Rauchbier idea

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alsch890

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Hi there,

I am about to order the ingredients to brew a Rauchbier marzen, something in the style of Spezial or Schlenkerla from Bamberg.
I've looked around a bit online and taken some ideas and then modified and ended up with this:

Boil vol: 19l | batch vol: 15l
target OG: 1.056 | target FG: 1.013 | target abv: 5.6%
EBC:35 | IBU: 26

Malt:

Smoked Malt (Weyermann) 3.5kg (82.4%)
Carapils 250g (5.9%)
Caramunich II 250g (5.9%)
Carafa I 125g (2.9%)
Melanoidin 125g (2.9%)

Hops:
Sladek (8%) 15g @60 (20.7ibu)
Saaz (4.2%) 15g @15 (5.4ibu)

Sundries:
Irish moss 4g @15

Yeast:
Mangrove Jack M76

Any comments or advice? I am unsure whether to drop the Melanoidin as I use it in so many brews. However I like smoked beers to be at least the colour of a darkish vienna lager, when they are too pale they taste soapy to me.

Cheers!
 

PerthRod

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Wow...........that's a high proportion of smoked malt. I do a smokey IPA with chinook hops but only use 500g of rauchmalt in a 23 litre batch and although it's fairly subtle there's a distinctive smokey taste to it.
 

Edison

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I've not brewed one before but do enjoy a bottle of Schlenkerla occasionally. Its definitely an acquired taste, its a bit like drinking a barbecue! I would say it does call for a generous amount of smoked malt, but I believe different types of smoked malts (e.g. peat, cherry, beech) have different strengths.
I would be interested to hear how you get on and I might brew something for a few bottles to put aside.
 

alsch890

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Wow...........that's a high proportion of smoked malt. I do a smokey IPA with chinook hops but only use 500g of rauchmalt in a 23 litre batch and although it's fairly subtle there's a distinctive smokey taste to it.
Yeah I've used the weyermann smoked in a couple of dark beers at around 25% and never have more than a slight hint. I feel like it's much milder these days. For a Schlenkerla clone I want to go the full hog!

I could reduce to 3kg and replace the balance with pilsner. Would save me buying an extra kilo for half a kilo.
 

alsch890

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Schlenkerla Marzen is my favourite beer (apart from pre-Japanese Pilsner Urquell and Bishop's Farewell). I'd use 100% Bamberger rauchmalz. Just do it.
Me and you would make good drinking buddies for an evening. Pilsner Urquell is my favourite beer, bar none. I don't see much difference now and then, although I normally only drink it on draft here in the Czech Republic (so haven't had one for a while) +. It cost almost double most other pilsners in bottles and the difference doesn't seem so stark in bottles so I tend not to splash out. But if on draft and a place had Schlenkerla and Urquell I'd be a happy chappy...
 

marlon

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I'm drinking a rauchbier at the moment. I used Weyerman smoked too. I only used about 10% smoked grain and it's enough for me. From memory, it was 500g in a 5kg grain bill. Next time I'm going to wind back on the smoked. Maybe 5% to see the difference.
 

CraigInTheCorn

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A new brewery in Geneva, Illinois, called Art History Brewing, is presently serving a Fastenbier, which I believe is the style being discussed. They use 20% Weyermann beechwood-smoked malt in a base of Czech Pilsner and Vienna malts, plus a couple of adjuncts, including carared. It's simply fantastic. For me, it was the perfect amount of smoke which blended well with the malty base.
 
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alsch890

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A new brewery in Geneva, Illinois, called Art History Brewing, is presently serving a Fastenbier, which I believe is the style being discussed. They use 20% Weyermann beechwood-smoked malt in a base of Czech Pilsner and Vienna malts, plus a couple of adjuncts, including carared. It's simply fantastic. For me, it was the perfect amount of smoke which blended well with the malty base.
Some great breweries popping up in Illinois, Indiana etc. Including a Czech one I believe.

I've never had the Schlenkerla Fastenbier, I'll try to get hold of one this year. However as I understand it the main difference from their Marzen is that the Fastenbier is unfiltered?
I've gone 22% in a porter before and 17% in a stout but neither had more than a mild smokiness. I might drop mine down 3kg and add a half kilo of pilsner or so.
 

An Ankoù

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Some great breweries popping up in Illinois, Indiana etc. Including a Czech one I believe.

I've never had the Schlenkerla Fastenbier, I'll try to get hold of one this year. However as I understand it the main difference from their Marzen is that the Fastenbier is unfiltered?
I've gone 22% in a porter before and 17% in a stout but neither had more than a mild smokiness. I might drop mine down 3kg and add a half kilo of pilsner or so.
Did you know you can order Schlenkerla online, in either bottles or partykegs. You can get 4 partykegs (20L) for a single delivery charge.
 

Sadfield

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I'd stick to your guns @alsch890, if your inspiration is Shlenkerla Marzen. A brewery local to me are heavily into producing smoked beers and host a yearly smoked beer festival. One of their core range is influenced by Shlenkerla and is 85% Rauch Malt.

The problem I feel with smoked malts, is a little goes a long way, but the effect of adding more isn't linear. Those unfamiliar with smoked beers are fearful, yet there's numerous commercial examples with long history using 100% smoke malt, even one that uses 100% of the heaviest Peated Distillers Malt.
 

alsch890

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Did you know you can order Schlenkerla online, in either bottles or partykegs. You can get 4 partykegs (20L) for a single delivery charge.
Yeah, I might have to take them up on that. My Dad normally drives over at least once a year from the UK to Prague and stops in Bamberg en route to pick up 3 or 4 crates of mixed beers. But of course right now he can't. I've got a single Spezial and a single Schlenkerla left. We can get bottles here in Prague easy enough though, most of the time. But yeah, a keg sounds good!
 

An Ankoù

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The problem I feel with smoked malts, is a little goes a long way, but the effect of adding more isn't linear. Those unfamiliar with smoked beers are fearful, yet there's numerous commercial examples with long history using 100% smoke malt, even one that uses 100% of the heaviest Peated Distillers Malt.
You're right; adding twice as much doesn't make it twice as smokey. I understand, though this may be an urban myth, that if you go into the Schlenkerla bar in Bamberg as a newbie, you have to undertake to drink three beers as it's not until the third one that you'll begin to like it. Not a problem for me as I'd happily undertake to drink ten!
As for peated malt, I went to a beer festival where my last beer, with my last ticket, had been a half of Elgood's Black Dog Mild. I enjoyed it so much that I bought some more tickets and sat alone and had a few pints. For some mad reason I thought I'd make a mild called Black Cat with peated malt. It was horrendous!!!! But, the 40 pint PB all got drunk and it did improve towards the end.
 

alsch890

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I'd stick to your guns @alsch890, if your inspiration is Shlenkerla Marzen. A brewery local to me are heavily into producing smoked beers and host a yearly smoked beer festival. One of their core range is influenced by Shlenkerla and is 85% Rauch Malt.

The problem I feel with smoked malts, is a little goes a long way, but the effect of adding more isn't linear. Those unfamiliar with smoked beers are fearful, yet there's numerous commercial examples with long history using 100% smoke malt, even one that uses 100% of the heaviest Peated Distillers Malt.
Thanks, thats a good point. The main reason I'm considering dropping it down to around 80% is purely economical, I have to buy it in kilos so suddenly realised I could save buying a kilo and having half a kilo in stock. Not that that's a bad thing and the malt is about £1.20 a kilo! Overthinking.....
 

Sadfield

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@An Ankoù The 100% peated beer is definitely one for the lovers of Islay Whisky. I've only ever had Elgoods coolship beers, but can imagine their cask beers are very good.
 

An Ankoù

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@An Ankoù The 100% peated beer is definitely one for the lovers of Islay Whisky. I've only ever had Elgoods coolship beers, but can imagine their cask beers are very good.
I love Islay whisky. Its the only whisky I drink apart from Skye. Even so, not all of that smoke carries over through distillation, methinks.
I can feel an experiment coming on using the water that kippers have been boiled in. 🤣
 

alsch890

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Just thought I'd come back and update this thread. I cracked the first of these a week or so ago and I must say it came out very well. A nice smoky base with every so slight roastiness from the carafa and a sweet balance. Could do with slightly more carbonation (I've recently changed the way I've been calculating my priming sugar so I might just go back to my old method) and I'd probably drop the melanoidin next time and replace with more smoked, just bite the bullet and buy an extra kilo in place of the melanoidin and pilsner. But otherwise came out really good, one of my better brews recently.
IMG-20210612-WA0001.jpg
 

An Ankoù

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Glad it came out well. I used to make the marzen regularly, now I buy it direct from Schlenkerla as the postage to France for 4 party kegs is not unreasonable. My recipe used 50% pilsner malt 50% rauchmalz and then an additional 10% of 50/50 Carafa Special no 1 and no 3. It comes out a bit darker than the original so maybe cut back a little on both. Bittered with Magnum.

You've got my mouth watering. Time to put an order in, I think.
 

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