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Avoiding smoky character from hops?

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reddog

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Are there any hops that impart a smoky character to a beer?
 

Grmblz

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I think you're stuck with smoked malt in a traditional sense.
A bit like chocolate malt in a choccy stout, under no circumstances would I dose my choc stouts with a choc essence ;)
And I certainly wouldn't entertain trying liquid smoke for a smoky hint, in beer or scotch.
If you really want to do it with hops though, this seems to be the way to do it Beer Experiments: Smoking Hops – NC Home Brewing
This assumes access to fresh hops, and is a whole lot more faffing about than chucking a few drops of something in.
 

Danscraftbeer

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Agree that smoked malt is the best way to go. A good liquid smoke could be a handy cheat too. I'd just spray some on the grain previous to milling? Or just a few drops in the milled grains before mash. Good liquid smoke is just heavily smoked water so recording the exact (small) amount is important for continuing experiment brews.

The thought still remains what the best hops in combination are.
 

Grmblz

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Of course I was talking hypothetically, I would never put a drop of liquid smoke/choc essence/liquorish into a litre of beer and taste it. lol
When you take into consideration the numerous political/economic reasons for the various "purity" laws it becomes obvious that as HBer's we have a clean slate, and as such "the ends justify the means" if it comes out tasting as you want it who cares how you got there (Youngs double choc stout is accomplished only with choc grain?) I don't think so, sure the purists will howl, as they always do, sigh's.
It's not "cheating" any more than adding hops for bitterness is. Oh that's "accepted" really, by who? Not the folks that used gruit, throw away the "rule" book and enjoy the freedom, but be prepared to throw some out. :rolleyes:
Cheers (from the dark side)
 

Danscraftbeer

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I'm thinking about the right kind of hops that can go with a smokey taint beer.
First thought is Hops that go with dark malts beers.
Chinook comes first to mind since I've known it by growing and using it a lot. Goes well with dark chocolate beers too, any dark beer. Pale too but it has a slight, good dank.
Red Earth Hops (Rare) is another thought that I home grow. It has a unique flavor/aroma like cooking smells. Victoria Hops too have a unique thing to it, cant explane it really.
That's out of the square thinking but any hop will do if balanced well.
 
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Grmblz

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I've got Red Earth, haven't used it yet it's on its third year so plan on doing something with it this autumn.
Rauchbiers usually have low hopping rates and use Hallertau or similar but they get the smoke from the malt, if smoking your own hops/malt it'll be a bit of a minefield, I've done a fair bit of meat/fish smoking and the differences between the wood used can be huge.

I came across this:
"Hops can add a pungency and bitterness that accentuate negative phenolic qualities of the smoke. Even with the low hopping rate, it’s best to stick with noble varieties such as Hallertauer Mittelfrüh or Spalt" from Succumb to Smoke: The Art of Brewing a Balanced Rauchbier

So care needs to be taken, but yes the idea of a hop that compliments the smokiness rather than just bittering is intriguing, I wonder if first wort and dry hopping would prevent the issues with phenols, so many things to try and so little time.
 

reddog

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Thanks for all the replies but I obviously asked the wrong question. I’m not trying to brew a smoky beer just trying to avoid the smoky flavour that I perceive in some craft beer that I try.

The flavour I pick up is best described as a hint of ashtray. As you can imagine this is not something I enjoy and would like to avoid in the future.

I'm not sure the flavour is from the hops it could be a coming from an adjunct but to me it comes across as a dirty bitterness and not something coming from the malt.
 

Grmblz

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That's interesting, sounds like you're sensitive to a particular compound, and yes it could very well be from the hops, but I've never heard of anything like it.
There's no mention of "smoky" on the classic hop aroma/flavour wheels, but that just might be the way you perceive this particular compound, remembering that taste is actually quite a blunt instrument (savoury, sweet, bitter and sour) very much supplemented by smell, and very often what we think we are tasting is in fact an aroma.
Are there any beers in particular that you notice this more strongly than others?
I'll happily buy a couple to see if I can get the same flavour, any excuse ;)
 

reddog

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Yes you could be right with the sensitive to a particular compound thing. I’m very sensitive to coriander with it tasting like soap to me.

Yes it could be aroma but I get it towards the back of my mouth like a dirty bitterness that persists for 30 seconds or so. Its possible its an infection that the brewer or there accountant was happy to unload.

I cant think of any caned or bottled craft beers off the top of my head that have it. There are some but I cant reliably remember what they were.

I live in a remote location so very limited to what beer I can get. I mainly experiences this at micro breweries and I don't feel comfortable naming them.

I ask the question as I want to start trying a lot of different hops in my beer and don't want to dispose of a batch of undrinkable beer.
 

reddog

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Phenolics sound like a good possibility.
Save this to your desk top, I find it really useful.
Ctrl F to search for smoke in this case.
Mark
Great document Mark and I think this could be it.

I will have to remember to as for a taste before I try a new beer.
 

MHB

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Read up on Phenolics, there is some good basic info in the link but if you need more at least you have some idea where to start looking.
Mark
 

reddog

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Thanks Mark I did a lot of study on Phenolics many years ago back when I was brewing a lot of wheat beers and I do think you are probably correct on this.
 

reddog

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Read up on Phenolics, there is some good basic info in the link but if you need more at least you have some idea where to start looking.
Mark
I just finish reading the whole document and it list several causes for smokiness none of witch are related to hops. Thanks again Mark it has answered my question and was a good read.
 

Grmblz

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^ Yep! He'll be sorely missed if/when he leaves this forum. I just hope his value is truly appreciated by the powers that be.
 

sulgar

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Nugget hops can go there. Very earthy, almost roasty.
 

reddog

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I haven't brewed with Nugget yet are there any craft brews that are using it?
 

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