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How long to ferment Oatmeal Stout?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by zappafrank, Feb 17, 2013.

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  1. zappafrank

    zappafrank Initiate (0) Sep 9, 2012 Ohio

    Brewed this recipe from another thread:
    10 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US
    1 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L
    1 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)
    1 lb Oats, Flaked
    0.50 lb Roasted Barley
    1.50 oz Williamette [5.50 %] (60 min)
    WLP 001

    Mash @ 156 for 60 minutes
    Mash out @ 168 for 10 minutes
    Ferment @ 65
    FG: 1.019

    Just wondering if we needed to bottle after primary fermentation is done, or if we need to rack to a secondary. First time doing an all-grain stout.
  2. growlerfills

    growlerfills Initiate (0) Dec 25, 2009 Montana

    I've never met a beer that didn't benefit from some time in a secondary.
  3. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,345) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    There's no need to secondary this beer. Time and gravity work in the primary just like they do in a secondary. I would leave this beer in the primary for a week or so after attenuation is finished, both to clean up byproducts and allow time for the yeast to flocculate.
    jsullivan02130 likes this.
  4. zappafrank

    zappafrank Initiate (0) Sep 9, 2012 Ohio

    Thanks a lot. The brew book I have been using is sort of unclear on this whole situation. So this helps.
  5. mountsnow1010

    mountsnow1010 Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2009 Vermont

    Looks like a nice recipe, how did the wort taste?
  6. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    Is there something about this beer in particular that you wouldn't secondary, or is that your practice with all beers?
  7. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,345) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I would only secondary to dry hop (which I now do in the keg), or if I were to rack onto fruit, or nibs, etc. For typical beers, no secondary.
  8. zappafrank

    zappafrank Initiate (0) Sep 9, 2012 Ohio

    The wort tasted amazing! Very chocolatey and rich. The only thing is, it was a collaboration with some friends of mine. The yield was about 4gal, and they made the decision to add a gallon of water after the wort had cooled, just to bring up the yield to 5 gallons. I should have said NO, but didn't. I think the beer would have been stronger and had better mouthfeel without the added water.
    mountsnow1010 likes this.
  9. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,345) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    It would definitely have been stronger, and it would have had more mouthfeel, though better is subjective. The real question I would be asking the brew-chums is why did you only get 4 gallons?
  10. zappafrank

    zappafrank Initiate (0) Sep 9, 2012 Ohio

    They would love to get better yields. I think it is just a function of their brew kettle setup which leaves a lot of wort with the leftover solids from the brewing. Fairly simple setup, and no real way to adequately stop solids from the wort boil getting in to the fermentation bucket. They could do a lot better. Not sure why they haven't upgraded their setup, they definitely have the funds.
  11. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,345) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I pour my wort from the kettle, through a strainer and funnel, into the fermenter. About as low tech as you can get. And I always hit very close to 5.1 gallons in the fermenter, which is what I'm shooting for. It's just a matter of knowing how much wort you're going to lose to the trub and planning accordingly.
  12. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Aspirant (268) Jan 13, 2006 New Mexico

    If you consistently come up short on your volume increase the amounts of malts in your recipe to brew a 5.5 or 6 gallon batch, then the added water will not hurt the beer. Brewing software like Beersmith or Promash will do that for you.
  13. Mattreinitz

    Mattreinitz Initiate (0) Mar 1, 2012 New York

    I'm just finishing up the last few bottles of my oatmeal stout. OG 1.072 FG 1.018, it tasted fantastic right out of primary in two weeks. So I don't think a secondary is necessary at all.
    pointyskull likes this.
  14. premierpro

    premierpro Aspirant (277) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    VikeMan's responce is correct. I leave all beer on the yeast for 3 weeks.
  15. BlackDragon

    BlackDragon Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2013 Michigan

    What would be the downside to racking?
  16. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Aspirant (268) Jan 13, 2006 New Mexico

    If the beer is left on the yeast longer the yeast will consume some of the nasty chemical byproducts of fermentation, stuff like fusels and acetl...(that green apple shit). The yeast and other debris will have time to settle out, it's better to have that stuff in the bottom of the primary, not your bottles. Racking to secondary will also expose your beer to more O2 and increases the possibility of infection. There's really no good reason to rack normal strength, non fruited ales to secondary. When I dry hop, I do it in primary after fermentation is complete.
  17. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,609) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    I only secondary beers in which I am adding something additional to the beer that is biological in nature (e.g., Brett, bugs) or may benefit from yeast activity (e.g. fruit). Arguably, dry hops could be included in that category. I'm usually packaging between the 10 and 21 day mark. A 1.070 beer is at the 21 day end of the range for me. However, I don't prescribe a specified time period to packaging. I take hydrometer readings and taste the beer to assure myself that the yeast has finished its job. When I have done this, I package at my earliest convenience. I don't rush to get to this stage. I figure contact bewteen the beer and the yeast (i.e. autolysis) is a non-issue for at least two months. The benefits of extended conditioning can apply to beer in a secondary, bottle, or keg, so I usually see secondary as just an extra step.
  18. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    My main reason is to limit the chances of oxidation, and I have never seen the benefit of the extra step.
  19. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    I use the same setup. If I start the (1 hour) boil with the wort about 4 inches from the top of the kettle, that's about 6.2 gallons (give or take a little). It's enough to avoid boil over and wind up with a little more than 5 gallons after loss to solids, filtering, etc. There might be slightly less than 5 gallons if I used a lot of leaf hops, but this is expected. For real hoppy beers I try to use pellets for this reason.

    It's taken me a number of batches to "dial in" my system. It just takes practice and paying attention, improving for next time.
  20. zappafrank

    zappafrank Initiate (0) Sep 9, 2012 Ohio

    The thread that keeps on giving! Thanks everyone. Bottling this weekend, which will be about 21 days of fermentation. Pretty pumped.
  21. premierpro

    premierpro Aspirant (277) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    I am sorry I did not get back sooner I have been off this site for 4 days. rockdoc1's responce is good with the most important part being that there is no benefit to rack early. Take care.
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