I finally made an Oatmeal Stout. I had a really good Oatmeal Stout in Theo's over a year ago and it won beer of the year. I wanted to make one myself.

[caption id="attachment_8307" align="alignleft" width="301"]img_4959 The Vicar is here[/caption]

I did too much brewing over Christmas. Simply because I bought a large bag of malt and such bags need to be used up quickly. Malt is like ground coffee - use it as soon as you get it.

This particular Stout was brewed on New Year's Day and consisted of 4.2kg of Pale Malt, 250g of rolled oats, 200g of crystal malt, 160g of chocolate malt along with 70g of roasted barley. It was a brewing disaster. I had a stuck mash. The wort would not run out of the mash tun. Furthermore I had a bad back and had to tip the contents of the mash tun out into a bucket and circulate it to get a flow from it. I had to do this twice making my back even worse. The lift of the boiler (25 litres of water + sugar contents making it over 25kg) made things slightly worse.

As the boil started and I added Challenger hops I kind of wrote this one off. I felt like the Challenger and Goldings were wasted at turn off.

I chucked in the 1187 Ringwood yeast and let it ferment out. Annoyingly my plastic fermenters are past it and there was little airlock action. Even worse, I did not enjoy it when it was young and out of the fermenter. More calamity occurred when I used a new syphon pipe which added oxygen as the final beer entered the barrel. It is, so far, a tale of a failed beer. There it was, gentle reader, an outcast barrel of beer sat in the garage awaiting judgement.

[caption id="attachment_8310" align="alignright" width="303"]img_4963 A quiet night in[/caption]

This evening, one or two of us decided to have a quiet night in. And we started on the Oatmeal Stout. It has turned out alright after all of that drama. It tastes like a stout. What happened to the Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Rolled Oats (individually rolled, no doubt, for the full difference) is a mystery. It feels like a normal stout.

My notes tell me that the original gravity was around 1040 (disappointing) and the final gravity was around 1008 making the ABV 4.2%. This is really a session stout. And this is where things pick up. It was a nice drink.

The head retention was excellent and there was no need to re-gas the barrel. It just goes to prove that for the homebrewer things can go wrong but the end result can still be good. Next time, however, I need to add more oats. And then some more oats just in case.