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Old 06-27-2009, 08:03 PM   #1
jeremyjudd
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Default Oatmeal Stout

Brewed up a batch of oatmeal stout from extract a month ago, not so good....

Question is: Am I adding the oatmeal correctly? Did I do anything else wrong?

My process:

I was told that rolled and flaked are exactly the same thing. So I used a pound and a half of rolled oats after steeping in 160-degree water for about 45 minutes.

Then I dumped the oatmeal into a strainer over my wort. Then I added my extract and half of my bittering hops, and sparged the oatmeal in the strainer with 150 degree water from a tea pot as I would any other grain addition.

I added the rest of my bittering hops at 30 minutes into my (60 minute) brew, then threw my aroma hops in the last few minutes and cooled with my wort chiller within about 25 minutes.

Fermented in primary for the first 3 or 4 days, then moved to a glass carboy secondary for about a week. Waited for F.G. and bottled. After sitting a month, this stuff is still just terrible.


There is not really any oatmeal flavor in my brew, just tastes like an Irish Stout, heavy on the bitter side.

Suggestions?

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Old 06-27-2009, 09:06 PM   #2
davesrose
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What is your recipe? I think the main confusion about oatmeal in beer is that if you mash or steep oatmeal, some people think it's going to wind up with an "oatmeal" taste in your beer. On the contrary....it can be used to smooth out a sweet stout, or add dry notes to an ordinary stout. If you want sweeter, it's best to make sure you have a crystal malt or lactose in there.

The main oatmeal you have to stay away from is instant oats....I personally don't know whether rolled or flaked oats are the same....but I would imagine that they are probably similar enough for brewing (IE they're both flattened out to allow for grain extraction). A 160 degree steep for 45 minutes seems a bit high to me (but then again, how much oatmeal are we talking about?)....I wouldn't have gone above 153 at 30 mins.

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Old 06-27-2009, 09:06 PM   #3
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Oatmeal really needs a mash (adding some malt with high diastatic power and steeping 148-160F.) I use quick oats. Old fashioned oats need cooking first.

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Old 06-27-2009, 09:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conroe View Post
Oatmeal really needs a mash (adding some malt with high diastatic power and steeping 148-160F.) I use quick oats. Old fashioned oats need cooking first.
Humm....I've only used flaked oats for oatmeal stouts with AG....so looks like I might have been wrong about instant oats vs rolled oats:

Brew Your Own: The How-To Homebrew Beer Magazine - Beer Styles - Oatmeal Stout

Anyway, no matter what type of oats used, since the OP is complaining of a dry stout...I think it's best to cut down on the amount of oats and add some more specialty grain (like caramunich or a crystal malt).
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:27 PM   #5
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Oats without a mash is starch with very little flavor. With a mash it will dramatically effect the mouthfeel of the finished beer. IMO it's a wonderful addition to a stout. A oatmeal stout should be somewhere in between a dry and sweet stout but have that creamy and sticky mouthfeel that the oatmeal adds.

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Old 06-27-2009, 11:14 PM   #6
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Hm. Getting a few mixed messages here but it seems like in general, I haven't really messed anything up....

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Old 06-27-2009, 11:20 PM   #7
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Recipe is as follows:

1.2 lbs oatmeal
5 lbs Dark Malt Extract
2 lbs Dark Liquid Extract
1 lb Roasted Barley
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp gypsum
2 oz Norther Brewer Bittering Hops
1 oz Willamette Aromatic Hops

and of course yeast and corn sugar for priming....

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Old 06-28-2009, 12:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyjudd View Post
Hm. Getting a few mixed messages here but it seems like in general, I haven't really messed anything up....
No, there aren't too many mixed messages. After doing a little bit more research, I've found there is a difference with rolled vs flaked oats! Flaked are wetted before going in the rollers. As they pass through the rollers, enough heat is transfered to these wet oats that they gelatinize. Hence why they don't need to be cooked, while rolled oats may need to (to get the most oils out of them). When oats are used in brewing, the extra fats, proteins, and oils add to body of the beer (it should not be thought of as adding an "oatmeal" flavor though). Oats aren't germenated, so they have no enzymes for "mashing" to sugar. The main thing that you're "sparging" off of them are the fats and proteins.

OK...looking at your recipe, I think I do see that the culprit is just the pound of black barley: that's going to add a roasted/dry taste, and in this instance, the oatmeal will enhance it. So yes, I can imagine your stout is going to stay like a dry stout.

I like this one book by Charlie Papazian: Microbrewed Adventures. It has a lot of international recipes in both AG and extract. He does have one recipe for an organic oatmeal stout (and it looks like it's might not be as dry due to crystal and wheat):

4.5 lbs amber malt extract syrup
8 oz wheat malt extract syrup
1.5 lbs roasted barley
12 oz organic oats
10 oz organic crystal malt (120L)
1 oz magnum hops 13%AA (90 minute boil)
.02oz Hallertau hops 7%AA (30 minute boil)
1 oz Cascade hops (1 minute boil
Irish moss
Irish ale yeast

Steep grains at 155 for 45 minutes. Heat to 167, and then let grains drain from grain bag. Add more water to get up to 2.5 gallons, and add malt extract and 90 minute hops. Bring to boil.....when 30 minutes remain, add 30 minute hops....when 10 minutes remain, add Irish moss (1/4 teaspoon or Whirlflock tablet). When 1 minute remains, add Cascade. Cool and pour in fermenter....top up with more water to reach 5 gallons. Ferment at 70 degrees....after fermenation stops, "cellar" for at least a week.

Target OG: 1.061, FG: 1.016, IBU:44

Everything is calling for organic in an organic recipe, but you can substitute non-organic if you want. With oats, flaked oats, instant oats, or rolled oats (that you've cooked some ahead of time) would be my preferences I think.
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Old 06-28-2009, 01:36 AM   #9
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Flaked oats yield 33 PPG. I'm reasonably certain that it comes only from starches. I used them in a extract brew once I don't think they added much of anything to the beer. I've used them in partial mash and all grain and definitely can taste a difference.

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Old 06-28-2009, 01:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conroe View Post
I've used them in partial mash and all grain and definitely can taste a difference.
Well if all of it got mashed to fermentable sugar, then how would you be able to taste a difference? My point is, with brewing, oatmeal is a specialty grain that's used for its proteins and oils to add to body: it's not meant to be a base malt to get most of your fermentable sugars from (even if during AG mashing, some of its starches are converted to fermentable sugars from enzymes from the base grain, that's ancillary).

Oh, some more reading, and I've found that flaked oats are the best for brewing since they don't need cooking. Rolled oats need more cooking, but "quick" apparently need a little too:

"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."
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On Tap: Barleywine, Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout (big big beer)
Conditioning:Baltic Porter
Fermenting: Double Simcoe IPA
On the Bench: Racer 5 IPA


"One of the first things early caveman did, when he crawled out of the mudd, was to make beer. And cavemen everywhere are still making beer...and drinking beer." - Jean Sheperd

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