There is something about winter that requires warmth and comfort, hearty flavours and earthiness. It is the perfect season for brewing a nice dark oatmeal stout.
This recipe assumes that you have basic brewing experience. If this is your first time home brewing then I recommend reading the Brewing Beer at Home Overview to learn all about what equipment you need, the ingredients and the basic process.
This recipe involves a combination of malt extract as well as malted grains, mostly because it would be difficult to fit all the required grains into my mash tun. Dark beers require more malt for the additional sugars that enable it to achieve higher alcohol levels. In an average homebrewing mash tun there just isn’t enough space to hold all the grain required to make a good strong wort.
- 5.2 lbs light malt Extract
- 1.2 lbs Pale 2-row malt
- 0.8 lb. flaked oats
- 0.4 lb. wheat malt
- 0.6 lb. roasted barley
- 0.2 lb. chocolate malt
- 0.6 lb. crystal malt
- 1 ounce Northern Brewer hops
- Wyeast #1084 Irish ale yeast
- Heat 4 gallons of water to 71C. Pour over grains and malt in the mash tun and allow to steep for 45 minutes.
- Drain wort and rinse grains with another 1 gallon of water at 70C (there should be about 5 gallons of liquid in your brew pot.
- Add in malt extract and bring to boil.
- Once boiling add hops, and maintain the boil for 60 minutes.
- Cool to 20C and pitch yeast.
- Fermented at 19C for 1 week.
- Rack for secondary fermentation (add in flavours at this point) and ferment for 1 more week before bottling.
- Mix priming sugar into the beer and bottle.
- Allow beer to mature at room temperature for another 4 weeks. Enjoy!
-The inspiration for this recipe comes from Beer Recipes.org with some adaptations to suit our smaller boiling pot.
I love flavouring beer. Maybe it’s because I love trying out new flavours… maybe it’s because I’m influenced by the number of craft brewers in my city (at least 14… likely more). There are two ways of adding flavours: during the boil or during the secondary fermentation. In either case, don’t go overboard on the flavour.
Personally I like adding flavours during the secondary fermentation because:
- I only have to commit one of my carboys to the experiment
- Boiling the flavours reduces their potency
- The fermentation can also reduce the potency of your flavourings
The only trick to adding flavours during secondary fermentation is that you want to be VERY careful not to contaminate your beer with outside yeasts. Also, sweet fruits might cause more fermentation, so don’t go overboard.
Here are some flavours that go well in a stout:
- Coffee: brew a strong shot of espresso (or extra strength coffee) to be added when transferring to the secondary fermentor (start with 1/2 cup of coffee per gallon of stout)
- Chocolate: Add about 2 tbsp of chopped cocoa nibs or cocoa powder to a 1 gallon carboy of stout.
- Fruit: Prunes and raisins complement the rich flavours of stout. Add only 2 prunes or 1 tbsp of raisins to 1 gallon of stout as you don’t want to kick start the fermentation process again by adding too much sugar.
- Vanilla: Split 1 or 2 whole vanilla beans to flavour a gallon stout.