Sunday, September 18, 2011

Oatmeal Stout

Oatmeal stout is a style I rather enjoy but commercially you don't see a lot. On My last visit to Kansas City I brought back some of the EXCELLENT Free State Brewing Oatmeal Stout, which happens to be my favorite pro version. Inspired, I started pouring through my brewing tomes, favorite beer blogs and brewery sites for recipe ideas. Come to find out that nailing this style is not as simple as adding flaked oats to your favorite stout recipe. It is a balance of mouthfeel you expect from the style, with subtle sweetness and roast. To much attenuation and it becomes more of a dry stout, too little and you end up with a sweet stout. I hope that learning from others will get me a drinkable recipe that I can further tweak to perfection.

Oatmeal Stout - Brewed 09/04/11

OG 1.056
FG 1.015
ABV 5.5%
IBU 31
SRM 28

6 lb Marris Otter
2 lb Flaked Oats
2 lb Munich 10L
1 lb Flaked Barley
10 oz Roasted Barley
8 oz Chocolate Malt
8 oz Caramel 40L

2 oz Fuggle 60 Min

Chicago water with 1 gram baking soda per gallon to drive up bicarbonate

Dough in and raised to 122F for 15, raised to 156F for 60, raised to 165F for 15. Recirculate until cleared and fly sparged to pre boil volume.

Fermented on the cooler range with Fermentus US-04

I plan on taking a keg of this to Wisconsin on a disc golf outing. Will post tasting notes and tweaks next month.


It's been said before.. I have been ignoring this blog. I keep my life busy between, family, work, hobbies, travel and sleep. The kettles have not been ignored, they have been very busy with brews for both myself and Bridges. There is a que of recipes that I need to post up and will try to get them all here this weekend.

I really enjoy hearing about other people's experiences, especially when they are passionate. Be it a unknown restaurant's atmosphere, a unique travel destination or a walk through of a particularly tasty beer. I especially love hearing about people's brewing escapades. Sit me next to a fellow brewer and we will go on for hours. We recently transitioned from being renters to owners, I was happy to find out that another owner was also an experienced homebrewer. Over many drinking sessions we discovered what processes we had in common and what we could take and make our own. We finally decided to brew together.

We decided to do a beer in the mode of Three Floyd's "Blackheart". This was the first time I brewed with someone where I wasn't the more experienced brewer. It was tough to let go of many processes that I automatically "just do", and also communicate when/why. Frankly, it was a difficult for me to share my ball. We missed our mash temp and has a misread on pre boil gravity, resulting in frustration. There was a lot less planning involved with this than I normally do. The beer turned out fine.. Lesson learned? I wasted a good experience fretting over little things and not sharing enough of the responsibility. Sometimes you need to let it go and just have fun making beer with a friend.

When building networks we often unintentionally wall ourselves in. Many of the homebrewers I know are people I have met over social networks. A lot of them are around my level of experience, few of them are novice or beginner. I can send out a tweet or post to g+ and get an answer in seconds. I can't recall how often I really give back to the community that shares my passion. I am not in any homebrew club where I can be mentored or act as a mentor to others. A recent opportunity working in a local home brew shop has allowed me to interact with individuals new to the hobby. It was refreshing to see their eagerness for brewing. They have yet to build the walls of style parameters and hard process rules. Style and Process are important and have it's place, but when was the last time you just got real loose and free-styled a beer?