Smoked English Ale

Forums Recipe Ideas Smoked English Ale

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  • #3667
    • Level 2 User
    • ★★

    I had posted last month that we had brewed our first attempt at a smoked beer on May 2, 2020, and now that we’ve tapped the keg, sampled it extensively, and had a few friends try it, we were happy enough with the result that I wanted to give an update and post the recipe.

    This was our first brew where we invented our own recipe totally from scratch. Someone had given us a bag of 2-row pale malt that he had smoked with cherry wood, and we already had a lot of UK Kent Goldings hops left over from brewing a previous beer, so our thought was to use the smoked malt in an English style pale ale or ESB. The wort came out much darker than we expected, probably because of the roasted barley, so we had to cross out “Pale” and just call it a Smoked English Ale. Here’s the recipe:

    5.4 lbs Pale 2-Row
    3.6 lbs Cherry-smoked 2-Row
    0.5 lbs Caramel 60
    0.5 lbs English Roasted Barley

    1 oz Cascade Whole-Cone dehydrated 60 min
    1 oz Glacier Pellets 60 min
    1 oz UK Kent Goldings Pellets 30 min
    1 oz Mosaic Pellets 10 min
    0.5 oz Cascade Pellets dry-hop in secondary

    1 tsp Irish moss at 15 minutes (optional)
    SafAle US-05 dry yeast

    60 minute mash-in at 152°F
    10-minute mash-out at 170°F
    60 minute boil with hop additions as per schedule

    The wort fermented out quickly in primary during the first two days, so after a week with no airlock activity, we checked gravity, which had fallen from an OG of 1.046 to 1.011, and racked it to secondary for two weeks. It reached an FG of 1.009 and we kegged it at 20 psi for 2 days and then dropped it to 10 psi for another week. At the beginning of secondary fermentation, it had a sharp smoky front end, but after it finished, the smoky flavor had mellowed and it reached a very smooth feel and dry finish. Definitely a successful first attempt!

    Does anyone else on BrewTogether have any experience using smoked malts? If so, tell us about your smoked beer adventures!

    • Level 4 User
    • ★★★★

    This sounds AWESOME! Can’t wait to try this! I have a buddy with a smoker who said he’d be happy to smoke some malt for me – I might need to try brewing one of these once I get through my next couple of brew days!

    • Level 3 User
    • ★★★

    I did one with some Briess cherry wood smoked malt before. Was an interesting flavor. The key is not too much. about 1lb light smoked or 1/2 lb heavily smoked. I’d say 10% of grain bill is a good smoky flavor. 14% was a bit too much and 7% was lacking for me. It’s fun to brew with. Just like most things, it all depends on how much smokyiness you like.

    • Level 4 User
    • ★★★★

    I got to try this beer earlier this week, and @dave is being too modest – this is one of my FAVORITE new beers. Every beer I have had since, I have wished was this one. It has a very strong smoke flavor, but it is just delicious. I need to brew it now, because I definitely can’t wait to have another one!

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