Please critique my oatmeal stout

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

emoutal

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
140
Reaction score
3
Location
Ottawa, ON
I'm wanting to try Deathbrewer's partial mash method and i think it's the season for a good oatmeal stout. I looked at a few recipes and put this together. What do you guys (and gals) think?

Code:
Ingredients
 
Amount Item Type % or IBU 
4.00 lb Pale Liquid Extract (8.0 SRM) Extract 40.0 % 
3.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 30.0 % 
1.00 lb Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 10.0 % 
1.00 lb Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 10.0 % 
1.00 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 10.0 % 
1.76 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (60 min) Hops 33.5 IBU 
1 Pkgs SafAle English Ale (DCL Yeast #S-04) Yeast-Ale  

 
  
Beer Profile
 
Est Original Gravity: 1.055 SG
 Measured Original Gravity: 1.010 SG 
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG 
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.3 %  Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.6 % 
Bitterness: 33.5 IBU Calories: 90 cal/l 
Est Color: 26.9 SRM Color: Color
I was also thinking of maybe adding coffee and/or chocolate to this. What would be a good way of doing this? In the boil, secondary or what?

Thanks
 

Teacher

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2007
Messages
542
Reaction score
8
Location
Grand Forks, ND, USA
What you have looks pretty good to me, though I'd be inclined to make mine hoppier (I always add a finishing hop to my stouts). As for the additions, I've never used them, so I don't know. Good luck!
 

jpsloan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
741
Reaction score
6
Location
New Market, MD
I'd say you have plenty of roastiness there, and plenty of silkiness from the full pound of oats. I like the IBU's, too... that roasted barley is going to help balance the malt, in addition to the hops.

Hell, rock that recipe, and let us know how it goes!
 

Reverend JC

2500 gallons year to date
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
1,878
Reaction score
3
Location
Your Mom's
I would up the oatmeal by atleast 5%. Then i would also toast the oats in the oven for a bit. That will give it a nice nutty oatmeal cookie like flavor that most people look for when they have an oatmeal stout.

Yes, i know it is not supposed to be in the flavor profile (oatmeal cookie), but i like it that way.
 

jacksonbrown

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2008
Messages
1,180
Reaction score
8
Location
Madison, WI
Since everyone else addressed the recipe, I'll try to adrress your coffee/chocolate Q's.

Chocolate you can add in two ways: cocoa powder or dark bakers chocolate. Both would go into the boil. You can search the forum for amounts and boil time for each.

Coffee: What I hear/read is that cold pressed coffee into the secondary is where it's at. The cold press will eliminate the bitterness from the coffee giving you just the flavor you're looking for. Again, search the forum, there's a plenty of good info.
 

TexLaw

Here's Lookin' Atcha!
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Messages
3,672
Reaction score
36
Location
Houston, Texas
If you want to get a more chocolate flavor, try cutting your IBUs down to about 20 and adding a 0.75 pounds of chocolate malt. You might be surprised, and you won't have to fool with that chocolate.


TL
 

mmb

"I just got a new pet toaster!"
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Messages
40,702
Reaction score
9,906
Location
Mid Mittigan
For an oatmeal stout, I'd drop the full pound of Flaked Barley you have in there and just go with the oats. Two pounds of flaked grains in a 6 pound mash will sure be a sticky mash and a chewie beer. :D
 

bradsul

Flyfisherman/brewer
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 12, 2006
Messages
4,889
Reaction score
42
Location
Ontario, Canada
For an oatmeal stout, I'd drop the full pound of Flaked Barley you have in there and just go with the oats. Two pounds of flaked grains in a 6 pound mash will sure be a sticky mash and a chewie beer. :D
You say that like it's a bad thing (at least the chewie beer part). :D
 

TexLaw

Here's Lookin' Atcha!
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Messages
3,672
Reaction score
36
Location
Houston, Texas
Geez. I missed the flaked barley in there. Yeah, I would cut those out. I usually bump my flaked oats up to 1.5#, so you might want to try that.

Yeah, Bradsul, there's nothing in the world wrong with a nice, chewy stout.


TL
 
OP
emoutal

emoutal

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
140
Reaction score
3
Location
Ottawa, ON
Thanks for all the replies. I'm thinking I should cut out the barley flakes (thanks mmb). Since I have never done a PM before, I want to keep this fairly simple. I added some Chocolate malt and a little more 2 row to make up for it. I will also be adding some coffee since both I and swmbo are big fans of that. I'll do more research into the best way of doing that.

Here's the updated recipe:

Code:
Ingredients
 
Amount Item Type % or IBU 
4.00 lb Pale Liquid Extract (8.0 SRM) Extract 40.0 % 
3.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 35.0 % 
1.00 lb Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 10.0 % 
1.00 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 10.0 % 
0.50 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 5.0 % 
1.76 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (60 min) Hops 33.5 IBU 
1 Pkgs SafAle English Ale (DCL Yeast #S-04) Yeast-Ale  

 
  
Beer Profile
 
Est Original Gravity: 1.055 SG
 Measured Original Gravity: 1.010 SG 
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG 
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.3 %  Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.6 % 
Bitterness: 33.5 IBU Calories: 90 cal/l 
Est Color: 35.8 SRM Color: Color
 
OP
emoutal

emoutal

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
140
Reaction score
3
Location
Ottawa, ON
I was just thinking, is there going to be too much roastiness flavour in there using 1 lb of roasted barley and .5 lbs of chocolate malt, plus the coffee? Should I remove the chocolate malt, maybe add some crystal instead?
 
OP
emoutal

emoutal

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
140
Reaction score
3
Location
Ottawa, ON
So I went ahead and removed the chocolate malt and replaced it with crystal. This should be the final recipe

Code:
Ingredients
 
Amount Item Type % or IBU 
4.00 lb Pale Liquid Extract (8.0 SRM) Extract 40.0 % 
3.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 35.0 % 
1.00 lb Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 10.0 % 
1.00 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 10.0 % 
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 5.0 % 
1.76 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (60 min) Hops 33.3 IBU 
1 Pkgs SafAle English Ale (DCL Yeast #S-04) Yeast-Ale  

 
  
Beer Profile
 
Est Original Gravity: 1.055 SG
 Measured Original Gravity: 1.010 SG 
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG 
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.3 %  Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.6 % 
Bitterness: 33.3 IBU Calories: 90 cal/l 
Est Color: 28.5 SRM Color: Color
I'm going to order the ingredients now. I can't wait to make this one.
 

Bob

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
3,928
Reaction score
166
Location
Christiansted, St Croix, USVI
Poop. I missed the deadline, I see.

I wouldn't put Crystal malt in this stout. Crystal adds sweetness and body to the finished beer. Both are things you do not need in this recipe. First, it's a stout, fer crissakes. Oatmeal and Dry Stouts, if they share one distinction, share this: They are not sweet. Second, the oats add body, mouthfeel and flavor. That's the whole point of brewing an oatmeal stout! Why on earth would you want to muddy the flavor profile?

This is a classic example of overtweaking. Oatmeal Stout is Dry Stout with oats in. Simple as that. The oats provide mouthfeel (Vollmundigkeit) and body, smooth out the roasted-malt bitterness and provide a nutty flavor.

What you did by adding chocolate malt is obscure the oats nuttiness with chocolate malt nuttiness. When you removed the chocolate malt, I applauded. But then you replaced it with Crystal, which also smooths out the bitterness and provides body and mouthfeel. Simply put, you've got two ingredients doing much the same thing and masking themselves. The only real difference is the sweet-caramel notes imparted by the Crystal, which I find completely out of place in low-gravity Stouts.

Keep it simple: Pale Malt (70%), Roasted Barley (10%) and Oats (20%). If you want to accentuate nuttiness, go ahead and add it - make it 7% Roasted and 3% Chocolate Malt.

KISS, people, KISS!

:)

Bob
 

mmb

"I just got a new pet toaster!"
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Messages
40,702
Reaction score
9,906
Location
Mid Mittigan
I added a little crystal to a base dry stout recipe as a test a while back and it brought out some coffee/espresso flavors from the roast. I'll have to dig into my files, it was pre-BeerSmith, but I think it was 4 oz crystal 20 just to round out a little of the roasty bite.

I did get queries about having added coffee to it, FWIW. Missus didn't care for it so I didn't continue it.
 

TexLaw

Here's Lookin' Atcha!
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Messages
3,672
Reaction score
36
Location
Houston, Texas
Poop. I missed the deadline, I see.

Oatmeal and Dry Stouts, if they share one distinction, share this: They are not sweet.

Oatmeal Stout is Dry Stout with oats in. Simple as that.
Alright, I am totally throwing a flag on that. An authentic Oatmeal Stout is not a variation of the Dry Stout, a more Irish style. Rather, it is a variation of the Sweet Stout, a more British style.

To be more specific, an Oatmeat Stout is, typically, a drier version of the Sweet Stout and with some oatmeal character. While I've seen some nearly bone dry Oatmeal Stouts, just about every interpretation has been, at least, slightly sweet. Certainly, the best ones I have had are slightly sweet (and often a good bit less than the sweet stout, but also significantly sweeter than a dry stout) with a hint of caramel or toffee from some medium crystal malt. Yeah, if you put too much crystal in there, you muddy it up, but that is the case in any beer. However, typically, Oatmeal Stouts are sweet.

Where Oatmeal Stouts and Dry Stouts really diverge is on mouthfeel, as Dry stouts tend to be signficantly thinner. I am not talking about the oatmeal here, either.

But, the oatmeat certainly matters, and it is not redundant to crystal malt in an Oatmeal Stout. The best words I ever heard for the oatmeal mouthfeel are "silky," "satiny," and "almost slick" as I tend to feel it nearly sliding around my tongue and my mouth. It's almost something you feel you could grab on to and pull out of your mouth like a diaphenous ribbon, but then it's gone. Crystal malt, and other unfermented saccharides, give more of a "full" mouthfeel. It is more rolling, chunky, heaviness in your mouth. Balancing those two sensations in a finished Oatmeal Stout is part of the craft.

If you want to just replace flaked oats for the flaked barley in a Dry Stout, go nuts. That sounds like a nice beer. However, if you want to go around telling folks that their oatmeal stouts should not be sweet, you are way off the mark.


TL
 

Bob

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
3,928
Reaction score
166
Location
Christiansted, St Croix, USVI
Fair enough, TL! We differ. I understand the BJCP substyle breakdown. It's just that the oatmeal stouts I liked best have really, really simple grists.

I'm overreacting; I own up to that. I'm overreacting to the mystifying tendency we homebrewers have to make complicated grists when a more simple grist would suffice. Really, all I'm saying is you can brew a world-class stout without three different roasted grains, crystal malts, flaked this and that. Too many brewers, especially newer brewers devising recipes, start with a concept and then start throwing ingredients into the tun. In one way, they think too hard - about the different flavors imparted by the different ingredients. In another, they don't think far enough - about how all those different flavors can muddle together instead of remaining distinct. It's good to know about ingredients and their impact on the beer; but the real key is being able to predict about how those ingredients are going to interact.

That's all. Sorry I used this thread for a soapbox. :)

Cheers!

Bob
 
Top