If Ralph Wiggum ever tasted a smoked beer, he would say, “It tastes like campfire!” Like it or not, that’s the typical reaction from beer drinkers after their first sip of the unique beer style that derives its flavor from drying malt barley over an open flame.
The most popular smoked beers come from (surprise!) Germany, but can be easily made in your beer making kit with the correct beer making supplies. There are multiple options to choose from, the easiest of which is purchasing smoked malt and applying it to your home brew of choice.
Another easy shortcut is to use the Smoked Porter Brewers Best Premium Beer Making Kit, which includes all the required beer making supplies needed to brew a batch of smoked beer.
However, if you’re more of the adventurous home brewer, smoking your own malt is completely doable, provided you take the correct steps:
1. Determine the type of wood you want to use for smoking (Apple wood, hickory, thistle, peat, beech wood, or mesquite wood chips are all possible options), and soak it in clean water for about an hour.
2. A gas or electric smoker is ideal, but if one is not available, get a charcoal fire going and make sure the grill is cleaned of any grease.
3. Put roughly two pounds of malt in a mesh bag or similar flexible strainer and soak it in clean water for 15 minutes.
4. Put the wood chips on the burning coals.
5. Cover the grill with a window screen (or similar, fire proof screen) and place your soaked grains on the grill. Make sure there is enough room to sift and stir the grains throughout the process.
6. Cover the grill and close the vents, stirring the grains every 15 minutes and testing their consistency until they are dried out.
7. Once the grains are completely dry, place the smoked malt in a pail and let it sit for a week or two to allow the smoked flavor to simmer.
Once you have a batch of smoked malt, then it’s time to get out the lederhosen, German beer steins, and get to work on the smoky creation in your beer making kit!