Thin and Sharp Oatmeal Stout

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Docod44

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
90
Reaction score
141
I have a partial-mash oatmeal stout on tap that I brewed a month ago and while it has some nice roasty notes and big thick head retention, the body is overall fairly thin. Looking at my recipe and brew notes, is there anything that stands out?

1634125727447.png

My mash pH was measured as 5.46 but I have in my notes that I added 0.5mL of 88% lactic acid to bring it down to 5.12. I'm realizing that I probably should have kept the pH where it was, forgetting that stouts should be in the 5.2-5.5 range. My adjust water profile was:
1634125954996.png


At the end of the day, I enjoy this beer and my friends and family like it too, so I guess that's the most important thing. Is it just harder to get a full-bodied end product with partial-mash brewing?
 

tracer bullet

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Messages
771
Reaction score
631
Location
Minnesota
The Cl to So4 ratio seems good, that's a place most people have to start.

I'm still working on my own recipe, constantly repeating it (all-grain). I've found a combo of 10L and some higher L caramel malts have helped. I'd consider skipping the victory malt here as well. I love victory, but for me it is the opposite of creamy/ smooth. Munch on a few kernels next time and see what you think.

For pH, did you measure that or calculate it? Did you do so warm or room temp? Oft cited numbers are ~ 5.4 room temp and 5.2 at mash temp. Don't hold me to that but look into how you got your # and the temp for it.

You might consider swapping the oatmeal for flaked barley. I have done oats, lots of oats, and oats + a little flaked barley, and not gotten what I want. My next one will be all flaked barley. I've been reading lately that oats can make things silky but it takes > 20% or something to really notice a body change. People seem to prefer the flaked barley. Hard to suggest you change but it might be another subject to look into.
 
OP
Docod44

Docod44

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
90
Reaction score
141
The Cl to So4 ratio seems good, that's a place most people have to start.

I'm still working on my own recipe, constantly repeating it (all-grain). I've found a combo of 10L and some higher L caramel malts have helped. I'd consider skipping the victory malt here as well. I love victory, but for me it is the opposite of creamy/ smooth. Munch on a few kernels next time and see what you think.

For pH, did you measure that or calculate it? Did you do so warm or room temp? Oft cited numbers are ~ 5.4 room temp and 5.2 at mash temp. Don't hold me to that but look into how you got your # and the temp for it.

You might consider swapping the oatmeal for flaked barley. I have done oats, lots of oats, and oats + a little flaked barley, and not gotten what I want. My next one will be all flaked barley. I've been reading lately that oats can make things silky but it takes > 20% or something to really notice a body change. People seem to prefer the flaked barley. Hard to suggest you change but it might be another subject to look into.
Thank you for the ideas, I like the idea of flaked barley and might do that next time (and lose the victory malt). My pH was a measured value, I chilled a wort sample from the mash down to ~100F and then used a pH meter with ATC to get both measurements pre- and post-lactic acid.
 

hottpeper13

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Messages
1,231
Reaction score
429
Location
Mequon
I get that sharpness when I had one mash that got down to 5.1 pH. The next one was at 5.5 pH and was smoother and drinkable sooner.

I've done the cold steep dark and crystal malt thing and prefer keeping my pH at the upper end, I get more flavor.

The industry standard is to measure pH at ambient,mostly because the probes last longer,and it's always apples to apples.
 

Coastalbrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2018
Messages
800
Reaction score
531
I've brewed this oatmeal stout recipe and it is really good. Take a look and compare with your recipe. Might give you some inspiration on ways to tweak.

Cheers!
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
4,931
Reaction score
3,321
Location
Bremen
Take the stout out of the cool and give it some time to mature. My stouts are way better after 6 months than earlier.
This! But three months actually should already do the trick with the given abv.
 
Last edited:

Lubrication

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
19
My oatmeal stout brewed back in May is currently tasting better than ever, so definitely give it time to mature.
Recipe tweaks you could try might be dark malt extract instead of Pilsner and an English ale yeast such as Nottingham.
Cheers!
 

Beermeister32

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2013
Messages
859
Reaction score
1,269
Location
Southern California
Remember the DME already has minerals in it.

So when you make you water adjustments, if you are figuring minerals for a full batch, you can end up with a mineral-sharp beer.

Agreed on the aging. Give it 90-180 days.
 
OP
Docod44

Docod44

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
90
Reaction score
141
My oatmeal stout brewed back in May is currently tasting better than ever, so definitely give it time to mature.
Recipe tweaks you could try might be dark malt extract instead of Pilsner and an English ale yeast such as Nottingham.
Cheers!
I love Notty, it's my house ale yeast and I've brewed almost every ale batch over the last 3 years with it. I got some clearance yeast packs that I was curious about but I've come to realize that Notty meets all my needs so I'm going to stick with it (and occasionally S04) going forward!
 

CascadesBrewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
1,707
Reaction score
1,405
Location
VA, USA
I have a partial-mash oatmeal stout on tap that I brewed a month ago and while it has some nice roasty notes and big thick head retention, the body is overall fairly thin.
I would point out that a more traditional example of an English Oatmeal Stout is a medium bodied beer. Here in the US it is easy to get used to the 8.5% versions that seem common. Jacking up the OG from 1.046 to the 1.060 range would be one possibility (the style guidelines give a range of 1.045 - 1.065). A less attenuating yeast should give you a bit more body and sweetness.
 
Top