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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wholly Smoke v2.0

I am on a quest to make a great smoke beer.  One of my favorite styles, I like nothing more than to enjoy a great smoke beer or Rauchbier, original German beer. I am huge fan of smoke beers and can't get enough of them.  I don't mind smoke flavored styles like porters and stouts, but prefer the German versions of Rauchbiers much more as they have a more intense flavor.

My beer has been fermenting for a week and a half, but I think I am going to keep it in the primary until Sunday, then bottle it.  I haven't checked the gravity as I don't want to break the seal on the fermenter.  I aimed a little higher for the mash temp to create a little more body, but we'll see how it goes.  I am really excited to see how the flavor compares to my last batch.  I bumped up the percentage of Briess Cherrywood smoked malt just a tad to give a little more deep smokiness on the finish.

The Weyermann Rauchmalt is great as a base malt and is smoked over Beechwood.  It has a sweet, smoky flavor with a nice richness to it.
The Briess Cherrywood smoked malt adds a little more of the bacon-like, almost barbecue-like smokiness on the finish as it kicks in on the back-end.

My favorite German Brewery is Aecht Schlenkerla and they make the best Rauchbiers on the planet!  So rich and intense, I think the American palate just can't handle them, but I LOVE them.  The Germans cherish this style of beer as it is made the traditional way by drying the malt over open Beechwood fires.  Most beers in Germany originated this way but only one brewery continues the tradition.  Aect Schlenkla Brauerei.  The Aecht Schlenkerla Urbock is one of my favorites and I keep looking for Eicht, but have yet been able to locate it.  It is an 8% Rauchbier produced by Aecht Schlenkerla.  There is also an Oak smoked version that comes out at Christmas time, that is hard to find as well.  It is also rated at 8% ABV.

Another smoke beer version I enjoy is Gratzer, which is made with oak-smoked malt which adds more layers of flavor and depth through the smoking process utilizing oak instead of Beechwood.  Quite delicious when brewed properly!

If you are looking for a unique beer experience, please check out Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier.  There are styles ranging from wheat beers, to Marzens, to Urbock and beyond.


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