A Weird Rauchbier

Rauchbier, meaning “smoked beer” in German, is a style I have made before…except that it got infected. It is the only beer I’ve made where that’s happened to me not trying to purposely infect it. Unfortunately, it was a bacteria that smelled unpleasant, so I dumped it. Give up and never try to make this style again? Absolutely not!

For this version, I changed the grain bill around and I can’t remember why. Maybe just to make something different than the first attempt? The original had melanoiden malt, which I swapped out for biscuit malt, and took out carafa III resulting an SRM that is the same as the first one.

For hops the first time I used perle, this time I used hallertauer and saaz for nearly the same IBUs.

What made this version really unique was aside from smoking home smoking 1/3 of the grist, I added the dark grains after the mash was complete and recirculated the wort through it. I did that because I needed to collect the full pre-boil wort as a portion was for a different beer that wasn’t supposed to be dark. Recirculation was the only way I could think of to get the color aside from possibly steeping the grains and adding that extracted wort to the pre-boil volume.

The other unique thing I did was I also did a “raw ale” no boil on this—just steeped the hops for 15 minutes. While raw ale is a thing in some countries, it’s rarely done commercially (or in homeberwing) in the United States. This is my third raw ale, this one and this one both turned out good with no DMS issues.

Brew day:


Batch Size: 1 Gallon
OG: 1.049
SRM: 15
Est ABV: 4.5%-ish
IBU: 22
Boil Time: 15 min steep

1.6 lbs (80.5%) – 2-Row
4.5 oz (14%) – Biscuit Malt
1.0 oz (3.5%) – English 77
0.5 oz (2%) – Special B

60 Min @ 153F

.75 oz (14.5 IBUs) Hallertauer (3% AA) @ 15 min steep
.40 oz (7 IBUs) Hallertauer (3% AA) @ 15 min steep


Here’s what went down:

Brewed 8/25/18

Took 1/3 of the grist (just 2-row), and smoked it for about 30 minutes by heating up a handful of coals, adding water-soaked wood chips to them, and putting them off to the side. I did spray the grains with water and stir occasionally.

Mashed in as usual, took what I needed for my other beer, added the dark grains, and recirculated the wort through it. The pre-boil gravity actually went down a little likely because I was extracting more of the lower gravity wort that was still in the grain.

After I collected my runnings, I steeped some hops for 15 minutes for an IBU of 22.

9/5/18: Bottled.

9/19/18 tasting notes:

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