Wood type for smoking malt

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Wood type for smoking malt

Thought I might try to smoke some malt for a rauchbier, but wondering what type of wood to use (thinking pecan), process used, etc....any thoughts?

drew's picture
Sure, you can use almost

Sure, you can use almost anything. Traditionally it's beechwood, but I've used (thanks in part to my pal Beanie): cherry, apple, hickory, mesquite and whiskey oak.

I liked the cherry and apple the best. The mesquite the least. Too spicy for my taste. Hickory was decent. But my rule of thumb is think of what the wood character is like in a bbq, it'll be close to that in the beer - only more noticable.

I brewed 2 batches of

I brewed 2 batches of rauchbier a couple of years ago using different woods. I smoked 5 pounds with pecan, 5 with apple with about the same amount of wood and duration. I then brewed a helles bock with each batch of rauchmalt and served the beers at our Oktoberfest. The pecan was the favorite by far, much smoother than the apple rauchbier. It's hard to do an exact controlled experiment but I tried to keep everything as consistent as possible.
I have aluminum ppans with hundreds of holes in them, each one holds about 2.5 pounds easily. I build a small fire with just wood(njo charcoal) in one end of the smoker so that the temp stays around 125F where the grain sits. I add wood as needed to keep the smoker full of smoke for an hour, then I put the malt in a paper bag for a couple of weeks.
The wort does not smell or taste smoky at all, my experience is that the smoke develops over a few months. Patience is the key.