Monday, September 12, 2011


I was overdue to smoke us some malt. We like our rauchbier here at Chez Cicerone. We also like to include a wee bit of smoked malt when we make porter. As we got to planning Beer Camp #2 for the Slows BarBQ folks, it became clear that it was time. See, our friend Chef Mike is going to be one of the campers this time around, and he loves him some porter. All right, then.

This is the first time I've used my current barbecue for malt smokery, but I expected it to be easy, owing to the separate firebox. I made a basket from aluminum window screen fabric, sized the same as the grill space and able to accommodate about a 3" or  4" deep load of malt. My precise calculations told me that this would equal around 20 lbs. of malt, which is a manageable amount. I moistened the malt with some fresh water, letting it get damp but not sodden, and we were off. In the firebox was lump charcoal for fuel, and water-soaked hickory and mesquite chips for smoke. 3 hours of smoke and gentle heat, with not too frequent turning, turned 20 lbs. of pilsener malt into something more like smokey Munich malt. Next day, I did 20 more. Now we just rest the malt in the open air for a few days, and bag it up until we need it. We are looking forward to the next homemade rauchbier....

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