Smoking Beer (wort) on Grill - Any Guidance, Please

Discussion in 'Beer & Ale' started by mrdavebeer, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. mrdavebeer

    mrdavebeer Newbie


    I'm a homebrewer, and I'm experimenting with smoking beer on a grill to make a lightly smoked beer. I'd appreciate any ideas and input from those who make smoked sauces and such.

    MY FIRST EXPERIMENT was horrible. I smoked it way too much and used high-heat, white smoke for an hour. It was way over smoked and ashy. Blah...

    Here's an image from that day...


    I'm going to lightly smoke some water or some weak wort (the sweet liquid before fermenting into beer), and then add different amounts to a few different batches before fermenting. Something like this:
    • small pile of burning charcoal to one side of my kettle grill
    • put some chips on the charcoal
    • .5 gallons of water in a large pan on the other side of the grill
    • smoke for 15 minutes.
    • add .5 cup to one batch of beer
    • add 1 cup to another batch of beer
    • Should I smoke plain water or wort?
    • Does smokey taste change when boiled? ..should I add before or after boiling the beer wort?
    • Are there any sites or places to find info about the chemistry of smoking?
    • Any other ideas from you experienced smokers?
  2. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    There is a place....and I am going to have to find it.  That talks about smoking the hops and/or the grains (mash) before you add any water.  I want to experiment that with my Hubby's new system.  I will have to do a little bit if digging to find the information.  I will send you a PM with the information included when I get a hold of it.  Unfortunately...Off site links are not allowed here on SMF.  Have you done a search here on the back threads?

  3. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    sent a PM

  4. mrdavebeer

    mrdavebeer Newbie

    I did a quick search, and I can find lots of recipes online for using pre-smoked grains.

    I'm going to experiment with smoking some liquid again. This time, stage one is adding a small measure to a beer to get a sense of how much to add to a batch. Then I'll go again with adding to a batch.

    Some people in the beer forums ( said some people smoke sauces. That's the gist of what I'm trying to do. If that doesn't work, I'll either buy or make some smoked malt...or go the lazy route and buy liquid smoke.

  5. bratrules

    bratrules Smoking Fanatic

    I've cold smoked grain before when i made a smoked cherry stout. I took 1 pound of un-milled two row and cold smoked using cherry wood for about 2 hours. The beer was good but a little to smoky next time i think i would cut back to 1/2 a pound! oh and be careful with liquid smoke the stuff is very strong a little goes a long way.
  6. mrdavebeer

    mrdavebeer Newbie

    Today I
    • lightly smoked 1 quart of water over a small charcoal fire with some wood chips
    • 45 minutes total time
    • added about 2 tablespoons to 8 ounces of cold beer to get enough flavor (I tried less and worked up to 2 tablespoons)
    But I think the flavor is horrible. It's light, but not a good addition.

    QUESTION: Might it be the charcoal?

    I'm going to get some cowboy charcoal/wood chunks/whatever-it's-called type of cooking fuel. And I have some orange wood. I could build a small fire with that.

    Any opinions?
  7. I agree with some others, smoke the ingredients and then make wort out of the smoked ingredients.  

    Hope you find the right combo!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  8. bdawg

    bdawg Smoke Blower

    I have also heard that you need to let the grains sit for about a month after smoking them to let them mellow.  (disclaimer - I haven't tried smoking my own rauchmalz yet, but I plan to soon, and have several friends who have done so and they all said the mellowing period is a requirement.)
  9. I've smoked with peat moss on my grill for a Scottish Wee Heavy last summer. I put a few pieces of lit charcoal in my smoker box for my gas grill, then put wet peat moss over that in a disposable meat loaf/bread tray. On the other side I put about a pound of 2 row barley in a half size catering tray. Left it on for an hour or so, until the charcoal burned out, adding a little more moss every fifteen minutes or so. Came out pretty good, not too heavy. Trick is keeping the grains somewhat cooler while you are smoking, you don't want to activate any enzymes prematurely.

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