Smokey the Brewer

Finally! Yesterday afternoon, the wood chips Miss Jiwaku ordered for me arrived, so now I can start trying to smoke various grains and foods!

I got the stuff in a few different forms. For traditional wood chips, we got two bags of hickory (and now I guess I have to make home-cured bacon, right?) and one bag of mesquite. We also got three sticks of processed smoking wood of Japanese origin: one each of chestnut, oak, and walnut.

(Rant warning: every webshop we checked listed three other very enticing varieties of processed smoking wood — apple, cherry, and something else I cannot remember. And every one of those shops was “sold out” of these three woods. The thing is, Koreans running online stores seem not to grasp that stuff that is “sold out” for a year or more ought to be simply removed from the shop’s product listings. They leave it, and just mark it 품절 (sold out). So every time someone searches for that product, they find the page with the product description, and get all hopeful, until they click through and discover that, yes, like every other damned store, that particular product is 품절 here too.

(It’s annoying.)

Okay, I’m done ranting.

So anyway, I a lot of the things I’ll need to do an experimental grain-smoking run this weekend: the smoking wood, a hot plate (assuming I do some mesquite-smoked grain), some cardboard boxes, a clean vacuum hose for running smoke from one box to another (so it will be nice and cool)… all I need is some cheap wire-framed support I can use to prop up the trays of grain inside the smoking box (so I can smoke a few at a time). I figure I can probably knock something together if I think hard enough.

So it looks like I’ll be doing a test run on that this weekend, either Friday or Saturday. It should be fun!

My goal for the first session is to smoke enough wheat malt to make a Grätzer. That means about 2.7 kilos of malt, which isn’t very much at all. Maybe I’ll smoke some meat, too, who knows?

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