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jwynia 05-12-2011 03:02 PM

Oat Malt
So, in doing some digging for historic beers, I ran across this little section in a book:


Given my love of beers from the British Isles, especially all things Scottish and Irish, I was intrigued by the idea.

I've been working on an all oat recipe that I plan to brew in the next few weeks. It's based on 3 variations of oats: oat malt, Simpson's Naked Oats and rolled oats.

Because there aren't the wide variety of specialty versions of oat malt, I've toasted some of each in the oven to get some of the flavors you'd get from specialty grains and hopefully a bit of color.

I filled a baking sheet with each malt and put them in a 350F oven for about 45 minutes. The Simpson's Naked Oats darkened up nicely. The "base" malt didn't change color much, but I could definitely smell a nutty odor coming off of it. The rolled oats toasted nicely, but I've done that in regular cooking, so that was completely expected.

Here's a shot of the base oat malt roasted: http://yfrog.com/h366ymwj

I'd like to take a stab at "crystal" oat malt too, but only did dry roasting/toasting this time 'round.

Now, for those who immediately assumed that oat malt works the same as rolled oats (i.e. makes a sticky mess), I found plenty of folks who indicate that oat MALT works much like barley malt. It has a husk for filtering ability and has diastatic power (though not quite as much as 2 row). In short malted oats are as different from rolled oats as 2 row malt is from flaked barley.

Technique-wise, I do brew in a bag, so, while I'll probably add some rice hulls anyway, I'm not worried at all about a stuck mash.

Here's the base recipe I'm planning on:

7 lbs oat malt
1 lb toasted oat malt
1 lb Simpson's Golden Naked Oats
1 lb toasted Simpson's Golden Naked Oats
1 lb toasted rolled oats.

1 oz East Kent Goldings for 60 min
WhiteLabs Edinburgh yeast

I'm wondering what anyone thinks about that recipe as well as the thought I've been having of adding 0.5-1lb of dark Belgian candi sugar syrup. To get the most out of this batch, if I do the candi sugar syrup, I should probably split the batch and only add it to one of the halves. That way, I know what the 100% oat base beer tastes like and what its color is.


Hex 05-12-2011 04:06 PM

I am very interested in collecting the oats that grow in NorCal, left behind by the Franciscan Monks, and malting them myself into beer. Keep us posted on your results.:mug:

KingBrianI 05-12-2011 08:08 PM

Good job trying something new. Be sure to update with the results.

I have just two comments. First, I'm pretty sure the golden naked oats are a "crystal" oat malt, so unless you really want to make your own crystal oat malt, using the GNO should do. Secondly, I used a high proportion of oat malt in a medieval ale I made (the rest of the grist being barley and wheat) and it gave the ale a thick, kind of oily, almost unpleasantly rich mouthfeel. This will probably be even more noticeable in a 100% oat beer. Don't let that dissuade you though, it's good to experiment.

bwomp313 05-12-2011 08:21 PM

A few months ago I decided to do something just like this but bmw was all out of oat malt and I haven't since tried. I'm really interested in hearing how this turns out.

jwynia 05-12-2011 08:30 PM

I found conflicting information on golden naked oats, but it being "crystal" seems to make sense given how it acted when I toasted it.

I did read about your oat beer and the mouthfeel. I am the guy who needs to try it himself to believe it though. Also, my tastes tend not to match up with what others like (i.e. I can't stand IPA's/hoppy beers, which clearly appeal to lots of other people).

I'm also intrigued by the fact that 100+ years ago, they clearly made this stuff and liked it. That leads me to believe there's a way to make it meet some standard of "good".

Given the "thick" mouthfeel problem, maybe the sugar is a good idea to improve dryness.

jwynia 05-16-2011 01:28 AM

Brewed this today with a tweaked recipe:

9 lbs oat malt
1 lb toasted oat malt
1 lb toasted golden naked oats
1 lb toasted flaked oats

Did brew in a bag like I normally do. 90 minute boil.

Ended up REALLY cloudy/murky. My plan is to split the batches in a couple of days into 2 small carboys and add the candi sugar syrup to one of the halves. Hopefully, quite a bit of the crud will settle out in those first few days.

Had some weirdness with my burner/regulator/propane tank. For half of the boil, I had a hard time even keeping it boiling given the wind. Then, with no change in the wind, it suddenly took off and I ended up with a boilover.

I pitched yeast about an hour ago.

bwomp313 05-16-2011 03:26 AM

Sweet! Keep us posted. What's the OG?

jwynia 05-16-2011 11:18 AM


smokinghole 05-16-2011 11:37 AM

I'm interested in this as well since my wife has a gluten sensitivity and oats are gluten free. They might not be labeled as such depending on where they are processed but she's not allergic, just gets digestive unrest when she eats bread and the like.

firebird400 05-16-2011 06:54 PM

And just how does an all-oat beer taste like ?

I thought oats added bitterness when used in stouts, would that not make a beer made only from oats undrinkable :confused:

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