Brew Day: Classic Rauchbier (Beer #46)

December 15, 2012 by Jack

Two weeks ago when I brewed the Bohemian Pilsner, I also brewed another batch of Classic Rauchbier. I like to brew two patches per brew day – mash the 2nd one while the first one is boiling. I feel I get more out of my time doing that.

Nice amber color. Whirlfloc + mostly pilsner malt = lots of cold break

This is the second batch of rauchbier that I have brewed recently. The one I brewed a little over three months ago came out pretty good, but I can do better. That one scored in the low 30s in a couple competitions and won a bronze medal at Oktobersbest Zinzinnati, but I wasn’t entirely happy with it. I felt it was slightly too sweet, and balanced too malty. It wasn’t crisp enough. Moreover, the smoke character was way too low for my taste. Some felt it was plenty smoky. However, being a fan of Schlenkerla, I like campfire in a glass.

To that end I changed the recipe this time so that Weyermann smoked malt makes up 75% of the grist bill as opposed to the 38% used last time. (The rest is made up of a bit of Munich malt, Carmunich, Melanoiden, and a touch of Black Patent.) I also used a different yeast this time. I have found that WLP830 provides a very round, smooth, malty beer. I wanted something a bit more crisp, so I’m giving Wyeast 2124 (the Carlsberg yeast) a try.

Top: Rauchbier. Bottom: Bohemian Pilsner.

Both of these beers are done fermenting and have been crash-cooling for about four days now. I’m going to keg them today. They’re scheduled to go on tap some time in late winter or early spring, but I’m sure I’ll be posting some tasting notes before then.

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