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Old 10-19-2009, 11:20 PM   #1
Batinse
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Default Oatmeal Stout recipe advice

Hi! I'm trying to develop a recipe approximating Brasserie McAuslan's St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout. While I did find some information indicating the brewery's ratios (50% 2 row, 15% each Roasted Barley and Chocolate Malt, 5% each Wheat Malt, Flaked Corn, Flaked Oats, Dark Crystal) I also read that these proportions do not attenuate well to homebrew batch sizes. So I'm working from Jamil's Oatmeal Stout recipe with a higher roasted/dark malt ratio and some wheat. I also know that St. Ambroise uses EKG, Perle and Willamette hops (although I don't know where and when), so I'm trying a bit more of a complex hop combination. I'm still a newish homebrewer, so I'd love some feedback on this recipe before I brew it this weekend!

Edited recipe, based on below comments and suggestions:

I calculated this using Brewtarget open-source software, but this is my first recipe that is more than just tweaking of an established source.

Based on 70% Brewhouse efficiency, 23L (6-gal) batch size

Recipe Type: All-Grain
Maximum O.G.: 1.080
Estimated O.G.: 1.056
Estimated F.G.: 1.017
Colour: 32.5
IBU: 34.6

9 lb Pale 2-row
1 lb Flaked Oats
1 lb Wheat Malt
1 lb Roasted Barley
1/2 lb Chocolate Malt
1/2 lb Dark Crystal 70-80L

2 oz EKG 5.0% First Wort Hops
1.5 oz Willamette 5.1% FWH

60min infusion mash @154F

Wyeast 1968 - London ESB Ale, no starter.

Thoughts? Comments? Gratuitous insults?

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Last edited by Batinse; 10-25-2009 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:50 AM   #2
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JZ does not have any wheat in his version, I have made this twice so far. I would cut back the RB to a 1/2lb.

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Old 10-20-2009, 03:48 AM   #3
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Right, I've seen JZ's recipe, in fact, I linked to it in the OP. St. Ambroise is quite espresso-ish, so I upped the RB content to 1lb. They also use a bit of wheat, so I thought I'd throw some in. Papa Papazian uses 2lb wheat for a 19-L batch, so even though the St. Ambroise commercial recipe calls for only 5% wheat, I thought 1 lb wasn't overshooting it. Does anyone else use wheat in their Oatmeal Stout?

I was actually mostly concerned about the hops--it seems like a lot for an oatmeal stout, and I also think that 34 IBU seems to lowball the calculation, but that's what Brewtarget told me.

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Old 10-20-2009, 01:18 PM   #4
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I don't think your RB proportion is too high. Unlike some brewers, I think RB should be the dominant roasted-malt flavor in stout, regardless of substyle.

Wheat is an interesting addition to the grist, as is the maize in the commercial recipe. Both of those grains will somewhat reduce the body of the beer, which is normally opposite what one intends with Oatmeal Stout. Wheat will improve foam retention, but so will oats.

I like to keep my Oatmeal Stout grist simple, basically the same as Dry Irish Stout, but with the addition of Chocolate Malt: 70% Pale Malt, 20% Flaked Oats, 5% Chocolate Malt, 5% Roasted Barley, targeting an OG of ~1.055. In my brewery, that works out to 7 lbs 2-row, 2 lbs oats, and a half-pound each of Chocolate and Roasted.

I don't think you need Biscuit or other toasted grains. This is Oatmeal Stout. That oats were used must be instantly recognizable. That means using enough to get that silky, somewhat oily mouthfeel. Some brewers toast a portion of the oats to get a nutty flavor, though I've never done that.

Nor do I think you need Crystal, though the BJCP style sheets permit its use. If you use a sufficient quantity of oats, you don't need Crystal for body/mouthfeel. If you decide to use less than 20% oats, say 10%, you may need to add some darker Crystal to provide some residual sweetness and body.

I also like to keep the BU:GU ratio between 0.6 and 0.75. I keep flavor additions relatively low, and do not use aroma hops. Stout should be all about roasted-grain flavors with a sideshow of other grains (like oats); using it as a vehicle for hops flavors/aromas just clouds the issue. (I also think we craft-brewers just add hops without thinking, making a bunch of mediocre, overhopped beer, but that's a different subject altogether. )

Cheers!

Bob

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Old 10-20-2009, 02:56 PM   #5
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I think you do need some crystal, probably more than the 3.5% you have listed. Oatmeal Stout is a variation of a Sweet Stout. I don't think it should be dry. The only examples I've had had about twice that much crystal (Samuel Smith and Barney Flats.) I think 14% dark grains is too much. You should drop a half pound of the Chocolate Malt and/or Rostered Barley. 10% is the norm.

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Old 10-20-2009, 06:39 PM   #6
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Thanks for the hops feedback, NQ3X. I think you're right about the flavouring/aroma additions (and also about the homebrewer propensity for random hops, mea culpa). I think I'll bitter with EKG and add a 30 min flavour of Willamette, since St. Ambroise has a delightful spicy, fruitiness underneath the roasted malt flavour that I really want to simulate. But the aroma is definitely all malt, all the time.

It's also a medium-body stout, which could explain the wheat addition. I'll also think about the grist suggestions. I might take out the biscuit malt altogether, but I think I'll keep the RB at least above 1/2 lb. I also don't think that an Oatmeal Stout has to be sweet--St. Ambroise has a nice dry-ish finish.

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Old 10-21-2009, 01:09 PM   #7
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Conroe is right that Oatmeal Stout is an off-shoot of Sweet Stout. However, I prefer my Oatmeal Stout to be fairly dry. It's all in one's personal taste.

If I were you, I'd never use EKG as a bittering hops. It's just too flavorful and aromatic for that. I'd sooner use the Willamette to bitter this stout and save the EKG for finishing an English beer of some type.

If your software supports it, see what First Wort Hops will do for your IBU. FWH is a great way to impart some flavor along with a smooth bitterness. Simply add the bittering charge when you first start to run off sweet wort into the kettle, before the boil. Usually total IBUs are reduced slightly "by the numbers".

Cheers!

Bob

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Old 10-21-2009, 03:59 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestion! BT does have FWH (although I didn't know what that meant until now!) and it will bring down my bitterness to about 34 IBUs, which should be good. Would you add all the Willamette (roughly 2.5 oz) at FWH, or should I save some for a 60 min or 30 min boil as well? Would EKG work at 30 min to retain some of that subtle Golding flavour?

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Old 10-21-2009, 06:00 PM   #9
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For a FWH the EKG would be better than Willamette because a FWH gives a lot of flavor and not much (perceived) bitterness. A FWH comes close to a 20 minute addition. You will still want to get most of the IBUs from some hops at 60. You don't really want a lot of flavor but .25 to .5 EKG FWH would be nice.

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Old 10-21-2009, 06:33 PM   #10
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If it's worth anything to you I bitter my Oatmeal Stout with Chinook and then add a flavor addition of Goldings at 20. I target a BU:GU ratio of one. I bottled a batch last night and didn't pick up on any hop bitterness, just a great Roasty taste, and some hot alcohol taste. Here my recipe if your interested...

9lbs 2 row
1/2lb Crystal 120
3/4lb Roast Barley
1/4lb Chocolate Malt
1 1/2 lbs Flaked Oats

1 1/4oz Chinook @ 60
1 1/2oz Goldings @ 20
Wyeast 1084 Irish ale Yeast

OG was 1.070 FG was 1.014, so it attenuated good, probably a little too much. Hope that helps in some way.

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