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Rauch/smoked beer

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    Rauch/smoked beer

    I looked around a bit and didn't seen a topic on this particular type of beer. Rauch/smoked beer is is a type of beer with smoke aromas/taste from drying the barley over flame. Its growing in popularity in the US as more malters are offering it to craft breweries. It originally was found in a certain region of Germany.

    I mention this because a lot of the same tastes/flavors found in BBQ are found in this beer. It can be weird to describe a beer as smokey, bacon, beef or meat but those are hints of flavor imparted in a well-done smoked beer. One of the first non-macro lagers that I enjoyed was a smoked beer.

    Being new to smoking meat I am curious to try this beer with the food I make to see how it pairs. I expect it to be a bit overwhelming but it could work out, we shall see. Its also a nice way to add some smokiness to beer cheese soup.


    Never heard of this at all, will have to check it out. Every micro brew I have had in the last 2 years tastes like a pine cone.

    And I read that as Ranch smoked beer which sounded quite terrible.


      TheHoff43 Sounds interesting. Where so they brew it? It would be cool to get someone on this thread that knows how it is brewed.


        Those PNW hops will give you some definite pine notes often with some grapefruit or dank as well. The traditional rauchbiers are similar to an octoberfest with a percentage of beechwood smoked malt added. I'm in central NE and don't see those much. You do see the occasional "smoked" version of other styles like a porter. The amount of smokiness will vary quite a bit. Might be a good idea to try several individual pints/bottles before buying a sixer. I find the traditional rauchbiers to have a "bacon" note however YMMV.



          ​Rauch is a traditional style German lager that harkens back to the days when malt of all kinds was dried over wood fires or in wood fired ovens. In Germany there is an abundance of Beechwood which is what would most likely have been used when drying the malt (Barley in this case) which then took on smoky notes much like the peat dried barley used in Scotch production. The beer that would have been brewed using this Beechwood smoked barley would be close in style to a Marzen or Vienna style lager like Greatplainsbrewer has mentioned.

          On a side note I have smoked some of my own malt over cherry wood and brewed a Scotch Wee Heavy with some of the cherry smoked barley. It turned out to compliment the style well and Meathead declared it one of his favorite beers I've brought him. I do find that the smoky flavors of certain beers can compliment BBQ nicely but some will find the combination to be a little too much that's just my .02 cents on the matter.


            How do they smoke the barley and malt.? Do they use something to a huge fish house? Curious about this one.


              I think historically that fire was used to kiln the malt. As technology improved many maltsters switched other killing methods. On a homebrew scale a screen on your smoker works fine


                I've been a home brewer since the 90's, and have brewed with rauchmalt many times. Lager, ales, etc., have been used for many flavor profiles; some subtle, some were more assertive. Most taste good with "Q." The best rauchmalt actually doesn't smell much of smoke as it is aged. This aging prevents harsh acrid flavors that fresh-smoked malt will have. In other words: part of the flavor we love in bbq is too powerful for beer.


                  I'll second the practice of aging home smoked or kilned/roasted malts of any kind. The rule of thumb I've always heard and adhere to myself is to wait 2 weeks before brewing with any home smoked or roasted malts. That mellows certain compounds so there will be no harshness or unintended bitterness in the finished beer.

                  As to the smoke flavor in the traditional beers it was more so a byproduct of the drying process then an intentional procedure to get smoke flavor in the malt. At the time wood fires producing plenty of smoke were simply the best way to dry the barley after the maltster had germinated it.
                  Last edited by Chef Ryan; May 17, 2015, 03:08 PM.



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