Monday, October 27, 2008

Brewed an oatmeal stout on Saturday

Thinking about the sorry state of affairs that is my kegerator (one out of four taps up now... yeesh) this weekend, it was time for another brew. With the weather cooling off I decided that it was time to whip up another batch of oatmeal stout. This is a recipe that I've been tweaking and playing with the last few years and haven't brewed it in a while. It will make its triumphant return shortly. The details:

9.5 lbs Briess organic 2-row
1.5 lbs flaked oats (half of which were toasted in the oven at 300° for 10 minutes)
1 lb Simpsons chocolate malt
.75 lb Franco-Belges kiln coffee
.25 lb Muntons crystal
2 oz Simpsons roasted barley

4 g baking soda added to mash to increase carbonates and raise mash pH

Mashed at a 3:1 liquor:grist ratio for 1 hour at 146°. Pitched boiling water to mash out at 168°, recirculated until clear, sparged, and collected 6.75 gallons wort at 1.048 OG. Boiled for an hour and 20 minutes. I had only a bittering hop addition at the start of the boil (no flavor or aroma additions). It was basically franken-hopped - I used whatever partial bags I had left over to get me up to about 25IBU (Target, Northern Brewer, Willamette). Whirlfloc tab added with 15 minutes left in the boil.

Had some trouble cooling the wort. I bought one of these gizmos and decided to use it for the first time and it totally screwed me up. It backed chill water into the carboy and sprayed water all over the kitchen, so I lost time and had to resanitze the carboy and clean up the kitchen. I was able to get it down to the mid-70's, pitch about 500ml of three week old Cal Ale yeast slurry, and give it a minute of O2. Put it in the fermentation fridge at 68°.

I really thought that the three week old slurry would give me some trouble getting started, but it took off like crazy. The next morning I had a huge blowoff mess to clean up. I probably lost a half gallon of beer, which is a pretty big bummer.

Oh, and I made an electric heat stick to help me get up to a boil faster and achieve a more vigorous boil. Used it for the first time in this brew, and let's just say that this thing rocks. I'll post more on that project later in the week.

In other weekend news, went to Grimaldi's again with R on Saturday before brewing. Nothing like the best coal oven pizza in the world and a Climax IPA to get a brewer revved up for his day. And big win for the G-Men yesterday.

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