first stout, advice needed

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tandpbrewing

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I plan on brewing my first stout in the next few days (I've done maybe 8-9 other extract w/steeping grains). I am planning on a Oatmeal Licorice Stout, as for style of stout imp, sweet, or dry, I dont know. I would like moderate ABV but probably not imp levels, maybe 6-7ish and a black color.

Here is a recipe I just drew up in beersmith, let me know what i should change to it, I just made this up based on nothing right now, I would like a prominent Licorice flavor, hence the 3/4 stick.

8.5lbs Amber LME (I would do dark but I don't think my LBS has that in bulk)
1.25 lbs oats
.75 lb crystal 120L
.4lbs black patent malt
.4lbs roasted barley
4oz N. Brewer for bittering (60 min)
1.5oz Cascade for flavor (10-15 min)
.5 cascade for aroma (1-5 min)
3/4 stick brewers licorice (60 min boil????)
.25 tsp irish moss (5 min)

I really need all the advice I can get on this. Since its a lower alc % i shouldn't have to worry about the yeast not carbonating after bottling right? (Also I have a freak accident of 10% ABV IPA in secondary right now should I be concerned for this batches carbonation). How long will this need to condition, because of the licorice and the roasted barley quite awhile right?

I'd love to get to the brew shop today to get supplies, thanks for the advice.
 

cheezydemon

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I would only mention that Cascade hops are versatile and delicious, but they are really over used. Galena, and Kent golding are similar but a little different and distinct. Not a huge point! As for conditioning, a month in the bottle will be well worth the wait. I posted some results pertaining to your other batch on another thread, but i will briefly try to put it here: I had 2 high gravity batches(high enough to be beyond the yeast strain's documented ability, evidenced by a FG of 1.024 or so) that I bottled about 5 weeks ago. Batch A I bottled with 1/4 cup sugar and some dry yeast that I let get started on the priming sugar for an hour or so.(cooled to 75 or so before adding yeast)
Batch B I bottled with 1/4 cup priming sugar no yeast. As of 3 days ago, Batch A had a perfect amount of carbonation, batch B had just the beginnings of a little carbonation. Good Luck! the stout and porter are my favorites to brew, and I will admit they are the easiest and most forgiving if you don't get too crazy!
 

FlyingHorse

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Entirely a matter of preference, but stouts typically have little to no hop flavor or aroma. And I'm not a big fan of Cascade in a stout in any case.

I'd kill the aroma hops entirely, and knock the flavor hops back to no more than 0.5 oz, and use EKG, Fuggles or Willamette instead of Cascade. All will pair better with your N Brewer bittering hops and the licorice flavor, IMHO.
 
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tandpbrewing

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That thread wasn't mine, but I did read it. Thanks for the advice, guys. keep it coming.
 

JimC

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Oats have to be mashed with a base malt to convert.

I'll also second the hops. The citrus Cascade doesn't hit me as fitting an oatmeal stout.
 

FlyGuy

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Have you guys ever tried Rogue's Shakespeare Stout? It is the only hop in the beer, and it is amazing.

Not to contradict (for my own stouts I also prefer the more traditional hops you suggest), but it is possible to use Cascade. I think the real issue, as previously mentioned, is keeping the flavour and aroma additions small or none, especially if one wants that licorice taste to be prominent.
 

cheezydemon

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well said midnight rambler. That is what I was getting at, but I am a fan of doing it your own way, so I did not say it as bluntly. If you would like a stout with tons of Hops go for it. There are actually (if you can believe it) no rules. But you should give some respect to those who went before you and call it a bitter stout or something.(don't ask me) I have to recommend White Labs "Irish Ale" yeast. (no I am not getting kickbacks, that stuff is just so versatile!). Spring for liquid yeast.
 

FlyingHorse

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cheezydemon said:
I would only mention that Cascade hops are versatile and delicious, but they are really over used. Galena, and Kent golding are similar but a little different and distinct.
Galena is a high-alpha bittering hop, rarely used for flavor or aroma. EKG has a floral, earthy aroma typical of many British ales. I don't think many people would consider either of them to be "similar" to the distinctly citric Cascade.
 
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tandpbrewing

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Can someone point me in the direction of how to mash oats? I haven't done any mashing yet. I will definetly revise my hops, and I always use liquid yeast, just forgot to add that in the list up top.
 

cheezydemon

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Bike N Brew said:
Galena is a high-alpha bittering hop, rarely used for flavor or aroma. EKG has a floral, earthy aroma typical of many British ales. I don't think many people would consider either of them to be "similar" to the distinctly citric Cascade.
Absolutely correct, I definitely mis-spoke, they are similar only in so far as all hops are somewhat similar, but side by side they are very different.

Galena worked great in my last stout and were recommended by the brew shop owner as the bittering hop, not for aroma. (.5 oz in 5 gallons) And the Kent golding for aroma, which could easilly be omitted.

Absolutely Cascade Hops are great! No argument! I have just known more than a few brewers to use them exclusively without branching out to try other flavors. They suffer from "Sierra Envy.
My original response was just to encourage thinking. There are no rules, don't allow yourself to be limited just to be true to the style or a recipe.
 

JimC

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Mashing 1.25lb of oats is going to turn the recipe into an allgrain brew. While you might be able to partial mash that, I think the stuck sparge nightmare would keep me away from it.

As far as AG, this is about what I would translate your recipe to:
10lb 2-row
1.25 lbs oats
.75 lb crystal 120L
.4lbs black patent malt
.4lbs roasted barley

Probably want to do a 20 minute Beta Glucan Rest at 110 for the oats and a 10 minute mash out at 168 to get the grain bed flowing.


About the only way to do an oatmeal stout as an extract brewer is to use Oatmeal Stout Extract kits.
 
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tandpbrewing

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eek, well I definetly don't have the set up for all-grain, do I have any other options? If not any suggestions in place of the oatmeal? should I just leave it out and add more crystal? I'd like a good mouthfeel though.
 

FlyGuy

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I have done a PM with oats and 6-row, and it worked fine. If you were really worried about a stuck sparge, a handful of rice hulls would help.

Technically, adding base malts and performing a PM is required with oats. But I have heard a number of people say that steeping worked well for them. You just won't extract all the 'goodness' out of the oats because enzymes are required to unlock everything (trying not to sound overly technical).

The other consideration when steeping oats is that it will cause a starch haze in the beer, but it is not a concern with stouts since they are opaque to begin with.
 

FlyGuy

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tandpbrewing said:
eek, well I definetly don't have the set up for all-grain, do I have any other options? If not any suggestions in place of the oatmeal? should I just leave it out and add more crystal? I'd like a good mouthfeel though.
You can also try adding some malto-dextrin powder to increase the mouthfeel.
 
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tandpbrewing

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okay, so I'm thinking I could handle a PM for the oats, (from reading this article http://***********/feature/1536.html) how would I convert my recipe to only a partial mash?

Beersmith suggest cutting back the extract to 6.5 lbs and about a pound each of oats and 2-row pale malt and cut the crystal to .75 lbs.

How does that sound? So I would assume that I add the oats and 2-row and then follow the steps in that article? Then do the rest how I usually would except adding the LME late?
 

FlyGuy

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tandpbrewing said:
Beersmith suggest cutting back the extract to 6.5 lbs and about a pound each of oats and 2-row pale malt and cut the crystal to .75 lbs.

How does that sound? So I would assume that I add the oats and 2-row and then follow the steps in that article? Then do the rest how I usually would except adding the LME late?
Yes, that sounds a lot better to me. I did something fairly similar in my recipe.

Just make sure you get pre-gelatinized flaked oats (from the LHBS) or plain instant oats (at the grocer). If you use quick oats or slow oats, it isn't going to mash as well.

Personally, I like a lot of roasted barley in my stout, so you might want to bump that up a wee bit, too. The only problem is that you *might* need a 3 gal cooler to mash all those grains, unless you mash the 2-row and oats in one vessel and steep the other grains in a separate pot. The 2 gal cooler that is recommended in that BYO article will only mash about 4 lbs of grain max.

Oh, one thing that is not mentioned in that article -- it really helps to put a stainless steel steamer rack at the bottom of the cooler, if you have one.
 
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tandpbrewing

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wait, should I be mashing all the grains in there? I was planning on just mashing the oats and 2 row, then I would steep the others the way I normally would.
Also, if I am mashing, I should grind the 2-row right?
 

CBBaron

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tandpbrewing said:
wait, should I be mashing all the grains in there? I was planning on just mashing the oats and 2 row, then I would steep the others the way I normally would.
Also, if I am mashing, I should grind the 2-row right?
Yes, ideally all grains should be mashed if you are doing a mash. If for some reason you can't fit everything in your mash vessel then you can steep crystal and roasted grains.
Also all of your grains need to be crushed. If you go with flaked oats these are already processed and need nothing extra, the reset need crushed.
I did a PM oatmeal stout with 1.25# flaked oats and 2# 6-row. No problem with a stuck sparge. You can also use the bag in the pot or the colander method.
Good luck.

Craig
 

FlyGuy

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tandpbrewing said:
wait, should I be mashing all the grains in there? I was planning on just mashing the oats and 2 row, then I would steep the others the way I normally would.
You COULD do them separately, but it is a lot more effort and it works better if they all go in to the mash.

Also, if I am mashing, I should grind the 2-row right?
You should crush all the grains. For a full AG mash, I even crush the oatmeal. But I don't recommend that for a PM -- it will make a gummy mess.
 

JimC

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I would use 6-row if you can. Failing that some rice hulls.

Yes, the 2-row needs to be cracked just like for steeping. Don't grind it to a powder, just crack open the hulls. If you are doing a mash, you mite as well mash the rest of you're grains too. The crystal malt will add extra enzymes for the oats and the rest will add more stuff to the grain bed to help prevent the oats from gumming up the sparge.
 
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