Last Call Oatmeal Stout

UPDATE: December 2017…

Last Call BOS17 (Barrel Oatmeal Stout) wins GOLD in the St. Louis Brews Happy Holiday Homebrew 2017 Competition in the Smoke & Wood Beer category.


… see notes below about this beer “Will probably be drain pours anyway.”


Christmas is over and the end of a lousy 2016 is almost here. With the Monday after Christmas off work it will be the last chance to brew until 2017. Everyone has been bugging me about brewing more Oatmeal Stout and since I did not get a chance to brew it in November, Now is a great time to get it done. I also need to get something back into the barrel and plan on leaving it in much longer than last time. Also thinking about dropping a vanilla bean in it also. This Oatmeal Stout should be a “beefier” version than last years.

Andy decided to join in on the fun and would also brew his Dark Mild. Good thing this would be a small crew as I just do not have room for two set ups plus a bunch of people.

We lucked out and had a great day to brew and thankfully Alan showed up (peanuts in hand) to help out.

December 26, 2016

Oatmeal Stout – 12 gallons

Brewers – Charles, Andy, Alan

Grain Bill

  • 20 lbs – Maris Otter
  • 5 lbs – Flaked Oats
  • 1 lb 8 oz – Crystal 80
  • 1 lb – Dehusked Carafa
  • 1 lb – Pale Chocolate
  • 8 oz – Chocolate
  • 8 oz – Black Patent

Hop Bill

  • 2 oz – East Kent Goldings 5% – pellets
  • 1 oz – Admiral 14% – pellets
  • 1 oz – Tradition 4% – pellets


  • wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

A mildly malty and slightly fruity fermentation profile. It is less tart and dry than Wyeast 1098 British Ale. With good flocculation characteristics, this yeast clears well without filtration. Low fermentation temperatures will produce a clean finish with a very low ester profile.

Calculated Stats

  • OG – 1.067
  • FG – 1.022
  • IBU – 40
  • SRM – 38
  • ABV – 5.9%

Mash in – 8.6 g @ 170˚

Step temp. – 156˚ hold for 60 mins (actual temp – 154˚)

Here is where things started to go wrong. 30 minutes into the mash I realized I did not mash in the oats. Added the oats and 1 gallon water. Mash temp. dropped to 152˚ kept mashed far additional 15 minutes.

Mash out – 3.5 g @204˚

Step temp. – 168˚ hold for 10 mins (actual temp 160˚)

Realized we did not have all the hoses we should have had. We had enough, just not the correct sizes. Changed nipple on tun to the smaller size. BIG MISTAKE. Smaller nipple clogged immediately as vorlauf started. After trying to solve for what seemed like forever, Andy said to just change the nipple size back to the large one. Somehow we made it work. Still clogged but I blew it out and the flow started. OK. feeling better.

Vorlauf cleared and run off started. Beautiful color. Maybe too dark.

Sparged with 5 gallons @ approx. 200˚

Collected 13 gallons. Pre-boil gravity – 1.063 (calculated 1.062).

Boil – Added hops. 60 mins.

If I am going to keep brewing 10+ gallon beers, I MUST get a larger boil pot. This one did not boil over thanks to that white stuff, but plenty flowed out of the sight glass. What a mess.

10 mins. left added new stainless immersion chiller and irish moss.

Again, trouble with hose sizes for pump and whirlpool but we made it work.

At 60 mins. stopped heat and started water. Started pump.

Whirlpool worked great with this chiller. Very important to get the coil spread out to allow whirlpool to flow through the coil. Temperature dropped FAST. Also helped that the tap water temp is currently around 50˚.

Removed chiller. Continued whirlpool for about 10 minutes. Allowed sludge to settle for an additional 10 minutes.

Moved whirlpool arm to fermenter for transfer.

Measured batch sized just under 10 gallons. WTF??????

Measured Gravity – 1.067. Nailed the gravity, not the quantity.

Sampled tasted really good. Should be a good one.

At bedtime, already had a strong bubble.

Jan. 8, 2017

Racked 4.5 gallons to Balcones barrel.

Added 3 vanilla beans split and scraped in a vodka tincture prepared the day before. Probably not enough time according to the internets. Whatever. Plan is to let this sit in barrel much longer than last time.

Was not too happy with quality of vanilla beans. Seemed dried out a bit and smelled like dirt. Should have run down to Penzy’s and picked up a few fresh ones. Whatever.

Racked 4.5 gallons to secondary in stainless steel fermenter. Tried to purge the oxygen with co2. Should have racked to carboy. Whatever.

Gravity = 1.021 = 6% abv.

January 21, 2017

Racked 4.5 gallons from fermenter to keg. ABV still at 6%, but tastes a bit higher.

Sample tastes odd. Very strong flavors. Hope it gets better with carbonation and chilling.

Feb.6, 2017

Had a few samples. WOW. Tastes amazing. Carbonation is almost spot on. Keg is still not in the fridge but temperature is probably about right for the style. VERY malty. Nice aroma. Bit of lingering sweetness but not too much. The heavy alcohol flavor and warmth has faded a little. Was really worried about this one but I think it might be my best beer yet. Went back and checked BeerSmith. I did not have the additional 2 pounds of flaked wheat included in the calculations. This pushed the OG way above the spec. for Oatmeal Stout. Does not matter as I did not hit that OG anyway. Probably for the better. BeerSmith also calculates the ABV as 6.2% which is also over the spec. for Oatmeal Stout.

So what do you cal an Oatmeal Stout that is stronger than a typical Stout but not as strong as an Imperial Stout?

Last Call – AIOS – Almost Imperial Oatmeal Stout?

May 14, 2017

After 127 days, racked from barrel to carboy. Not very impressed with the flavor. It is not bad but just not what I was expecting. Gravity has not changed. Will let this settle for a few days. Will probably bottle in mostly bombers as I do not want to waste the better bottle sizes. Will probably be drain pours anyway.

I think this barrel needs to be retired.


July 27, 2017

After ignoring this beer sitting in the carboy for far too long, I racked to a bottling bucket to determine if this beer is fit to be bottled. After racking from the barrel to the carboy, fermentation kicked off again which is odd because there was no fermentation happening in the barrel. Gravity is coming in at 1.007 making this beer 7.8%. Flavor has improved greatly but still not what I was expecting. I think a few months or more of bottle conditioning are in order. Guess I need to sanitize some bottles and caps. I really thought this was heading to the drain… Maybe we will open one or two at the AGU Eclipse Brew.


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