Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Novy & Erica's Oatmeal Stout

About six months to a year ago, I agreed to brew a batch of "dark beer that you can chew on" for a friend's wedding.  I had forgotten all about it until we had a bad storm that downed a bunch of trees around my house and I needed to borrow Novy's chainsaw to cut up the mess.  After using the chainsaw, they were kind enough to remind me of my promise and that their wedding is coming up in 2 months.  I had to push some of my brewing plans back to do this because of the carboy's being used long-term for sour beers, but I'm happy that I did.  I think they will enjoy this Oatmeal Stout I came up with.

novy & erica's oatmeal stout
Oatmeal Stout


Type: All Grain
Date: 8/3/2010
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Brewer: Raymond Wagner
Boil Size: 6.57 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (6+gal) and Igloo/Gott Cooler (5 Gal)
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00
Taste Notes:
Amount Item Type % or IBU
10 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 73.37 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 11.01 %
14.1 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 6.46 %
12.0 oz Chocolate Rye (Weyermann) (245.0 SRM) Grain 5.50 %
8.0 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 3.67 %
0.75 oz Chinook [11.50 %] (60 min) Hops 25.1 IBU
0.25 oz Chinook [11.50 %] (20 min) Hops 5.1 IBU
0.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (0 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops
1 package     Wyeast 1318 London III Ale                            Yeast

Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.066 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.066 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.017 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.42 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.79 %
Bitterness: 30.2 IBU Calories: 291 cal/pint
Est Color: 28.6 SRM Color:

Brewdate 08/05/10.  It was kind of a hectic brew.  This evening was the night of the employee summer bowling party with the after-party, as usual, being held at my place.  I left work early at 2:00 pm figuring that, with my vow to stay sober during this batch, I would have no problem getting it done in plenty of time to get ready for the party,which started at 10:00 PM.  I really should know myself better than this by now.  I have never, and probably will never, be able to brew a batch without digging into my stash of homebrew.  Even more-so of an issue was my neighbor Wendy's boyfriend, Devon, who is a homebrewer who has recently become interested in my brewing escapades.  At Wendy's notification that I was mid-brew, he brought over several of his beers for me to try while we brewed.  He isn't one to make normal everyday brews either.  We sampled an oaked pale, some belgian concoction, an ancho chili chocolate porter, and a few others he had made.  He also told me of his "butt pump" ale, a butternut squash pumpkin ale that I am looking forward to trying.  

All the drinking aside, which definitely made me less efficient, I had my first stuck sparge ever due to the large amount of oats I used in the recipe.  I grabbed some rice hulls to use in this batch in anticipation of this, but neglected to note the amount of grain (13.66 lbs) used in this recipe and the fact that my mash tun can only hold 14 lbs.  I decided to go forward without the rice hulls, but ended up adding a little more than half a pound after blowing the stuck sparge out and getting a mouthful of waaaay too hot yet extremely tasty first runnings of this stout.  I also had to use more sparge water than anticipated to achieve my pre-boil volume.  I don't know if this was just because of the extremely thick mash or what, I still need to learn more about grain to water ratio in the mash tun.  All said and done, I pitched the yeast at 9:45 pm before rushing off to the party.

The party was pretty awesome, from what I remember.  This is Brad.  Brad humped our pet lion before passing out on the sidewalk...where I'm pretty sure he was humped. be young(er) again :)


08/05/10 - Mashed in right on target @ 154.  I kinda prefer my stouts a bit on the dryer side, but Novy wanted something thick and an oatmeal stout should have a nice rounded, kinda thick mouthfeel IMO.  I figured 154 with all them oats will be just fine.

This mash is thick!  I am really concerned about sticking my sparge.

Yup.  Got my sparge stuck.  Wendy operated the mash paddle while I blew up the tube in hopes of unsticking the sparge.  I got a mouthful of pretty effin' hot, but super tasty wort.  Added a half pound + of rice hulls and retopped with sparge water.

It's slow going, but it's going.

The calculated sparge water has not been enough to hit my pre-boil volume.  I'll be fermenting this in a 5 gallon carboy, as opposed to the 6.5 that I usually use so if I don't have my estimated volume, no problem, but I have a feeling about this mash and hitting my target OSG so I'm currently heating up some extra water to sparge with and hit my pre-boil volume.

Boil goes without issue, and BOO-YA!  OSG is measured @ 1.066! 

Placed in water bath and yeast pitched @ 9:45.  Ferment evident when I got home at 12:30 pm-ish.

08/07/10 - The krausen and malty aroma of this beer has got me half mast.  I can't wait for this to be done.  You can smell the creamyness!

08/09/10 - I'ts super hot here in Iowa.  Brewing in the summer is really not advised if you can't babysit your carboy.  I've done a good job keeping this one iced down but I think I filled this 'boy up a bit too high.  The fermentation blew a good amount of healthy, super thick, yeast out of the air lock.  I've had blow-off before, and generally use a blowoff tube, but its always just some beer and hops.  This blowoff is thick yeast and it left a 1/8" to 1/4" layer of yeast sediment in the bottom of my waterbath tub (Like the kind you see on the bottom of your secondary).  I hope I didn't lose too much yeast to finish the ferment.  Time will tell.

08/10/10 - Fermentation has slowed quite a bit, but there is still a 1/4" layer of krausen.  I wonder where my FG will end up...

08/20/10 - Racked to secondary.  FG sitting @ 1.012.  Really smooth and roasty.  Lots of coffee action here and definately some oatmeal in there.  Delicious.

9/04/10 - Bottled this today. FG actually read 1.014 this time and I'm stone cold sober right now so i'm going to trust this reading :)  Not as dark as I wanted it to be but its a nice deep brown, very smooth, very tasty.

10/15/10 - This beer got better and better over the last month.  I had a hard time dropping all that remained off @ the wedding to be drank by those possibly unworthy of its tastyness.  The compliments and enjoyment of all those involved, and the new beer snob friends I found made it all worth while.  Congrats Novy & Erica!  It was quite the spectacle! Notes for next oatmeal stout brew - sub some crystal rye for some of the crystal 60.


  1. IIRC you have at least 2 more brews that need to be posted. Get on it... please.

  2. Mine rocked for 3 days and then stopped completely. It was a hell of a fermentation while it lasted, though.

  3. oh wow. i thought I had comments from a "real" person.