Smoked Rye Porter (all-grain)

In the midst of planning my Spring and Summer brew list, I stumbled upon the idea of a smoked beer. Something to go along with cookouts, bbq, and bonfires that would be delicious and a little different for the time of year. I decided to build off my Smoked Bock recipe that I was pretty happy with (except that I got dinged in competition, for being more like a schwartzbier), and shifted it more in the direction of a porter; upping the smoked malt, chocolate wheat, nixing the Munich & caramunich, and adding some Rye malt for a spicy complexity (which I’ve never used in large quantity before). Keeping the hops and yeast basic to really showcase the smoked malts. 5 gallon recipe.

  • 6 lb Pils malt
  • 3.75 lb Rauch malt
  • 1.75 lb Rye malt
  • 0.8 lb Chocolate wheat malt
  • 0.5 oz Magnum hops (13.5% a.a.)
  • Wyeast American Ale

// Mash-in 1.5 qt/lb at 152 for 40 min without the chocolate malt.  Add the chocolate malt and start raising the mash to 158 for 15 minutes. Raise to 168 and begin sparging. Collect around 7.25 gal 1.040 wort. Boil 90 minutes, collect around 5.5 gallons of 1.052 wort. Chill to 75, pitch 1.5L starter. Brewed 5/15/14 //

UPDATE (5/22/14):  Fermentation bottomed out at 1.012.  A little thin, but nice smoked flavor – very pleasant, dirty, kind of hay-barn like, less campfire and bacon. The rye is a bit confusing – it has a little bit of a sharpness, which tastes acidic to me at room temperature, so i’ll be curious to see how this conditions in the keg.

THE VERDICT

This was an OK beer, but I feel like I regressed a bit from my last smoked beer. The rye was tough to pick out, and with nearly two pounds in the recipe it didn’t do much for the overall flavor of the beer. I shot myself in the foot thinking this would be a good first beer to use lots of rye in – would have been better off doing a simple pale or amber ale to help showcase it.

The body was luscious and smooth from the chocolate wheat, although a bit thin.  Very drinkable, but overall I think it was just a little lacking in character. The smoked malt is how I remember it, but for a porter I need a little more aggressive smoke flavor, more on the side of a peat smoked bbq. This rauchmalt from Weyermann has that distinct ham and pork flavor, which is delicious in German smoked beers that have lots of bread malt flavors to accompany. A small addition of caramel malt is definitely needed to round out some of the flavors and add some more body.

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Filed under All-grain, Smoked, Stout / Porter

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