There is something about winter that demands 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 experience with homebrewing. If this is your first time brewing beer, then I recommend reading all about how to brew beer at home. It goes over everything from what equipment you need, to the ingredients and the basic techniques.
This recipe uses a combination of malt extract and malted grains. This is because dark beers require more malt to achieve the higher alcohol levels and deep taste and colour. In an average homebrewing mash tun there just isn’t enough space to hold all the grain required to make a good strong wort.
There are two ways of adding flavours: during the boil or during the secondary fermentation. Personally, I like adding flavours during the secondary fermentation because:
- You only have to commit one carboy to each flavour, which allows you to experiment.
- Boiling flavours can reduce their potency.
- The primary fermentation can also reduce the potency of flavourings.
The only trick to adding flavours during secondary fermentation is that there is a risk of contaminating the beer with outside yeasts and bacteria. Rinsing the flavours for 30 seconds should be enough to remove most of the surface bacteria and yeasts. In addition, the alcohol levels of the stout will help to prevent contamination.
Here are some flavours that go well in a stout:
- Coffee: Brew a strong shot of espresso (or extra-strength coffee). Add 1/2 cup of espresso per gallon of stout when transferring to the secondary fermentor.
- Chocolate: Add 2 tbsp of chopped cocoa nibs or cocoa powder per gallon of stout.
- Fruit: Prunes, raisins and dried cherries complement the rich flavours of stout. Only add 2 prunes or 1 tbsp of raisins to 1 gallon of stout. You don’t want to introduce too much extra sugar because it will restart the fermentation.
- Vanilla: Add 1 or 2 whole vanilla beans to a gallon stout. Split the vanilla beans in half before adding them to the carboy.
- Spiced: Add 1 1/2 tsp of ground spices per gallon of stout. For gingerbread use an equal mix of ginger and cinnamon. For chia use ginger, cinnamon, cloves and anise.
Classic Oatmeal Stout
Oatmeal stout is earthy and rich. This simple recipe is a perfect base for experimenting with flavour. See the section above for adding fruit, spice, chocolate or coffee.
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 1.5 hours
- Total Time: 51 minute
- Yield: 18 Litres 1x
- Category: Beverages
- Method: Brewing
- Cuisine: European
- 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
- 3/4 cup dextrose (to prime the carbonation)
- 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 the malt extract and bring to boil.
- Once boiling add hops and maintain the boil for 60 minutes.
- Cool to 20C and pitch yeast.
- Ferment at approx. 19C for 1 week.
- Rack for secondary fermentation (add in flavours at this point) and ferment for 1 more week before bottling.
- Mix the dextrose 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.
Keywords: beer, stout, coffee, chocolate, prunes, raisins, vanilla bean, ginger, chai, cinnamon, homebrew