How would I go about smoking barley (no points awarded for answering "in a pipe")? My LHBS has a couple of smoked varieties, but not the exact type of smoke I want. I'd like a method that doesn't involve buying a ton of equipment, if possible.
I smoked my own base malt for a smoked porter I made a few months ago, and it turned out really well. I used this Brinkmann smoker (I smoke a lot of meat so I already had it handy) and simply placed about 2 pounds of malt at a time on a bed of cheesecloth on the top rack of the smoker. About every 10 minutes, I sprayed the malt down with bourbon to keep it moist (and add a bit of flavor), and turned the malt with a fork to get an even smoking.
I smoked each batch of malt for about 45 minutes. My LHBS recommended that I smoke the malt before milling, but since I didn't have a grain mill I had to mill it at the store and then smoked the grain after it was crushed. The smoke flavor in the beer ended up being very prominent, which I really enjoy, but is a bit too much for other people.
I recommend smoking before milling if you can, otherwise plan to smoke less of your base malt or smoke it for far less time.
If you don't want to invest in a smoker, you can easily fashion a makeshift smoker from a stainless steel trash can, as seen here (and search for "trash can smoker", there's plenty of tutorials online). The parts required are relatively cheap.
If you don't want to make a smoker, a slightly less effective method is to use a gas or charcoal grill with very low heat as a smoker, although I don't recommend this as you run the risk of roasting/burning your grain.