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Old 01-12-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
harrysaxon
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Default Midwest Oatmeal Stout

Hi all,

First time post from a newbie brewer who's been reading the forums for tips here for a few weeks. Got a startup brew kit from Midwest for Christmas and bottled my first brew a couple days ago - their Autumn Amber Ale that came with the startup kit. Can't wait for it to carb up so I can finally taste my first beer.

Anyways, I got my second kit from Midwest already, their Oatmeal Stout. Just looking for feedback as a newbie who's probably overthinking and overstressed.

It comes with a half-pound of flaked oats for the steep (along with a quarter pound each of roasted barley and chocolate malt), but I've gathered that its not enough oatmeal on forum posts here for the kind of body I'm looking for, and I was planning on adding another pound to the steep. Good or bad idea?

Also, I just got Beersmith2, and it indicates that the single pouch of Wyeast Irish Ale I have isn't enough, and I should either pitch 3 packets, or do a starter. I don't have the supplies or equip to do a starter yet, and getting more yeast in my area is a bit of a hassle - is this something I should stress about, or just go ahead with the packet I have in my fridge?

Any feedback is appreciated. These forums have already been super helpful to a new brewer, I'd be grateful for anything specific to this second brew of mine.

Thanks!

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Old 01-12-2013, 10:16 AM   #2
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The heavier the beer the more yeast it usually takes. it will ferment but it will take longer. i would try to do a starter, a glass jar and priming sugar will do. Just keep it lightly covered. and start it a day or two before you plan on pitching it.

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Old 01-12-2013, 10:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rspiger
The heavier the beer the more yeast it usually takes. it will ferment but it will take longer. i would try to do a starter, a glass jar and priming sugar will do. Just keep it lightly covered. and start it a day or two before you plan on pitching it.
Hey, thanks for the feedback. I should say, this beer isn't going to be really heavy - projected SG is 1.047 - just got a bit paranoid about BeerSmith's calculations on a packet of Wyeast about a month and a half old.

Also got the impression I needed DME and nutrients to do a starter - priming sugar and glass jars I have in abundance.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:05 AM   #4
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Adding a bit more oatmeal wouldn't hurt - quarter to half lb maybe.

You should build a starter. All you need is an empty jar (I have used empty juice bottle in the past ... Half gal size I think) and some DME. Let it sit for 24 or so hours. Just give it a good swirl every now and then. Really easy and totally worth it.

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Old 01-12-2013, 01:34 PM   #5
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I've brewed the oatmeal stout from Midwest. You don't need to make any changes, it will come out good but being a dark beer it will take some extra time to mature. Expect 4 to 8 weeks in the bottle before it comes into its own. Drinking early will make you think it needs more body but with time you will realize that wasn't really the case.

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Old 01-13-2013, 11:16 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice. I found a local source for DME and made up 2.75L of starter today (the volume Beersmith2 recommended).

I've decided to try a couple of modifications to the Midwest recipe just to tailor it to my taste a bit more - an additional .5 lbs of oatmeal for body (half what I planned before this thread) and another 4 oz. of chocolate malt for colour in the steep, and I'm adding some dark DME to the boil to bring up the ABV a bit (should still be well in my yeast's tolerance, OG 1.055 instead of 1.047).

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Old 01-18-2013, 08:37 AM   #7
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Brewed this beer today. I thought it went really well for my second batch of beer ever. SG was 1.056, well within the estimated range. Got airlock action about 7 hours after it was put into primary. Hopefully it will taste as good as it looked and smelled.

I made enough modifications - addition of DME, chocolate malt, and oatmeal - to Midwest's kit I felt it deserved a name. My co-brewer and I have settled on "Careful with That Stout, Oatmeal".

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Old 03-09-2013, 08:12 AM   #8
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Just for the record - finally tasted this beer brewed with the modifications previously described. Bottled with table sugar (my brewing partner has a corn allergy) in the amount recommended by BS2. After 4 weeks in the bottle, first taste exceeded my hopes. Best oatmeal stout I've ever had, period. Perfect carb, amazing flavour and body. I love brewing.

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Old 03-09-2013, 10:53 AM   #9
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I never change a recipe first time I do it. How do you know you are making positive changes if you don't know where you are starting from?

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Old 03-10-2013, 12:36 PM   #10
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I guess I don't know exactly how it compared to the stock Midwest kit if I'd brewed it. But it was my first attempt at going off-kit - adding more oatmeal and chocolate malt, using a starter - and I'm ecstatic about the result. Best oatmeal stout I've ever tasted. Should I worry my starting point is a custom brew rather than the exact directions? I'm going to continue to tweak the recipe, does it matter how it starts vs. pre- ordained kits?

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