Saturday, March 20, 2010

SMaSH Beer Home Brew Recipe

SMaSH stands for Single Malt and Single Hop. Most beer is made using a variety of malts and hops and commercial brewers rarely use this approach. Home brewers have popularized SMaSH beers as a way to experience the full flavor of each ingredient. This recipe uses 10 pounds of Maris Otter malt and 6 ounces of Simcoe hops.

Maris Otter is a 2 Row English barley cultivar developed in 1996 at Cambridge. Maris Otter Pale Malt makes up 80% of the malt bill. The base malt contributes the sugars that will be converted to alcohol by the yeast. The other 20% of the malt bill is Crystal Maris Otter. Crystal malt is barley that has been roasted with a special process that partially caramelizes the sugars in the grain. The sugars from this grain add flavor and color to the beer, but are not converted to alcohol by the yeast.

Simcoe is a cultivar bred in Yakima Washington and first released in 2000. It has a pine-like aroma and a taste with a slight hint of citrus.

Technically, using crystal malt should disqualify this recipe from being considered a SMaSH beer, partly because it's rare for a home brewer to know what type of barley was used to create the a crystal malt. However, Simpson's recent introduction of Crystal Maris Otter now makes it possible to have a SMaSH beer sweetened by the caramelized sugars of a crystal malt.

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