Oatmeal Brown

Oatmeal Brown Ale

I was looking to make an easy drinking brown ale for the winter months.  Something malty, thick, and satisfying for the long cold winter up here in Maine.  I was also very intrigued by a new ingredient I had come across, Fawcett Oat Malt, and decided to use this in the beer.  Basing this on more of a northern english brown, I came up with this recipe:

5.0# Pale Malt

2.0# Mild Malt

0.5# Pale Chocolate

0.5# Special Roast

0.5# Oat Malt

0.5# 60L crystal malt

0.5# wheat Malt

0.5 oz Nugget Hops (13% alpha at 60 min)

0.5 oz Willamette (5.5% alpha at 15 min)

White Labs 002 yeast at ambient temps (64-66F)

Mash:  Infusion 158F for 45 minutes.  IBU: 26.9,  OG: 1.048,  FG: 1.020, % attenuation 58%, Alcohol by Volume 3.65%

Serving:  Keg

Tasting Notes:  This is a dark chestnut brown color, much darker then most brown ales I have come across.  The head is thick, and just sits there.  The aroma definitely has a lot of the fruity esters from the ale, cherry and raisins with toast.  There is a very distinct grainy smell that I think is the oat malt.  It has a big, thick mouth feel, smooth and coating.  The taste is toasty, malty, no real hops, with some nice fruity esters (raisins/cherry/plums).  The finish is pretty balanced, very slightly sweet, with the grainy taste coming out at the end.

Critique:  Ok, this was admittedly a hodgepodge of ingredients, and was very much a “see what we get” beer.   It came out a little darker then I intended, but I am not too worried about that.  Between the oats and the wheat, the head on this beer is one of the thickest and longest lasting I have ever had on one of my brews, and I enjoyed that.  The grainy taste was at first a problem as it was overpowering, and when this beer was younger it was just too much.  After about 2 months, it has rounded out and is pretty nice now, but I would probably cut down the oats a bit in the future.  I love the flavor of WLP 002 (reported to be fuller’s yeast) and it is one of my favorite ale yeasts, but it is a low attenuator, and combined with this malt bill, I probably should have mashed lower and longer, and fermented a bit hotter.   I got what I wanted, a thick, silky body to the beer, but it was a little too thick.  I think this was a good starting point from which to work, but needs some tweaking.

 

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