Oatmeal Stout Advice

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Maestro0708, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. Maestro0708

    Maestro0708 Aspirant (256) Feb 27, 2015 Kentucky

    Hey guys,

    Im looking for some advice/recipe critique for a beer I want to brew this coming Sunday. Any and all input is appreciated.

    What im looking for is a roasty American stout with a significant mouthfeel contribution from oats. My first attempt at this was not what I was looking for. In a previous thread, i was advised to use more oats (15-20%) to get the silky mouthfeel im looking for.

    Here's what I have so far:

    5.5 gallon batch
    O.G. 1.071

    8lb 2 row brewers malt - Briess (should I use Maris Otter?)
    2.5lb flaked oats
    1lb crystal 77L
    12 oz chocolate malt (Briess - 350L)
    12 oz roasted barley (Briess- 300L)

    1.5 oz magnum (12.7%AA) @60 (57 ibu says beersmith)

    I didnt use any late addition hops on my first attempt, but i have willamette I can use here, looking for thoughts on whether I should and when/how much to use.

    I will be using Safale US-05

    Thanks for any input,

  2. Buck89

    Buck89 Poo-Bah (2,508) Feb 7, 2015 Tennessee
    Premium Trader

    Grain bill looks ok to me. I didn’t see mash temp so just want to suggest mashing high like around 155 with US-05 so it doesn’t dry out too much.
    Maestro0708 likes this.
  3. Maestro0708

    Maestro0708 Aspirant (256) Feb 27, 2015 Kentucky

    Knew I forgot something! Thanks for the tip, im definitely planning to mash on the high side
    Buck89 likes this.
  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,813) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I brew Oatmeal Stouts a lot (lately 3 batches a year).

    For the base malt my preference is Maris Otter Pale Malt.

    I use 1 lb. of Flaked Oats and I personally have never exceeded this value so I have no personal experience with using a greater value (e.g., 2.5 lbs.). I will point out that this amount of flaked oats impacts my beers head retention so I would guess that 2.5 lbs. would be worse in this aspect?

    For the specialty grains I use 1 lb. of Bairds Chocolate Malt and ¼ lb. of Black Patent Malt. I purposefully choose to use no Roasted Barley but that is because I am personally not a fan of roastiness for this beer style.

    My target OG is 1.056. Needless to say but 1.071 would result in a more robust beer.

    I also chose to use US-05 and I am happy with that yeast strain for my Oatmeal Stout.

    I solely hop for bitterness using German Magnum at around 9 AAUs. I have no interest in using any other hop additions.

    I think the recipe as is could make a tasty Oatmeal Stout. Please report back.

  5. Maestro0708

    Maestro0708 Aspirant (256) Feb 27, 2015 Kentucky

    Thanks for the great input, Jack!

    My first attempt at an oatmeal stout did have poor head retention, but i didn't know oats could have been the culprit. My reason for the increased oats is that i did not get the mouthfeel contribution i have come to associate with oats in commercial beers I've enjoyed. Another BA advised me to use oats at 15-20% of the grist. (For this recipe, the 2.5lbs make up just over 19%)

    Do you find that 1lb of oats contributes significantly to mouthfeel in your oatmeal stouts?

  6. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (123) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    Do you think this recipe would taste the same without the oats. I would think you would get the same mouthfeel with maris,choc malt,black patent and the right carbonation.
  7. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (256) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    I’d use Maris otter and besides maybe going a bit heavy on the oats it looks like a fine recipe. I say brew it as is so you can make notes about what you like or don’t. Tinker with the recipe until you get it how you like.
    GormBrewhouse and Maestro0708 like this.
  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,813) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Oats are high in fat and that is what impacts head retention. Whether using more (e.g., 2.5 vs. 1 lb.) will be a 'problem' I have no experience here.

    I am happy with the silkiness that 1 lb. of flaked oats adds to my beers. Would I use the word "significantly" to describe this? Boy, I really don't know how to respond here.

    Why not try the 2.5 lbs. that you mentioned above and decide for yourself? I would be interested in reading about your experience.

    Maestro0708 likes this.
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,813) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    To be frank I have never even considered not using flaked oats to brew my oatmeal stout. Would it be the same without the oats? In all probability I will never know. If I ever changed how I brew this beer my 'customers' (i.e., friends and family) would likely get upset with me.

    frozyn and Maestro0708 like this.
  10. JrGtr

    JrGtr Disciple (374) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    I have an imperial oatmeal stout I've brewed a few times -
    14 lbs 2-row,
    2 lbs chocolate malt
    1 blackprinz
    1.5 lbs flaked oats.
    I don't have any troubles with head - I don't worry too much about retuention.
    I do like to mash a few degrees higher than usual. I have a pale ale I like at 149 - 150, my IPAs at 152 or so, this stout I like to mash around 155. This will give a bit more residual sweetness and a thicker mouthfeel (in my head, maybe.)
    I use the Irish Ale yeast and I like to ferment on the low side, right around 60 if I can.
  11. Supergenious

    Supergenious Disciple (345) May 9, 2011 Michigan

    I think I was the one that recommended to you to add more oats. I remember reading something about adding more oats to oatmeal Stout on one of the mad fermentationists recipes a while back, and that’s how I’ve always done it. I will say mine have all had good mouthfeel and good head retention. Can’t say for sure the extra oats are the reason though.
    My last one I subbed some of the oats for flaked rye and thought that worked really well for mouthfeel.
    You could try using an English yeast stain. That might give you a little extra character, plus higher FG and improve the fullness or mouthfeel. Cheers!
    Maestro0708 and Prep8611 like this.
  12. Maestro0708

    Maestro0708 Aspirant (256) Feb 27, 2015 Kentucky

    Thanks for all the great feedback! I think I will use maris otter and keep the recipe the same otherwise. I will report back with how this beer turns out!
    JackHorzempa and Prep8611 like this.
  13. Maestro0708

    Maestro0708 Aspirant (256) Feb 27, 2015 Kentucky


    I brewed this beer on January 6, having made the adjustments of switching maris otter in for the base malt and reducing the flaked oats to 2 lbs.

    I achieved lower than expected efficiency (O.G. of 1.062) and attenuation (F.G. 1.025).

    Im not sure what caused this. One thing I have noticed in the beers ive made since is that the temperature displayed on my Mash & Boil is 5 or so degrees lower than my actual measured temperature with a thermometer. So when targeting a mash temp of 155F, perhaps I mashed much higher than that without knowing.

    Despite that, early bottles of this have been very tasty. I am happy to report that this beer has the body and silky mouthfeel I was looking for!

    Now to try again soon and see if I can hit my numbers..

  14. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,640) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Premium Trader

    Is perhaps that residual sugar attributing to the mouthfeel? Maybe you don't want to hit your numbers :slight_smile:
  15. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Zealot (590) May 29, 2011 Florida

    Glad it turned out nicely for you!

    Just some late thoughts I have to entertain you:

    Use of midnight wheat can give you color and chocolate without any roast addition. Can be used to sub out a roasted grain that may be adding too much roastiness.

    Use of a lower attenuating yeast, like an English strain, could leave you with more residual sweetness and some nice fruity ester to add complexity.

    My last Oatmeal stout was judged in competition and returned with judge notes that stated it needed more “oatmeal flavor”. I LOL at that and stopped reading any further notes on any of the beers I submitted.
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  16. NorCalKid

    NorCalKid Initiate (102) Jan 10, 2018 California

    Basic Brewing Podcast has a good episode lately on a Stout.

    2-7-19. Stout Calibration.
    Maestro0708 likes this.