On Wednesday we will be brewing up a batch of Smoked Ale, and the twist will be that we will be using home-smoked malt. I’ve never tried smoking malts before, but after a quick search on various homebrew forums, I got the impression that it is easy to do. I chose to smoke only 1 kg of Pilsner Malt (~10% of the grain bill) as I didn’t want to overdo the smoke in the final beer. The smoking was carried out in a smoke box, filled with alder chips, placed on a grill. Here are some pictures:
I began by poking holes in an aluminum tray. These trays would contain the malt during the smoking.
I then soaked 1 kg of Pilsner malt in cold water for 5 minutes, in order to have them absorb some moisture (this will help the smokey character stick).
I then filled the bottom of the smoke box with alder chips. These are the ‘standard’ smoking chips in Finland (mostly used for smoking fish). Afterwards I realized that chips from another tree species would have given a more pleasant smokey character.
I then filled the trays (two of them) with malt, and loaded them into the box.
I finally placed the box on the grill for 25 minutes. There wasn’t much smoke during the first 15 minutes, so the actual smoking time was closer to 10 minutes. The malts have now been spread out in a thin layer in the sauna for drying, and they have a light smokey and slighty woody aroma and flavour. Will be interesting to try these tomorrow!