Saturday, December 6, 2014

Not Worthy - Oatmeal Stout

Back in October I set out to brew an Oatmeal stout.  With the weather turning colder I knew I would appreciate a dark and malty beer.  I had a Founders Breakfast Stout last year and remember it having an amazing aroma of warm oatmeal cookies.  I was hoping to replicate that aroma with toasted oats in this recipe.  I also wanted it to have a very strong chocolate presence without being too roasty.  I definitely accomplished this, but maybe have gone too far - see the tasting notes.

Per usual, my notes for brewday were lacking.  I do recall it going rather smoothly and it being one of my fastest brewdays to date at just around 5 hours.  I ended up fermenting 5 gallons in one of my better bottles and a little under a gallon in a one gallon jug.  When it came time to keg, I also bottled the 1 gallon jar and added pumpkin pie spice.  I have not yet tasted the spice version.

Oatmeal Stout

Brewed On: October 12, 2014
Kegged On: October 25, 2014
Style: 113C - Oatmeal Stout
Batch Size: 6 gallons (5 gal into fermenter)
Efficiency: 75%
OG: 1.056
FG: 1.018
IBU: 30 calculated (Rager) 
ABV: 5.0%
Toasted oats
Yeast: WLP002 64° to start and rised to 67°

Grist Mashed at 154 for an hour
70% - Maris Otter (Muntons) - 9 lbs
4%  - Crystal 120 - 8 oz
6%  - Chocolate (350L) - 12 oz
6%  - Pale Chocolate (200L) - 12 oz
6%  - Victory - 12 oz
8%  - Toasted Oats* - 1 lb

Close up of the toasted oats

* Oats were toasted at 300° for 1 hour were stirred every fifteen minutes

Hop Additions 
0.53 oz - Magnum 14.7% AAU - 60 minutes - 30 IBUs

Water Adjustments
Montgomery County, MD Water - 1/2 Campden Tablet for all brewing water
3 grams gypsum to mash water
3 grams CaCl to mash water

Tasting Notes

Aroma: Moderate roast aroma dominates and is made up of moderately strong chocolate and light coffee.  There are some toasted notes from the oatmeal, but not as pronounced as I had hoped.  No apparent fruitiness or yeast character, and no discernible hop aroma, fairly clean.  No diacetyl.  

Can kinda see those garnett highlights
Appearance: Very dark brown with garnett highlights when held up to the light. Nice dark tan and moussy head with good retention. Good clarity.

Flavor: Moderate malt backbone consisting of moderate chocolate and some light toasted oats.   Moderate hop bitterness and no apparent hop flavor.  The beer finishes ever so slightly dry.  The balance is towards the roasted chocolate malts.

Mouthfeel: Moderately low carbonation, medium body, no alcohol warmth, moderate creaminess, and no astringency

Overall Impression: Overall this is oatmeal stout has dulled in flavor since I first kegged, and tasted it a month ago. The toasted oat aroma was not as prominent as I had hoped for a few weeks ago and has subsided even more today. It is still a very sessionable beer since it is fairly balanced.  Honestly, I don't know if the 3/4 lbs each of chocolate and pale chocolate malts contributed a strong enough roast character for this beer.  Next time I will probably increase the oats and include some roasted barley.

I didnt take time to attribute BJCP points to this, but I would guess somewhere around 28.  It might have been in the low 30s three weeks ago, but it just doesn't make the mark now.  I always am my toughest critic, but I have deemed this beer "Not Worthy" since I don't feel it is worthy of a better name.  :)


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