Stout Kit With Sp. Grains?

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looking at a recipie from charlie papazian for ideas on an oatmeal stout. something i was wondering about was he says to use a stout kit (actually two as it was an imperial) and also roasted barley and i think chocolate malt.
would that be a bit of overkill? if you are adding the roasted barley and chocolate for color and flavor, why use the kit? just curious. i havent made a stout yet but am looking forwrd to it for the cold months (ok, colder months).
One of my favourite brews is a stout kit with some roast barley. Very quick to make. And I like the way you get a bitterness from the burnt grains as well as from the hops. It's dryer or something and just tastes fuller.

That recipe sounds like a partial mash (with the oatmeal and the chocolate malt in it) so it's more complicated than my standard which is: steep 250g of roast barley, add extracts to the boil, add kit and some finishing hops at the end. I have one in secondary right now that also has some leftover crystal malt for an experiment. I have also made it with an ale kit and some dark extract. Best with Wyeast Irish Ale yeast or equivalent.

The only reason to use the kit is convenience. No bittering calculations, no hop schedules, no long boils. And they're cheap from the supermarket.

If it's cool enough for ya in tazzie, make one now for that July fireside nightcap.
thanks deebee,
another question i have is can i use oatmeal without mashinig? i remember a thread by jayse about his oatmeal stout, but i dont remember if there was any mention of it? id like to try one (an oatmeal stout), but mashing just isnt something i have the room for right now.
I'm pretty sure the short answer is no. Hold off on oatmeal stouts until you can mash an equal amount of well modified malt to supply the enzymes to convert the starch. Oatmeal can be steam rollered etc to make the starch more accessible, but you still need the enzymes, hence must be mashed. But.... do a few searches in the forums and you will find a few people using oatmeal without mashing and saying the beer is fine. You will then find 10 times as many people piping up and saying that beer must have had a big slug of slimy starch in it cos it cant have been converted and fermented. And then the lone brewer claiming again the beer was great. But I think the science says it shouldnt work without mashing. Although of course I am frequently wrong.
Well when you have some experience with kits chuck them and buy bulk Coopers LME, $85 for 28K, so cheap! Then spend on liquid yeasts ($17.95 but split the starter 6 ways or repitch on cake etc to drastically lower the cost of liquid yeasts)

Anyway, for a gutsy stout 250g choc and 500g (or more, don't be afraid, add 800g!) roast barley cold steeped overnight is good. Hop with POR and Challenger or Target (20IBUs from each) and leave the stout to mature 9brew it early march for winter drinking)

now oatmeal MUST be mashed. 500g oatmeal and 1K pale malt crushed fresh by your HBS, mix with 4.5L water in pot on stove, bring to 69C while stirring all the time, cover the pot up with teatowels blankets etc, check in 20 mins, if temp dropped belowe 66C, heat up again while stirring etc and do this untill the oatmeal/pale/water mix has spent say 80minutes somewhere at a mash temp 66-69C. If you have a slowcooker do it in there, will keep your little mash at the right temp. Transfer the, whole mess to a colander sitting in a really big pot, sparge with half a litre hot water etc etc

Really worth the effort. Oatmeal stout is rich and silky smooth. Or substitute flaked barley for the oatmeal for something close to a guinness, or for a bitter mash some flaked maize or torrefied wheat. . .

Mashing, even part mashing is where it is at. Many more beer styles become possible

Jovial Monk
thanks for the replies, its always nice to know why the answer to something is yes or no.

jm, your directions for a part mash sound easy enough to do on the stove. i may go with that as i really want to make an oatmeal stout. ive heard some good things about it and want to see for myself.
Way to go, Joe!

Oatmeal stouts are heavenly!

Once you have done one stovetop mash, you can then do all the others I mentioned. They are not difficult, and I still do the occasional cereal mash on the stovetop

Heheheh you have the mashing bug: start looking for an old beer keg to turn into a kettle :)

Jovial Monk

oatmeal does not HAVE to be mashed. Nothing is a definite in homebrewing and "rules" are broken all the time with great results, which is what makes it such an interesting hobby! I have seen a number of recipes for oatmeal stout which just call for bringing the grains to the boil then turning off the heat and letting sit for 10 minutes before straining. They swear by this method. Your opinion is highly valued on this forum. However, as experienced and well researched as you are, it is still just an opinion.

That said, Joecast, I got this recipe of the BYO website for an oatmeal stout, but it does require a small mash for 30 mins:

2.5 kg light malt extract
570g crystal malt (80 Lovibond)
100g black patent malt
150g chocolate malt
150g flaked oats
30g East Kent Golding hops
1 teaspoon Irish moss
1 teaspoon Gypsum
2/3 cup Dextrose for bottling
1-2L starter of White labs WLP023 Burton Ale Yeast

Create a 1L yeast starter (if using liquid yeast) a few days before brewday.

Steep specialty grains in about 6L of water at 67 C for 30 minutes. Remove grains, and add malt syrup and bring to a boil. Add all the East Kent Golding hops and 1 teaspoon Irish moss and boil for 60 minutes. When done boiling, strain out hops, force chill and add the wort to cool water in a sanitized fermenter to fill to the 21L mark. Add your 1L of yeast when the wort is 25 C, and aerate well. Let the wort cool to about 20 C over the next few hours and ferment at 19 to 21 C for 1 week. Rack and secondary ferment for 2 weeks.

My own kit recipe for Oatmeal Stout goes like this:

500g cracked pale malt grains
1.7kg Can of Coopers Stout
1 kg Dark Liquid Malt
500g light dry malt extract
250g Brown Sugar
100g Black Strap Molasses
50g Cracked Roasted Chocolate Grain
50g Cracked Roasted Black Barley
350g rolled Oats
20g Super Alpha Hop Pellets (Bittering)
15g Goldings Hop Pellets (Aroma)
1 teaspoon Gypsum
1 tsp Irish Moss
1L Starter of Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale yeast
2/3 cup of Dextrose for bulk priming


Steep Pale Malt grains and Flaked Oats for 30 mins at 66 C. Add remaining grains and steep for a further 30 mins. Remove and rinse grains in a colander over your brewpot with 2L of hot water (less than 80 C). Add dark malt extract, molasses, gypsum and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Add bittering hops and boil for 45 mins. Add Irish Moss and boil 10 mins. Add aroma hops and boil 5 mins. Remove from heat and gently mix in can of Coopers. Force chill then transfer cooled wort to fermenter, top up to 21L. Pitch yeast at around 24 C. Primary ferment at 20-22C for 1 week, seconday for 2 weeks.

This is a great stout that is smooth and silky with a lovely roasted nuts aftertaste. The molasses is optional, but I like the complexity it brings to the brew.

Hope that helps!

Cheers - Snow
Anyone made a good oatmeal stout without mashing? (These recipes both require a mini-mash.)
If you dont mash the oatmeal it remains 100% starch, causing a haze and worse still will probably scorch on the bottom of the brewpot.

Want burnt tasting beer? i don't.

A stovetop mash is not hard, and can be used for much besides oatmeal stouts.

Jump in, the mash water is lovely!

Jovial Monk
Snow - I like the sound of your kit based recipe.

Now that I've moved to a house with a stove that can actually handle a brewpot - I reckon I might just about be able to handle this!

One question though: "force chill" - which means what exactly?

Dunk in an ice bath? or something a bit more technical??
Hot wort needs to be cooled quickly to avoid a lot of faults (boring biochemistry left out) and also shortens the time between boiling wort and wort pitched with yeast, offering protection against the inevitable bacteria.

full wort boils need a immersion or counterflow chiller, part mashes can be cooled by standing the brewpot in cold water and ice etc. Manually stir the cooling water occasionally so fresh cold water can get to the pot. I do this when making a new starter.

Jovial Monk

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