Early Bird

In the last post I mentioned that I want to brew up a stout. It’s been a while since I’ve brewed a stout and the last one was a big boozy Belgian Imperial Stout fermented with Wyeast 3787 Trappist yeast (Westmalle yeast). It clocked in at almost 12%ABV. This time round I am looking for something more sessionable; something under 5%ABV.

I have some oat malt laying around and have been looking for an excuse to use it so I am going to brew up an Oatmeal Stout and substitute a portion of the flaked oats with the oat malt. Apparently Oat malt adds a lot more oat flavor than flaked oats. Some say it is too pungent but I am thinking that some real oat flavor may work out well here. This is what I am thinking of brewing:

expected OG 1.050
expected FG 1.013
4.8%ABV
30.5 IBU (rager formula)
expected color 27.3 SRM (71 EBC)
boil duration 60 minutes

60% Pale Ale malt
12% Munich malt
8% Flaked Oats
6% Oat malt
5% Roasted Barley
5% Chocolate malt
4% Biscuit malt

East Kent Goldings at 60min

Single infusion mash at 68C for 60 minutes

I am hoping that the biscuit will lend a nice toasty edge to the oat malt. I know a lot of people like to toast their flaked oats in the oven before using but if the biscuit works out well I think this could be more consistent than toasting my oats. Since I can’t leave well enough alone I have been thinking about what other flavors would go well with the chocolate, coffee, and hopefully oatiness of this beer. Raisins immediately popped in my head. Heck, a handful of raisins is my favorite addition to a nice hot bowl of oatmeal. Together with a large cup ‘o joe and you have a satisfying breakfast! Now I just need to figure out exactly how I want to add the raisins. I could puree them with a little wort and add that to the boil during the last 10 minutes, or I could just dump some raisins into secondary. Anybody out there have any experience using raisins?

Of course I feel I have to experiment with some non-traditional fermentation. So here is the plan… I will brew the base beer and then split it between two fermenters. One fermenter (most of the batch) will get Safale S04 English ale yeast (possibly Wyeast 1968 London Ale) and the other fermenter will receive only Brettanomyces Bruxellensis. After everything has fermented I may play with blending the two and age that with some medium toast French Oak chips. Some of the two separate batches would get bottled before blending so I can compare  all three and see what’s going on, but I really like the idea of a light musty, bretty oak note in the back of a nice smooth oatmeal stout.

If you have any ideas/input I’d like to hear it.

6 thoughts on “Early Bird

  1. Ryane,
    I am hoping that it won’t be too dry. I think my low percentage of oat malt should be low enough that it won’t dry out the beer much. I was planning on trying a 100% oat brew at some point so its good to hear that that really drys a beer out before I attempt it myself.

    Leigh,
    I think the grist looks good too so I hope the raisins aren’t a complete disaster. The cautious side of me says to forget the raisins or to somehow split the batch and only do it to half. However the other side of me (the one that seems to take over when I brew) says don’t be a freakin’ wuss and try something new. We’ll see what happens.

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  2. Have you brewed this yet?

    If not, you might think of caramelizing the raisins and then adding a bit of your thick first runnings and boiling it down into a thick syrup I think that could add a really great flavor to your beer

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    1. Thats not a bad idea. I finally scheduled a brew day for tomorrow. I decided I am going to sort of wing it tomorrow. There are so many ways I could add the raisins and so many ways to get some interesting flavors that I’m just going to try to have a fun day and see what tickles my fancy as I’m brewing.
      I also have a bottle of good maple syrup that I may throw into secondary… or maybe use it as bottling sugar for half the batch. We’ll see.

      Thanks for the suggestion!

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