Brewing an Oatmeal Stout

So we tried our hands at making our first Stout. An oatmeal stout to be more specific.

I figured that the recipe we decided upon would be easier to produce rather than trying to tackle the mysterious depths of a Guinness clone.

After this we may have a better idea of how to approach that, plus I hope to have my buddy Rich from Brewtal Honesty join us for that session. (Be sure to check out his site for some great reviews on all styles of beer!)

Our friends Mark, Amanda and their son Aiden joined in on the action with Eric’s family & mine for a mildly chaotic brew session / dinner party!

The recipe called for the following ingredients:

  • 4.39 lbs – Sparkling Amber DME
  • 1.10 lbs – 6 Row Pale Malt
  • 0.82 lbs – Flaked Oats
  • 0.73 lbs – Crystal Malt 77L
  • 0.37 lbs – Chocolate Malt
  • 0.37 lbs – Roasted Barley

First off we needed to bring 5 gallons of water up to 158°F and crush our grains. There was lots of help to be had on this batch, even my daughter got in on the action!





Once we had our grains ready, we needed to steep them at between 150°F and 158°F. I chose to heat the water to the higher end at 158°F to adjust for any heat loss over the course of the hour, which turned out to be about 6°F.

Man it smelled roasty and chocolatey!! It already looked like a thick cup of over-brewed coffee!

We rinsed the grains with some 160°F sparge water I had heated up on another burner to flush out the remaining residue.

Once we finished that, it was time to measure out 4.39 lbs of Sparkling Amber DME (Here’s 1.39 lbs of it)

and add it to the wort just before it started to boil. You’ve got to be VERY careful at this point otherwise it will boil over and you’ll have a huge sticky mess to clean up. Watch it closely, like don’t even go grab a beer close, trust me, as soon as you turn around, it’ll boil over!! Amanda even jumped in and started to stir things up a bit for us!!

After boiling for 15 minutes, I finally got to contribute something instead of just bossing people around, ha,ha. Here go the 2oz of English Fuggle hops!! (Man I love the smell of those!)








Boil, boil, toil and trouble.

After another 30 minutes we added 1/2 oz of Irish Moss that we hydrated in water at the beginning of the boil.

At the end of the boil we removed the bag of hops, moved the boil pot in place to use the counterflow chiller. (I hope to remedy this step in the future so there will be no moving of anything, especially hot wort).

The next step which is very important, is to whirlpool the wort before you start to chill it. I use the brewing spoon and swirl it in the pot to create a strong whirlpool which allows the trub (hot break material, hops, irish moss) to settle to the bottom of the pot in a cone. Try not to splash it around or cause too much disturbance or you risk what’s called “hot side aeration”. Just a good, smooth swirl is what you want. We wait 1/2 hour for this to complete which seems to work well. You might be able to get away with a little bit less. We leave the pot 95% covered to let a little of the steam escape but not to let it cool down too much, mind you it’s still ridiculously hot even after 1/2 hr.

Next is to turn on the cold water from the tap to circulate through the chiller and then begin to open up the valve on the pot. Be sure to catch the first cup to clear out any sanitizer you have inside the coil and to take a gravity reading. We usually save some to give it a taste test as well. We hit our target gravity of 1.051 which is great. The first time we’ve nail it exactly. I guess refining our process and using the Beersmith software to tweak our recipes is starting to pay off!

The taste out of the chiller was pretty hoppy to me, but then again I had just drunk a Hoptical Illusion which is crazy hoppy, so my taste buds were probably buzzing from that. Eric said it had a good balance with lots of roasted/chocolate character. We also hit our target volume of 5.5 gallons or roughly 20L. We’re getting better!

I wanted to use a packet of Wyeast #1084 – Irish Ale, but the pack failed to swell. I don’t know if it had been sitting too long or whether it was damaged during shipping, so we pitched a packet of Safale S-04 English Ale Dry Yeast. Things kicked in pretty quickly. By the morning we had some madness going on!

Here’s the full recipe:

Oatmeal Stout

Brew Type: Partial Mash Date: 3/6/2011
Style: Oatmeal Stout Brewer: Eric, Mark & Jeff
Batch Size: 5.50 gal Assistant Brewer:
Boil Volume: 7.03 gal Boil Time: 60 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 % Equipment: My Brew Pot (7.5 gal)


Amount Item Type % or IBU
4.39 lb Briess Sparkling Amber DME (10.5 SRM) Dry Extract 56.50 %
1.10 lb Pale Malt (6 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 14.12 %
0.82 lb Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 10.55 %
0.73 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 77L (77.0 SRM) Grain 9.42 %
0.37 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 4.71 %
0.37 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 4.71 %
0.13 oz Nugget [13.70 %] (60 min) (First Wort Hop) Hops 6.6 IBU
2.00 oz Fuggles [4.00 %] (45 min) Hops 24.8 IBU
0.55 oz Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
5.50 gal Toronto, ON Water
1 Pkgs SafAle English Ale (DCL Yeast #S-04) Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile

Estimated Original Gravity: 1.051 SG (1.048-1.065 SG) Measured Original Gravity: 1.051 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.013 SG (1.010-1.018 SG) Measured Final Gravity: 1.013 SG
Estimated Color: 25.4 SRM (22.0-40.0 SRM) Color [Color]
Bitterness: 31.4 IBU (25.0-40.0 IBU) Alpha Acid Units: 9.8 AAU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 4.92 % (4.20-5.90 %) Actual Alcohol by Volume: 4.95 %
Actual Calories: 227 cal/pint Bitterness Ratio: 0.615

Mash Profile

Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out Mash Tun Weight: 1.50 lb
Mash Grain Weight: 3.38 lb Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Grain Temperature: 68.0 F Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F
Sparge Water: 6.38 gal Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE


Name Description Step Temp Step Time
Mash In Add 1.06 gal of water at 166.5 F 154.0 F 60 min


Mash Notes
Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).

Carbonation and Storage

Carbonation Type: Kegged (Forced CO2) Carbonation Volumes: 2.0 (1.9-2.5 vols)
Estimated Pressure: 13.1 PSI Kegging Temperature: 54.0 F
Pressure Used: Age for: 2.0 Weeks
Storage Temperature: 54.0 F

Crush the specialty grains and malt, and mix them with the oats in a coarse, nylon bag.
Tie up the nylon bag to seal it. Heat 4-5 gals. of water to 155° F in a pot with a lid and add the bag of grains. Keep this pot covered, maintaining a temperature between 150° and 158° F for one hour to convert the starch.
Remove the grain bag, and rinse water over it and into the pot.
In a separate pot bring 2 gallon of water to a boil for at least 15 min.
Keep the gallon of water covered, in reserve.
Bring the wort to a boil, and slowly but vigorously mix in the dry malt extract.
Boil the wort vigorously for 15 min. and add the hops. Boil for 30 more min. Add Irish moss and boil 15 more minutes. Total boil is 60 min. Cool the wort to room temperature within 30 min. of the end of the boil.
Add the reserved water as necessary to bring the final wort volume to 5.5 gals.
Aerate the wort for 15 minutes. Mix the yeast starter into the wort. Seal the fermenter with an air lock, and ferment until completion.



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