Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Backwards to Forwards

My first homebrew was a kit to which I added some rauchmalt, used muscovado sugar instead of the recommended table sugar and fermented using Wyeast's Scottish Ale yeast. It was good, very good in fact, especially the stronger variety, which I labelled EDM 13, and so I want to try to re-create it as an extract with specialty grains brew.

Having used a pre-hopped syrup in the original beer, the challenge is to work out the right specialty grains and hops to use. When I did tasting notes about EDM 13, I described it as follows:
  • Sight - dark ruby, tight tan head
  • Smell - smoke, treacle, dark chocolate
  • Taste - burnt toffee, smoke, dark chocolate
  • Sweet - 2.5/5
  • Bitter - 2/5
I actually think the specialty grains are not wildly difficult to work out, with chocolate a key feature, then chocolate malt is a must, the treacle and burnt toffee in there suggest to me a high Lovibond caramel malt, perhaps going as far as 120?

Hops though are the big question, and one for which I need to make a couple of assumptions. The can of extract in question was Munton's Perfect Pint Dark Mild, so it is fairly safe to say that the hops were most likely an English variety. The two obvious candidates are Fuggles and East Kent Goldings, with the latter being the front runner for its spiciness which wasn't entirely overwhelmed by the rauchmalt.

So, for my usual 2.2 gallon batch, I am thinking about the following recipe as an attempt to recreate EDM 13:
  • 3lbs Light DME
  • 0.5lbs Peat Smoke Malt
  • 0.5lbs Chocolate Malt
  • 0.5lbs Caramel 120
  • 0.5oz EKG @ 60
  • 0.25oz EKG @ 15
  • 0.25oz EKG @ 1
  • 1782 Scottish Ale Yeast
I have decided to replace the German rauchmalt with a peat smoked malt, largely because I prefer the flavour of peat smoke as opposed to classic rauchmalt, although I love rauchbier. Hopefully, I will brew the new EDM 13 next weekend, just after brewing my first American IPA, to be called Hopbomination (although I am toying with the moniker, One For the Hopwhores). I haven't brewed for a while, and am looking forward to the wonderful sound of popping airlocks....


  1. Be careful with the peat-smoked malt. Depending on where it came from, it could be pretty powerful. A brewer who kindly gave me a small amount from Bruichladdich suggested 1% gives a suggesiton of peat, 2% makes it the main flavour, and 5% is ash tray-like :) I used just under 2% in a strong stout, and I think it worked very well. This was a particularly powerfully smoked malt though. I think the likes of Weyermans Rauchmalz is a more gentle kind of beast.

  2. Cheers for the heads up there Barry!

  3. More on peat. I just brewed a Welsh Mild using Simpson's Peated Malt, a UK product of which I purchased a 25 Kg. sack. 1 lb. out of a total 151 lb. grain bill for a 90 gallon batch (2 UK BBL). I just tasted a bit of it late last night after two days in the fermenter and you know it's there. It's not overpowering and I think it will work out just fine. I'm glad I stuck with just the 1 lb.

  4. Perhaps then just 0.1lb of the peat smoke will do the trick for my brew?



I worked out the other day that each day I was in Prague I walked about 7-8km, which is about 4.5-5 miles in old money. The longest walk tho...