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Old 10-12-2005, 04:16 PM   #1
JillC25
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Last night was a lousy transfering experience. Not only did the Flyers take a loss to the Maple Leafs, but my beer took a serious ass kicking as well. My racking cane broke- which thanks to El Pistolero, I managed to patch up. But fooling and fussing with it so much got me worried about contamination, so I had to soak everything in bleach again.

The real thing I am curious about though, is why my 5.5 gallons in the primary is now barley 4 gallons in the secondary. This is an Oatmeal Stout btw. When I made the wort, I noticed it was very thick- almost like syrup. I didn't know what to think of this, so I just went ahead and added enough H2O to make 5.5 gallons.

When I went to transfer it last night, there was at least 7" of thick gunk on the bottom that made it impossible to rack out. I had to leave it, leaveing me with a very unfilled 2ndary.

I'm still trying to figure out what made it so thick. The flaked oats? Did I need more H20? Here is the recipe- let me know if you have any suggestions

Grain: 1 lb. Belgian CaraMunich
1 lb. Belgian chocolate
.5 lb. Roasted barley
1 lb. Flaked oats
Boil: 60 minutes
7 lb. Dark malt extract
1 oz unsweetend chocolate at 10 mins
Hops: 1 oz. Perle (8% AA, 60 min.)
.5 oz. Northern Brewer (8.5% AA, 45 min.)
1 oz. Perle (8% AA, 10 min.)
Yeast: Wyeast brishish ale

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Old 10-12-2005, 04:27 PM   #2
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What kind of oats did you use, Jill?

From what I've read, oats either have to be pre-cooked in some fashion (which, depending on brand/type, they are), or mashed with some base malt.

(edit - formatting/punctuation)

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Old 10-12-2005, 04:34 PM   #3
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Sounds like the flaked oats didn't convert completely and you have some starch in the wort. You might have the start of an interesting dark bread. Next time, cook the oats for 30-60 minutes in about twice as much water as you would use for breakfast oatmeal. The gruel should thin out when it's ready.

The fat in chocolate will cause problems, not the least of which is, no head retention. Try cocoa powder next time & a little lactose.

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Old 10-12-2005, 04:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
You might have the start of an interesting dark bread. Next time, cook the oats for 30-60 minutes in about twice as much water as you would use for breakfast oatmeal.
The fat in chocolate will cause problems, not the least of which is, no head retention. Try cocoa powder next time & a little lactose.

This makes me sad. I put them in with the specialty grains and steeped for about 30 minutues, then I pulled the bag out and continued with the 60 minute boil.

I did use powdered cocoa instead of chocolate.

Damn undetailed recipe.
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Old 10-12-2005, 05:08 PM   #5
Walker
I use secondaries. :p
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JillC25
Damn undetailed recipe.
I find that when I am using some ingredient for the first time, it is a good idea to do some reading/research about that ingredient, regardless of what the recipe says. (heck... I have seen recipes that said they boiled the grains in the wort, and that is probably never a good idea.)

The need to independent research is particularly true of grains that are new to you, because while a lot of them can simply be steeped like tea, some of them need prior cooking and/or full-on mashing to be of good use. Steeping a grain that needs a full mash is pretty close to wasting grain.

I don't have the gear to mash, so I am avoiding those grains and adjunts at this point in my 'career'.

Here's one of many references you can use to see if your grain is a steeper, masher, cooker, or combination of mashing and cooking.

http://www.bodensatz.com/staticpages/index.php?page=Grains

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Old 10-12-2005, 05:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Palmer
Oatmeal 1 L Oats are wonderful in a porter or stout. Oatmeal lends a smooth, silky mouthfeel and a creaminess to a stout that must be tasted to be understood. Oats are available whole, steel-cut (i.e. grits), rolled, and flaked. Rolled and flaked oats have had their starches gelatinized (made soluble) by heat and pressure, and are most readily available as "Instant Oatmeal" in the grocery store. Whole oats and "Old Fashioned Rolled Oats" have not had the degree of gelatinization that Instant have had and must be cooked before adding to the mash. "Quick" oatmeal has had a degree of gelatinization but does benefit from being cooked before adding to the mash. Cook according to the directions on the box (but add more water) to ensure that the starches will be fully utilized. Use 0.5-1.5 lb. per 5 gal batch. Oats need to be mashed with barley malt (and its enzymes) for conversion.
Looks like the trick is that the oats don't have the enzymes to convert itself.
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Old 10-12-2005, 05:23 PM   #7
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"There are a few different kinds of oats available to the homebrewer. With flaked oats, also called rolled oats, the gelatinization is done by the manufacturer. This is done by softening the oats with steam and then passing them through heated pressure rollers into flakes. The grain husks are removed when the oats are rolled, and in this process the flake thickness can be controlled. The heat and pressure gelatinize the starches, and these grains can be added to the mash directly. The brewer does not need to cook these prior to mashing. "


This was from BYO. The extract recipe was similar to the one I used:

"Crush the specialty grains and malt, and mix them with the oats in a coarse, nylon bag. Tie up the nylon bag to seal it. Heat 3 gals. of water to 155¡ F in a pot with a lid and add the bag of grains. Keep this pot covered, maintaining a temperature between 150¡ and 158¡ F for one hour to convert the starch. This can be done, for example, by placing the entire pot in an oven preheated to 150¡ F. Remove the grain bag, and pour 1 qt. of rinse water over it and into the pot. This rinses some of the residual sugars from the grains. "

I am not sure if I screwed it up or not. I agree with Walker- researching and cross-referencing is VERY important.

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Old 10-12-2005, 05:39 PM   #8
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I use secondaries. :p
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Wow... it sounds like you followed the recipe exactly. Strange.

Is the recipe you posted the EXACT recipe that came with those instructions, or did you substitute malt extract in place of regular malted grain? Or.. did you drop one ingredient from the original recipe (like some pale malt or something?)

If you substituted or dropped base malt grain, that would explain the issue. The original recipe's use of a such grain would have provided the enzymes for converting the oats. Taking that grain out left the oats with unhappy working conditions and resulted in your Thick Sludge Stout.

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Old 10-12-2005, 06:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker
Wow... it sounds like you followed the recipe exactly. Strange.

Is the recipe you posted the EXACT recipe that came with those instructions, or did you substitute malt extract in place of regular malted grain? Or.. did you drop one ingredient from the original recipe (like some pale malt or something?)

If you substituted or dropped base malt grain, that would explain the issue. The original recipe's use of a such grain would have provided the enzymes for converting the oats. Taking that grain out left the oats with unhappy working conditions and resulted in your Thick Sludge Stout.

-walker
Nope- I followed the recipe exactly, except for the chocolate. Do you think the beer is ruined?
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Old 10-12-2005, 06:21 PM   #10
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Did you try a taste of it? I'd guess it will still come out okay, just not what you were shooting for. Probably will be on the hazy side due to residual starches.

Sounds like someone goofed in recording the recipe, as specialty grains have very little to no enzyme potential whatsoever to convert the oat starches.

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