I need some advice before brewing my first Oatmeal Stout, please

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Tomorrow I'm planning to brew my first oatmeal stout.  I have plenty of
recipes to select from and I've spent some time doing a bit of research
but haven't had much luck finding a definitive answer about the oatmeal.

I will be doing an all-grain using batch-sparging. The oatmeal I have is
"Quick Oats" -- what one buys in the grocery store for breakfast, but I
don't know if it has been gelatinized or not.  The cooking directions
say to bring water to a boil, add oatmeal, reduce to medium heat and
cook for one minute, stirring occasionally, then cover and remove from
heat and served in two to three minutes; I don't eat enough oatmeal to
know whether they are considered "instant" oats or not.  I guess the
safe play would be to cook them first, but that sounds like it could be
rather messy trying to mix it into the grist or mash.  The easier way,
obviously, would be to thoroughly mix the dry oatmeal in with my grist
and then strike, but if the oats have not been gelatinized, I presume
that will present a problem.  I did think about cooking them first and
then thinning the oatmeal with all of my strike water and then _MAYBE_
it would still be thin enough to easily stir into the grist, but I
decided it would be better to see what some "experienced" brewers do.
Any thoughts or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Bill Velek
www.2plus2is4.com

Re: I need some advice before brewing my first Oatmeal Stout, please



Bill Velek wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

They should already be pre-gelatinized.  If you're only adding a little
bit I can't see how it would matter too much either way though.


Re: I need some advice before brewing my first Oatmeal Stout, please


: Bill Velek wrote:
: > I will be doing an all-grain using batch-sparging. The oatmeal I have is
: > "Quick Oats" -- what one buys in the grocery store for breakfast, but I
: > don't know if it has been gelatinized or not.  The cooking directions

: They should already be pre-gelatinized.  If you're only adding a little
: bit I can't see how it would matter too much either way though.

    I've heard that the "Quick Oats" are pre-gelatinized, but I've only used the
regular "old-fashioned" ones.  Even if they
are pre-gelatinized, cooking them more won't hurt.  Basically, with either oats,
rice, or corn as an adjunct, it's best if you can
boil the hell out of it for at least 1/2 hour, but be very careful to watch for
sticking.  A cereal mash helps that a lot:

Take 2 lbs of your base malt and your oatmeal (1-2 lbs probably?).  Mash in with
enough water for both... probably a gallon or
so.  Hold at 150F for 1/2 hour or so, and then raise to a boil for another 1/2
hour.  The enzyme rest will help liquify some of
the starches to reduce scorching/sticking tendencies.  After the boil, add the
gloop to the rest of the mash.

-Cory

--

*************************************************************************
* Cory Papenfuss, Ph.D., PPSEL-IA                                       *
* Electrical Engineering                                                *
* Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University                   *
*************************************************************************


Re: I need some advice before brewing my first Oatmeal Stout, please


On Sun, 5 Nov 2006 03:38:55 +0000 (UTC),
papenfussDIESPAM@juneauDOTmeDOTvt.edu wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it
What is the reason for the boiling after the enzyme rest?

Also, FWIW, I've had success doing a short protein rest for the oats
alone, using quick oats, by holding them at about 118-120F.  A source
I don't recall said something about reducing gums or something.  This
may have helped prevent a stuck sparge, I believe.

John S.

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Re: I need some advice before brewing my first Oatmeal Stout, please



I use flaked oats not rolled oats (quick or instant). The LHBS sais
there was a big difference and I'd guess that to be more than the
grind. I have not used the rolled oats you have in a beer. I hear they
make a nice breakfast cereal though. I wouldn't risk the batch to save
a few cents on the grain.


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Re: I need some advice before brewing my first Oatmeal Stout, please


Hi Bill,

I have had the best results when using flaked oats from my LHBS.  You
can just mash these along with the rest of your grains with no issues.
I tries using Quick Oats before and it caused my one and only stuck
sparge.  Go with the flaked oats if you can...otherwise use less Quick
Oats.

Also, keep the amount of oats at 10% or less of total grain weight.  I
usually use about 5% oats in my oatmeal stout.

Later,

M


Bill Velek wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it


Re: I need some advice before brewing my first Oatmeal Stout, please


I used 18 oz. of quick oats with no problem. I also batch sparged, so
the stuck sparge issue may have been less important.

Mmmmmm Oatmeal....

May be time to do another of those myself.


Re: I need some advice before brewing my first Oatmeal Stout, please



Quoted text here. Click to load it

I've had several goes at oatmeal stouts and also with flaked barley which is
similar in so much as it's a flaked grain. I have got far better results
with cooking oats even though they are the 1 minute variety.
To avoid a stuck run-off & sparge, I mash-in malted grain and use a fairly
thin mash. After 15 minutes or so, I add the cooked oats to the top of the
mash tun being carefull not to mix them into the grain bed.
To replenish the supply of active enzyme, I re-circulate the wort a few
times during the mash.
Although I usually batch sparge, with oatmeal stouts, I fly sparge so as not
to mix the oats into the grainbed, especially down to the bottom where the
screen is.
This method works well and you can use lots of oats if you want to,
providing that you don't disturb the grainbed after the oats have been
added.
Steve W (in Aus)



Re: I need some advice before brewing my first Oatmeal Stout, please


: I've had several goes at oatmeal stouts and also with flaked barley which is
: similar in so much as it's a flaked grain. I have got far better results
: with cooking oats even though they are the 1 minute variety.
: To avoid a stuck run-off & sparge, I mash-in malted grain and use a fairly
: thin mash. After 15 minutes or so, I add the cooked oats to the top of the
: mash tun being carefull not to mix them into the grain bed.
: To replenish the supply of active enzyme, I re-circulate the wort a few
: times during the mash.
: Although I usually batch sparge, with oatmeal stouts, I fly sparge so as not
: to mix the oats into the grainbed, especially down to the bottom where the
: screen is.
: This method works well and you can use lots of oats if you want to,
: providing that you don't disturb the grainbed after the oats have been
: added.
: Steve W (in Aus)

    Have you ever computed your "oats efficiency" using this method?  It seems
like it would work pretty well, but I'd think you'd need a lot of circulation to
do a
good conversion.

-Cory


--

*************************************************************************
* Cory Papenfuss, Ph.D., PPSEL-IA                                       *
* Electrical Engineering                                                *
* Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University                   *
*************************************************************************


Re: I need some advice before brewing my first Oatmeal Stout, please


Thanks, everyone.  Some very good suggestions.  I actually came down
with the flu and felt so bad on Sunday that I spent nearly the entire
day in bed.  Not feeling too bad now, and since I have nothing else
scheduled for tomorrow, and my starter is ready to go ... I'll be
brewing as long as I don't have a relapse.

Anyway, I have 2 carboys to bottle, too.  They are from a party-gyle I
did 16 days ago, and they're still in their primaries.  I had meant to
transfer them to secondaries a week ago, but couldn't find the time. Now
I figure I'll just bottle instead.

I purchased BeerToolsPro a weeks ago or so, and will see what I can do
with it now.

Looks like I have my work cut-out for me, but I have plenty of cold
beer.  ;-)

Thanks again for the input.  I'll post a report later.

Cheers.

Bill Velek
www.2plus2is4.com

Re: I need some advice before brewing my first Oatmeal Stout, please


Here is a report on how my Oatmeal Stout did, but first I want to thank
everyone again for all of their input.  Obviously, it wasn't possible to
follow all the advice I received.

Since I had all day and the ingredients, I decided to do another
party-gyle of sorts* and make my oatmeal stout during a second mash so
that I could start with a grain-bed already in place.  I did a TRUE
party-gyle during my previous brew session, using a heavier than usual
grain bill, a single mash, and then just separated my runnings, using
the first runnings with high gravity for one beer, and the second
runnings for a weaker beer.  This time I did SORT OF a party-gyle, but
only in the sense that I figured I would get some residual sugar out of
the first grain-bed while at the same time helping to avoid a stuck
sparge if I managed to not disturb it much.  Since this was my first, I
don't know how much trouble 1.5# of oatmeal can be with 7.5# of malt, so
I didn't want to take any chances.  It worked remarkably well -- not
even the slightest hint of a stuck sparge and everything looks excellent
so far, except that there was one minor complication due to my not
thinking clearly (I was drinking while brewing, of course).  I had
intended to mash in at about 130-135F(54-57C) for half an hour, and then
raise it to 155F(68C) for another half hour, but I forgot to try to
compensate for the high temperature of my mashtun and grain bed from
sparging my first batch, and so when I struck the second batch shooting
for 130F(54C), I ended up with 150F(66C), and adding cold water would
probably have diluted it way too much, so I just did a single-step
infusion for the whole hour at that temp.  I have no idea of how
fermentable it will be, but the O.G. was 1.052 -- a little lower than I
expected.  Here was the grain bill:

remnants in 1st grain bed (spent grains from 9# 2-row and 1# crystal)
6.0# - 2-row
1.5# - quick oats
0.5# - crystal
0.5# - chocolate malt
0.5# - roasted barley

I'll give a follow-up regarding attenuation and final outcome later.

Thanks.

Bill Velek -- my web-sites: www.velek.com & www.2plus2is4.com !!
You're invited to join "HomeBrewers" grid-computing team to help
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