For my second small (two and a half gallon) batch, I decided to make a smoked beer. Getting a solid smoke flavor in an extract with specialty grain batch is tough. I steeped some smoked malt, which gave some smoke but not as much as I wanted.
I took drastic measures. I added liquid smoke. There are a lot of conflicting opinions on this option being shared on internet forums. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t do it now, but it worked well enough at the time. I’m not sure how much I added. I added a few drops at a time and sampled until I liked it just before bottling. If you’re going to use liquid smoke, this is the method I would recommend. But really, if you want to make a smoked beer, I’d recommend going all grain.
The smoke flavor in this beer, as I remember it, seemed to float on top of the beer. It didn’t necessarily taste fake, it just didn’t blend. I kept several of these bottles for a long time, to see if it would mesh better over time. I still have a couple and I haven’t tried it in forever. Tasting notes are probably immanent.
In addition to the smoked malt, I also steeped some flaked rye. I’m not sure that it added anything to the beer. Flaked rye, without being mashed just adds starch. There are some people online that disagree, but most reliable sources will tell you not to bother with any flaked grains in an extract brew.
I remember enjoying this beer, but also being glad that I didn’t have a full five gallon batch to burn through. That two and a half gallon fermenter turned out to be a good investment.
Smokey the Beer
Style: Smoked Beer
Brew Date: January 11, 2012
Serve Date: February 2012
1 lb Smoked Malt
.5 lb Flaked Rye
3 lb Light DME
.5 oz Spalt @ 60 min
.5 oz Spalt @ 30 min
Nottingham Dry Yeast