#65 Smoked Oatmeal Stout

Eureka, today’s post is all about one of our most improved recipes so far. As a fan of Stouts I really wanted to create an excellent example. This is basically the next improvement step of the #49 Belgian Oatmeal Stout. Although the #49 recipe gives you a great Stout, I still wanted to keep on improving the recipe to a next level: Adding a Islay smoked twist to it. The recipe is very similar to the previous version but I used a different yeast and some Whisky malt instead. The previous version was quite well made in my opinion and I saw no need to change the grist any further. Lets go through the recipe.

Recipe: Wellington Boots Smoked Stout
Numbers: Volume [L] 19 (5 gal)
Original gravity 13.9°P (1.055)
Terminal gravity 4°P (1.015)
Color Around 69 EBC
ABV 5.4% (v/v)
Grains: Pale malt (6.5 EBC) 4.3 kg
Flaked oat (0 EBC) 0.45 kg
Chocolate (700 EBC) 0.34 kg
Roasted barley (1150 EBC) 0.23 kg
Cara Crystal (120 EBC) 0.23 kg
Whisky malt (10 EBC?) 0.6 kg
Hops: EKG (5% AA) 51 g and boil for 60 min
Yeast: Wyeast’s #1084 Irish Ale
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 14 L (3.7 gal),
sparge: 19 L (5 gal) @78°C (172°F)
Rest: Mash in @66°C (151°F),
60 min @66°C (151°F),
10 min @ 78°C (172°F)
Boil: Total 60 min
Fermentation: Primary 13 days @20°C (68°F) in plastic fermenter
Secondary N/A
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) 2 with sugar addition
Maturation time > 3 weeks

09/09/2012: Batch number 65. All the grains and flakes went into the water at 66°C and rested for one hour at 66°C. Then increased the temperature to 78°C for mash-out. Then did a fly sparge as usual and collected the black wort. 65_1After all the runnings were collected, I waited for the first signs of boiling to occur and added the hops as mentioned above. I always like to brew dark beers not only because they taste great but because some beautiful things occur during the brew day such as the surface shown in the wort kettle before reaching a boil.

65_2After a 60 min boil the wort was cooled down to approximately 20°C (68°F) and a healthy amount of freshly prepared WY1084 Irish Ale yeast was added.

09/22/2012: After 13 days of primary fermentation the beer was bottled already. No secondary fermentation because we planned to store the beer for some time in the bottles anyway. Another thing we changed to the previous recipe was the amount of carbon dioxide. This time we went with a traditional Real Ale carbonation level of 2 vol of carbon dioxide. In my opinion Stouts with a lover carbon dioxide level are more drinkable and therefore easier to enjoy.

01/07/13: First official tasting after a maturation time of nearly three months. We tasted the Stout before but never put it on paper.

Aroma: Very phenolic and smoky. The Whisky malt gives this brew a really nice aroma profile. All other typical Stout aromas such as chocolate, coffee or any roasted notes are somewhat in the background and nearly not detectable.

WellingtonBootsInGlassAppearance: Pours in a black color, 1 finger tan and creamy head, some bubbles rise to the top. A typical Stout appearance in my opinion.

Flavor: First thing you notice are the roasty, chocolate notes. Followed by the peaty, smoky character of the Whisky malt. Incredible what the low amount of smoked malt can already contribute to such a beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a low carbonation level. Rather dry and smoke and silky. Really palatable.

Overall Impression: This beer has to be enjoyed at a relatively warm temperature. Otherwise the character of this beer is rather boring.

Quite interesting what 10% of Whisky malt can contribute to such a beer. The smokiness is well-integrated and not overpowering. I gave this beer to friends and used it for a tasting and a lot of people liked it. And some of them do not drink beer on a regular basis. But some of them are Islay Whisky lovers and therefore really like the peaty notes in this beer. The level of smoke seems to be just right. Some told me that a higher smoke level would be less enjoyable. Although I would love to further increase the amount of Whisky malt to see what happens. All in all I am quite satisfied how this brew turned out. What I learned is that Stouts work better at lower carbonation levels and 10% of Whisky malt lead to a well incorporated smoke level.

I am quite certain that this is not the end of my journey to improve my Stout recipes. For now it seems that I am on the right track. However, I haven’t decided yet what to further improve here. Luckily there are some other recipes in our pipeline which need further improvement. Thanks for reading


5 thoughts on “#65 Smoked Oatmeal Stout

  1. Sounds like the perfect recipe for me! One question though, on the fermentation: what if i leave it at 22-23C, will that work? Not sure if i manage to keep it stable at 28C for two weeks, especially this time of year..


    • Sorry, that’s a typo. I had to look for my original recipe to check because 28°C seemes very high for WY1084 Irish Ale. I did the fermentation at 20°C (68°F) and not at 28°C (82°F) as originally written in the post. Changed it to the right temperature. 22-23°C will certainly work. Sorry for the typo and thanks for your feedback. Good luck with your Stout.

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