For many first time home brewers, there’s an undeniable allure to brewing a big, complex beer with a lot of ingredients right away. They pick out three different hop varieties and 12 different malts and get to work trying to juggle all of these ingredients. We commend their can-do attitude, but for those who want to start simple, or just play with one type of hop or malt, you might try this smashing new approach: the SMaSH Brew.
SMaSH stands for Single Malt and Single Hop. Rather than trying to mix and blend a bunch of different ingredients, this kind of brewing encourages homebrewers to really experiment with combinations of just two ingredients that complement each other. What Kind Of Beers Can You Make With Just Two Ingredients? Your immediate reaction might be that a SMaSH beer might be big on ideas, but lack taste and character. In actuality, you can make some truly tasty brews in a wide variety of styles. Naturally, you can produce simple, light, clean beers like lagers, pilsners, and dunkels, but you can also make more flavorful beers like saisons, wild ales, IPAs and even Barleywines. The trick is to use very flavorful malts, and hops that have a very strong character. This is not the time for subtlety. With just two ingredients, it’s important to be bold and choose the ingredients that will stand on their own and won’t be overpowered by the other ingredient.
SMaSH brewing is a great way to introduce yourself to the concept of homebrewing, or for more experienced brewers, it’s the ideal way to really get to know the nuances and flavors of specific ingredients. Each brew grants you the chance to showcase the ingredients, and for your next multi-ingredient brew you’ll have a better understanding of what each ingredient does and how it interacts with the others. This style of brewing is also a great way to develop your small batch brewing skills. Rather than producing five gallons of a two-ingredient beer every time, you might try just one or two gallons at a time. Indeed, some SMaSH Brewers create a five-gallon wort, put them in five separate fermenters, and then add a different yeast strain or hop varietal to each fermenter. The result is five variations on the same grain theme, allowing you to mix and match until you find a combination that tastes just right.
As you get to know the individual ingredients available, you can start to develop recipes that use ingredients that are tailor-made to your tastes and interests. The result is a beer that is not just complex, but harmonious, with each ingredient perfectly complementing the other.
If you’re looking for a great small batch brewing system to try out, a SMaSH brew, check out the UniBräu all-in-one electric brewing system. Made specifically for homebrewers, but using materials that rival those found in craft breweries, you can brew up to six gallons of beer in a single session. Stop by Bräu Supply now to order yours today!
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