Months away from this blog, I'm finally getting back to do a post about a birthday brew. As nobody but one of my readers knows, my youngest daughter was born in mid-February 2012. She's an excellent kid, very sweet and personable but independent and daring. I look forward to seeing her grow up, but in many ways I don't want to think about what kinds of crazy things she'll do. Hopefully she maintains that reserved aura of danger, that I may never have to learn of such things.
Be that as it may, she's now 3, and in her honor, I cooked up a fine birthday beer. During the winter she became attached to oatmeal, a fine breakfast food that can also be included in such things as oatmeal stout. Not surprisingly, then, I thematically made an oatmeal stout.
This is an updated version of the one I made on her first birthday -- the stout is, of course, a common theme in winter, and oatmeal is a common theme for babies -- and, because I'm Like That, I mixed it up a little bit by making the Mother of All Confusing Beers: a Black Oatmeal American Pale Ale. Presumably there's some kind of melting pot thing going on. Without further ado, the recipes!
McGee's Oaty Beer
Mash volume: 10 gal
Boil volume: 21 gal
Mash temp: 155F
Fermentation temp: 64F
29.2 lb German Munich
4.0 lb Crystal 120L
4.0 lb American 6-row
2 lb Chocolate
2 lb Roasted Barley
6.0 lb Oatmeal (rolled, not quick)
0.5 lb German Carafa
3 oz East Kent Goldings FWH
2 oz EKG @60min
2 oz EKG @10min
Mash in @156F, start sparge @150F. Unfortunately, I suffered an initial issue with stuck mash when drain system fell apart and grain blocked the exit. I removed a large amount of the (hot) mashing grain to expose the opening, cleaned the drain system, reassembled the system (more solidly this time), and re-attached it, then added ~1 gallon of additional liquid @170F to the mash to ensure the drain would not be blocked while re-introducing the rest of the (still hot) mash. I put the grain back in, and <i>viola</i>, it yielded the result I needed.
<i>Note: The "base" is made with all but 3 gallons of the “central runnings” -- the first 6 gallons and last 12 gallons are infused with the 3 oz EKG FWH. The middle 3 gallons (gallons 7-9) are siphoned off. The result is ~18 gallons of liquid to boil using the hop schedule given above.</i>
This ultimately yields ~12 gallons of usable stout after boil and about 4 gallons of additional liquid that will form the basis of the Black Oatmeal American Pale Ale (see below).
The color of this beer is crisply black at the center with a lip of dark brown. Flavor prior to boil was a sweet front, dry back, a little bit chocolatey. There's a substantial feel on the tongue initially, which then washes away.
The final MOB product is thick, roasty, a little chocolate, a little caramel. It's not boozy -- about 5.8% -- but you know it's there. On remake, I would (a) thin the mash bit; (b) lower the chocolate volume; (c) up the Carafa volume to get more of that dry (not bitter) roast.
Black Oatmeal American Pale Ale
We now have 3 gallons of middle runnings (as yet untreated) and 3 gallons of boiled stuff. For the as-yet-untreated liquid, boil separately and infuse with:
1 oz Warrior @60min
1 oz Warrior @flameout
Heading into the secondary after 10 days, this got an infusion of:
1 Oz CTZ (Columbus)
1 oz Simcoe
1 oz Centennial
The yeast here is a little more mineral -- I can only assume this is due to the yeast because all items were fermented @64F (or thereabouts, given the vagaries of winter temperature stability in my basement). The additional hops make for a slight bitterness and a little more characteristic floral and barnyard flavor that makes this a little more like eating oatmeal in your grandmother's kitchen rather than in a sterile, modern space. I appreciate the complexity here, and at 5.4%, this one is homey and drinkable.
As a bonus, while cleaning out my brewing area, I also came across my oldest daughter's 3rd beer label. At the time, my youngest had just been born, and the oldest insisted on calling her baby sister "Little Elephant". The beer's name thus became "The Monkey and the Elephant".