Saaz. Hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma are all
low. He suggests a good starting point is to use 1 lb of heavily smoked malt.

In the same issue, Dave and Judy Lipitz, and Lynn Patterson have a recipe that
uses 2 and 1/2 lbs. of smoked Munich malt. They hop with Northern Brewer and
Mount Hood, and use Wyeast Bavarian 2206.

Ken Weiss' recipe in Cats Meow II uses liquid smoke.

Quentin Smith, in the hops special issue of Zymurgy says the smoke overwhelms
the hops, so "any hop will do" (p. 59). He suggests 28-38 IBUs.

Charlie II says that the OG is 1.050-1.060, with 20-30 IBUs, and a color of
12-17 SRM. His recipe is 7 lbs. of light DME, 1 and 1/2 lbs smoked crystal, a
little bit of chocolate, with Hallertauer for bitterness, flavor, and

So, I'm interested in ideas. Some constraints: I'll be using extract
(because I'm not yet up to all-grain), ale yeast (because my basement's too
hot for lagers), and NO liquid smoke (because I've got my own smoker and want
to smoke my own grain). I know that beechwood is traditional, but I'll
probably use something else. Easy for me to get are hickory, mesquite,
cherry, apple, pecan, and maple.

If you've actually made a smoked beer before, I'd be really interested in
hearing from you. But even if you haven't, I'd still like your opinions on
yeast, hops, recipes, approaches, techniques, etc.

- --frank

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