Oats in IPAs

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by imnodoctorbut, Oct 25, 2020.

  1. imnodoctorbut

    imnodoctorbut Devotee (463) Feb 19, 2016 Texas

    Okay, so I've noticed that oats are becoming more and more of a common ingredient listed for IPAs, especially NEIPAs; I get that they add the billowing/fluffy mouthfeel, and as a homebrewer, I've experimented my share with the grain and the fluff.
    But then, I try this really high rated NEIPA tonight, and I found myself completely bombing the rDEV % and the primary cause of it was that the oat presence had moved WAY past the fluff that it serves up as an additive, and more into the flavor profile, which, in my opinion, is a bridge too far.

    I don't want to torpedo this brew's rating just because I can't bring myself to associate oats with IPAs, as far as flavor. I quite like Oatmeal Stouts and their ilk. Can anyone talk me down here, humble me, or even better: point me to a glorious use of oats in IPA that may ease my obviously delicate sensibilities?

  2. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,578) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Sounds like you just found an example of the folks who took a novel approach too far. I feel like that's the era we're living in with US beer right now. Lots of awesome innovative techniques have come along and blasted our collective vision of what beer can be wide open and now a ton of breweries seem compelled to take each of those innovations (extreme dry hopping, conditioning on a variety of flavoring ingredients, combining fruit puree with soured beer, etc...) waaaaay to far, to the point of absurdity.
    bret27, MrOH, imnodoctorbut and 4 others like this.
  3. marquis

    marquis Champion (817) Nov 20, 2005 England

    Oats have been used in IPA many times in the past, as is often said, most of the "innovation" in brewing is simply reinventing the wheel.
    imnodoctorbut, JimKal, MrOH and 4 others like this.
  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,718) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Can you please detail what flavor you are perceiving?

    As a fellow homebrewer I have only brewed with Flaked Oats (e.g., for brewing my Oatmeal Stouts) but there are other formats for brewing with oats (e.g., oat malt). Do you know what type of oats were used in brewing this specific beer?

    I have also read some recipes which recommend that you toast the oats in your oven to provide a toasty quality to the beer (I personally have never done this). Does this beer have a toasty aspect to it?

    imnodoctorbut likes this.
  5. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,859) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    If you don't want to taste the oats, rather than an IPA, how about a Pale Ale that seems like an IPA (to me at least)? Being a 'session' ale it tends to lean to the hops so that I've never noted what the oats might taste like in it.
    dcotom and imnodoctorbut like this.
  6. barrybeerdog

    barrybeerdog Initiate (152) Aug 17, 2012 South Dakota

    Surly Abrasive...nuff said
  7. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,233) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    Only 'caused you asked :wink: - How do you know that the flavor you were getting was actually from the oats - as opposed to from anything else in the beer/process, or potentially from a mental association from knowing that oats were used?
    imnodoctorbut and ichorNet like this.
  8. BruChef

    BruChef Initiate (171) Nov 8, 2009 New York

    Not sure if it’s still brewed-Haven’t seen it in a while but Lagunitas Equinox was pretty good.
    imnodoctorbut and Redrover like this.
  9. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,568) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Just because it’s highly rated doesn’t mean it fits your palate. I’ve had incredibly high scoring beers that just weren’t my jam. I’m lukewarm to oats and or wheat in IPAs, some are obviously very good some are not. Not every brewery is going to hit a home run on every beer, and forget lactose or the Milkshake IPAs, I avoid them like the plague, and I don’t like the super astringent OJ bombs that burn the back of my throat. I get ahold of one of these and wish I could turn it into a Two Hearted Ale.
  10. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,718) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Dale, I am with you there. The super hoppy beers that have hop burn are very unpleasant for my palate. It seems that for many Haze Bros they seem to enjoy hop burn (is "enjoy" the right word?).

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  11. JuliusPepperwood

    JuliusPepperwood Aspirant (226) Jul 21, 2013 North Carolina

    Talk you down? Jeez man it's beer. If you don't like oats in your IPA's, don't drink oat IPA's. If you find yourself rating a 4.75 avg beer with 100k reviews as a 3, then don't drink it anymore. I'm not a fan of this childish "Oh my gosh you guys, I don't think I like pastry stouts!" mentality.

    Bottom line, drink what you want. If it's an English mild with a 2.5 avg rating and you love it, then crush them! You shouldn't have to be talked into liking a certain style, grain, hop, yeast, etc. Don't follow hype, follow yourself!
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  12. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,568) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Everyone different, period. I think Prairie beers are the most average overrated beers I’ve ever had, so I don’t buy them. Certainly imo Westbrook’s Mexican Cake when it’s super fresh is imo superior. Just my thoughts, but I agree drink what you like forget the score.
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  13. milkshakebeersucks

    milkshakebeersucks Disciple (366) Feb 10, 2020 Maryland

    Is oat MILK included in your view? Recent post was talking about an example coming from DFH (Hazy-O). Doesn't sound initially appealing to my palate but willing to withhold judgement and give it a try.
    imnodoctorbut likes this.
  14. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,228) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    FWIW, I've noticed a huge difference between flaked oats and malted oats. Flaked oats never really bring any significant taste--a slight doughiness, perhaps--just a silky, velvety mouthfeel. Malted oats, on the other hands, have a very distinctive grainy, nutty taste that tastes like peanuts to me.
  15. AMessenger

    AMessenger Initiate (31) Mar 17, 2018 Pennsylvania

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  16. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (2,574) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    I need to know what beer you're talking about before I agree with you or not.
  17. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,781) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    KRug, imnodoctorbut and PapaGoose03 like this.
  18. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,109) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Some NEIPA makers have been using flaked oats for at least 5-7years now. Others have used wheat malts to get that sweet/creaminess as well. All good by me as long as the finished product tastes good and has other positive characterstics. Like most things, you can get to a quality final product by many different processes.
  19. pjbear05

    pjbear05 Initiate (134) May 28, 2008 Florida

    Bell's Oatsmobile. 'Nuff said!
  20. imnodoctorbut

    imnodoctorbut Devotee (463) Feb 19, 2016 Texas

    I love all of this input and appreciate it. I'm going back to the brew in question tonight to try and reassess, and I've gathered up a few of y'all's suggestions to do a panel and see what all I am missing. I love this community!

  21. imnodoctorbut

    imnodoctorbut Devotee (463) Feb 19, 2016 Texas

    This helped send me back to reassess my own palate. Thanks!