What The Blazes Happened This Time

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Tony M

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Just when I thought beermaking was becoming a pleasant pastime, I had a three hour lauter yesterday when attempting my first stout. The recipe was stock standard, being 70% pale malt, 20% flaked barley and 10% roast barley total 5kg. Mashed at 67C.
I strain thru a 280mm. Dia. screen of 0.8mm squares in the bottom of my mash pot and it gives me no trouble with pale ales or lagers, but this glug yesterday stuck about every two minutes. I presume it is caused by the flaked barley. Perhaps I used the wrong stuff. I went to the nearest HBS and was told I had to source it from the nearest health food shop. My purchase looked just like rolled oats and I put it thru the mill which just crumbled it a bit.
Was this the problem or must I look at a different screen?

I stand to be corrected here - but i was under the impression that you dont put oats thru the mill.

So - taht could have been your problem.

I like the sound of your false bottom...what is it?
Where did you get it and how much...

i was about to ask the same thing about the rolled oats. i used some a while back and just tossed them into the mash whole.
20% unmalted adjunct, much much safer to do a cereal mash, really liquifies the adjunct

Jovial Monk
IIRC, 20% sounds like a lot of flaked barley (do you mean oats?).

If you do mean oats, then a protein rest is the go to assist in breaking down the "glueiness" - around 40C for 20 mins before raising to the 67C for the balance of the mash. Too late for that now of course, but hopefully your beer turns out nicely.

Flaked Barley can be a huge pain in the arse. :angry: :angry:

Couple of things I do as precautionary measures. Milling the stuff up would most likely not have helped.

1) I add the FB in handfuls to the grist, ie mill your grain and add a layer to another bucket, followed by a handful of FB, another layer of grain another handful of FB etc. etc. etc. This makes for easier mixing and doesn't leave FB all in one spot, thus concentrating all the gluey stuff. Mash in well and get everything well and truly stirred up.

2) Thinnish mash of about 3lts+ per kg.

3) Not religious usually about mashout temps. in all malt mashes. However when using the dreaded FB always try and get your mash up to 75c before lautering. Should lower the viscosity of the mash somehow.

4) Keep your sparge water at about the same temp. 75c.

Hope this helps -
Might not help Tony, but very timely for me as I am doing a 15% flaked barley mash tomorrow, ta very much.
Its just one of those spatterguard things you buy in a kitchen shop to put over a frypan.I was lucky and found one about 10mm. smaller in dia. than my mash pot.
I greased up the sides and bottom of the pot with vaseline then bedded the edge of the screen in a good squirt of silicon, left it for a couple of days then gently prized it out with a thin blade. After a few uses it pops in and out quite easily.
The screen is aluminium and cost about six bucks. It is a bit flimsy so needs a couple of judiciously placed packers under it to stop it sagging to the bottom of the pot. I have since seen a stainless steel one for about $18.00 so when I get sick of the present one, I shall try that.

I will stand to be corrected if I am incorrect, however I was lead to believe that if you use rolled oats of the "instant porridge " variety, it has allready been gelatinised and therefore can go straight into the mash as it is.

After having done a stout with FB and making some fairly serious observations I recon that Warrens comments re the FB in different areas in the mash and as well as a thin mash and high mash out temps will be what I will be putting into practice next time.
On Oats, you are correct Dicko about 1 minute oats and to help when mashing use rice hulls.

To the best of my knowledge flaked barley is also gelatinised due to heat and rollers.

Guinness are reputed to use up to 20% flaked barley in their stout.

If I'm using rice or any rolled grain I always add a couple og handfulls of rice hulls. I have only been caught once and it can make for a very long day.

There is nothing wrong with running flaked barley through the mill but use rice hulls.

Did I mention rice hulls :)

What a jolly fine site this is. Without it, I would have stumbled through a dry irish stout today in my standard bumbling fashion, had a stuck mash, would have immediately blamed the manifold, and would now be trying to add more hacksaw cuts to fiddly little bits of copper pipe.

But thanks to Tony for asking and some experienced brewers for replying, I
-cut the flaked barley back to 12%
-didnt mill the barley
-carefully mixed the barley into the grist
-went to 3 l per kg
-calculated a proper mashout which took the grain bed to 74 degrees
-calculated the batch sparge temp to keep the bed at 74 degrees.
I could see the bed was tighter than previous brews (had that weird thing happen where the bed compacts, contracts and pulls away from the tun wall). But with the higher than normal temp, I still drained a 22 l batch sparge in 4 minutes and hit 74% which is good for me.

And now I am drinking beer instead of hacksawing pipe, so thanks guys.

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