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.