Eureka, its time for yet another tasting post. Today, we are looking at the #49 Belgian Oatmeal Stout. The recipe was a straight forward stout recipe with some oatmeal flakes in the grist and fermented with Wyeast’s private collection strain #1581 Belgian Stout yeast. Original gravity was 1.053 (13.2°P) and finished at 1.016 (4.3°P) with an ABV of approximately 4.9%. Lets have a look how the beer turned out after 7 weeks of maturation in a keg.
Aroma: Metallic roasty aroma with huge coffee and smokey notes. Could detect some bready sweetness (maybe from the oatmeal?). No phenolic or banana aroma notes. Although, there were some aroma which reminded me of raisins. Very nice!
Appearance: Pours with a black ruby-red appearance and a tan creamy head. The head was not very long-lasting since I had a lot of trouble pouring it in a glass…
Flavor: Lots of coffee and roasty notes. Could detect some metallic notes as well. Rather subtle flavor profile. No typical Belgian yeast characteristics such as phenolic or banana notes.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, average carbonation level. Finishes with a slightly bitter and roasty aftertaste. The bitterness could be due to the roasted barley.
Overall Impression: A pretty neat brew. Not an aroma and flavor bomb but rather easy to drink and enjoy. I already decided to do another batch and use Wyeast’s #1084 Irish Ale yeast for a comparison. Wyeast describes the #1581 Belgian Stout yeast as following: Very versatile ale strain from Belgium, ferments to dryness and produces moderate levels of esters without significant phenolic or spicy characteristics. This description is spot on in my opinion. I will use this strain for a Russian Imperial Stout soon. Stay tuned for further post to come!
I did a very big 1.080 stout with the #1581, and only had 1-2 samples so far. It seems to be taking a long time to develop the C02. I’m anxious for it to finally be fit for a proper tasting.
I wonder if your non-typical Belgian characteristics are because of the fermentation temperatures? My Saison with this strain had a lot of character. I started around 18C and let it coast up to 21-22C on its own, then finished it off all the way up to about 25-26C.
Let me know how your big 1.080 stout turned out. I scheduled a Russian Imperial Stout for this yeast. This yeast might work very well with bigger beers.
Concerning the non-typical Belgian characteristics. Wyeast’s description of this strain seems already very non-Belgian to me. From the description, I do not expect a huge Belgian character. However, I let my stout ferment at 20°C to get a clean character. I am quite fascinated that this yeast can work for a Saisons as well… Would not expect that.
Ironically, a few palates that I highly regard thought it was hands down the best homebrew I’ve ever produced, and among some of the best Saison’s they’ve ever had – commercial or otherwise. I was really pleased with how it came out.
I also did a Dubbel with the #1581, it seems to be facing the same long conditioning phase as the big stout. I’m curious how it is going to be after it is aged a while. I’m not holding my breath that either will be as impressive as the Saison was.
Wow, this sounds promising. Congratulations on your Saison. I have to admit, I never brewed a Saison before. Although I really like the style. There are just so many other styles I want to brew first. I just finished my Lambic brew day 🙂
The Saison you are talking about is your #102 Waiting Saison, right?
Correct, that is #102 Waiting Saison. The notes on that batch are pretty poor, my 2nd child was born the day after I brewed (thus the name, he was 10 days late) so I never got to take good records of things.
I’m actually trying to make a better effort to record my brew sessions and notes. I have young children, so I often end up with sloppy notes and broken up brewing sessions for now…
I guess likewise, I’ve never done a Lambic. So many styles, so little time! I love Saison a lot, but I try to force myself to keep variety in my brewing and do a range of styles.
and it looks great by the way! Making me thirsty here at work.
Cheers 😉 Well, here in Switzerland its 7:17 PM now, so time for a beer…
Beautiful country! Love it there. I was to Lauterbrunnen a couple years ago, and can’t wait to visit again some time.
Oh well, if you have seen the Lauterbrunnen valley, you have already seen one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland 🙂 No, I’m just kidding. There are many other very beautiful places around here. Lauterbrunnen is not far away from my home place…
I just noted to consult your blog again if I ever end up brewing a Saison. Congratulations on the birth of your son. Luckily, there are more important things in live than brewing.
As far as I can tell, your recipe (#102 Waiting Saison) seems to have the information I need. I am wondering, you are not from the States, right? (You use the temperatures in °C and have malts in the grist I can buy ;-))
You’re very warm… I’m in Fredericton, Canada (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Fredericton,+NB,+Canada&hl=en&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=66.320747,135.263672&oq=fredericton&t=h&hnear=Fredericton,+York+County,+New+Brunswick,+Canada&z=12). Thanks! Family is always number #1, hockey #2, and beer #3.
I made my own recipe using some information from:
1 – Brewing Classic Styles
2 – The Mad Fermenationist (http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2009/11/hoppy-french-saison.html)
3 – Zymergy Magazine (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/attachments/0000/2499/MJzym08_Saisons.pdf)
Hehe, we live nearly on the same latitude and use the same units ;-). I live in Burgdorf (https://maps.google.com/maps/place?ftid=0x478e2d75c9440f69:0xc587482c1c901d91&q=Burgdorf,+Switzerland&hl=en&ved=0CCoQ3w0&sa=X&ei=KJ_sT8WqMsXdsgbC3a2qCA)
Thanks for the links. It seems we both use the same sources for our recipes.
There aren’t a great deal of reputable recipe sources out there, so a lot of people end up in the same place. I forgot to mention the book “Farmhouse Ales”, which has some model recipes and suggestions too.
Looks fantastic. I’m a big fan of that area… and into Austria and Czech.
How is your access to beer there? My area is small, and all the alcohol is state controlled, I have an extremely poor beer selection and prices are very high.
Of course, the Farmhouse Ale. Great book!
Switzerland is very liberal concerning alcohol IMO. Although only breweries and distillers have to pay alcohol taxes, wineries don’t… 😉 Beer is very cheap in contrast to other European countries and the selection is not bad in general. A typical lager beer (0.5 L in a can) costs about 1.3 CAD. I do not have to mention how it tastes like… Additonally, a craft beer bar opened very nearby with a huge selection of beers. I can’t complain… We even get some Canadian beers such as:
Fin du Monde (for 5 CAD), Maudite (4.40 CAD), Molson Canadian Lager (3.70
CAD), Moosehead Lager (3.20 CAD) and Moosehead Pale Ale (3.50 CAD) in 33 cL bottles. I have to admit, I only tried the Fin Du Monde and this is a very well made beer and I haven’t traveled to Canada yet.
That is just enviable and unfair. I pay $6 CAD for Find Du Monde (at a store. Prices of everything typically double at a bar or restaurant. Going out for a pint doesn’t happen very often at those prices). 0.5L of the local brewery is $5 CAD. All prices are tightly controlled, the minimum price for a 12 x 0.33L cans of “big brand” lager is $22.99 CAD, single 0.5L cans are $3.50 CAD.
The few good beers I can get are priced high…. and there are very very few of them.
There are several beer styles that we can’t even get, or only have access to 1 example of. For instance, I can’t buy a Saison of any type. There is only one Dubbel available.. and so on.
This isn’t the case for all of Canada of course. Each province is very different. Quebec (the province where the Unibroue brewery is) has a fantastic beer culture. They have great access to beers around the world and much better prices.